Feeding Hungry Ghosts

Sometimes I feel an inconsolable grief for our collective madness. Sometimes I feel unbounded joy for what could be our immense, collective transformation. Our madness and our transformation are long coming. Perhaps the violence of our nightmare will finally jolt us awake...

In 1951, British philosopher, Alan Watts, wisely observed:

“Our age is one of frustration, anxiety, agitation, and addiction to ‘dope.’ Somehow we must grab what we can and drown out the realization that the whole thing is futile and meaningless. […] This ‘dope’ we call our high standard of living, a violent and complex stimulation of the senses, which makes them progressively less sensitive and thus in need of yet more violent stimulation.” [1]

His words seem truer now than when he wrote them.

We are like hungry ghosts, the wretched, starving creatures of Buddhist lore, with large, empty bellies and long, skinny necks, unable to receive nourishment, as food turns to ash on their tongues.

With ever-increasing anxiety, we frantically consume that which does not nourish us, as we decimate the very planet that supports us. Yet economic indicators insist that growth is (and must continue) increasing.

The question is: Growth of what?