Even after knowing eternal pleasures why do we keep chasing temporary pleasures?
Transcribed by: Keshavgopal Das
Question: Even after knowing eternal pleasures why we keep chasing temporary pleasures?
Answer: Temporary and eternal are not necessarily contradictory. When we start seeking only temporary pleasure then it is a problem. For example, we all have to eat food, we cannot live without food. However, if our purpose of life becomes eating, then that is not good. Similarly, wealth is a need in life, but money is something which we “live with”, not something which we “live for”. “Live with” means a “resource for living”, “live for” means “purpose of living”. When temporary pleasures become purpose of our life, then it becomes problem for our spiritual growth.
We keep chasing those pleasures, because the world glamourizes those pleasures. The world advertises to us – “buy this”, “eat this”, “use this”, and then “you will enjoy”. Whereas rarely we are taught about spiritual pleasures. Even if we know about spiritual pleasures, our understading remains as “intellectual knowledge” and does not become “transformational knowledge”. For our intellectual knowledge to become transformational, we need spiritual association. Only when we associate with spiritually minded people, our knowledge transforms our desires.
Desires are not just linear but also triangular. “Linear desire” means I see something and develop a desire to enjoy that. “Triangular desire” means that we not only see the object, but we also see somebody enjoying that object. Suppose a company launches a smart phone. They will hire a celebrity to endorse that phone. We may not get attracted to the phone, but when we see a celebrity endorsing it, we want to try the phone.
Similarly, we know spirituality is important, but we think that “maybe we will do it later.” This is because all around us mostly people are materialistic. If we associate with spiritually minded people, then seeing them peaceful, joyful, purposeful, spiritual desires triggers within us. Therefore, to transform the knowledge into action, we need association.
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