The Economic Crisis in the Eyes of Buddhists
By Master Chuanxi on July 22nd, 2009 at Huiri Temple, Ningbo, China
Economic development is the product of a mature society and also one of the driving forces to promote a deeper development of a society. In a world with an abundant commodity, people's material desires are maximally stimulated. Individuals, who are the main producers of the society, should try their best to overcome their inertness and improve their productivity level. Thus, the society will become richer and richer while the country will become more and more powerful. Among and between nations, often because of economic factors, people will go beyond the cultural and racial differences, and do friendly exchanges for satisfying mutual needs and gaining mutual benefits. Today's globalization is achieved through economic integration where the sophisticated mental noises of people are simplified and the disorder of international relations is straightened out. From a micro perspective, economics can influence people in terms of their happiness, sorrows and rhythm of lives while viewing from a macro perspective, it also determines the pace of social development and poses strong impacts on the future of the world.
Today, with an unprecedented material civilization, we indulge in the fruits of modern science and technology, while the experts and scholars of social and natural sciences are heavy-hearted about the future of human beings. Indeed, we are facing a serious crisis of survival. If we continue our present way of living, the climate warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions, is enough to eliminate the entire human race on earth within a hundred years.
Therefore, it has become an extremely important international agenda to change the human way of living. Throughout the human history, all civilizations, including the oriental outlook on life, "picking chrysanthemum along the east hedgerow, I see Mount Nan," and the Buddhists value of seeking the truth in life and freeing ourselves from desires, have successfully provided a pathway for continuous survival.
Nowadays, the threat to human’s future comes from the expansion of human’s desire. After drowning in the ocean of desires, people begin the pursuit of limitless wealth of the spiritual world. This is not only the best way to solve the crisis, but also a new realm of civilization that derives from human’s own maturity. In this new era, the ancient Chinese teaching of living a peaceful and contented life has become a compulsory course to acquire.
Although the current economic crisis is triggered by the natural economic order, it should also be the wise men’s joystick to save mankind’s doom and slow down the humans’ footsteps to the guillotine. It provides the human beings with more opportunities to reflect on the right direction. Indeed, such economic phenomenon is not a crisis but the graceful hands to save us from the real human crisis.
The role of economics as a lever to human society is not a panacea. The world of Datong is constructed through Datong culture. The Buddhist view of life and its view of the world not only encompass the essence of all kinds of culture, but also cover current and future blueprints for mankind with universal values. The economic crisis has made more people sitting down and thinking the underlying issues at a deeper level, accepting the precious wealth of our ancestors that had settled down in the long river of history. This requires an expert with breadth of vision to provide positive guidance. Advanced scientific and technological achievements have been freeing us from the hard work, either to be reborn through self-cultivation or die in the chase of material desires, we must make a wise and decisive choice.
We should reach the consensus on the phenomenon of economic 'crisis'. Blindly pursuing economic development regardless of its terrible consequences is the most superficial approach of human beings. The happiness of mankind is not only derived through material things but can also come from an inner spiritual experience and feelings. The theory of traditional Chinese medicine tells us that the body imbalance of Yin and Yang will cause sickness, so the development of human society will go lopsided if the spiritual and material cannot be coordinated in a balanced way. In today's human society, the imbalance of material and spiritual civilization is obviously a big problem. The excessive expansion of human desire is a trap of our survival. The outbreak of the economic crisis is indeed worthy of the entire human reflection.(点击此处阅读下一页)