The Law is: The greater the false sense happiness, the weaker the soul happiness.
Only when one pleasure after another fails him does man finally begin to wonder if, afterall, happiness is possible through the senses. This thought has a liberating effect: man tries to find joy in meditation, in silence, in wisdom, in service, in contentment , and in self control. He forsakes the old restless pursuit of desires, with their concomitant(naturally accompanying or associated) noisy actions, ignorant behavior, and sense slavery. When a man discovers that sense joys are not a synonym for human happiness, he then sincerely wishes to get rid of his parasitical senses, his so called relatives, who apparently offer him solace and sympathy and yet continually practice deception.
The determined Yogi, imploring the aid of divine guidance, begins to entangle himself from the ego-habit cords of his “second nature” by learning to differentiate clearly between body and soul ; and why, metaphysically, sense pleasures are not considered pleasures at all, since they produce only the illusion of happiness and ultimately end in sorrow.
Sense delights, in reality, are felt as pleasurable only through an act of imagination by the soul, created by the interaction of the sense mind with objects of the senses. Man can be truly happy only within his soul nature of bliss, omniscience, and wisdom. He can never be contended by imagining himself to be happy because senses are happy.A mother, for example, might be able to resist the sensation of hunger during a food shortage in a besieged city by saying:” I am happy if my starving child eats”.If however, she continues to go without food, she finds that her hungeris being satisfied only in fancy, and not in reality.Sense identification, similarly, is very delusive, it makes man believe, only in mind and imagination, that he is contended with sense indulgences.Therefore it is important to understand why sense pleasures are not true pleasures, and why soul pleasures are real happiness.
Much of man’s suffering in this world is caused by his inability to discriminate between good sensations and bad ones.Any sensation of the body whose ultimate effect on consciousness is suffering, remote or immediate, must be termed bad.Any sensation that impresses on consciousness lasting peace is good.Whether a sensation is good or bad cannot be judged solely from the thoughts and feelings that follow immediately from its contact.Only by careful and patient discrimination and watchfulness can the true nature of a sensation be clearly detected.Therefore it is prudent to follow the guidance of spiritually wise, or to wait and find out through one’s own deeper powers, as to whether the first impression of a sensation is lasting or temporary, sincere or hypocritical in its behavior.
One lesson that God tries to teach us through the experience of dreams is that we should recognize the dream nature of this seemingly real world.All sensation producing objects are materialized ideas of God, which create the idea of pleasure or pain in our minds. We should stop being fooled into thinking that the sensations of touch, smell, taste, sound and sight have pleasure in themselves.There is no enjoyment in sensations except as we react favourably and pleasurably towards them.
The soul, is not imposed upon by these ideas or sensations, as is the mind.The soul is self-born, with inherent bliss producuing qualities.Contentment, ever new joy, omniscience,omnipotence and omnipresence are not acquired qualities , but are an integral part of the soul.Hence, the devotee who is engrossed in these soul qualities is enjoying real lasting happiness belonging to his own true self.As servants of the soul, the senses should be trained always to please it.The soul, does not seek to torture the senses, but to relegate them to their true station of man’s servant, not master.
Originally taken from the Book “God Talks with Arjuna” by Paramahansa Yogananda