hungry ghost

I was listening to one of my audio books yesterday and I realized that I am what is called a “hungry ghost“.

In the Wikipedia link, it’s a pretty repulsive thing to be a hungry ghost….so maybe I should clarify this a little and say that I’m not a full-time hungry ghost.

I’m an opportunistic hungry ghost.  I only trot out the tendency when I feel like it.

Basically what the audio book was saying is that a hungry ghost is someone who feels desire without having a need.

That’s me to a “T”.

I really want another pair of double front logger jeans.

Am I a logger?  No…I’m not a logger…I just want those pants.  I don’t need another pair of jeans…I have a bunch of jeans in various states of wear…I have a bunch of shirts….a bunch of baseball caps…I have a lot of stuff.

But when I see something cool, I want it.

I’m a hungry, hungry ghost.

In my defense, I think that establishing desire without need is really what makes the world go round.  It’s what we know….we don’t raise an eyebrow when someone tries to sell us something.  We’re used to it.

What do they call a person who’s happy with very little? An “ascetic”?  No….that doesn’t really define what I’m thinking…what’s that thing where you look up words and it gives you a bunch of different words?  It’s not a dictionary…um….A THESAURUS…that’s it…a Thesaurus.

Ascetic was the wrong word.

Maybe more like “contented”.  That’s a much nicer word.

Every one of the books and magazines I read about “success” has at its core the idea that we need to be dissatisfied with something.

They seem to teach that there is something we need to rise above so that we can become a “success”.  We need to transcend what we are now to become what we “need to be”.

Advertising….self-help books…it all creates need that the product can help us fill. They help us understand what our needs are before we even know we have these needs.

This world is just a “hungry ghost factory”.

That’s kind of sad when you think about it…but what could you sell if the goal was to allow everyone to be satisfied with themselves and what they have?

I think the world of commerce would come crashing down if we sought only our real needs.  The “sellers” of the world won’t let that happen.

“Contented” doesn’t generate a lot of the “mean green” that seems to make the world go round.

“Hungry Ghost”.

I’m a hungry ghost who wants in spite of knowing I don’t need.

Maybe the solution is to get rid of enough stuff…. that I need again. Lighten the load until there’s room in my life to satisfy the desire….just get rid of enough good and useful stuff until I can buy some more new stuff.  That might work.

The funny thing is that this “hungry ghost” would probably buy most of his “new stuff” at the thrift store.

I’d buy the stuff that someone else got rid of so that they could make room for their own version of “new stuff”.

Silly hungry ghost.


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