The mind makes the exhausting seem exciting and the exciting seem exhausting

The mind is often declared in scripture to be an enemy, as for example in the Bhagavad-gita (06.06). One way the mind acts inimically is by perverting our perception. In a war, an enemy often tricks its opponent into fighting inconsequential battles and thus drains it out by the time of consequential battles. The mind uses just such a strategy.

The mind makes the exhausting seem exciting: It impels us to crave and slave for temporary worldly pleasures by making them seem exciting, even irresistibly exciting. Actually, these pleasures last for just a few moments, though the hankering and lamenting that precedes and succeeds them extends for hours, years and even lifetimes. Overall, because the pleasure is so little, the labor for such pleasures is exhausting. Though we feel exhausted, still we can’t give it up because the mind goads us on by inducing within us an artificial sense of excitement about these pleasures – a sense that comes not so much from experience as from imagination.

The mind makes the exciting seem exhausting: Spiritual happiness – happiness in harmony with our actual nature as souls meant for loving service to Krishna – is exciting because Krishna is infinitely attractive and remembering him is endlessly relishable and experiencing him is an ever-fresh experience. Indeed, pure devotees find Krishna so relishable that they want to keep immersing themselves in him again and again, more and more, for all of eternity. Unfortunately, the mind misleads us into believing that because devotional activities externally appear to be the same, they will be boring. Thus it exhausts us about such activities that are actually exciting.

By using scriptural wisdom to understand the tricky nature of the mind, we can desist from exhausting sensual indulgences and persist in exciting spiritual pursuits and thus attain lasting happiness.

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