Saturday, August 27, 2011

Addictions: To Overcome or Not?

Most of our lives, we try to satisfy the demands of our senses. We go sight seeing and watching movies, gorge on foods and drinks, fragrances, and a myriad other entertainments-treats for the eyes, ears, tongue, skin, nose, and the sex organ not the least. Often, we find ourselves indulging-even when we know deep inside that this is not good for us-or for our goals. Our senses take command over us and nudge us forward...enjoy it once more..just this one more time.

I've been fooled by this 'just once more ' argument many times-be it that tempting slice of chocolate cake, or while getting up early, or while skipping a TV program for a more productive use of time. It was as if the sense organ takes control over me, convincing me with its rationalizations. That is, until recently, when I started listening to the inner dialogue of the senses:

I realized they had only one voice: more..... more...... more.......Remember the creature Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy ?

It was just a never ending "more..........". The senses just want you to indulge till you drop down fatigued, till you are satiated to redundancy or exhaustion. Obviously then one cannot indulge anymore. It seems as if apparent wisdom awakes in the person within as he looks with some detachment towards indulgence. But this is only for a short while. As soon as the energy levels are restored, again the clamor starts:

This is to say that the arguments the mind advances in favor of enjoyment are just fallacies with which the person fools himself.

I recently lost a relative to alcoholism. He was a nice man within, eager and ready to help everybody. However, he did not try to face the issues within him which made him take relief in alcohol. He was too proud to accept help either. Each time he gave in to the temptation, he would say: "this is just one more time that  I will drink...I can stop whenever I see?".

Hardly past 50, he suffered multiple organ failure: failure of the lungs and kidneys, dipping blood pressure and high blood sugar-a tragic testimony to the tyranny of the senses. The dance of desires is the dance of death- I remembered what I had read somewhere.

If we could enjoy pleasures without it being the other way-pleasures enjoying us-we can avert such tragedies. It is wise to take precaution and start spiritual practices at the earliest.

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