Sufficiency and Material Development: A Post-secular Reflection in the Light of Buddhist Thought

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The notion of ‘sufficiency consciousness’ is a way of life to be adopted towards attitude change in a world that craves for absolutist secularity and religious dogmatism. The paper explores aspects of sufficiency that could promote material development, and as such require a total attitude change and behavior re-modification of public life. It is obvious that performance-driven targets, accelerated growth, investment and prosperity driven agenda by market forces alone would lead to a skewed understanding of both the notion of sufficiency and material development. Hence, a proposition for value-based sense of material development, ethical buying and consumption have all become survival strategies for civil society groups and organisations to effect change from within. In the Buddhist scheme of thought, two significant core concepts of wisdom and compassion impact on social change and behavior. Developing non-material values generated by wisdom and compassion are proposed as a lifelong pursuit in understanding human tendencies such as greed, clinging, and craving to amass wealth and excessive indulgence. Such an approach and an analysis evoke a sense of sufficiency alongside appropriate and sustainable material development. The use of certain economic indexes and other technical data in the paper indicate and symbolize the extent to which material progress is emphasized over and above the non-material. READ MORE

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