The term gullible from the book of proverbs does not only describe a person as stupid. They present them as someone who gets easily tempted, and there is a connection between stupidity and surrender to temptation. A ‘fool’ gets drawn, and they are willing to abandon principles and essence for pleasure.
And now, to expand on the idea:
When you want to make a person deviate from their principles, you put them on bait and capture them. Stupidity is like a trap, and wisdom is freedom. To stay free, you must give up on the temptation.
And fools are the ones who are left behind, falling into the trap of temptation. They do not remember the goal and do not draw strength from it – the power to say ‘No!’ to the temptation. Fools look for pleasures on the sides of the road instead of focusing on the target. They look for the possibility of licking drops of honey. Then, finding them, they get lost and forget what is in front of them. The magic of pleasure is like a dream you do not want to awaken from to the harsh reality.
To get tempted is to fall deeper into sleep. Sleep is like being immersed in watching TV. The programs projected there are like dreams: the more stimulating and fascinating the program, the harder it is to abandon it and return to reality. The sweeter the temptation, the harder it is to leave it and come back to life.
The wise person is awake, and they remain so in their ability to refuse the pleasures of temptation. They do because they know the price that needs to get paid: to give up knowing what is going on.
The lures always address themselves to the instinct, and the lower emotions: desire and sex. wisdom, on the other hand, is related to consciousness and the mind. The lures lower us through the tunnels of pleasure into the basement of our being. The sage knows how to say no and also why to say no. The lure does not grasp the magnitude of the price they will pay for the deviation for the sake of temptation.
Which one is smart? The one who does not get tempted by the oils of their land. For onions and garlic. To the backs and winks of passers-by. The one capable of sealing their heart from the requests of all levels of desire, instinct, and clinging to a target. They value their life and loved ones and therefore fear the loss of value by succumbing to temptation.
The lure disapproves of their way, and it does not go down to the end of their life’s meaning, and therefore is not afraid of what will happen to them if they deviate here and there in favor of a bit of pleasure.
A review of the forces driving the human race throughout history reveals that disintegration of achievements or inability to remain at some peak has often occurred due to submission to some temptation. It could be the ruler of a kingdom (or just a man in a powerful position) who has lost everything and brought his kingdom (his life) towards a depreciation due to submission to temptation.
First, temptation addresses those who own something the seducer wants to achieve. And it is meant to squeeze something out of them. And the tempter achieves this by promising pleasure. And when the seduction happens, the seduced person gets what they want in exchange for the atonement of pleasure.
The problem with the pleasure and enjoyment is that as soon as you drip a drop, thousands of lust-thirsty demons immediately wake up, screaming that they too want just another drop. Then it’s hard to disconnect. Seduction has an addictive power. The sage refuses temptation because they are aware of gliding down the slope of desire, which submission to the present temptation will follow. Their purpose in life is to transform pleasure and delight into fulfillment and meaning.
Desire, instinct, senses, and sex– are lust for pleasure. In comparison, consciousness and mind are thirsty for meaning, insight, and fulfillment.
By accustoming their system to work on satisfaction from self-fulfillment and gathering meaning and insight, the sage does not jump from one peak of pleasure to another.
Every person has two systems – a high system and a low system. The low system is the system of instinct, desire, and sex. The higher system is the system of consciousness. The higher system is in the head and neck (intuition and consciousness). The lower system is in the abdomen and lower parts (lusts, passions, and sexuality).
In any given situation, one of the systems sets the tone. In each case, one system is paralyzed, and the other is active. When the low is busy surrendering to temptation, the high system is blurred and out of focus. And when the system of insight, meaning, and wisdom awakens, the system of desire and instinct enters into relaxation and peace of home.
The most common and available example is food. You can eat wisely and allow moderately stimulating food (the high system), or you can be a victim of the next peanut and the next chocolate bar – then the low system rules.
You can eat from the mind or the stomach.
Who is the food? The one in the head or the one in the stomach? Where does hunger come from? The sage understands that the matter of food is but a metaphor for a much more complex and inclusive situation: his life. Food is a parable of the power relations between one governor and another- between the power of temptation and consciousness. It’s easier to live from temptation to temptation than to say ‘no’ to it. But when someone says ‘no’ to temptation, the space of their life is evacuated in favor of self-fulfillment, wisdom, and meaning, which are the high and sublime outputs of human life.
And yet, despite all this, the true sage never condemns himself utterly abstinence from temptation. The sage is sparing, up to a specific limit, which is much more complex than a total ban on surrendering to temptation. Because here, you must constantly be on guard, be vigilant, and constantly in check: how much to allow, when to allow, etc. This is in contrast to a total ban or absolute permission, in which consciousness and wakefulness can go to sleep.
The sage should be awake to make constant control of equilibria and balances. They must be in the middle, knowing that all extremism is catastrophic for them. On the one hand, complete abstinence from temptation will dry their system, lacking moisture and vitality. And on the other hand, submission to temptation will make them seductive and expelled from the higher and more significant level of their life. As awake and conscious people, they should control the level of freedom they allow the demons of sex and desire. They should know how to set boundaries. Give them a limited release. And restrain them when they want to break through the boundaries.
That is much harder than banning entirely and being a tyrant about the lower parts of one’s life. It is harder to be an enlightened ruler: constantly being with a finger on the pulse and knowing when the ban is suppressing the life of emotion, desire, and sex. And when they allow it becomes an addiction.