Those who exaggerate material pleasure exacerbate material trouble
Sometimes children playing a video game throw a tantrum on losing. Their parents help them regain perspective, explaining that it’s just a game.
Children tend to lose perspective because they misidentify their own existence with the game’s arena.
What causes this misidentification?
Their desire for enjoyment in playing and especially winning the game.
A similar misidentification plagues all of us. We are spiritual beings. But the desire for enjoying material pleasure, as the Bhagavad-gita (13.21: bhoktrutve) indicates, causes us to misidentify with our material bodies.
Just as children enamored by a video game need mature guides to not lose perspective, we who are enamored by material existence need spiritually mature guides to not lose perspective.
Unfortunately, current culture provides us the opposite – it surrounds us with people who exaggerate material pleasure. For example, the culture gives center stage to the products of the entertainment industry and the ad industry, which are often filled with immensely talented people. But sadly these people use their artistic, intellectual and technological expertise to disproportionately glamorize material pleasure. Often the sheer brilliance of their presentation makes us disbelieve the testimony of our own experience, wherein we have repeatedly found the much-touted worldly pleasures to be at best anti-climactic. The more we become allured by such propaganda, the more we misidentify with matter, and the more we suffer as the body, which was always limited in its capacity to enjoy, starts losing that capacity due to aging and inflicts misery as it sickens and perishes. Thus, those who exaggerate material pleasures exacerbate material troubles.
To prevent such exacerbation, we need to defend and boost our intelligence with scripture, which consistently reminds of the true nature of our existence. The lesser our captivation with material pleasure, the lesser will be our mortification due to material trouble.
"Nature is said to be the cause of all material causes and effects, whereas the living entity is the cause of the various sufferings and enjoyments in this world."