The path to SELF realization begins with understanding the futility of worldly pursuits and objects. While the objects by themselves are neither good nor bad, our association to them through a strong sense of attachment is the key distraction in the path of spiritual evolution. Through the faculty of differentiation or discrimination between the real and the ephemeral, and practicing dispassion based on the result of understanding, one can make spiritual progress faster and fruitful.
Yes it is easier said then done. How can one living amongst the objects, interacting with the objects, using them and getting used by them ever come to terms that they are not real. How can someone who is steeped in daily affairs even begin to comprehend what we get from the world is not eternal and truth lies somewhere else.
Maybe one can start with the following consideration to understand this better:
- All worldly objects have a beginning and an end. Thereby making them impermanent.
- All of them are riddled with pain. It is popularly said – there is no pleasure without pain!
- The indulgence in objects takes effort and therefore energy, which is then not available for higher pursuits.
- All enjoyments through worldly objects create a feeling of incompleteness at some point in time.
- They also create a sense of attachment and wanting. This keeps us engulfed in the cycle of birth and death as we try to satisfy the wanting.
While all of the above can be quickly understood at an intellectual level, it is only through deeper contemplation and understanding that we can practice ‘vairagya’ or dispassion towards them. And only when we do this would we be taking our first concrete step towards evolution.