A stream of consciousness:
Practically every decision a human being makes fall into three categories: numb pain, avert/escape dullness, and seek joy/pleasure.
We should understand that “pleasure” is not inherently bad, and is seen as a dirty concept only because it is wild and uncontrolled today; the same way an animal in the jungle might be feared and appear vicious to the uninitiated person unable to bridle it, but if tamed by a skilled master can be calm and friendly, and even render exceptional service…under control. In the same way, pleasure is good, but needs to be subdued by the “spiritual master”. One more thing to note is that pleasure to the body is the physical manifestation of joy to the soul. As the body is an instrument the human soul wears to experience its physical environment, so is pleasure the instrument joy uses to experience its physical environment.
Joy and pleasure in a natural state have their proportion in the human being, the same way a healthy body has a proportion of different chemicals whose balance maintain the health of the system. However, should you add too much one of chemical that displaces this balance, then illness afflicts the body.
Similarly, the less deep inner joy is experienced in the soul, and thus the more a strong foundation of evolving spiritual insights is lacking, the proportion between joy and pleasure is upset. As deep inner joy is increasingly missing, more pleasure is then sought to subsidize this sense of loss. So it is exaggerated in greater indulgence. This is understandable because everything strives toward balance, so the more something is lost on one side of the scale, the more we seek to balance it by throwing greater weight on the other end. In this case, it is the proportion of joy and pleasure.
What are the consequences? Pleasure in its exaggerated state have two primary characteristics: the dislike of quietness and silence, and the desire for excitement. In this state, to the pleasure-afflicted human being, quietness and silence become increasingly painful, because the stillness subconsciously reminds him of the inner loss of a deeper joy. To remedy this subconscious perception of loss, distractions become a handmaiden used to prevent/avoid this painful realization that burns in quietness and silence. And thus we develop strong attachments to all measure of stimuli. Stimulus is a harbinger of “excitement” that, if you recall, is one of the two primary characteristics of the exaggerated urge for pleasure.
And that is how anxiety and depression easily develops on a collective societal scale through these stimuli (that is, the attachment to this stimuli) when a person is separated from it; the same way an alcoholic experiences the withdrawal symptoms of delirium tremens when he takes a moratorium from the drink. Through these stimuli, the individual is often seeking a distraction that serves to momentarily take his attention away from facing the painful loss of joy in his inner life, the same way the alcoholic, through the drink, seeks something to numb the experiencing of an existing inner pain that reflects a loss of deep joy. But in a cruel irony, the individual experiences that these stimuli and distractions (like the alcoholic) perpetuates the same unhappiness that it was intended to numb. So the more excessively it is engaged, the deeper the unhappiness and pain becomes.
One thing leads to the next, but it is all a progression of the operation of the existing Laws of Creation.
How to combat this dreadful development? What is the solution?
That is what each must discover for himself in the Word of Truth. He must seek an understanding of the operation of universal principles through personal recognition and lively experiencing, and then find the way to the solution of his own problems therein. But before a real solution is sought (like medicine), the prerequisite is the proper diagnoses, that is, a clarified understanding of the affliction as it shows itself.
And that is where each person can and should start. Like anything else, it requires a strong volition, diligent effort, and a sharp focus.
Yes, “oneness of focus, singularity of purpose”.
~Ikenna Q. Ezealah