The danger in taking it as your guide

April 11th 2011
When you acquire the habit of weighing up what you gain against what you lose when you give yourself up to pleasure, you will find that the losses are huge and the advantages almost nil. Why sacrifice so much precious psychic and spiritual energy for a few pleasant sensations? They wear off or are forgotten (what you ate yesterday does not hold for today), and if you base your life on them you can look forward to a life of poverty. If, on the other hand, you make the effort to refuse certain pleasures, it will be painful for a time, of course, but you can look forward to a magnificent future. So what is the loss of a few sensations, compared to gaining your future? People who do not think say, ‘So long as I have my pleasure, I am happy!’ Yes, but they no longer have a future. Take the example of alcoholics or gamblers – they need the sensations that alcohol and gambling give them in the moment. But as soon as they stop drinking or gambling, what state are they in, and what lies ahead for them?