PSYCHOECONOMY
18Nov/110

Banknotes from Hell (and a suitcase a little too ghastly).

Many cultures believe in the afterlife. Some of them even use to bury material goods with the deceased or make offerings burning different objects to supply their dead with things they might need in the hereafter. As an example, we have the oriental "hell banknotes", “fake” paper currency that is incinerated in order to maintain good relations with the ancestors. But this is just one example of a series of customs throughout history, from placing a coin under the tongue of the departed, bury them with their properties, even, with their servants and soldiers, whether they were real or replicated in stone. But what is the imaginary behind all these habits? What is the relationship between the desire of possession and the survival of death? Is it possible to identify “having” and “being”? What is the relationship between identity and property? Doesn´t the idea of "owning" refer to the illusion of a permanent and indestructible substance?

Is it really possible to take something with us to the afterlife? For Brahmanism, for example, the concept of ownership generates from the illusion of one is separated from the universe. For a psychologist like Eric Fromm, the desire of possession arose from a modern society that was based on the material, power, ambition, jealousy and violence. Psychology has studied at length how we relate ourselves with money. Far from being logical and rational, this relation is rather emotional and unconscious....

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