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Too much light blinds the eye; Too much noise deafens the ear; Too many spices dull the taste; Too much exercise weakens the body; The pursuit of great riches leads to ruin The wise attend to the inner truth of things And are not fooled by outward appearances They ignore matter and seek the spirit. Lao Tzu / Tao Te Ching
There was a ritual formerly practiced by the Catholic Church known as Indulgences. Indulgences were equivalent to a Church-sanctioned “hall pass,” allowing people to purchase permission to commit immoral acts without any guilt.
Though the Church stopped that practice, our understanding of the word indulgence still derives its essential meaning from that old idea.
Can you see the parallels between Western culture and the practice of Indulgences?
Though we no longer buy permission to be immoral, indulging is our way of life. We created a culture of excessive self-gratification as the rule instead of the exception.
We all do it. It’s so common we don’t even know we’re doing it.
“I need to de-stress, so I need some ‘retail therapy.’”
“I deserve this.”
“I’m going to treat myself.”
“I’ve earned it.”
“It’s my right.”
You work hard for what you have. What’s wrong with enjoying a little pleasure?
The problem isn’t indulgence, as such. The problem is that we’re very, very bad at balancing ourselves.
This quote throttled me:
“You can never get enough of what you don't need, because what you don't need won't satisfy you.” ― Dallin H. Oaks
When our unbridled desires are our primary intention, everything we do becomes an attempt to fill a bottomless pit. That is exactly how we describe hell.
That is why these words from the Tao Te Ching are so important:
The wise attend to the inner truth of things And are not fooled by outward appearances They ignore matter and seek the spirit.
When you attend to the inner truth, seeking the spirit, you can clearly see that there is only one way to be satisfied:
Love, when it is free from attachment, provides a peaceful and meaningful existence.
To bring others joy and goodness and kindness and compassion is the most fulfilling thing we can do with our time here on earth.
If you are devoted to loving others, you will be wholly satisfied, full and overflowing.
Life will not need to be silenced or soothed by retail therapy, new cars, or net worth.
Love yourself enough to not allow indulgences. You will never fill that hellish pit.
When you are loved and loving others, life is good.
Love is enough. Thank you Joel.