As already discussed, to gratify is filterless. It involves consuming with no regard to long-term consequences while prioritising hunger-removal above all else. Just like water down a mountain, filterless consumption follows the path of least resistance. It’s about the easiest, quickest and cheapest approach to dealing with a hunger. This means it’s also the most commonly chosen outcome (including/especially when subconsciously made).
If we’re not consciously choosing edification, we’re most likely subconsciously choosing gratification.
This is more dangerous than we appreciate. Too often we feel that by eliminating our present hunger, we’ve made progress; if we’ve done something to stop the craving, we’ve sufficiently dealt with the problem. However appreciating ‘the path of least resistance’ includes understanding that those ‘dealings’ and ‘eliminations’ are more likely contributing to our detriment than our welfare if/when we’ve not consciously filtered. Refusing to oppose the path of least resistance leaves you with only one destination and that’s where you’re lead by the influences around you.
Such filterless consumption cannot produce a happy ending in the long-term. Just because we solve the problem doesn’t mean we benefit from the solution. If we can’t identify the difference; if we don’t filter, we are most likely hazardously reinforcing our gratifying desires and behaviours. The longer the creek runs in a certain direction, the more likely it will continue to do so.
We should, therefore, appreciate our need to commit to a life of consistent self-evaluation. Commit to habitualising the conscious use of that ‘edifying filter’.
Only those consciously aware of the need to filter for edification and are proactively doing so, are likely to be overcoming their gratifying habits. It’s like riding through a heavy current in a river, taking you to a waterfall you don’t want to go down: doing nothing ensures very little possibility of avoidance while doing anything can dramatically increase it.
Although being reactive is better than inactive when avoiding danger, if we want to also reach our desired destination, we must be proactive.
We must constantly remember that although gratification is easier initially, when one also gives consideration to the long-term costs, it will always come out more expensive.
Yes it’s most likely more work at the start, to do what’s best, right or most edifying; to choose to make the most of your life, for example. Momentum always starts slow and hard but can taper up to near self-sustaining progress, if not entirely so. We will find that as we begin moving in the right direction that it will not only become easier but the rate and acceleration can propel us forward in unimagined ways and with unprecedented speeds.
It’s completely possible to habitualise edification so that it becomes one’s default behaviour; one’s second-nature; one’s most likely way of life. The part people probably don’t want to hear is that it’s still a long road and usually implemented via mastery of one desire at a time.
While working on the habitualisation of edification, we simultaneously can’t allow gratification to grow or survive. Each instance of its existence reinforces its strength and therefore likelihood of repetition. It also is subjective to the laws of momentum and any degree that we ‘allow’ to carry on enables more gratification growth. Since we gratify by default, this is automatically occurring on a regular basis and the odds are initially against us.
The easiest adjustments are the earliest ones. The longer you wait the more off-course you’ll be and the greater adjustment required later on to realign or get back on track. Gratification is both bitter & binding; addictive & restrictive; too subtle to be noticed until too strong to be easily freed from.
We need to exterminate gratification’s momentum as thoroughly and as early as possible. Letting it “fester” is bad news for the future and of course “feeding it” is even worse. Much like dirty fast food can really kill that hunger quickly, it can also leave you with unwanted long-term effects. A great principle highlighted by Super Size Me is that even though he felt depressed and miserable for consuming so much ‘plastic’ food, he also developed a very real craving for it. Ironically he could simultaneously hate what he’s consuming while genuinely wanting more of it. All gratification works this way.
The warning here is that yes, gratification appears more rewarding in the short-term than edification. It’ll usually ‘feel good’ initially (at least in a gratifying sense) and it will get you to where you metaphorically want to be in the moment, faster than edification will. The cost however, is what’s usually ignored. Such deception is heavily patterned within all gratification and should be expected. We cannot let such things fool us.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
Anybody who is not intentionally for edification, is in a way, against it by default. Just as edification fosters edification, gratification fosters gratification. Doing nothing about it ensures you will continually nurture a gratifying world around you.
The only requirement to fall into gratification is the absence of consciously choosing edification. Yielding alone is enough. One doesn’t have to intentionally pursue it, to participate in it. Doing nothing is most likely to yield a gratifying result. The right to be free comes only through the fight to be.
This is why those in-genuinely qualified for success/growth should be very careful when receiving it.