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Tue Mar 6, 2018, 10:59 AM

Last night was an active night in the unconscious psyche of the Tobster.

It started out with a negative dream about sugar which makes sense to me in light of the low carb diet I've been on. I actually got up in the middle of the night and posted about that in the lounge. After I went back to bed I had two even more intense dreams.

The theme of one was boundless spiritual love for humanity.

The theme of the other was extreme poverty.

I was very moved by the dream of spiritual love. It was very intense and I woke up feeling that heart chakra right in the middle of the chest wanting to burst open and on the verge of joyful tears.

The dream of extreme poverty came after the dream of spiritual love and was set in Central America. It also had the aspect that I wanted another identity. It could be an allusion to the fact that we lack this love for each other in our own country. We are spiritually very poor in America.

This might have also played into my dreamscape last night. I was also talking to a friend of mine last night who is going to marry a Thai woman who still lives in Thailand. He has been over to visit her many times and says that she and her family live in poverty as much of the country does. Strangely, though, he says that she and many of the people he meets over there who are living in such circumstances are actually much happier than the typical American. He attributes this to the idea that since they don't have much material wealth they spend more time really being with each other and taking care of each other.

So, where it counts, are Americans really the among the wealthiest people on the planet?

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Reply Last night was an active night in the unconscious psyche of the Tobster. (Original post)
Tobin S. Mar 2018 OP
whathehell Mar 2018 #1
Tobin S. Mar 2018 #2
whathehell Mar 2018 #3
Tobin S. Mar 2018 #4
whathehell Mar 2018 #5
Tobin S. Mar 2018 #6
whathehell Mar 2018 #7
Tobin S. Mar 2018 #8

Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 11:10 AM

1. That's a Third World vs. the Developed World comparison, not

just America -- The Developed World includes Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 11:18 AM

2. Are you saying that the idea extends beyond America and Thailand?

That those in the Third World are actually in a better place when it comes to the spirit than those in the developed world?

I think the unhappiness of many Americans is rooted in culture. We are all about the individual in this country and not so much community. That idea is embedded in our Bill of Rights. It was there at the inception of our nation.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 11:22 AM

3. Huh?

I thought we were talking about Poverty vs. Prosperity, not Individualism versus collectivism -- That's another discussion.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 11:42 AM

4. I was talking about cultural differences in the contexts of wealth and spirituality.

As in, why would poor people be happier than people who materially have far more?

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 02:08 PM

5. I understand you now, but

I'm not sure I agree with your premise that poor people are happier than those with more.

I think the concept of choice is key. To have resources and choose to live a simpler, less material life is a different state of affairs than having NO choice but to go without because you're poor.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 02:26 PM

6. I'm not saying that all poor people are happy.

Especially not those in America. But some of them are elsewhere. Going back to my example from my friend who is going to marry the Thai woman. He visits the country often and he says that most people there live in poverty but in his experience they are happier than the typical American who has much more than they do. The Thais have not chosen to be materially poor.

And I know that rich people can be happy, but a lot of them apparently aren't and seem to be filled with an insatiable need for more material wealth despite their already wealthy status. The Koch Brothers are the extreme example. People who have real happiness don't inflict suffering on other people.

My wife and I are not well off. We're lower middle class. We have a relative who is a multi-millionaire and who was born into that kind of wealth. One Christmas he was in town and he was asking how I was doing with my job and just life in general. He sincerely told me that he was jealous of me. I was so taken aback that I didn't know how to respond to him. I don't even know why he said it. There he was apparently happily married with two children and with all this money, but he's jealous of me?

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 02:46 PM

7. I think I know what you're saying..

and I'm sure your friend is in love and is very happy generally, and because of that, may be viewing his fiance's homeland through rose colored glasses.

As for happy poor vs.unhappy rich, I think a "happy" medium is more likely found in the middle class -- a real one with a manufacturing base and strong unions -- The kind we had in Post-war 50's and 60's and 70's. I think a lot of the reason people in America are unhappy now isn't because they "have too much", but because that middle class they once enjoyed has, under successive Republican administrations, been disappearing.



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Response to whathehell (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 7, 2018, 01:46 PM

8. The thing I'm driving at is...

...that I think Americans have taken the pursuit of happiness as synonymous with the pursuit of wealth, and that's not where true happiness lies. It makes me satisfied to be able to pay my bills and have enough left over for retirement and recreation, but I know so many people who have all of that covered and who have much more than I do who are not truly happy. True happiness lies elsewhere. It is not contingent on wealth. Although when you live in a culture like America, where everybody has to keep constantly moving and producing, and where it is so expensive to live, money definitely can help to relieve suffering.

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