THE CONCEPT OF MATERIALISM

THE CONCEPT OF MATERIALISM

Materialism, also known as philosophical
monism, is a philosophical theory which lays
great emphasis on the matter in one way or
the other. It sought to explain
that all the things in this universe are the result
of various interactions between various
components of the entity matter. Our Universe
is made up of two types of components:
Objective and Subjective. Objective
components include all the materialistic
components and the interactions with the
ecosystem. Subjective components include
the thoughts, ideas, and beliefs of the people
and lay great emphasis on the thinking of
people.
Materialism claims that everything is physical.
Everything can be physically described by the
principles of science. Everything is based on
objective reality and completely independent
of spiritual philosophy like mind and soul.
Materialism is also the importance that an
individual places on the materialistic things in

the world. From the time when we are born
and alongside our complete life till our
demise, we are surrounded by materialistic
things that create desires and want in us due
to which we are running 24/7 just to fulfil
those desires. These desires give rise to
sorrow in one’s life which further leads to pain
and sufferings. Albeit no doubt that
interactions with materialistic objects is very
much imperative to fulfil our needs but over-
possession of these objects can prove to be
dangerous for our health and well-being.

A materialistic person is the one who lays
greater focus on materialistic objects like big
houses, money and big cars, etc. Such a
person will lay lesser importance to his
relationships, his friends, his social circle.
This can induce social alienation of that
person and can further make distances from
his loved ones. It can make you empathetic,
anxious, depressed and selfish. With money
comes the stress and tensions which can
prove to be highly dangerous for your
happiness and a healthy life. Therefore, it is
very much imperative for all of us to recognize

the difference between our needs and desires.
We must extirpate all those undesirable
materialistic components which can hinder
our natural social growth.
For Instance, When Gautama Buddha or
Siddhartha was born his father provided all
the materialistic possessions to him so that he
could live an easy life of a kind without any
dukkha or sorrow. One day, Buddha went out
with his charioteer Channa and his horse
Kanthak to travel across the town. On his way,
he saw an old person who was in a very
terrible condition suffering from ailments,
another way he saw a dead body. He was
shocked because he had never seen such
drastic events in his entire life. After some
distance, he saw a saint who seemed to be
very cheerful reciting some prayers without
any tensions and sufferings. After this
incident Gautama left his palace in search of
salvation and after his enlightenment, he came
up with 4 noble truths and the eightfold path
to salvation. According to his 4 noble truths,
Human life is full of sorrows and the main
cause of this dukkha is our own desires. This
pain is never-ending until we can control our
desires and attain nirvana. Like a saint who is

without any desires would never be
encountered with any such sufferings and
pain in his life.
Another perspective lies in the fact that
materialism does not deny the existence of
spiritualism, but lays concrete basis on idea
that Idea or thoughts are also a result of the
interaction between the materialistic
components present in nature. Materialism is
also of various types like Spontaneous
materialism, Dialectical materialism and
Metaphysical materialism. Dialectical
materialism provides abstract laws for natural
and social change. Contrary to metaphysics, it
believes that in nature, things are
interconnected, interrelated and determined by
each other. Metaphysical Materialism is the
doctrine that reality is matter.
Everything in this universe is equally good and
bad. Materialism has some advantages also
that we can enjoy a level of comfort in our
lives. We can maintain our social status with
aspiring people and can develop our
personality in a more holistic way. Materialism
gives you an opportunity to interact with the
environment by the latest technology and

gadgets. It further depends on that individual
how we respond to society with our
materialistic things. Whether we are able to
balance our human relations with our
materialistic things will make the whole
difference in one’s life and our society.
Father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi once
remarked “There is enough for everyone’s
need, but not for anyone’s greed.” Humans
are the only creature in this world, which
have the potential to
make this society a better place with the
feelings of equality, fraternity and without
discrimination of any kind. The concept of
behavioural economics which focuses on
ethics and integrity in our approach towards
materialistic objects in our society should also
be encouraged in our education system, so
that morality is inducted at the basic levels in
one’s society. We all must understand that our
materialistic approach should not endanger
our human relations and only be used for
fulfilling our basic needs and to help those
underprivileged people of our society so that
we all could live a harmonious life together.