> If I thought it was damaging to the soul I wouldn't have
> replied as I did. How is it damaging? Is it damaging to wear
> nice clothes or drive a nice car?
Not sure what you are talking about here, but psychologically, the outward actions are a reflection of the inward consciousness. Therefore, yes, it is damaging to the soul because the vain becomes an idol.
Spirituality is negated or forgotten in favour of another god.
> Or stay in a nice hotel? Or work on our golf game? Are we
> supposed to walk around in sack cloth and ashes flaggellating
> ourselves for our sins?
I think there's a big difference between mutilating one's physical temple and dressing in sackcloth.
> I don't advocate a spiritual path of renunciation. That path
> doesn't work.
> We don't rise above the ego by suppressing it. Looking old
> and wrinkled isn't gaining anyone spiritual liberation, and
> in fact it may cause them to dislike thenmselves, even hate
> themselves and that is counter-productive to spiritual
This is, however, caused by the rift in the societal perceptions of what is important to one's inner being and that is skewed by this vanity. You're coming dangerously close to vouching for vanity; since it is not affecting you personally, it's not an issue. Usually this is an indication of selfeshness. We need to care for our fellows, not turn a blind eye to whatever their wont.
Before we can truly love people, we need to love
> ourselves and forgive ourselves. Not be narcissistic--that's
> not love, it's obsession.
Huh? Wow, are you not just the most confused individual I've ever seen here. You advocate the epitome of narcissism and then condemn it.
> I'm not saying that everyone should have surgery. People
> should do what works for them, what is needed for their
> public life, their work, and what makes them feel good. And
> other people shouldn't judge them for it.
Again, that mentality is constistant with having an uncaring spirit. I'm also not talking about the overbearing or preachy and condescending manner in which one goes about explaining the problems with vanity. Inner beauty is what counts here and just because you believe that people should or can be happier inward through outward augmentation does not mean it is the correct way of achieving enlightenment (on the contrary, actually)