Yuhang He's Blog

Some birds are not meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright.

Materialism VS Anti-Materialism

It is a safe bet that no body wants to be criticized as being too “materialism” as materialism is regarded as plain bad always in most cases. Putting aside those superficial controversies which inevitably involve personal perference, gregariousness, when we dig deeper into materialism and anti-materialism, things turn out to be not that easy. The truth is that most of are in somewhere stuck between these two versions, which is pretty uncomfortable. In our daily life, we are forced to deal with materialism to increase our possessions, at the the same time, we are also encouraged to feel rather bad or even guilty about it, which is internally disturbing.


Materialism doesn’t fly in the face of spiritual things

An appropriate example to illustrate this is the unusual route: religion because we all see them focus exclusively on spiritual things. It is unbelievely suprising when we realize how religion deeply correlates with materialistic staffs. The clergy people spend a lot of time thinking about how to decorate the temples, shrines, monasteries and various ceremonies. They care about these things for one simple reason because they want material things to serve as their highest and noblest purpose: the development of our souls and the cultivation of religious ideas. They have historically recognized that we are incarnate sensory bodily beings and the way to get to our souls has to at least in part through our corporal bodies, rather than merely through our imagination or intellect. In Christianity, the Jesus is the combination of the highest spiritual being and the flash blood person on the earth. Actutally, numerous material possessions involve a kind of transubstantiation where they are both practical and physical and embodied to allue to a positive personality or spirit.

We are stucking between them

“The things you own end up owning you. It's only after you lose everything that you're free to do anything.”
― Chuck Palahniuk

Exactly the same concept discussed above applies many areas outside religion. Let’s take a look at the luxury domain. The watch designed by Dieter Rams, to the outside it is just an ordinary timepiece. At the psychological side, it steps further and serves as a kind of transubstantiation: it tells the time but it also hints psychologically the ideals of simplicity, purity and harmony floating around the watch, nudging us towards being a certain sort of person. Thus buying and using these materialized staff can also match our inner evolution and gives us a chance to get closer to our better selves.

The indispensable intertwining of materialism and anti-materialism does not necessarily mean that all consumerism turns out to be great. In most cases, it depends on what kind of the materialized object it is and who uses this object. A materialized staff can be transubstantiated to the very worse side of human nature, greed, calousness etc. Also definitely, it can be the very best side of human nature. What matters is that we should be careful and not to decry or celebrate materialism easily. We have to ensure shine the very best side of materilism and hide its dark side.