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How can anyone be content and satisfied with the resorces they have? I am not talking about deprivation of basic necessaties like food, water, chothing and shelter. I am saying about the resources beyond these.

  • It would help if you post it in the answer instead. – C R Bora Apr 21 '18 at 12:08
  • Sounds a little like Zen Buddhism, but anyone who actually IS calm and content with what they have probably wouldn't be answering StackExchange questions. – barrycarter Apr 21 '18 at 20:50
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    Yep, I'd say you can't beat Zen practice for peace and contentment. Horse for courses though. There are lots of other variations on the method. The trick is to discover what you already have and what can never be taken away from you. I like the comment by a French Bishop in the 18th century - 'A monk should count nothing his own except his lute'. – PeterJ Apr 22 '18 at 12:05
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Take this example, some people have amputated limbs, now does that make everyone praise their intact body? the answer is no.There's a common basic narcissism (not the clinical narcissism) in man, that makes him act as a special one. It goes like this: I'm special, therefore my destiny can not be like that person.The problem is that deep inside you, you do not feel that your current resources can be degraded at any time.My answer is, it's impossible to praise what you have (will never be grasped as a radical idea that shapes your mind) . Now i do not know whether the acknowledging of the insecurity of your resources would bring happiness or dread.

(Side note): It seems to me there is a difference between praising our current condition and not condemning our current condition.

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People who disengage from consumer culture (i.e. make a decision to stop signalling their social status via perpetually acquiring more money and/or goods) usually do so because they yearn for meaning and experiences that this lifestyle cannot provide them.

For example, a person returning to familiar surroundings after spending time travelling in an unfamiliar part of the world might notice their pre-journey lifestyle now feels profoundly boring and superficial. For someone else maybe the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship triggers a yearning for a more meaningful life than the one they have been living to date. Or a person might wake up one morning and realize working to acquire more wealth and material possessions no longer satisfies as it once did. After a period of soul searching other interests take precedence over making money and buying stuff.

Simply put, when gratuitous “resource acquisition” becomes too boring, stressful or otherwise ceases to satisfy core wants and desires you will be motivated to find more satisfying activities to replace it, probably, but not necessarily, after a period of philosophical introspection and uncertainty.

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A clear-cut answer to this question is impossible. People will have different aims in their lives. If one can't achieve it in his life they will be in despair. So, live in the same way as others live is not a good answer and is impossible.

You would be compelled to expand the range of basic necessities if you ask yourself some questions like this:

What should he use to travel long distances? Where should he get money? Is traveling in a vehicle a basic necessity? How should he treat himself if he is well? How, if it is a serious disease? What happens other family members are not happy with what you have saved for the family? So the person should lead a saint's life. Then he would get things freely. Don't forget, he must have sound health also till his death. Otherwise he must have great endurance.

Actually your question is the commonest problem many people face. But most people are not quite sure about it clearly. If there were a good answer that suits for all, most people would have followed it. It may be one of the reasons for the the emergence of some religions. Many religions suggest different ways for this, but everybody can't practice correctly what it suggests. Some religions suggest different ways according to people's character. But without understanding the religion correctly jumping from one to another is not a good tendency. Trying to reach the topmost level with the first leap may lead to a fall.

When one can't do according to his character his mind become restless. I mean, most people are compelled to do unsuited jobs. This part should also be rectified. Hobbies play an important role here.

Some people might be able to train their mind to be calm. Such persons must have some potentialities. But it will take time..sometimes very long time. So an immediate action also is not possible for acquiring this ability.

There are different religions and meditation centers, yoga centers etc for helping people. Contentment is to the mind. So importance to be given is to the mind. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop."

Some people can do some activities continuously without boring. It depends on the vasanas of the people. So, one should find out such activities and indulge in it. It may be some kind of charity work/service to the poor etc. Haven't you heard the quote of Swami Vivekananda, "They alone live, who live for others." If the activities are according to the vasanas, the mind will not disturb you.

In short, whatever you do should be helpful to your mind also.

You might have heard about kings and millionaires who renounced everything they had just for calmness and contentment in life.

  • Read my edit. Please edit your answer accordingly considering I am talking about only those people, who already have the life's basic necessaties available to them. – C R Bora Apr 21 '18 at 13:24
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Short answer:

Philosophy is the wrong department for this. Try spiritually instead. Ask in Christianity.stackexchange is my suggestion.

Long answer:

You've stumbled on a question that would be answered differently by each worldview. Atheism is one such worldview. Christianity is another. Yet another is Hinduism. As a former Hindu, former atheist, and current Christian, I'll try and answer according to each of these views.

Hinduism: Hinduism is a religion that broadly says that the world is an illusion, and that our desires for the impermanent things ought to be minimized. Ways to minimize this may include doing yoga, meditating, ritualistic prayers(poojas), etc.

Atheism: While there may be atheistic philosophers who have advocated being in control of one's desires, I'm not sure what arguments they may have put forward for why one should do this. If the material world is all there is, then why should one way, the way of moderation and temperance, be any better than any other way, apart from appeals to pure pragmatism? Even then it is not clear why I, as an evolved creature, should not gather so much for myself as to deprive my neighbor of those same resources, so that I am better off, but he or she is worse off.

Christianity: Christianity says that ever since the fall of mankind, we have a fundamental inclination towards sin, which includes idolatory and covetousness. Moreover, our hearts are darkened without knowledge of the goodness of God, which causes us to fear for our own provision. This, in turn, inclines us towards gathering and hoarding more for ourselves than we really need. The solution, according to Christianity, is that we need to trust in Christ for our salvation, which results in a new birth, which restores or redeems our fallen nature, so that we are free to live according to God's desires for us.

I'll stop for want of time. I just wanted you to see that the question you have posed indeed does touch upon spirituality, and that in order to properly answer it, you need to go down one of these mutually exclusive paths.

  • Spirituality has nothing to do with life's philosophy. The philosophy of life to stay stable holds as good for a believer as it does for an atheist. Someone, who does not believe in god also has the right to learn to be satisfied with life with the aid of philosophical principles. – C R Bora Apr 21 '18 at 13:27
  • You're correct, atheists do have that right. However, the fact that you think atheism is tenable as a "philosophy of life" shows that you haven't really engaged with the best of Christian thinking. The human heart is an "idol factory". If you don't know what that means, go look it up. Without meaning to appear curt, it'll be time better spent. – Joebevo Apr 21 '18 at 15:41
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    And answers are the wrong place to suggest to the poster to redirect to another SE. That's better in comments. – Chelonian Apr 21 '18 at 17:47
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    I disagree that philosophy is the wrong department for this. Concerns regarding personal satisfaction and what should be pursued in life directly relate to a lot of existentialist concerns. Similarly, there is nothing remotely theological in the original posters question that indicates that they are looking for an answer based in spirituality or religion. – xxWallflower Apr 22 '18 at 3:52
  • Minus 1 as the answer is biased towards the author's ideology, spoiling impartiality. – William Apr 23 '18 at 16:48
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It's hard to answer this question, as I can interpret it in a few different ways. When you say "resources beyond these", you could be talking about an excess of basic necessities (i.e. food beyond what you need to survive, clothes beyond what you need to wear, etc.). Or perhaps you're talking about an ever-increasing supply of luxury items like phones, cars, jewels, name-brand apparel, etc. (things which imply a certain social or financial standing). Or perhaps you're talking about pure capitalist commodities (i.e. cash/money).

It might seem like an arbitrary distinction, but if you're just talking about an excess of basic necessities, then the answer would be: why do you need more food, water, shelter, etc. than you can use? As John Locke wrote, "... he that leaves as much as another can make use of, does as good as take nothing at all.” In other words, waste not, want not.

If you're talking about the idea that it would be odd to be satisfied with what you have, when you could be gaining more physical goods (like luxury items or money), then my reply would be: what is the point of getting all of these physical goods? At the end of it all, those who live under the maxim of "I gain meaning in life from the increase in my physical resources" live in the following way: wake up, go to work, make money to get basic necessities and more physical goods, go to sleep, repeat. This cyclical lifestyle, focused and hell-bend on increasing ones treasure trove, would leave many feeling empty. What is the point of it all? What meaning does it add to my life? Although you might ask, "How can anyone be satisfied with the resources one has?", someone else might ask, "What do more resources amount to, if not more useless stuff? What is the point of gaining more in the first place?"

But read most favourably, your question might actually be about whether or not human happiness is founded in goal-setting. In other words, can a human without any goals, things to obtain, desires for personal productivity or gain, really be happy? Can we exist in stasis, without desiring for anything more?

I would suggest you explore this question more to fine-tune what it is you want to understand by asking it, which will allow for more insightful (and helpful) answers from others.

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