Catholic priest was visiting Sheffield, a mining town in England. Speaking to miners, he was strongly advocating following the instructions of Christ, as enunciated in Bible, otherwise, the priest cautioned one would end up in hell. Further, the priest went on to describe hell as a damp, dark, cold and scary place.
The miners were unfazed with this information since hell appeared no worse than the mines they were already used to. Wanting to know more about hell, one miner inquired, "Are newspapers available in hell ?" Upon being informed in the negative, the miners began to listen to the priest a little more seriously. All this brings us to the wider issue, while one may be living in worst of conditions, he still looks for some pleasure. Perhaps because it is impossible to imagine a life without any pleasure, howsoever small that may be. As a matter of fact, enjoyment is the purpose of living.
The spiritualists and preachers of religion are generally unable to motivate the masses since they fail to show a connection between enjoyment and the path shown by them. By scaring someone, one may create some deterrent effect but to motivate, one needs to show the way to pleasures and the higher the pleasures, the higher shall be the motivation. No one wishes to live to suffer and that is the reason many terminally sick patients these days opt for lethal injections - same as committing suicide. No one would take this extreme step unless one's life is devoid of any pleasures. Still, everyone does not do so since life is too precious, but a life without pleasures is miserable. Dissatisfaction with the present builds up into stress, depression , and so on. As a matter of fact, when one fails to achieve higher pleasures, one resorts to lower pleasures which harm one's body and mind. Criminals are not known to be a happy and satisfied lot.
All of us without exception need pleasures and we need them now and not in a very distant and unknown future. Such pleasures can be divided into four broad categories. The lowest pleasures cause reactions and one pays price for indulging in such pleasures, either immediately or in future. Such pleasures are described to be in the mode of ignorance in Bhagavad-Geeta. Examples of such pleasures are eating meat, drinking, illicit sex and so on.
The next level of pleasures are in the mode of passion, such as eating a rich meal, seeing a funny movie, reading a best-seller and so on. These don't help in making advancement in one's life but don't harm either, since they are almost neutral in nature. The next level is of pleasures in the mode of goodness. Examples of such pleasures are to be on a picnic in natural surroundings, eating a well-balanced diet and so on. Nonetheless, the highest level of enjoyment are on the transcendental platform that is, connected with God. Examples of such pleasures are hearing a nice spiritual discourse, singing bhajans.
Lower pleasures are easier to obtain, like smoking a cigarette but have reactions while the higher pleasures, like helping someone require a great discipline of mind. One feels dirty and unclean engaging in the lowest of enjoyments while higher pleasures are uplifting. The highest pleasures which are transcendental, that is connected to God, give lasting benefits, including liberation. One can judge the validity of these statements by the fact that the highest pleasures can be enjoyed publicly while for the lower pleasures one needs privacy.
Knowing all this, which is not uncommon knowledge, a question naturally arises as to why people do not seek higher pleasures. Besides the easier availability of the lower pleasures the level of consciousness is crucial. This is the reason why all the bonafide scriptures advocate God consciousness as the ultimate goal of human life. The higher the consciousness, the greater shall be the attraction for higher types of pleasures. Persons with mental problems are generally known to be attracted to drugs or drinking. These may appear to give some relief but such diversions prove very costly in the long run. Happy persons shun such harmful pleasures since they have safer options.
Therefore, an intelligent person raises his consciousness by various processes and enjoys greatly.