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Temptation

Temptation is the desire to perform an action that one may enjoy immediately or in the short time but will actually later regret for various causes such as legal, social, psychological (including feeling guilt), health-related, economic, etc. In the context of Dhamma (religion), temptation is the inclination to sin. Temptation also elucidates the coaxing or inducing an individual into committing such an act, by manipulation or otherwise of curiosity, desire or fear of loss.

More casually, temptation may be used to mean "the state of being attracted and enticed" without anything to do with moral, ethical, or ideological valuation; for instance, one may say that a piece of food looks "tempting" even though eating it would result in no negative consequences.

The following are some of my favorite quotes on temptation:

Temptations, when we first meet them, are like a lion that roared at Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see them we shall find a nest of honey within them.
John Bunyan

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Never underestimate the power of temptation to disarm your better senses. Throughout the ages good people surrendered their honor for the empty promise that wealth or power would bring fulfillment and their dignity, good name and self-esteem for the passing pleasures of sex and drugs.
Michael Josephson

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You must learn that if you are a Christian, you will without a doubt experience all kinds of opposition and evil inclinations in the flesh. For when you have faith, there will be a hundred more evil thoughts and a hundred more temptations than before.
Martin Luther

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But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also.
Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

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      “For to tempt and to be tempted are things very nearly allied... whenever feeling has anything to do in the matter, no sooner is it excited than we have already gone vastly farther than we are aware of.”
Catherine, the Great

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A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
Ring Lardner

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For years my wedding ring has done its job. It has led me not into temptation. It has reminded my husband numerous times at parties that it's time to go home. It has been a source of relief to a dinner companion. It has been a status symbol in the maternity ward.
Erma Bombeck

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