What is the problem with consumerism? It’s not in shopping, buying, having, owning, selling, enjoying. All these are ways of being attached to the world of objects–not a bad thing in itself. The problem is that in shopping, buying and possessing we never satisfied, and that feeling of emptiness after such an effort to possess indicates that for all our buying we never fully possess or fully own.
I suspect that the soul needs to have and to own, and these needs are perhaps the shadow of the spiritual self-denial. The monk’s vow of poverty may have nothing to do with this moralistic denial of pleasure.
What does it take to really own and possess? It means loving a thing so much that one can’t be parted from it, can’t stand to see it neglected and misused, can’t trust someone else will care for it sufficiently.
Our materialism is a sign that we don’t love the world nearly enough.
On the Monk who dwells in daily life