Materialistic Societies

Western societies have unfortunately become conspicuous materialistic societies where: 1.) we want more than we really need (excess), 2.) we want what we want and we want it now (instantism), 3.)  we want others to believe we have more than they have (show-and-tell pride), 4.) we must have what others have (greed), and 5.) we want what others have taken away from them (envy). At some level we are all bitten by the green-eyed monster of envy and jealousy.

green eyed monster

In Othello, Shakespeare spoke of this monster with the words, “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock.” I attest excessive greed and envy will ultimately destroy a person. I contend excessive greed of unregulated and unbridled capitalism will ultimately destroy a society. Dominican Master Eckhart was extremely worried about excessive wanting and how it affects human morality. Wilhelm Reich indicated humans have primary drives (needs) but we also have secondary drives (wants). Reich felt wants stand in the way of our growth. It was Buddha who referred to wanting as craving; an endless craving that will lead to suffering. Finally, let me suggest that wants are not necessarily bad if they can be contained and don’t take the place of inborn needs. In the main, I theorize and advance the idea that wants are usually short-term unsuccessful attempts to satisfy our long-term needs and it doesn’t work!

Biology vs. Learning

Natural driven instinctual needs are frequently hijacked by the wants of learned behaviors. Our needs are biologically based, universal in human nature, and finite in number. Our wants are learned and there is an impossible number of them to fulfill. Wants vastly outnumber needs. Biological needs are about quality <—> quantity is about learned wants. Wants can involve the insatiable materialism of having stuff. Wants are on display in the Keeping Up With the Kardashian show-and-tell and make-believe world of the superficial, frivolous, and pretentious. Learned wants includes shopping for stuff that has a kind of anti-intellectualism to it. Wants are the ravenous desires of consumerism. Arthur Schopenhauer admonishes us that there is no real long-term meaning or purpose in a world of materialism and physical desires. I agree with Schopenhauer that our attachment to things will keep us from balanced living and contentment  —> materialism can never be long-term gratifying. Inexhaustible wanting is about one desire being temporarily fulfilled, and another one quickly taking its place. Kornfield suggested that, “what happens when we do fulfill wanting? It often brings on more wanting?”



We All Want Something!

As human beings, we all want something.  We are constantly enticed by new wants, desires, luxurious gifts, exorbitant items, lavish acquisitions, and tantalizing temptations.  For me, wanting and the acquiring of things (stuff) have often ended up as diversionary inclinations that have distracted me from satisfying my innate Self-Needs.  My wants have often become deflective cravings that have side-tracked me from satisfying my inborn Belonging-Needs.  My experiences in life have allowed me to discover and understand that unquenchable and unrestrained wants can greatly derail my attempts to mitigate the needs of myself with my need to belong, and at times have knocked me out of balance.


Wantology is a sub-branch of Balanceology, and  is the study of humans acquiring things, possessions, objects, etc. It is the study of how, if we are not careful, wanting can interfere with, overwhelm, and become a distraction in satisfying our innate needs. Thus, what tremendously and dramatically complicates the picture for need fulfillment is our insatiable wanting, wanting, wanting of things and stuff.  A major requirement for each of us is to identify and differentiate our innate needs from our learned wants. our innate basal, deeper, and higher needs. Because only the satisfaction of inborn needs at some level can bring true balance, meaning, and health to our life.

Needology vs. Wantology

The Theory of Balanceology frequently refers to the sub-branches of Needology and Wantology.

Needology = is the study of human inborn needs.  At birth we inherent key core needs.

Wantology = is the study of learned wants.  As we go through life we acquire the wanting of certain things.

Baruch Spinoza made a distinction between natural appetites (needs) and acquired appetites (wants).

Wants vs. Needs  <—> needing vs. wanting

Higher Needs

Higher Needs are the Theory of Balanceology’s indication that we humans have an innate desire to find some ultimate meaning and reality for our existence. It additionally theorizes that if a higher meaning need does exist it surely includes the satisfaction of basal and deeper needs. That is, the ever greater fulfillment of basal and deeper needs can open-the-door to higher need realization:

1.)  The Great Mysteries —>  detailed in Chapter 19.

2.)  Spirituality:  Ontic Center  —>  detailed in Chapter 20.

3.)  Spirituality:  Ultimate Truth —> detailed in Chapter 21.