End your divorce from reality
Imagine a group of people who desire to play a virtual-reality video game. Their desire divorces them from the reality of their identity and propels them into an illusory cyber-world. In that world, they experience virtual emotions by misidentifying with a video game character.
Similarly, when we desire to enjoy material things, the Bhagavad-gita (13.22) indicates that our desire divorces us from the reality of our spiritual identity. Further, it propels us into the illusory material world that we presently inhabit. Here, we experience artificial emotions by misidentifying with our physical bodies.
Usually people’s involvement with a video game is casual and enjoyable. In contrast, our involvement with the material world is consuming and distressing. It is so consuming that it often obliterates our awareness of our spiritual identity, making us believe erroneously that the material reality is the totality of reality. And it is largely distressing because it subjects us to the many miseries of material existence – psychophysical, social and environmental – as we limp our way to the terminal sufferings of old age, disease and death.
Gita wisdom shows us how to end our divorce from reality. It enlightens us about our spiritual identity and delineates the process of devotional service that gives us experiences of spiritual fulfillment. Just as video game players must give up the desire to enjoy the game for returning fully to reality, we need to give up the desire to enjoy the illusory material world for returning fully to the spiritual level. The easiest way to give up that self-imprisoning desire is by cultivating the desire to serve Krishna, which quickly connects us with spiritual happiness. When we thus redirect our desires, we return to the joyful spiritual reality where we originally belong.
“The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species.”