So many of the ills in modern society are driven, if not caused, by our insatiable desire to earn, to own, to use, more and more.
Companies spend millions creating adverts to reach our deepest psyche and flick on the basest of urges, often I suspect, without us even realising the manipulation we are undergoing.
Aside from our own mental suffering, our cravings are having disastrous consequences in third world countries, the collapse of the clothing factory in Bangladesh being an indirect result of our need to ever cheaper garments.
Nichiren spoke of earthly desires being used as fuel for the flame of Wisdom.
Buddhism teaches the converting of personal ambitions and desires, even base ones, into good traits like Wisdom, through altruistic living. A Buddhist doctrine that earthly desires are enlightenment, indicates that greed, anger through violence, and egocentricity can be transformed into altruistic traits such as compassion, trust and nonviolence.
The underlying delusions that drive our desires, including the desire for the development of science and civilisations, can be essentially transformed in a way that changes selfishness into altruism, violence into nonviolence and suspicion into trust.
The Western exploitation of emerging countries, for cheap labour and materials, simply to satisfy an ever growing market is totally unsustainable and must change. Until we can stop enriching certain groups at the expense of others, and concentrate on enriching all people by our actions, there will never be a sustainable peace, economy or even happiness in the world.