Therefore, we are kidding ourselves when we devote our lives to acquiring and stockpiling all the material stuff we think will make us happy. A shiny new object might give us a temporary thrill but even that can get tarnished, stolen, or just lose its novelty. It might make us feel good as others admire us with our fabulous toys.
Material objects can be beautiful. They can be symbols of creativity and ingenuity. They can be inspiring and uplifting, as are great works of art. But they are not permanent.
So why devote our lives to something that is not even permanent? Because we are frightened creatures, afraid that our death renders everything meaningless. We seek meaning in material things that offer amusement, entertainment, ego gratification, and satisfaction of our drive to acquire more, more, and more. These things distract us from the horrible thought that one day we, like everyone else, will die.
Not knowing who we are as Eternal Souls leads to a world that spends its time frantically pursuing stuff that doesn’t last. When we discover who we really are, we can still appreciate material objects, our own miraculous bodies, and all the beauty of the world. But we know that these things are not real because they do not endure. Only our fundamental Souls are eternal and cannot be destroyed.