When the sensual deludes the eye, the spiritual eludes the I

The world around us is filled with innumerable sensual stimuli. And most such stimuli assault us through our eyes. When our eyes become captivated with tempting sensual objects, we start craving and slaving to get those objects for our enjoyment. And that pursuit so consumes us that we can’t think of anything higher. 

The Bhagavad-gita (02.44) states that material attachment abducts our consciousness, rendering it too unsteady to focus on spiritual reality. To perceive the spiritual, we need the eyes of knowledge (15.10). However, even if we gain spiritual knowledge, we still can’t perceive the spiritual as long as we are situated in sensuality (15.11). Why not? Because waves of sensual desires flood our consciousness repeatedly, sweeping away any spiritual insight or even inclination. 

Worse still, with the world becoming digitally connected, deluding sensual stimuli have become far more accessible to us than in the past. Indeed, today, a person with an Internet connection can get more sensual stimulation for their eyes in an hour than what the wealthiest collector from the past could accumulate over a lifetime. No wonder we find focusing on the spiritual dishearteningly difficult. 

Thankfully however, technology can also make the spiritual more accessible to the eye. If we surround our physical environment with as many spiritual stimuli as possible, we give ourselves ready alternatives to contaminating sensual stimuli. Additionally, if we nourish our intelligence with Gita wisdom, the resulting conviction will empower us to redirect our consciousness from the sensual to the spiritual. And most importantly, if we strive to connect ourselves with the all-attractive Supreme by practicing bhakti-yoga, the resulting higher taste will make sensual temptations more resistible. 

By thus connecting with the spiritual physically, intellectually and devotionally, we can gradually transcend sensual delusions.  

 

Think it over:

  • How does the sensual blind us to the spiritual?
  • How does the sensual delude the eye more nowadays than in the past?
  • How can we connect with the spiritual physically, intellectually and devotionally?

 

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15.11  The endeavoring transcendentalists who are situated in self-realization can see all this clearly. But those whose minds are not developed and who are not situated in self-realization cannot see what is taking place, though they may try.

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