The suffering that gives rise to and is perpetuated by contemporary culture’s addiction to
materialistic consumption is described surprisingly well by the ancient tradition of Indo-
Tibetan Buddhism. From this perspective, modern human beings exemplify hungry ghosts
trapped in a state of incessant greed and insatiability, which at its core reflects a desperate
attempt to maintain a sense of self that is out of accord with basic reality. The rich Tibetan
Buddhist understanding of the unfolding process by which the hungry ghost negotiates its
project, including its attempts to avoid greater suffering and to seek bliss, serves to elucidate
our contemporary psychological dynamic. This analysis points to what is needed in order to
extract ourselves from a consumerist mentality and find genuine fulfillment.
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Pope, A. (2011). Pope, A. (2011). Modern materialism through the lens of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 30(1-2), 171–177.. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 30 (1). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.ciis.edu/ijts-transpersonalstudies/vol30/iss1/17