DESIRE FOR CERTAIN PLEASURE IS THE PART OF OUR PAIN
Dr Suhaib Ashraf Bhat
Hypocrisy: Hypocrisy is a serious sickness and a great crime. There are four (characteristics), whoever has all of them is a complete hypocrite, and whoever has some of them has some element of hypocrisy, unless he gives it up: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a treaty, he betrays it; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; when he quarrels, he resorts to insults.
We say we’ll definitely eat healthier, spend less, and read more, and yet we tend not to do as we say. Why?
It’s certainly not for lack of knowledge. We all basically know how to eat right and save money. If we don’t, any gap in know-how can be filled with a quick Google search. And yet, information clearly isn’t enough. Why is it that despite knowing what we want and how to get it, we still don’t follow-through?
This question has perplexed deep thinkers for thousands of years. Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle had a word for the tendency to act against our best interests: akrasia—literally, “lack of mastery.” Our ongoing struggle with akrasia, some 2,500 years later, suggests its part of human nature.
We’ve seen that hypocrites fail to take their actions or values seriously, but closer inspection suggests that to some extent we all do.
Our goals are based on our values; they are de facto attributes of the person we will be in the future. Someone might set a goal of exercising more because the person they want to become is physically fit, they decide to save money because the person they want to become is financially secure, or they may want to read more books because being well-read is an attribute they’d like to possess.
When we set a goal, we are making a commitment to a fictional person psychologists call, “future you.” Future you is the person who will have to actually do the things you promised your present self you would do. When you say you will exercise more often, save money, or read more, you are committing future you to fulfil a promise made by present you.
Occasionally failing to take our commitments seriously doesn’t automatically make us hypocrites. One hypocritical episode might not break the hull of our lives in half, but it can weaken it. Over time, those tiny cracks in our characters can add up. There are well-worn paths anyone can slip into that can turn good people into someone they’re not proud of. No one’s childhood dream is to be a cheat, a criminal, or a corrupt cop, and yet people end up being deceitful, delusional, or hypocrites. Over time, the sum of little hypocritical acts can become habits.
Greed: What connects the various addictions is that enough is never enough—not for long anyway. As addicts progress (or rather, regress) into their addiction, to derive sufficient gratification they must constantly seek more and more of their drug of choice. For “more” is the keyword of addiction. It doesn’t matter whether they’re addicted to a substance, relationship, or activity—the “ante” for getting enough of the object of their craving must continually be raised.
But of all the things one might be addicted to, nothing tops the greed-laden pursuit of wealth in its audacity, manipulativeness, and gross insensitivity to the needs and feelings of others. Not to mention its extreme, short-sighted, irresponsible covetousness. Ask a multi-millionaire or billionaire so afflicted (if you can find one willing to talk to you!), and you’ll discover that their “mega-fortune quest” really has no end point. They won’t be able to name the definitive “millionth” or “billionth” that, finally, will do it for them. They can’t because the means by which they reap their riches has itself become the end.
Chasing every financial opportunity—and, it cannot be overemphasized, to the detriment of virtually everything else in their life—has become their be-all and end-all. For that, frankly, is where the dopamine is: the master molecule of pleasure and motivation. And the “end” for them is simply the high (or dopamine release) they receive each time they do a deal, turn a profit, or make a “killing.” And just like other addicts, over time (because of the related phenomena of tolerance and dependency) they’ll need to make bigger and bigger “killings” to get the ego gratification they require in order to feel good about themselves.
In general, their “money high” has to do not just with feelings of fiscal elation but with a kind of self-inoculation. What perpetual wealth production inoculates them against are underlying, and barely recognized, feelings of distress—such as depression, anxiety, guilt or shame—which stem from a belief that deep, deep down they may not be good enough at all. So greater and greater financial success is required to help them sustain their cherished illusion that they really are superior—in economic terms, vastly superior—to others: a most convenient narcissistic “fix” for whatever subterranean doubts they may yet harbour about themselves.
On an ethical level, the worst thing about their pursuits is that their mercenary, ego-driven achievements frequently do considerable damage to others and their prospects. Not always but typically those who might be called “greed addicts” aren’t in the professions or creative Arts, but in business: entrepreneurs, investors, speculators, lenders, CEOs. And most often their successes contribute little or nothing to society. Rather, their undertakings are cunningly contrived to transfer money out of the pockets of others and into their own. Exceedingly competitive and aggressive, they’ll take ruthless advantage of every opportunity to turn a profit—and not shy away from turning against others in the process.
It’s been said that “you never get enough of what you don’t really want.” With people addicted to pursuing wealth, their overwhelming, insatiable passion isn’t about getting rich—but richer…and still richer. And it’s unquestionable that this is not a virtuous cycle but a markedly vicious one. Ultimately, their heart’s desire—tragically unknown to them—isn’t for wealth at all, but for love, emotional intimacy, unconditional acceptance (and self-acceptance), and “rich,” satisfying relationships. Regardless of how obscenely wealthy they may become, these are all things that, alas, cannot be purchased with money.
Cheating: Cheating in buying and selling: This is one of the common thing which we experience in our daily life. Even though we have many sort of cheatings in our daily lives but today we will be discussing only one.
How often this happens nowadays in the marketplaces. It may take the form of concealing faults in goods or other ways such as deceiving people about the quality of a product, or its components, quantity, weight, essential features or source.
These are some of the ways in which that cheating is manifested:
1-Some fruit-sellers put a lot of leaves or papers in the bottom of the basket of fruit, and then they put the best fruit at the top. In this manner they deceive the purchaser and cheat him by making him think that the basket is full from top to bottom, and that all the fruit is of the same quality as that which he sees on the top.
2-Some of them get food oil and mix it with perfume, with the larger proportion being of oil. Then they put it in glass bottles, and this substance smells like perfume, and they sell it for a low price.
3-Some traders buy a product in a very light wrapper, and then they put it in a much thicker wrapper, maybe five times thicker. Then they sell the wrapper and its contents, weighing the whole lot and charging for both the wrapper and the contents.
4-Some traders do some light mending on clothes, and then they sell them without explaining that they have been mended.
5-Some of them may wear a garment until it loses its value, then they shorten it and put some starch in it, to make people think that it is new, and they sell it as if it is new.
6-Some perfume-sellers put some products, such as saffron, near water so that they may absorb the moisture, thus increasing the weight by approximately one-third.
7-Some vendors and shopkeepers make their stores very dark by using coloured lights, so that rough products will look smooth and ugly ones will look beautiful.
8-Some goldsmiths mix gold with copper and the like, and then they sell it as if it is pure gold.
9-Some of them buy clean second-hand gold, and then they offer it for sale at the price of new without telling the purchaser that it is second-hand.
10-Some vendors at car auctions put thick oil in the car engine so that the purchaser will think that it is in good condition.
11-Some of them turn back the odometer, if it shows that the car has travelled a great distance, to trick the purchaser into thinking that the car has only been used a little.
12-Some of them, if they have a car that they want to sell and they know that it has a hidden fault, will say to the one who wants to buy it, “Try this car if you want to buy it,” without telling him anything about it. This is cheating and deceit.
13-Some of them describe many faults in the car which are not real, with the intention of concealing the real faults of the vehicle behind these imaginary faults. Even worse than that is when they do not mention the faults until after the sale has been made and the deposit paid, and the purchaser is not able to inspect the car and is not allowed to do so.
14-Some of them, if they have a car that they want to sell, will praise it and will say that that it is good, and they will fabricate reasons why they want to sell it.
15-Some of them agree with their friends to increase the price so that someone else will take it. This is the artificial inflation of prices.
16-Another kind of cheating in selling is when butchers inflate the animal carcass that they want to sell so that the purchaser will think that it is all meat.
17-Some vendors at sheep auctions and places where chickens are sold feed the animals salt [to make them drink more and thus look fatter], so that the purchaser will think that they are fat when they are not.
18-Some owners of cattle etc. tie up the teats of milking-animals a few days before selling them so that this will look like milk when it is not.
And the list goes on and on.
Conclusion: Strange that, desire for certain pleasure is the part of our pain.