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Shopping Addiction

Date: 06 Dec 2012 21:09:56 -0000
From: "Pranatosh Deva"
Subject: Shopping Addiction



For those who may not know, just two weeks back, Nov 23, was "Black Friday" - the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States.

This year was marked by the tragic beating and death of one shoplifter, as well as the usual huge crowds, pushing, shoving, and all-night shopping etc. In years past, shoppers engaged in a heinous pepper-spraying incident & shootings, store employees were crushed to death by stampeding customers, and other violent acts - all done in the quest for discounted shopping. For those who wish to know more about these incidents and the Black Friday phenomenon, please read the addendum at the bottom of this letter.

Our chief duty here is to examine why all this is going on.


We can say with cent-per-cent certainty that the only reason such antics are occurring - and the only reason that Black Friday even exists - is because people are not aware about our Proutistic teachings.

If people had known about our Proutistic outlook, they would not have rushed out in the middle of the night to grab silly, useless products - which in most cases they do not even need. These shoppers are addicted to pseudo-culture and video games etc; in that way, they are spending their hard earned money on Black Friday.

We have to remember here that these shoppers are not starving, hungry people rushing for food as happens in so-called 3rd world countries where people run to grab the minimum necessities of life. That is just not the case in this scenario. People are harming others and risking death just to purchase video games, toys, x-tra gadgets, and other silly things that they do not need. They are purchasing these items with the false hope of gaining psychic satisfaction - happiness. This is the unfortunate mind-set in extremely materialistic societies like the USA. When people are sad they go shopping to "feel better". In this way, they accumulate so much stuff that they will never ever use. Side by side, they remain depressed. Because shopping is no cure for melancholia or sadness. The teachings of Prout guide us that happiness and contentment come through spiritual practice, not materialistic pursuits.

On so many fronts, the common people in the US are victims of capitalism. It is our duty to educate them and heighten their awareness.

Here is Baba's key teaching.

Baba says, "Psycho-economy has two branches. The first branch endeavours to eradicate exploitative and unjust economic practices, behaviours and structures. It will counter all economic and psycho-economic exploitation and make people aware of how capitalists, in their singular or collective roles, exploit society and create unhealthy, artificial demands which not only poison the mind but encourage dangerous habits detrimental to psychic sanctity and expansion. The first and foremost duty of psycho-economics is to wage a tireless fight against all degenerating and dehumanizing economic trends in society." (A Few Problems Solved - 7, Quadri-Dimensional Economy)

The critical issue is that if the common people were educated about Prout and had a better idea of what it means to be a smart consumer, then they would not get caught in the sticky web spun by capitalists. Then they would not get caught up in the madness of Black Friday.

As noted above, Baba has given psycho-economy as one part of a healthy economy. A key aspect of psycho-economy is to fight exploitation and educate the public about the tricky and greedy ways of capitalists. So that is what we must do.

Indeed, if people were aware about how they are getting cheated by capitalists and that they do not need all this useless merchandise, they would not run in that direction, i.e. into a shopping frenzy. If people clearly understood the sham, senselessness, and destruction related with Black Friday, then it would be obliterated. Indeed Black Friday itself would be no more.


Here are some very simple, clear-cut guidelines which need to be conveyed to the public if they are to escape from the exploitation of capitalism.

1. Firstly, in day-to-day life people should not buy useless things and unneeded products. In essence, people must break the habit of shopping for shopping's sake. This is not the proper outlook. People must be taught to critically analyse their shopping habits and not get lured into purchasing more things that they do not need.

In the US, it is quite common for people to purchase many things only to watch those items collect dust and never get used. Those purchases are placed in some closet and forgotten. Some people even collect so much stuff that their big house gets over-filled and they die when those items fall on them and suffocate them. They become absolutely inundated with piles of objects and items in all directions. This is the sad yet stark reality:

Typically speaking, one US family has enough possessions for an entire village in India. They buy something, keep it for a few months, and then put it in some closet or even the garbage - yet that item is unused. The whole world produces and the US consumers collect. Then one fine day they put their purchases in the garbage and that garbage is burned or buried in the US, placed in landfills or left to rot in poorer states of the US, and in some cases shipped to so-called 3rd world countries.

2. People must be able to easily recognise and rationally analyse the way capitalists dupe the public into buying those things they do not need. If they understand the cheating psychology and marketing schemes by capitalists then they are much less likely to be exploited.

3. When the general society is getting wholly submerged in the degenerating ways of Black Friday, then as Ananda Margiis we should take up the task of awakening and teaching the people able the ills and trappings of capitalism.

4. Essentially, everyone needs to understand the degenerating spiral of running after money, spending it senselessly, only to then again lust after more money. This negative cycle needs to be checked. This is the very harmful mind-set capitalists have infused on the people, and Black Friday is just one key evidence of this.

5. By seeing how kids and families are affected, we can understand the severity of the situation. The general populace, i.e. consumers, thinks that spending money is one of the main joys and thrills of life. That is all they know. In that case, when Black Friday rolls around - with so many "special deals" - the people literally lose their common sense and turn into shopping fiends. The irony is that often cases Black Friday "deals" are not good deals at all. Consumer experts have found that often those items were cheaper other times of the year. Plus, capitalists mark up prices 100 times the actual cost. They purchase things from China for pennies and then put a big price tag on it in the US. Even on Black Friday, capitalists are taking a 20-fold or 50-fold profit. Even then, the masses are whipped up into a frenzy to shop, shop, and shop.

6. The common citizens must be taught that shopping does not bring mental satiation. Limited objects cannot satisfy the mind; sadhana is needed. Under the prodding of capitalists, the common people are indoctrinated into the belief that physical objects and products will enable them to feel and be happy.

Such is how the top capitalists have impaired the common people. They have tainted their entire psyche and put them in eternal debt. People get into debt by buying things they do not need with the false hope of attaining happiness, and then borrow money or apply for credit at a 20% to 40% to even 100% interest rate. It is all one vicious cycle. That gets repeated again and again.

So the people need to be awakened to and introduced to the ideals of Prout. Then and only then will they be able to stand up remove the noose of this Black Friday mentality and capitalism.


The main conclusion is that in day to day life one must not purchase useless items or get duped by false propaganda telling them to buy, buy, buy via all kinds of psychological and tricky selling techniques. To do so is to merely become a pawn of capitalism.

As Ananda Margiis we are to awaken the masses and guide them on this key issue to bring about the struggle and fight against vaeshyan (capitalist) exploitation

Please report similar things in your area.

Pranatosh (Phillip) Deva



Basically Black Friday is a shopping frenzy where stores open in the wee hours of the morning or even the night before and offer huge discounts to attract shoppers. In turn, hoards of consumers line-up outside the store and wait for it to open. There is huge tension and angst to be the first one into the store. As soon as the doors open, customers engage in a "rat-race" type of stampede to get their items of choice. It is absolute chaos.

As mentioned above, one shopper this was beaten and killed by store employees. Here is that story:

"An alleged shoplifter died after being detained by store employees...The man was allegedly put into a choke hold as he attempted to fight employees, but the extreme methods used to subdue and detain the suspect ultimately caused his death. When police and the ambulance arrived, the man was unresponsive and bleeding from his nose and mouth. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

Here are details of past incidents on Black Friday:

(1) A shopper in California pepper-sprayed several other shoppers in an incident now described as "competitive shopping" wherein the the woman was trying to grab desired items and keep other shoppers from getting those same products.

(Note: Pepper spray, also known as OC spray (from "Oleoresin Capsicum"), OC gas, and capsicum spray, is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and even temporary blindness). Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision, creating temporary blindness. Although considered a less-than-lethal agent, it has been deadly in rare cases.)

Basically the aisles of the Walmart were jammed full of people and display stands of products had been knocked to the ground. People were just stepping on the merchandise in an attempt to get to other products. In that desperate, crowded situation, one woman used pepper-spray to ward off other shoppers. Those affected suffered rashes, burns, swollen faces and worse. It was a horrible scene - both young and old were harmed.

(2) A few shoppers were shot by gunmen as they left stores with bags in hand in incidents now thought to be robberies. Basically, thieves waited outside the store in dark parking lots and assaulted shoppers in order to steal all that they bought.

Such are the types of extreme incidents that are occurring. Each year these types of things happen, or worse. Sometimes store employees have been killed by a human stampede, and there have been other tragedies as well.

Two links below show some of the most horrific incidents from Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.


Baba says, "Can human thirst be fully quenched? Can human hunger be fully satisfied? Why is it that human thirst knows no limitations? From PROUT we are moving to psycho-philosophy. In the relative world human thirst cannot be satisfied. Human beings are the progeny of the Supreme Progenitor, therefore human thirst is unlimited. All the properties of the Supreme are ensconced in human existence, and not only in human existence, but in each and every entity of the expressed universe. Can physical thirst, psychic thirst and spiritual thirst be quenched? Only spiritual thirst can be quenched. Unification of the unit with the Cosmic can quench the spiritual thirst. The physical body has certain limitations. It functions within very strict limitations. The mind has a far bigger jurisdiction, but it is also limited." (Prout Nutshell - 17, Minimum Requirements and Maximum Amenities)

Baba says, "According to PROUT the mental pabulum of human beings is never ending. In this universe everything moves, thus our pabula are also moving and are never static. Human demands in the physical stratum can never reach the saturation point. Similarly, our psychic thirst will never be satisfied. It is ever changing." (Prout in a Nutshell - 14)


"Marma mathiya' hiya' niuna'riya' ele tumi a'j ogo manomaya..."   - P.S. 377


O' my dearmost Baba, after making me cry and breaking my heart, after such a long, long time You came close. Baba, by Your divine and charming arrival so much beauty has come in this world - everyone basks in Your glory.  

Baba, in the beginning of this creation, there was no expression, You were unexpressed. You remained transcendental yet then You came in the form of the creation of these three worlds. And You graced everyone by showering them with Your sweet attraction.  

So in the beginning there was nothing. There was not any existence of good or bad. Neither truth nor untruth. Neither meagre nor vast - nothing was there. There was not even the existence of day or night. Just You were alone. But then You graced everyone by expressing Yourself and creating this vast and colorful universe.

O' Baba, the Parama Purusa Your liila is infinite...

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