Consumerism is more like a religion than religions are. Its temples, real and virtual, draw millions of adherents on every day and night of the week. All the festivals are celebrated. Nobody is turned away. And via the act of acquisition, we’re happy again.
If everyone seeks to be happy—through pleasure, acquisition, travel, sex, food, religion, drugs and a myriad of other means—then why is that result so seldom achieved? Why don’t we die laughing?
We seek to enrich ourselves through a lifelong process of acquisition. And to fatten our memory banks through experiences of food, travel and various entertainments. None of this brings us closer to ourselves. “Most of us die wishing we could live again,” observed Nisargadatta.
Do I need what I want? No. What I need, I already have. Getting what I want requires the expenditure of effort. What is acquired through effort will require more effort to protect and maintain. That is what all effort leads to—more effort.