Monday, December 15, 2008


Because of the bodily conception of our identity, it brings us to the wrong aim of life, which is our motivation toward selfish material enjoyment. This is what keeps us in the illusion and prolongs whatever suffering and anxiety we may be experiencing. For example, when we have worked hard in our life and have struggled to attain a house, and are surrounded by wife or husband, children, community, have an education, a career, or whatever else we have wanted, sometimes we feel very happy. Sometimes we are completely jubilant, yet sometimes we are not so satisfied. At other times we may feel completely bewildered, not sure of what we want. In this way, for whatever reason, things are always changing. Again we find that what we think gives us security or happiness is an illusion because the mood of the mind is always fluctuating. Because of that alone, what once was like nectar in the beginning can become like poison in the end. When something is new it may be exciting, but after some time it can get dry and tasteless. That's the nature of the material world. So if you are looking for steady and sure happiness by being absorbed in the material energy, one must be aware of this shortcoming.

One key point here is that real happiness can be found in any condition, as long as you begin to make the connection with your higher Self. Once you realize that you are a spiritual being, you can understand that you are never connected to matter because you are a part of the superior spiritual energy of God. Always. You are a minute particle of eternity, bliss and omniscience. However, you are part of the marginal potency in the sense that you have the free will to either become absorbed in the material energy or be released from it. It's your decision. Once you make that decision, then you can engage in those practices to raise yourself, your consciousness, to higher levels of perception and attain freedom from the encroaching material problems that can, at times, seem overwhelming. Or you can remain absorbed in relishing whatever attracts your senses and the ups and downs that go with it.

Nonetheless, when the mind is motivated by passion, a person is forced into making many plans. Then he pursues them and voluntarily accepts so many troubles in hopes of attaining happiness and something meaningful in this world as a result of his schemes. Through this means he expects to enjoy life. He sees a beautiful house, and he wants one. He sees a fast car, and he wants one. He sees a lovely lady, and he wants her. This is because he thinks that surrounding himself with such possessions will make him happy. He thinks that once he achieves any of these, then he can relish his accomplishments.10 This is the way that achieving the results of one's hard work gives a false sense of happiness.11 A person may feel that he has attained his goals, but such happiness soon gives way to the next desire or goal, or even the next problem. The fact of the matter is that one who cannot control his senses comes under the control of never-ending material desires. One with uncontrolled senses never feels satisfied with what he has for long. He always wants more or something new.12 Thus, without realizing it, he is forced to act on those desires for more and more prizes, accomplishments, and possessions. His life often becomes more complicated, and the happiness he longs for keeps alluding him, like the donkey chasing after the carrot. The donkey does not understand that the more he chases after the carrot, the more he is merely serving a master. Thus, the materialist is forced to continue to serve his unquenchable thirst for material enjoyment at the dictates of the master, known as his mind and senses.

Yet as time goes on, he may question the course of action he has taken. He may indeed look around and wonder why he has not attained the happiness for which he had hoped. He sees that time has slipped away. In fact, he may be an old man, and if he has not kept himself so busy that he has no time to reflect on life, he may start to worry that death is drawing near. His friends may start to die off, giving a warning sign that his turn may be next. At that time, he may feel that all of his prizes, possessions, and property and wealth, have lost the meaning that they once had. They cannot protect him from death, and he has made no spiritual progress to console himself of what future lies ahead of him. Without proper spiritual knowledge, a person is left with nothing but his own ignorance for his counsel in trying to figure what to do. Thus, at death, the materialist is taken away from everything he had worked for and everything that had given him any pleasure, and another life goes by without gaining any substantial understanding of the true purpose of it.

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