Why do we keep on deluding ourselves and taking ourselves away from that which is real and that which is present and precious to that which is illusory? Why do we only wait for death to come near before we say and do what is needed, and resolve what needs to be resolved?
One can describe human endeavour and human effort from the point of view of avoiding suffering and pursuing contentment. It’s imperative that we understand that most of the things that people do under the assumption that this will decrease or alleviate this suffering, actually have the opposite effect.
The taste that we ascribe to the world is the taste that we acquire. So if you ascribe to the world sweetness then you acquire sweetness and you are therefore sweet to the taste. If you ascribe to the world bitterness then you acquire bitterness and you are bitter to the taste. Eventually your body carries the message.
Our nafs (self or soul) is the greatest gift from Allah to us, and at the same time our deadliest enemy. Rather it is an amanah that Allah has entrusted us with, so we must honor and appreciate it, but also fight and subdue that aspect of it, which will cause our ruin, if we do not guard ourselves against it. The most cited metaphor for it is that of a wild riding beast, which will try to throw off its rider, as long as it is untamed, but which becomes a trusted companion and support in his quest, if he masters it.