I want you to understand clean clear that we distinguish two things: negative, or sinful, and positive. Attachment, or desire, can be negative and sinful, but it can also be positive. The positive aspect is that which produces pleasure: samsaric pleasure, human pleasure — the ability to enjoy the world, to see it as beautiful, to have whatever you find attractive.
So you cannot say that all desire is negative and produces only pain. Wrong. You should not think like that. Desire can produce pleasure — but only temporary pleasure. That’s the distinction. It’s temporary pleasure. And we don’t say that temporal pleasure is always bad, that you should reject it. If you reject temporal pleasure, then what’s left? You haven’t attained eternal happiness yet, so all that’s left is misery.
But you should not make the mistake of trying to actualize temporary pleasure [as an end in itself]. You can enjoy it while you have it but you should not squeeze yourself striving for it. The problem is the mind that believes temporary pleasure to be the best there is. That’s a total delusion, an over-estimated conception. Like looking at a cloud in the sky and thinking, “What a beautiful cloud; I wish it would last forever.” You’re dreaming.
from the book The Enlightened Experience: Collected Teachings, Volume 2
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