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The Diseases of Mankind
Many of the enjoyments you experience in life are really just the relief you feel when you temporarily soothe the pains of a disease you are suffering. For example, you think that taking food is an enjoyment, but it is really only a medicine. Food is the medicine for the disease of hunger. When you give the medicine the disease is temporarily forgotten. You cook many varieties of delicious food and consider the taste of these prepared dishes to be most enjoyable, but that is not the real purpose for which you take food. As you know, medicines are sometimes given in the form of a mixture which contains some sweetener to make it more palatable. In the same way, to treat the disease of hunger there will be a meal containing a mixture of ingredients, some of which are particularly flavorful and pleasant to the taste. But in the final analysis, the meal can only be thought of as a form of medicine to treat the disease of hunger that afflicts you. After you have eaten, the symptoms of the disease disappear. Similarly, when you take some cool water, the symptoms of the disease of thirst disappear.
We have previously discussed the six inner enemies of man: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and jealousy. They can also be described as desire, hatred, possessiveness, infatuation, arrogance, and envy. These are the most deep-seated diseases of mankind. It is only when you engage in practices which serve as medicines to counteract these diseases, that they will diminish and disappear. During your whole life you have been deluded into thinking that you are enjoying different types of pleasures, but in fact you are afflicted with these diseases. Until you recognize that the resident of the body is God, you will continue to be burdened by these diseases and the sufferings they bring.