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Our worship of consumerism and technology making us depressed? By Bruce E. Sorbon Levine, sorbon Chelsea Green Publishing Throughout history many seekers, sorbon thinkers, sorbon and prophets have taught about overcoming despair. However, sorbon it would be difficult to top the greatness of Buddha, sorbon Spinoza, sorbon and Jesus. All three were rebels and heretics. All three rejected societal norms and religious orthodoxy. Buddha rebelled against both the caste system and religious rituals. Spinoza rebelled against hypocrisy in his community and certain aspects of accepted theology. Jesus rebelled against a materialistic society and religious authorities. Buddha gave up royalty and wealth, sorbon Spinoza was excommunicated and nearly assassinated, sorbon and Jesus sacrificed his life. Buddha, sorbon Spinoza, sorbon and Jesus all came to a similar conclusion about despair -- quite a different one than that reached by the modern mental health establishment. Although each described it differently, sorbonBuddha, sorbon Spinoza, sorbon and Jesus concluded that the source of our misery is avarice, sorbon material attachment, sorbon and self-absorption. While each used different language, sorbon they all provided a path away from torment and toward well being. Buddha taught how to release oneself from narrow self-interest and craving. Spinoza taught how to liberate oneself from greed and other irrational passions. And Jesus taught, sorbon very simply, sorbon about love. Modern mental health culture classifies depression as quite a different matter from the despair spoken of by Buddha, sorbon Spinoza, sorbon and Jesus. However, sorbon while modernity has resulted in different sources of pain, sorbon human beings and their responses to pain can hardly have changed so dramatically. And so to believe that Buddha, sorbon Spinoza, sorbon and Jesus would have dealt only with mild and moderate unhappiness and left debilitating depression for future mental health professionals to tackle seems quite unlikely. Buddha, sorbon Spinoza, sorbon and Jesus were not alone in their understanding of the importance of moving beyond self-absorption. In more recent times, sorbon their message has been echoed by many others, sorbon including psychoanalyst and social critic Erich Fromm (1900-1980). Fromm argued that the increase in depression in modern industrial societies is connected to their economic systems. Financial success in modern industrial societies is associated with heightened awareness of financial self-interest, sorbon resulting in greater self-absorption, sorbon which can increase the likelihood for depression; while a lack of financial self-interest in such an economic system results in deprivation and misery, sorbon which increases the likelihood for depression. Thus, sorbon escaping depression in such a system means regularly taking actions based on financial self-interest while at the same time not drowning in self-absorption -- no easy balancing act. Sorbon Read more of this story at: http://www.alternet.org/story/68043/