A sanitized take on reality can’t take us to spiritual sanity
Sanitization refers to the removal of offensive elements from a work to render it more acceptable to its audience. While sanitization is frequently done for sensitivity, it may also be done out of duplicity. Such sanitizers want to protect their vested interests by keeping their audience in the dark.
We get a sanitized take on reality when we look at the world as revealed by today’s corporate-controlled media. The media’s take on reality purges out things that don’t gel with materialism’s central call for worldly indulgence. This sanitization keeps people captivated by the lure of worldly pleasures, thereby making them exploitable by the providers of those pleasures: corporate barons. For materialism, the biggest non-gelling element of reality is material indulgence’s ephemerality: worldly enjoyment can be checked at any moment by disease; it is curbed eventually by old age; and it is terminated by death. Contemplating this ultimate futility of material enjoyment prompts thoughtful people to seek some higher, more enduring form of happiness – a search that opens them to exploring spiritual wisdom.
Unfortunately, we lose our impetus for such spiritual exploration when we get only sanitized takes on reality that deny or downplay the harsh realities of material existence. Primary among these harsh realities are the miseries of birth, old age, disease and death – unsentimentally perceiving these miseries is a characteristic of spiritual knowledge (Bhagavad-gita 13.09). The essence of such spiritual knowledge is that we are eternal souls meant for a joyful life of everlasting love with the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna.
When we reject sanitized takes on reality and take in reality as it is, we realize worldly indulgence’s temporariness and open ourselves to the Gita and its call for practicing bhakti-yoga. Such yoga practice restores our spiritual sanity and grants us access to lasting spiritual happiness.
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