Two quirks haunt human nature. They are connected in a sick symbiosis, feeding off each other like the proverbial snakes gorging in mutual cannibalism. One quirk is the desire for paradise. The second is the demands of paranoia. One is a sweet sickness and the other sour.
The desire for paradise seems to be humanity’s default setting. We want to be happy. Indeed, in the land of the free and the home of the brave we are guaranteed “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The problem is in our definition of happiness. True happiness is the result of self discipline, hard work, a deep awareness that life has eternal significance and adherence to a religion that vitalizes and makes real that awareness. Unfortunately, the desire for happiness too often takes a less traditional route and we are drawn into a multiplicity of false turnings, counterfeit bliss and twisted delights.
Our desire for paradise leads us to the wanton search for mere pleasure, and because they never really satisfy, the search for pleasure leads to addiction. Many are drawn to the illegal addictions of drugs or illicit sexuality. More are drawn to the legal and acceptable—even respectable—addictions of money, prestige and power.