I attended a day-long retreat yesterday with Taraniya (Gloria Ambrosia) on the subject of clinging. The first of the 4 different forms of clinging is sensual desire.
The retreat took place at a church on a rainy day. During walking meditation in the big open multi-purpose room next to the kitchen, the end of my walking lane brought me face-to-face with a big bouquet of flowers--daffodils, lilacs and pink hydrangeas, interspersed with tulips. The arrangement was artificial, of course, as i mentally labeled the month each flower blooms--April, June, and August.
In real life, such a combination of flowers from our own garden would be impossible. A florist might do it by having access to flowers from the four corners of the globe. With artificial flowers, we can artificially arrange the world just as we like it, without the mess of water and leaves today or drooping flowers tomorrow. We can put our bouquet on automatic pilot and be pleased by its beauty for years to come.
Life is messy sometimes. This is the first noble truth. Wanting only beauty, desiring sensual pleasures is part of the second noble truth.
"So what's the harm of a few artificial flowers?" you might ask. "They're neat, clean, beautiful, and they last for years."
This is the seduction of delusion. What's the harm in that?