Greed is the selfish desire for or pursuit of money, wealth, power, food, or other possessions, especially when this denies the same goods to others. It is generally considered a vice, and is one of the seven deadly sins in Catholicism. Greed denotes desire to acquire wealth or possessions beyond the needs of the individual, especially when this accumulation of possession denies others legitimate needs or access to those or other resources. Greed is an emotional multiplier with the Force. It can be used for the light but its slope is extremely slippery. It easily leads you to the Dark Side.
- “Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is...” - Yoda
An example, amassing a large collection of seashells would not be considered greed, unless in doing so, the needs of others were jeopardized, or the selfish desire to own more seashells becomes an unhealthy obsession that stunts your own development as a whole being. The awareness that the needs of others are being denied is not essential to the concept of greed, but is a fair indicator that a problem is pesent. Thus rivalrous goods exemplify greed while non-rivalrous goods may not. Greed also often involves using wealth to gain power over others, sometimes by denying wealth or power. these concepts are based on the underlying belief that the centre of evil is selfishness, and that the centre of goodness is working in the interests of others at one's own expense.
Some desire to increase one's wealth is nearly universal and acceptable in any culture, but this simple want is not considered greed. Greed is the extreme form of this desire, especially where one desires things simply for the sake of owning them (such as the desire to have great amounts of money not to purchase objects, but possession or the money is an end in itself). Greed typically entails acquiring material possessions at the expense of other person's welfare (for example, a father buying himself a new car rather than fix the roof of his family's home) or otherwise reflect priorities. As with all evil, it is ssimply a distortion of that which is good. A desire to have the necessary food and shelter eventually becoming twisted into the desire for the most expensive house and most delicious food.
Coveting another person's goods is usually called envy, a word commonly confused with jealousy. The two words denote opposite forms of greed. We may envy and wish to have the possessions or qualities of another, but we jealously guard the possessions or qualities we believe we have and refuse to share these with others.
Greed for food or drink, combined with excessive indulgence in them, is called gluttony. Excessive greed for and indulgence in sex is called lust, although this term no longer carries as negative connotations as it once did.
A woodcut by Ugo da Carpi, is entitled "Hercules Chasing Avarice from the Temple of the Muses." Thomas Aquinas metaphorically described the sin of Avarice as "Mammon being carried up from Hell by a wolf, coming to inflame the human heart with Greed".
Proponents of laissez-faire capitalism sometimes argue that greed should not be considered a negative trait and should instead be embraced, as they claim that greed is a profoundly benevolent force in human affairs, as well as a necessary foundation for the capitalist system. Critics have argued this definition confuses greed with self-interest, which can be benign.
Jealousy is the signpost that you have gone to far. It is quick and seductive as anger and hatred is. However it is based on incorrectly connecting material wealth, with happiness. This is caused by a view that exaggerates the positive aspects of an object; that is, acquiring material objects has less impact than we imagine on our feelings of happiness. This view has been correlated by studies in the field of happiness economics, which confirm that beyond the provision of a basic level of material comfort, more wealth does not create greater happiness.
Greed and IdolatryEdit
Greed is a form of idolatry, and is a path to the Dark Side. While some have had difficulty understanding this connection, the most common explanation is that the greedy person values money or possessions more than themselves. This may also be connected with worship of the golden calf. Another understanding is that greed serves to bring as many things that the greedy person considers valuables to that person, making him the center of his efforts, the one he aims to please, converting him into his own god, and creating pride with great concentration on the ego.