05.22: FIT intelligence immunizes us to illusion

by February 16, 2012

The Bhagavad-gita (5.22) states that those who are intelligent understand the falsity of sense pleasures and so never delight in them. This indicates that a healthy intelligence is critical for immunizing ourselves from infection by illusion. Just as regular bodily exercise is essential to keep our physique healthy, regular intellectual exercise is essential to keep our intelligence healthy. The necessary intellectual exercise is unsentimental contemplation on the falsity of sense pleasures.

A helpful exercise-aid for keeping our intelligence fit is the acronym FIT (Futility, Insubstantiality, Temporality) that encompasses the three possible results when we seek sense pleasures:

  1. Futility: We desire to enjoy, but the opportunity never turns up. E.g. we long for our favorite delicacy in an upcoming feast, but the menu doesn’t include that delicacy.
  2. Insubstantiality: We get the opportunity to enjoy, but the enjoyment turns out to be an anti-climax. E.g. the menu includes our cherished delicacy, but it is poorly cooked and is a far cry from our expectation.
  3. Temporality: We enjoy the pleasure, but it ends too soon either due to limited availability externally or limited capacity internally, leaving us tormented by the craving for more. E.g. the delicacy tastes good, but our enjoyment ends too early either because the servings of the delicacy are limited or because the capacity of our stomach is limited.

When this contemplation convinces us that all possible results of the pursuit of sense pleasure end in frustration, we recognize that sense pleasure is an intrinsically doomed prospect. This recognition empowers us to seek unhesitatingly and savor undistractedly the supreme happiness of Krishna consciousness.


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