Desire, Greed, Pride and Addiction

Greed, desire and addiction seem to be connected,
Greed being a strong desire to possess , often neglecting the rights of others.
Addiction being a strong desire where the rights of the self are often neglected.

Greed does not always concern money or property. Greed is equally there for love, being loved, sex, pleasure or the ‘ultimate’ kick, even for knowledge, and many other things.

Greed for knowledge is often just an addiction, unless one steals secrets from others … (industrial espionage is an example)
When exactly did the addiction for knowledge from Werner von Braun become greed?

So there is this borderline between greed and addiction

Is avarice greed or addiction?
When the avarice came into possession of his wealth by way of an inheritance or hard work, then counting the money is just an addiction. When the line is trespassed and illegal ways are used to acquire more wealth, then we talk about greed.
When does sexual addiction become greed?

Clearly, when the addicted performs criminal acts (and infringes the rights of others) to fulfil his/her desires, then addiction becomes greed.

Apart from all that, there seem to exist many kinds of desires, also positive desires. Although the desires that lead to greed and addiction should be categorized as negative. Moreover, Without any desires we would become like a tree, which is not really desirable 🙂

So this brings us to an important question: where does the desire, that leads to greed, originate. And is this the same desire that leads to addiction? Or are there more desires that lead to both?

In the wild, animals seem not to be too greedy.
There is something which they seem to interpret as enough.

We are all social animals, but we are living in a competitive world and there is often a desire to have at least as much as your neighbour or my colleague. This desire seems to be an inhibitor to having enough.
Keeping up appearances is a big part of that problem.
And keeping up appearances is caused by PRIDE.

Pride is one of the stronger forms of ego.

Does pride also lead to addiction?

In the long run, probably yes.

Pride is the drive, that makes us want to have as much as our colleague or neighbour or family member, and the resulting desire can easily lead to greed if we really want to reach that goal. It might go to an addiction to another thing in stead (substitution), if we fail to reach our own goal.

Sometimes this goal(s) or expectations are forwarded to us by others, but it still is our own self esteem (and ego or pride) that gets hurt. But I oversimplify.

The expectations from others eventually infiltrate the self, leading to a lower self esteem. The flashes of feeling better, induced by the object of addiction, are in this case secondary complications. The addiction is then caused by the pride of others, who want to feel proud of the one (child, colleague, husband/spouse, …) who performs to low in their own eyes.

Originally Posted on Nov 19th, 2008


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