Hungry Ghost Economy: Introduction

Billions served.  What difference does one purchase make?  In The Hungry Ghost Economy series, I will explore the answer to this question.

Mindlessness drives a consumer driven economy.  Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies perpetuate greed, anger, and ignorance.  Our economy is composed of CPG companies holographically arrayed like Indra’s net.  Any single product’s story is contained in the story of all CPG products through similarity or contrast.  Likewise, all products stories are contained in the story of a single product.  So, the Hungry Ghost Economy will invite you to look deeply at the phenomenon of mindless consumption and its effects through the example of Hunt’s Snack Pack Pudding©.

Looking deeply, Snack Pack Pudding© is revealed to be made up entirely of non-Snack Pack Pudding© parts.  We will investigate the whole, the parts, and the causes, conditions, and effects in widening circles of ecological influence on humans, animals, plants, and minerals.

The Hungry Ghost Economy is written as a component of the Spiritual Leadership course in the Master of Divinity program at the University of the West in Rosemead, California.  I invite participants to engage in its material as an exercise in mindfulness meditation/mindful consumption.  I will engage the public in cutting through the illusions of advertising to see things directly.  By providing links, surveys, and information, I hope to create an interactive dialogue with readers.

Everyday billions of people, so-called consumers, each make multiple decisions.  Each decision seems individually insignificant.  Only by understanding the full impact of each individual decision and how these decisions add up to create and perpetuate non-dual suffering in ourselves, others, and our ecologies, can we engage in right individual action that will add up to re-orient our society and its businesses to constructive rather than destructive ends.  In short, the objective of this project is to facilitate Right Understanding leading to Right Action.

What is a “hungry ghost?”  In Buddhism, a hungry ghost (Skt. preta) is a form of being/mode of existence.  According to Buddhism, a being is reborn as a hungry ghost due to the karma of prior existences in which the being was compulsively driven by greed and gluttony.  Hungry ghosts are depicted with mouths too tiny to eat, necks too tiny to swallow, and unusually large stomachs.  So they suffer from insatiable hunger.

About the author.

I am a Master of Divinity student at the University of the West.  I also hold a MBA from the University of Southern California.  I have worked in the consumer packaged goods industry in marketing, operations (i.e. manufacturing), supply chain, and retail.  I have participated in new product development and commercialization.  I will endeavor to leverage my education and experience to offer what I hope will be unique insights and connections.  Likewise, I hope you will join me and help me more fully develop the story through your participation via surveys, questions, comments, concerns and in the purchases you make and don’t make.

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