As long as we are bound by desire, we will be bound to fear
Suppose an alcoholic is in a de-addiction center. Driven by desire for alcohol, they are sneakily seeking it somewhere. They will be fearful: will anyone catch me?
We may not sneakily seek anything. But still, we all desire things that are external to us such as cars, houses or positions. These desires make us dependent on those external things. Such dependence binds us to fear because external things are not in our control.
Wanting to increase our control over external things, we often seek other external things such as money. Yes, money provides some security. But when we make money our sole security, money itself becomes the cause of insecurity. People who hoard money live in fear of it being stolen or lost in a myriad ways. Their fear and the alcoholic’s fear have the same essential cause: dependence on externals.
Why do we seek external things? Because we have uncritically bought into the prevailing materialistic worldview, which claims that external material pleasure is life’s only real pleasure. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (16.11) stresses that materialistic desires sentence us to unremitting anxiety.
What, then, is the solution? Studying the Gita to understand the incompleteness of the materialistic worldview and to understand our spiritual identity as souls, parts of the all-attractive Supreme, Krishna.
We can realize our identity by practicing bhakti-yoga, which infuses us with desire for Krishna. The more we desire him, the more we experience his presence and thereby realize that he can grant us supreme security. How? By orchestrating material events for our ultimate good. And by purifying us and raising our consciousness to the spiritual level that is forever secure and indestructible, irrespective of how events turn out materially.
Thus, desiring the world binds us to fear, but desiring the Lord frees us from fear.
Think it over:
- How does money provide security and also cause insecurity?
- Why is our desire misdirected? How can we redirect it?
- How can Krishna grant us the supreme security?
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