You're eating dinner and you've had sufficient but the word "more" pops into your head. You're moved by the beauty of a setting sun or by a perfect moment with a loved one and you think, "If only this could last." You want more. And isn't that what everyone wants? More things, more time, more money, more power, more peace, more influence, more happiness. Without the natural drive of wanting more, we would not have our homes, our cities or our country. More gets us out of bed in the morning and to our jobs because we want more for ourselves and for our families. So the drive for more is good...unless it goes wrong. And that happens when the thrill of acquisition becomes the primary focus. Does the guy with thirty cars or the woman with a thousand pair of shoes acquire these objects for the sake of the objects or for the sake of getting? When you eat or drink beyond the need to satisfy appetite and pleasure, when you buy clothes beyond your closet's ability to support them or even your ability to wear them, more is the engine driving you.
More infringes on life in subtle ways as well. You see a magnificent view but mostly it's through the lens of your camera. So many clicks, so few minutes spent just being with the view because you want to acquire the view. Or, your perfect moment with a love one is tinged with sadness because you want it to last, you want more of it and wanting lessens the joy of the moment.
A lot has been written about the various reasons people become gluttonous about food and drink or excessively greedy about objects or loved ones, but underlying all is the desire for more. In the state of more, there is a frisson of excitement, a lift out of the ordinary and a suspension of boundaries. The rational mind seems to stop functioning; you reach out, or stuff in, or hang onto.
These days, we talk about wanting to be present, to be alive in the moment. Being aware of how more operates in your life can bring one closer to that experience. More reduces the present experience by pulling one away from it with the promise that "more is better." And sometimes that's true. And sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's a brief joy ride that leaves us feeling empty and lonely; even though we have a bulging stomach and the company of dozens of shoes.