Why do we trouble ourselves with pleasures that only bring short term satisfaction?
Think of lust as a straight line, from the origin of imagination to the destination of realization. The line is under tension, it is released at fulfillment, but is stretched again soon after… endlessly.
We live in a world of pain and uncertainty and a straight line from chaos to an illusionary, but straight-forward heaven of bliss provides a way out. It is short-lived, of course, but the whole train of obsession that moves along the tracks of desire creates its own kind of false order, it keeps all the psychological chaos at bay. In a way, obsessions focus all our complex psychological energies together into a beam of unity, like a point or line. The mind is always struggling to define itself amidst a range of at times threatening, incomprehensible and opposing states of being and it seeks an equilibrium that obsessions can help provide.
Of course the mind can be fooled only so far and part of the tragedy is that we often already know how useless and harmful is the kind of fake unity offered by obsessions. But we still follow it, because we are bound to the sensations of the five senses and the characteristics of the thinking mind, if we are not able to transcend.
The “real kind of unity” is of a more spiritual nature and it provides a more profound kind of exstacy. To experience this deeper, unlimited and inexhaustible reality, however, we must be ready to sacrifice more than we usually care to part with. To the extent that the mind-world, where the ego reigns supreme, will feel itself threatened in its existence and will become the strongest opposing power.
If the ego finally fails to seduce the soul-mind – the more real self beyond the limited illusion of the mind-world – into craving for the easily attainable nirvanas of physical and mental gratification, it will fall back on other strategies.
One of such strategies is to make it seem that the other, the “more real nirvana” can impossibly be attained by the individual, for instance by implanting the idea that the individual has committed too many “sins”, or is “lacking faith” in the “higher realms”.
This kind of manipulation is typical for the shadow side of the thinking mind.
Other tactics include creating a sense of self-pity and making the soul-mind believe that life is just opportunistic, and the higher reality nonexistent or unjust.
The key is to realize that suffering is only suffering because the soul-mind overly identifies itself with the material world, with the body – something which could be considered a trick of the shadow side of the thinking mind as well.
Suffering cannot be dismissed, but it is not absolute. However, the ego, the thinking mind, needs to propagate the idea that it IS ABSOLUTE, because suffering is in effect just a symptom of a more essential phenomenon: the chaos of change, which offers a way to the higher reality because it helps dissolve the order and structure of the illusions of the thinking mind’s experience. The irony is, though, that the thinking mind would not exist without the soul-mind, it is just a derivative thereof.
Fully embracing the way to the higher reality would mean the death sentence to the thinking mind, because all that defines it ceases to exist as soon as the veils of its illusions are lifted.
That’s why it has to make sure the soul-mind actually believes that suffering is real, and the higher reality, where it would be found relative, not. Why? Because if the soul-mind accepts this, it will steer away from suffering by all means possible, and the best and easiest means are the “solutions” offered in the form of obsession, the mini-nirvanas of physical and mental satisfaction.
But also the tools of science, logic, philosophy, personal experience and even the less spiritual aspects of religion will be used to keep the soul-mind away from the real solution. That’s not to say such areas are to be distrusted altogether, but they should be put into perspective.
Obsessions and lust will help escape emptiness, will escape the frightening idea of the ego’s death, even though they only create new emptiness and fears of themselves. That’s why the cycle usually becomes stronger and stronger, like in the case of addiction.
Fake-enlightenment keeps the soul-mind trapped, pulls if out of the light and into the shadows.
Coming to acknowledge this insight is a first step on the way to enlightenment, but the thinking mind is an enemy not easy to surrender and with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.
Perseverance is the hardest way, but the ONLY way.