Excerpts from books, lectures, and videos by Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)
Economic development is necessary for the maintenance of the body, so therefore it cannot be neglected. But to seek economic development simply for the sake of endlessly increasing sensual pleasure is foolish. No amount of sensual pleasure will ever really satisfy a person, so no amount of economic development will ever be considered “enough.”
This is why people in modern Western societies are still not satisfied, even though they are so economically advanced and thus have so much facility for sense enjoyment. They always want more. As the late British economist E. F. Schumacher points out:
Is there enough to go round? Immediately we encounter a serious difficulty: What is “enough”? Who can tell us? Certainly not the economist who pursues “economic growth” as the highest of all values and therefore has no concept of “enough.” There are poor societies which have too little; but where is the rich society that says: “Halt! We have enough”? There is none.*
What's really needed is to recognize the need for spiritual as well as material happiness. A society that has great material prosperity but lacks spiritual purpose is really a poor society. A body without the soul is a dead body—even if it is nicely decorated with fancy ornaments.
*E. F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), p. 25.