03.16: Ever Visible, Never Experiencable

by December 13, 2011

Worldly pleasure tantalizes us by its apparent reality and frustrates us by its actual unreality. It is unreal in the sense that its experience never lives up to its hype: it never lasts more than a few moments and leaves us feeling dissatisfied, having exhausted our capacity to enjoy, but not our desire to enjoy.

Despite this dissatisfaction, the visual appeal of worldly objects is irresistibly seductive. It deludes us into believing that, even if the object that we just experienced has let us down, the object that is now tempting us will surely deliver its promise. And thus, we stay trapped in the vain pursuit of a pleasure that remains ever visible, never experiencable. The Bhagavad-gita (3.16) points to this tragic waste by declaring that those who live for such pleasures live in vain. No wonder that the enjoyment in a worldly object is often compared with the water in a mirage.

We can break free from this doomed pursuit if we empower our intelligence by scriptural, spiritual wisdom and thereby learn to see through the visual façade of worldly pleasures to their intrinsic, inescapable futility. Then we can resolutely turn inward to the devotional joy of remembering Krishna that, though not visible is entirely experiencable.

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