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Monday, September 24, 2012

Materialism and Suicide

With the economy here in a shambles and there's little sign of any improvement ahead for most people.  So, in a society that values the material, it only makes sense that this news would bring more despair and increase the suicide rate.

So, now we see this:

What does this mean for addicts and recovery?  Well, the symptoms of fear and despair are common to both the suicide and the addict.  So long as our society provides a narrative that encourages despair, the suicide rate will be high.

So, what is it that encourages despair in so many people?


So long as the world is boiled down to 'stuff,' man will always have cause to worry and despair when it comes to poverty, lack, and security.  This does not matter whether you are the ardent capitalist or the convinced Marxist... both systems are obsessed with materialism.  They theorize about how to properly attain or distribute wealth, but both assume a world where wealth and human effort are king.

There is no God in either.  Sure, individuals can choose to believe in God under a capitalist or Neo-Marxist system, but neither system rely on God.

Now, I'm not advocating a theocracy... those are almost always bad news.  What I'm saying, however, is that humans cannot look at market forces, either directed or undirected, as their source of hope and salvation.  After all, both systems, in defining a limited good (wealth) automatically define a bad (lack of wealth).

In Socialistic countries where wealth is regulated, there is an obsession with how much other people have and how it must be moved here and there lest suffering begin.  These regimes, in their more dysfunctional forms, will often use this control to garner support, as in, "Comrade, if you were more cooperative, perhaps you would get a larger apartment and a raise from the Party..."

Capitalist systems also ride on similar fears, the independent businessman is constantly worried about meeting his own needs.  But, you see, he's also worried about getting his 'share' of the wealth.

In whatever system we find ourselves, we must be able to look beyond the system for happiness.  This is why sobriety and Christianity both must look beyond the system.  If your sobriety depends on your material circumstances, then it is an illusion.  Recovery is all about our inner disposition regardless of our circumstances.

Recovery is always about a God above the material who can act within the system, but also outside of it.  Therefore, the conditions of the market are relatively unimportant.  Once this outlook is attained, then it is very easy to lose one's fears.  It is getting to that stage that is the most difficult.

Suicide is a symptom of a society that has forgotten a loving God, or never knew Him at all.

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