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The Psychology of Lust | Negative Effects of Lust and Infatuation

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Even before man is ready to regain his spiritual sanity, he has to first come to terms with his insanities. There is a great percentage of human population that appreciates the spiritual angle of life and even admires it but believes that the spiritual path is not for them. They may be right in their limited understanding. But it is also important to highlight the mental deformities and thinking patterns that are stoked by the six vices namely lust, anger, illusion, greed or avarice, self-pride and envy. Even reading about these short-comings in human nature as well as simply recognizing their continuous presence in human dealings can create a gap between the person and his deformities. This gap creates immense opportunities for spiritual recognition. When a person is mindfully truthful in recognizing these flaws within, it is enough to create a vista-opening within oneself from where a completely awe-inspiring dimension starts getting visible. This is a humble attempt to make that vision possible.

Insanity may have medical connotations but it is considered as a medical condition when the acceptable limits of insanity which is an integral part of the mind are transgressed. This means that each one of us are insane in some way but we do not consult a physician because nobody has been able to detect the condition within us as yet. But insane, we are. You may hear sages and seers saying, the entire world is insane. The world may call such sages insane, but on closer look, it is proved beyond doubt that a rational man can see that sages and seers are blessed in some manner who carry with them extraordinary intelligence and clarity which is incomparable to the limited understanding of the common folks. In that respect it is believed that the way a sage or a seer looks at the world is completely different as compared to the way you or me see the world. There is a famous saying in the Vedic pantheon which says “What the sage calls night, the world calls day and what the sage calls day, the world calls it night.” Is not this statement talking about sanity and insanity? The sages have very high standards of sanity while the common man continues to wade in the deeper waters of insanity. We shall discuss one such point of insanity.

In the order of the six vices mentioned briefly above, it is lust that shows up first. Many people are worried about having a purpose in life. They are certain that unless there is a purpose one can never think of working and surviving in this harsh world. This is a true statement and hardly anyone can contest this view, not even the sages. However the point of contention is, what could be such a goal that drives one into keeping up one’s interest going life-long? This is the point that separates the common man of limited intelligence from a sage. For the common man, it is lust that drives his day. When an individual begins his day, what drives him to work is his motive to survive. Since he is blessed with life, it follows that the instinct to survive is born out of the need to maintain his body. When he has a body, he has other needs. He has sexual needs and to satisfy that need, he rears a family. To support the family he works and thus there is a network of closely connected needs that drives him to work. What started off as a survival need has now become an aspect of conscious pursuit. He believes that he has more than 100 reasons for working, earning a living and expanding his dominion.

This is when things start getting complicated. As he is habituated towards the living and tenable process, he also starts developing skills that make him further worldly-refined. He starts yearning for higher sensual satisfaction. He educates himself, he starts desiring great things for his children. He dreams of building a mansion for himself and his family. As he starts garnering worldly skills, his wants start transforming into basic needs. Owning a 10 room plush apartment in the midst of the city  becomes his bare minimum need because only a 10 room apartment is commensurate to his educational qualification and his status in society. This is the time when needs transform into wants and wants transform into lust. In the modern society, lust is playing havoc with the lives of millions.

Infatuation with things and being enamored by unnecessary things of the world is the beginning of lustful tendencies. Lust cannot be merely applied to the wanting of the same/other sex for sexual satiation. Lust works deeper than just bodily indulgence. Men lust for the woman’s body and the modern woman lusts for inert things like clothes, jewelry and a host of material things that have nothing to do with maintaining oneself. However, as lust develops within the mind, it starts corrupting the mind, making it blunt and indiscriminate. When the man asks the wife “Why do you need this body lotion, why do you need this expensive one?” The woman will give 101 reasons driven by her own lusty tendencies which can shock the listener. She may say “My body requires deep and clean moisturizing. I am developing red skin. I have been losing a lot of color. I need the best moisturizer because my skin is too sensitive and cheaper lotions hurt my skin”, and the list goes on. Thus the mind, having lost its discriminatory capabilities resorts to irrationality and falsehood of all sorts for the sake of indulging in lust and becoming forgetful of the inner being which is devoid of the six vices but its light completely overshadowed by the dark and murky mind. Having indulged in lust, when lust is not satisfied it transforms into anger and triggers harsh actions. Such anger that proceeds from lust has no concern for the other’s welfare. Its only concern is with “My body and my emotions”, period.

Thus one of the vices, lust, gives rise to anger. When anger hits the roof, man cannot differentiate between what is appropriate and what is inappropriate. Lust also gives rise to excessive attachment to things and habits. Attachment and confusion caused by anger contribute to the third vice of illusion. When lust starts getting satisfied, there is desire for more, which gives rise to greed or avarice. A man who has a lot of money wants more and resorts to all means to attain money. This is avarice. When avarice catapults and one starts getting control over more matter, he grows in position in society and shows off that wealth to others. Thus self-pride is born. When self-pride is hurt, for example, you see that someone else possesses more than you possess, naturally having held five vices, the sixth one, envy, finds its way through. A man who is filled with the six vices that are pointed out by the spiritual system, is a man who loses all sense of proportion and slowly starts losing all of his mental balance. Such a man is insane although the medical community does not recognize him as one. It is such a person that the sage calls insane. What started out as infatuation consummates with insanity.

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