Changing the System Mindfully. Are we imprisoned by our unexamined concepts???

Changing the System Mindfully. Are we imprisoned by our unexamined concepts???
Humanity is imprisoned by a heartless monetary system, co-dependently arising from dichotomy of man and nature, self and society, ecology and economy, and public and private. How is the system fabricated? How do we awaken from our collective delusion and suffering? Please share this blog for Contemplative Social Action to Cultivate a Culture of Awakening! "Do everything with a mind that lets go" - Ajahn Chah

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is our Economic System Liberating or Enslaving Us?

A British Researcher compiled a survey of the Happiest Countries in the world. The criteria and methodology is not all clear but seemingly includes education, public health and longevity. Among the top 12 happiest countries most are from Europe, Canada is the only large nation to make the list and surprisingly Bhutan came 8th, followed by Brunei (monarchy). USA ranked 23rd. Some of the countries at the top also have high suicide rates, high drug and alchohol addiction and perhaps high national debt. Of course what constitutes happiness is quite intangible and very much influenced by both personal and cultural value systems. This survey have omissions and biases, yet it is a refreshing change of view from the usual national GDP or GNP statistics. [Source: Businessweek]
The Happy Planet Index, by the New Economic Foundation takes per capita ecological footprint into account and this gives a quite different view of the world.

The Buddhist approach to happiness, well-being and contentment lies in training, mastering and knowing our own mind through the practice of mindful-awareness. Many university studies have found Buddhist meditators' brains show noticeable differences than non-meditators in terms of mood, emotional balance and brain coherence. and anger. Use of antidepressant in US has doubled from 1996-2005. Professor Flanagan writes: "Antidepressants are currently the favoured method for alleviating negative emotions, but no antidepressant makes a person happy. On the other hand, Buddhist meditation and mindfulness, which were developed 2,500 years before Prozac, can lead to profound happiness."

How can we be prospering in any real sense while remaining trapped by the chains of mounting debt? Visualeconomics site shows the national debt as percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for different countries. The Debt Clock mirrors what is called 'monkey mind' in Buddhism. PBS Frontline inquires into the problem of looming debt-crisis overshadowing the current financial mess. Even before this mess our Government was borrowing money from foreigners to fund essential programs. At the end of FY2009 Gross US debt was 83.4% of GDP (50% of it was public debt and 30.4% intra-govermental loans).

Total U.S. consumer debt stands at $2.46 trillion, as of January 2010 and average student debt is rising. FDIC Current list of Failed Banks.

Other interesting news below the radar: There is a recent private summit of Central Bankers in Sydney. Police chiefs across USA are resigning or being replaced [Link]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

“This is typical of the type of Cannibal Capitalism going on in this country. What I am really afraid is that the collapse of the mortgage market, the attrition to the middle class will only accelerate¬. The loss of household wealth will have far reaching effects as families that would have been able to buy a house will be caught in an endless “rent trap” of perpetuall¬y rising costs, no equity, and no end. Goodbye suburbs, hello tenements. This fear was mention earlier this week in the New York times article "Without Loan Giants, 30-Year Mortgage May Fade Away " by Binyamin Applelbaum. Then backed up by Michael C. Hill who has written "Cannibal Capitalism".”

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PBS Commanding Heights: Battle of Ideas for the World economy, Part 1 & 2