Even if we cover the tracks we make externally, the tracks we make internally still cover us
Suppose we wanted to hide what we are doing from others while we are going on a trek through the wilderness. We would cover our tracks. But suppose the soil was such that we couldn’t erase our footprints. Then we would be much more careful of where we went and not presume that our tracks could be covered or had been covered.
That is exactly what we need to understand about our inner world and the tracks we make there. Whenever we do any action, it creates impressions on our mind. And if we do that action repeatedly, the impressions become deeper and stronger. And each impression pushes us to repeat that action till we eventually become habituated and addicted. That’s why we need to carefully choose which actions we do.
Today’s technology provides us through the Internet immense access to the whole world, with its countless temptations. And it also promises us the possibility to cover our tracks by using digital strategies for anonymity. So, we may feel we can easily cover our tracks. We can and yet we can’t. Even if we succeed in maintaining our anonymity online, we will face the impressions that were formed within our mind. And when those impressions grow stronger and stronger with repeated indulgence, we will eventually find the corresponding urges increasingly irresistible.
The Bhagavad-gita (16.12) cautions that we are bound by a network of hundreds and thousands of desires. And each of these desires can enslave us, not just in this lifetime but for many lifetimes to come. Gita wisdom therefore urges us to choose our actions carefully according to the guidelines given in scriptures. Thankfully, we can use constructively the principle that actions form impressions: if we start doing good things, even if in small measure, we can eventually form good habits.
Think it over:
- Why can’t we cover our tracks internally?
- Why do we get the impression that we can cover our tracks?
- To protect ourselves from being bound, what can we do?
16.12 Bound by a network of hundreds of thousands of desires and absorbed in lust and anger, the demoniac secure money by illegal means for sense gratification.
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