Materialistic is described as excessively concerned with physical comforts or the acquisition of material things rather than intellectual, moral, spiritual, or artistic-cultural values, which become impoverished, and the propensity towards adhering to the philosophy of materialism (the theory that regards only tangible or measurable matter as constituting the universe and all its phenomena). If your entire universe is material focussed you miss out substantially on the intellectual pursuits or spirituality and tend to lose out on the morality aspects, which is what went wrong and has brought the planet to verge of devastation through extreme levels of global consumption.
Amaterialistic would therefore be the antonym of it with emphasis on intellectual, moral, spiritual, or artistic-cultural values and away from securing happiness largely from material consumption, popularizing of which would certainly reduce global consumption to some extent. It can be readily noted that an absolute state of amaterialism would be incompatible with life although some serious legendary mediators in India are said to have gone without food for months or even years.
Need for a ratio reversal. It would be reasonable to assume that an average adult in the wealthy nations of EU, N. America, Australia etc., derives 80% of happiness from consumption or materialism and rest from amaterialism or intellectual, moral-spiritual, or artistic-cultural sources. What can be rationally recommended is a switching around of the ratios such that now 80% of happiness comes from amaterialism and only a small 20% happiness comes from consumption. For conversational convenience let us assume (with rational basis for doing so) that people of Bhutan – the nation with the highest gross national happiness (GNH) – practices the latter set of ratio with only 20% coming from consumption of material goods and call it Bhutism. Wisdom of this happiness apportionment is emphasized by view of Bhutan’s prime minister: business must take happiness seriously. The price for a high GNH of Bhutism is paid through the suffering of a growing youth unemployment and poverty – with the country 167th out of 193 countries measured by gross domestic product (GDP) which makes it clear that it is not possible to have a high GNH and a high GDP at the same time. Some compromise is needed.
Ethology ecology clash. Ethics of mass happiness as in national happiness would certainly clash seriously with the philosophy of relentless economic growth. If the wealthy nations of EU, N. America, Australia etc., are to adopt the values of Bhutism, they would have to consent to take economic losses or undergo degrowth. Bhutan has observed that GNH has remained too focused on social and environmental factors and that for Bhutan balance now needs to change more in favour of economic development because the efforts aimed at social value and ecological conservation have retarded the economic growth and development of the nation.
Quasi-suffering as price of pursuit or wish for deep contentment. Undoubtedly the transition or the ration reversal for an American to begin to practice Bhutism would be a serious affair akin to a boot-camp. But then it is noteworthy that Bhutan does enjoy plenty of raw materials and very cheap, clean and reliable electric power so if the U. S., has a genuine goal of getting out of fossil energy addiction this is the rehab center that would be need to clean out.
Bhutism could save the planet. Bhutan has a constitutional policy of taking business of taking national happiness seriously which is highly conducive to the high level of sustainability of the country as well as the high GNH. A key factor underlying this state is that despite its tiny economy, Bhutan provides universal free education and healthcare, Bhutan’s constitution dictates that at least 60% of the country must remain forested in perpetuity and the deep rooted morality is guided by moral monarchy and monastery which is unlike the greedy, corrupted and pedophilic Evangelism outside of Bhutan. In the end it is an issue of morality. A plentiful morality, which cannot be realized without having enough morality to begin with, which places the nations of the West into an impossible spin of having enough morality as a requisite for having a plentiful morality.