Reflections on Greed

Greed is something that we often associate with the bad and the unwanted, but also something that exist within many of us in some degree (perhaps on a subconscious level?). But what is greed, really? Here, I feel there is a need for specification. My reflections on the subject matter are indistinct enough themselves, so let us not make this too fuzzy by trying to analyze all aspects and interpretations of greed. Let us instead focus on the greed for money. It is often the type of greed which people most often associate with negativity. The constant and growing greed among others make us confused. Why do we even want money in the first place?

Many of us prefer the cheapest price yet we still want the best quality, and things given for free are the best. This provokes a thought within me, that we actually don’t want money in the first place; instead we want the best quality with minimum strain, i.e., minimum money (money = work = strain). But still we work and toil until our bodies are old and our backs are bent, because we so desperately need the money to survive in this constraining society that we have created. The less money we have, the bigger the strain and the more we feed our frustration.

A sudden wish for more money and less toil grows increasingly imminent, because what wealth lends us is the illusion of not having to work. And there is another illusion of not needing money, because of the illusion that there isn’t any. We create with wealth the illusion that there are no boundaries left; no constraints that keep us in place inside the walls of society. We rid society of its laws and walls, making it our sandbox playground. The invisible money becomes a currency for some sort of freedom. In reality we gain this illusive freedom only because we can afford the price. In reality we dislike money and greed and the whole society with its imprisoning walls, but with money we can partake only in the best opportunities and features, for we can afford to ignore the things which we dislike. We think.

A lot of people strive for this kind of dream-like wealth because they only want to partake in all of the great things that society has to offer, but they don’t even want to see the shadow of the bad things that come with the great things. There is an inner wish that wealth will lead us to freedom, but in reality we become twice as confined and twice as lost among the illusive lures of the darker waters of our society.

Failing to accept the impossibility of freedom in such a system as the one we have created (in all its “glory” with all of the great things it has to offer us), we attempt to imitate freedom as much as we possibly can. It is much like the self-building hierarchies within a prison; the walls and the guards that keep the inmates fixed within the system, and the inmates themselves trying to imitate their outside life through secret errands, trading and bribery. You create one system within another, which makes you appear more powerful and free than you actually are.

Maybe some people recognize the negative pattern in this behaviour and are thus disgusted by it, while others simply refuse to accept their constraints and strive for the illusive freedom instead. But to reach total freedom, we must choose not to be part of this society as it is today. We have the power to do so as long as we have the will to do so. But we restrain from this type of freedom because it appears as too dangerous, too anarchistic and chaotic or too hard. Because we imagine that the same type of freedom (albeit a false one) can be achieved with less work within the society. In reality we are too afraid to head out into the open; too afraid to rid ourselves from our constraints; too afraid to accept such a challenging quest on our own.

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