Pursuit of Happiness – Open Forum

Is excessive/compulsive consumerist behavior an attempt to compensate for the loss of a simple community life, where our basic social patterns were defined by simple rules. Where relationships had time to be more meaningful and where we had a greater, more mythic relationship with nature and the Earth. Is this loneliness driving us to compensate for the lack of meaningful relationships through extreme materialistic expression ?


…..Is advertising targeting and exploiting our loneliness ? In this excessive/compulsive consumerist society that we live in, where new needs are created everyday, what is our quotient of happiness/satisfaction ? How do we judge if the enormous increase in standard of living in the West has actually made us happier ? I am not talking about the poverty here. But at what stage do we say enough s enough ? Or is there ever such a stage at all ?
. Why have we become such victims of advertising ? Why must we always feel insecure merely because someone else has something we perceive as better and more desirable ? And how do we describe better ? More exclusive ? More expensive ? More hip ? More fashionable ?
And what is the addiction to brands say of our psychology ? Why does a Prada shoe carry greater weight than one of equal quality but unbranded ? Does wearing a popular branded T – Shirt actually give us a feeling of community ? Like belonging to a football club.
Shekhar

57 Responses to “Pursuit of Happiness – Open Forum”

  1. Amit Chawla says:

    Here’s another observation on essentially the same daemon, consumerism:
    http://www.amitchawla.net/blog/index.php/2007/07/27/when-little-was-more-an-observation/
    Thanks, Amit

  2. Shikha Swarup says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    Hello! I met u maybe 16 years back & we even shot for a film called Badal which got lost behind Barsaat..Ring a bell??
    Yesterday I saw your interview on ‘NDTV GoodTimes’ & somethings really touched me. You spoke on the subjects that brings me most joy, indeed I had tears of joy. Immediately I logged on to your site & read,’Pursuit of Happiness’ & the many responses to the same.
    I read silently & smiled as i unravelled that everyone was speaking my heart’s beat. I am proud to share that I realised very early in life that the truth of existence is rather simple. The soul embodies itself to neaten its clutter of desires. But it lands up making life a bigger mess. Life is a pit of illusions where dreams are common. The Alpha finds the means to materialise these dreams. Then the poison of success invades him & circumstances drives the restless soul to reign the hollow pedestel of ego.
    Under the glitzy basket of desires lies wrapped a nagging insignificant desire for ‘Peace’, which stays unidentified, let alone being savoured by many..not in one life but maybe many.
    Simplicity is Peace. Unconditional love is Peace. This is why nature beckons us, why innocence
    appeals to us, why we find Mother Teresa charismatic…and above all find God attractive.
    Till the mind cannot disentangle itself from the complex web of MAYA( the illusions of worldliness)
    it cannot be at peace even on the Himalayas or in the Ganges.
    In accordance with our soul’s level of evolvement we comprehend reality. As the’desire’levels reach in the proximity of satiation the soul triggers signals such as – feeling alone in a crowd, rejoicing less on your achievements, crying less on your defeats etc. These are healthy symptoms of REAL-I-sation, not of the self in NAME or BODY but of the soul.
    The social yardstick may give brownie points to Armani or Aryabhat to American Idol or Ms.India but this will matter till our soul desires so. Just like a child bored of his toys, one fine morning it all will not matter. It is not the world that we have to please but ourselves.
    We have heard so often that we come alone and go alone but through your open forum in this life, we need not be alone in our ‘Pursuit of Happiness’.
    Regards
    Shikha Swarup

  3. Alfagreyus says:

    Hi!
    Without taking into account the issue of establishing a stone by God, which he won’t be able to pick up, how do you think, may be something in this world, what can God never see?

  4. bhawana says:

    These days most of us have nothing to do.
    Still we have got to look for meaning, keep ourselves busy. Right?
    Now what? play games ?
    No that can be too emotionally taxing.
    Then do social work ?
    No,the comfort zone is just so comfortable.
    And after a certain level we realize that there is no “more” happiness available in our comfort zone.
    Now what step out?
    Or maybe play with in the zone and create new and old “issues”, stir it up a little bit and enjoy the stink.
    Here the consumerist way of life, helps.
    One has a choice to look beyond it but won’t because a) that’s how the majority does it and seems to enjoy it and b)initially it seems better than ‘depression’.
    Ultimately by the time you realise that this “speed” itself has caused the depression, you drop dead.

  5. raman says:

    sri shekhar ji,happiness is the love that god bestowed on us, and a man is free enough to use these blessings. So be happy

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