Think of the tongue!
All the taste buds are on the tongue – sweetness, bitterness, sourness, or burning hot – all tastes are felt by different clusters of taste buds grouped on the tongue. They do not clash with each other – it is a harmonious co-existence of taste buds.
The tastes are so different – some likeable, some not so likeable, some disgusting. But they all enrich us with various experiences of taste. Depending on that experience, we decide which taste to go for and which taste to avoid.
These tastes also teach us wisdom – for example, the bitter taste of karela (bitter gourd) is not likeable, but is good for the system. So we learn to avoid sweet – though much liked but causes diabetes – include bitter food in the diet as it purifies the blood.
Thus we learn proper discrimination and self-control which leads to wisdom.
The tongue has tremendous potential – it can hurt; it can heal. The tongue is thus instrumental in saying kind words or hurtful words – it can be one of the major instruments of expressing loving kindness.
Like the varied enriching tastes of the tongue, life also gives us different experiences which leave either a good or bitter taste in our mouth. Just how we accept or savor all types of food taste without getting our solar plexus agitated we should also accept the different experiences of life with calmness. And learn to quietly avoid the unpleasant.
After all, the soul incarnates in this world to gather experiences and be enriched by them. Just as we do not cut off the taste buds of bitter taste from the tongue, so we should not cut off people who give us bitter experience in life. They are the karela (bitter gourd) variety – good for the evolution of the soul.
Like Alexander the Great, we learnt what NOT to do from them. They also are our teachers.
So while learning to control the tongue – both in terms of food and of spoken words – we also learn proper discrimination, right judgement, loving kindness, self-control and thus Self-Mastery.