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LSDMB
LSDMB

12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification Empty 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification

on May 26th 2020, 5:12 pm
Message reputation : 100% (3 votes)
The importance of delayed gratification in raising a child is something any developmental psychologist could certainly wax poetic about. For in raising any small child, the practice of delaying indulgences for them, and eventually teaching them to do so themselves, is an integral part of cultivating discipline, and then self-discipline, as the backbone to being a responsible adult human being later in life. It is the most fundamental practice in the cultivation of temperance.

The practice of delayed gratification is also one that finds itself expressed across not only Christianity, but across many religions, particularly in the practice of religious fasting. The difference between religious/spiritual fasting and secular fasting is a matter of intent. Secular fasting is most often undertaken for health benefits, or in much rarer circumstances as a form of peaceful protest. Religious fasting, on the other hand, is undertaken primarily for the purpose of cultivating one’s discipline and character, and for focusing one’s attention on God by temporarily abstaining from the indulgences of the world. This is, of course, not to say that discipline and character aren’t integral factors to secular fasting, merely that they are more often a byproduct of the true goal rather than the goal itself, or a tool used in pursuit of that goal. This is also not to say that someone doing a religious fast cannot reap certain benefits, such as healthy weight loss.

Aside from fasting, there are other religious practices that are manifestations of delayed gratification. For example, many Christians, Catholics in particular, often partake in something called a Lenten sacrifice. This involves the giving up of something for the season of Lent (Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday). For some it may be chocolate, for others it may be alcohol, meat, or social media, etc. The purpose of these sacrifices lies in a detachment from the riches of the world or the indulgence of the flesh, for the sake pursuing God more unreservedly. Often, it also has the added benefit of reducing one’s sin, if indeed what is being given up for Lent is a vice.

The practice of delayed gratification is one that finds itself uniquely difficult for the modern man, given the current state of our world, particularly in the western world. In poorer countries or in times past, delayed gratification was something that came easier because it was very often not a matter of choice, but instead an imposition made by the world. One often was forced by circumstance to practice temperance with something like food, otherwise one would quickly run out and starve. A person could spend less time indulging their senses because there was less material to do that with, and more time necessary towards certain tasks like cutting firewood, otherwise a person could not be certain of their own survival in the short to medium term.

In the modern western world however, things are different, both in the quantity and quality of things we have available to us for the purposes of self-indulgence, and a level of prosperity we possess that allows us to get away with it without immediate serious consequence. At this very moment, I could buy a large pizza and eat the entire thing in one sitting, buy a six pack of beer and drink all of them, or find somebody to sell me weed and spend the rest of the day stoned. Conversely I could pull up Netflix and binge an entire season of a show, spend the next six hours watching youtube videos, or pull up the most intense hardcore pornography I could find and spend a couple hours masturbating to it.

I could do any or all of this so easily today, without going broke, freezing to death, or starving to death, all without a very grave consequence in the short term to frighten me away from it. In one manner of speaking, this is the unfortunate state and challenge of the modern man, that there are many virtues more difficult to practice because they are not as obviously immediately necessary in the short term. In fact, I would guess that this has something to do with the delayed adulthood of the modern person in comparison to previous eras. The dynamic has flipped from “be responsible and temperate or else your life immediately falls apart” to “be responsible and temperate… or else you can indulge yourself in every pleasure known to man whenever you want while your life slowly falls apart.”

I do not wish to give off the impression that I am a Luddite or that I resent the prosperity of my society, indeed there are a bounty of great things that have come from it. I am merely saying that our modern circumstances provide their own unique set of challenges not found as prominently in other parts of the world or eras. Additionally, I am putting myself on no pedestal here, as this is a condition I find when I look at myself, that I am addicted to the immediate gratification of my impulses at the expense of other important things in my life, probably more so than the average person. This is as much advice for me as it is for others, as it is a challenge I too often buckle under the weight of.

The ways in which the practice of delayed gratification serves to cultivate the virtue of temperance are obvious, however, such a practice can also be used to cultivate better judgment and clearer perspective. In Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World, society is entirely characterized by hedonistic indulgence. In this society, one of the supporting characters, Helmholtz Watson, begins to abstain from certain indulgences such as promiscuous sex, and in doing so he finds a greater sense of clarity and creativity in his writing. This is because excessive indulgence of short term pleasures not only weakens our ability to be temperate and disciplined, but also because it serves as a distraction from other things. This is almost certainly another component to the benefit of religious fasting, and what allows people who do so to focus more of their attention upon God, or upon other higher pursuits.

Now there is some advice I have in the practice of delayed gratification, the first of which is to do so in a way that is challenging but is reasonably manageable, in much the same way that a person would not start lifting weights with two hundred pounds. It might be healthy to start off by just finding one impulse in your day to day that you could put off for a longer, and then to gradually increase the size of that delay or the number of impulses you practice delaying over time. It should be noted however that the end goal I am proposing is not necessarily asceticism, merely a state of being characterized by greater temperance and discipline in one’s engagement with the things of this world.

My second bit of advice is to choose something to practice this delay with which is a vice (either intrinsically, or merely in it’s excess). In doing so you can essentially kill two birds with one stone, increasing your capacity for temperance while also improving your life in some other way. For me personally, this is the internet. It can be all too easy to wake up and immediately get on my phone or my laptop and start surfing the internet, which is perhaps the greatest tool of immediate satisfaction created by man, and I find my addiction to the internet is the greatest distraction in my life and the one I am least disciplined in handling. So, when I wake up now, I make it a point to avoid getting on the internet for at least an hour or two.

Next, I would point out that the practice of delayed gratification is something aided by the previous two practices I spoke of. The contentment brought by practicing gratitude is something that makes the impulse towards the immediate gratification of short term pleasure less desirable to a person, and is thus a feel-good counterbalance to that temptation. Then, of course, the practice of stillness is another thing that helps stave off impulse in the immediate presence, and much more ubiquitously when practiced over a long period of time.

Lastly I would suggest using the time spent delaying the gratification of your particular impulse to do something of more tangible benefit. This can include getting work done, or partaking in the previously mentioned or to be mentioned practices in this chapter. For example, when I wake up in the morning, to avoid the internet for a while, I make it a point to first do some chore in my house that would be of benefit to me or my roommates. Next, I go on a walk outside and practice my gratitude through the appreciation of nature and find stillness in the lack of previous distractions in my day. Finally, before I allow myself to use the internet, I take some time to meditate and pray in my backyard.

So I encourage you to find a vice (either an intrinsic one or one in excess), and to practice delaying your indulgence of it for longer periods of time than you currently do. Practice gratitude and stillness to aid you in this pursuit. Take the attention you would’ve given to your impulses, and instead use that time to focus it on something more productive. You will quickly find yourself more temperate, more clear in your judgment, and in control of the things in this world rather than the other way around.
HellfireUnit
HellfireUnit
Level Three
Level Three

12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification Empty Re: 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification

on May 26th 2020, 5:26 pm
Playing too much dankmemer and spamming on other channels is a sin either, make sure you add it.
LSDMB
LSDMB

12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification Empty Re: 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification

on May 26th 2020, 7:02 pm
@HellfireUnit wrote:Playing too much dankmemer and spamming on other channels is a sin either, make sure you add it.
You're just butthurt you lost most of your money tryna fuck with me and Harrison :>
HellfireUnit
HellfireUnit
Level Three
Level Three

12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification Empty Re: 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification

on May 27th 2020, 6:46 am
@LSDMB wrote:
@HellfireUnit wrote:Playing too much dankmemer and spamming on other channels is a sin either, make sure you add it.
You're just butthurt you lost most of your money tryna fuck with me and Harrison 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification 3344068304

12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification 2265358366
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12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification Empty Re: 12 Rules for Cultivating Moral Virtue, An Antidote to Sin; Rule 3: Delayed Gratification

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