Updated: Aug 2
We forget our divinity because we get overwhelmed by our sensory experiences and our attachments to them. It is very similar to what happens if we play a simulator game long enough. We start to associate with the character and forget that we are the person playing the character, not the character.
There is something to be said about sensory deprivation that monks in many traditions practice on purpose. Living a quiet life removes all the signals that overwhelm the brain daily. When we are no longer constantly distracted by the physical world, we start to feel the divine spirit that fills not only the brain but everything. This is the appeal of living as a monk or a hermit. In ancient India, it was called sanyas. This was the life I admired when I was in college. But this isn’t the perfect life. There is a middle way, one where we do everything like a normal human and yet not get trapped.
It is not taste that hijacks the brain. It is extreme taste. If we eat mild food, which is neither too salty too sugary, we don't get addicted. A food item that is not mild habituates the brain to an extreme stimulus. The brain then creates an opponent process to tolerate it, much like painkillers. This opponent process later becomes the craving. Look up Opponent Process Theory to learn more about it. Then, we keep eating the extreme food item over and over again. The more extreme the taste, the more quickly we get trapped.
Similarly, it is not women that trap men. It is extreme women that trap men, the mechanism being exactly the one I described above. If we deal only with mild women mildly, we would never get distracted. In cultures around the world, men are advised to deal with modest women and stay away from immodest ones. Modest comes from Latin modestus, which means moderate.
In other words, moderation may be is the middle path. Perhaps, Aristotle understood this when he said that virtue becomes vice when done to the extreme. Vice become virtue when moderated. Virtue lies in the middle of deficiency and excess, both of which are vices. To know more, look up Virtue Ethics by Aristotle.
When I speak of the middle path, I take it a step beyond. You can eat ice-cream, which is not a moderate amount of sugar (because it trips the brain), but you mustn’t eat it frequently enough to become habituated.
When the brain is constantly plugged in and revving, we get so trapped that we totally forget who we are. Our connection from the spirit world gets dampened by loads of signals from the physical world. When we block signals from the physical world, we realize our spiritual existence. But this does not mean we should all become recluse and refuse to participate in the game of life, for that's a life lived in fear, of being distracted. Instead, we must tread the middle path. We must play the game without fixating on winning or losing. We must have fun yet be unattached and unfettered, free from the trap of physicality. Such is the path of a true yogi.