The way we behave is mostly influenced by our surroundings (by law of averages you shall become average of folks you spend time with, over a long period of time) until and unless we mindfully start tweaking these behaviours.
Here, as the title suggests, I write about these conventional vices with the aim to define/understand them better, most of which are the basis of our sufferings.
The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings. Some of you might remember them from the pop culture references (DC’s Shazam, Netflix Anime etc.).
Lets check each of them in detail:
Pride? Yes, but how can Pride be a sin, when we all use “being proud” as the good thing.
Pride is an umbrella word for self-respect, self-esteem, arrogance, hubris, ego, vanity.
Pride carries a positive connotation of self-worth, self-respect, and self-confidence but it becomes sinful when it is excessively self-focused and self-elevating, the direct opposite of humility, a trait that is highly praised and rewarded in all cultures. It denotes an expression/tone of an unhealthy, exaggerated attention to self and an elevated view of one’s abilities, accomplishments, position, or possessions.
The way to deal with Pride is to be grounded, be humble.
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
– Augustine of Hippo
To fly up high there is an infinite sky but you need the earth to prepare for that flight, and you need a ground when you fall, home is that ground. Your roots are your home, an infinite source of humility.
“Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.”
– Ezra Taft Benson
Greed is an uncontrolled longing for increase in the acquisition or use of material gain (be it food, money, land, or animate/inanimate possessions); or social value, such as status, or power. Greed has been identified as undesirable throughout known human history because it creates behavior-conflict between personal and social goals.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
If you wish to suppress Greed, do charity. Greed is a desire of taking, so to counter it start giving, start being generous.
Lust is a psychological force producing intense desire for something, or circumstance while already having a significant amount of the desired object. Lust can take any form such as the lust for sexuality, money, or power.
Lust Vs Passion
It is similar to but distinguished from passion, in that passion propels individuals to achieve benevolent goals whilst lust does not. The purpose, actions and intentions behind it are benevolent.
Envy is an emotion which occurs when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it.
Aristotle defined envy as pain at the sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we ought to have”.
The cure for Envy is to develop gratitude, being kind and thankful to others.
Hinduism teaches that envy can be overcome simply by recognizing that the man or woman who is the object of one’s envy is merely enjoying the fruits of their past karmic actions and that one should not allow such devious emotions to take control of their mind.
Gluttony means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth items, particularly as status symbols. Some faith traditions clearly label it as a sin, while some others just discourage or prohibit gluttony.
Why am I eating this? I don’t know. I just want to eat.
Why am I drinking this? I don’t know. I just want to drink.
Why am I watching this? Why am I consuming something I don’t want to? I don’t know.
And then we become a slave to these things, and our ability to enjoy is lessened.
An extremist view when looking at Gluttony as a sin is to decide the best thing to do is live on bread and milk, denying oneself any semblance of earthly pleasure.
Gluttony is I don’t know how to say no. Gluttony is described as a sin to encourage temperance. Intemperance is not being able to say no to the right thing at the wrong time or the wrong thing at any time.
Everything or anything when done in balance is good, too much or too less, both are harmful. Hence I often say life is finding a balance, for each of us this balance is different.
Wrath, or anger or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat.
Anger has multiple forms such as Passive Anger, Aggressive Anger, Assertive Anger.
Anger is a huge topic in itself so for the scope of this article, lets conclude it here.
Sloth is disinclination to action or labor, spiritual apathy and inactivity.
If you are disinterested, keep doing things. If you keep doing things and start getting better, the thing becomes your passion.