Greed

Greed is the root of all sin.

The will to power, as the modern age from Hobbes to Nietzsche understood it, far from being a characteristic of the strong, is, like envy and greed, among the vices of the weak, and possibly even their most dangerous one. Power corrupts indeed when the weak band together in order to ruin the strong, but not before.

The purpose of this discipline is to bring man into the habit of applying the insight that has come to him as the result of the preceding disciplines. When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. One should think: there is walking, there is stopping, there is realizing; not, I am walking, I am doing this, it is a good thing, it is disagreeable, I am gaining merit, it is I who am realizing how wonderful it is. Thence come vagrant thoughts, feelings of elation or of failure and unhappiness. Instead of all this, one should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself, understanding it to be an expedient means for attaining tranquillity of mind, realization, insight and Wisdom; and one should follow the practice in faith, willingness and gladness. After long practice the bondage of old habits become weakened and disappears, and in its place appear confidence, satisfaction, awareness and tranquillity. What is the Way of Wisdom designed to accomplish? There are three classes of conditions that hinder one from advancing along the path to Enlightenment. First, there are the allurements arising from the senses, from external conditions and from the discriminating mind. Second, there are the internal conditions of the mind, its thoughts, desires and mood. All these the earlier practices (ethical and mortificatory) are designed to eliminate. In the third class of impediments are placed the individual’s instinctive and fundamental (and therefore most insidious and persistent) urges - the will to live and to enjoy, the will to cherish one’s personality, the will to propagate, which give rise to greed and lust, fear and anger, infatuation, pride and egotism. The practice of the Wisdom Paramita is designed to control and eliminate these fundamental and instinctive hindrances.

On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him; if he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom.

From its first day to this, sheer greed was the driving spirit of civilization; wealth and again wealth and once more wealth, wealth, not of society, but of the single scurvy individual - here was its one and final aim.

Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.

As wealth grows, care and greed for greater wealth follows after.

To know and to serve God, of course, is why we’re here, a clear truth that like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard... Even in time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people. If we had no other purpose in life, it would be good enough to simply take care of them and goose them once in a while.

Freedom means mastery of your world. Fear and greed are common sources of bondage. We are afraid, beset by anxiety. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. We seem so helpless over against the forces that move now without apparent thought for men. And our inner freedom is destroyed by greed. We think that if we only had enough goods we should be free, happy, without care. And so there comes the lust for money, and slavery to the world of things. The world can enslave; it can never make us free.

Greed's worst point is its ingratitude.

Show me a man who is not a slave. One is a slave to lust, another to greed, another to ambition, and all men are slaves to fear...no servitude is more disgraceful than that which is self-imposed.

Love gives beauty to everything it touches. Not greed and utility; they produce offices, but not dwelling houses. To be able to love material things, to clothe them with tender grace, and yet not be attached to them, this is a great service.

Your mission is proving that a love for the earth, and for the things of the earth, is possible without materialism, a love without greed

Happy the man who has learned the cause of things and has put under his feet all fear, inexorable fate, and the noisy strife of the hell of greed.

The enemy is single selfishness and compulsive greed... I think the enemy comes to us with the face of innocence and says to us: “I am your friend.”

I think the enemy is here before us... I think the enemy is simple selfishness and compulsive greed... I think he stole our earth from us, destroyed our wealth, and ravaged and despoiled our home land.

Money never can be well managed if sought solely through the greed of money for its own sake. In all meanness there is a defect of intellect as well as of heart. And event he cleverness of avarice is but the cunning of imbecility.

What kind of society isn't structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system.

Politicians... rise predominantly from... the "lower middle class"; most are self-made men... ; most depend on their political jobs for their livelihood and most have little time, inclination, or opportunity for adult education; hence the dominating qualities of so many are greed, vulgarity, attention to special interest, avarice, and selfishness.

If a child who wanted to be a teacher I would bid him Godspeed as if he were going to war. For indeed the war against prejudice, greed and ignorance is eternal, and those who dedicate themselves to it give their lives not less because they may live to see some faction of the battle won.