Jealousy is not only inbred in human nature, but
it is the most basic, all-pervasive emotion which
touches man in all aspects of every human relationship.
Cultures, since ancient times, have identified things to aspire to and attitudes and behaviors to try to avoid. These point to a balance between emotions and a calm and reasoning mind – in areas that may contribute to, or detract from, social and personal ideals. They try to limit things we may later regret or that others may resent.
One example, from the Catholic Church shows seven deadly sins, with corresponding (opposite) virtues:
Christian imagery presents the devil as a symbol of temptation toward vice. In psychology, Freud pointed to subconscious desires and to conflict among the id, ego, and superego. Genetics are now thought to be an important part of the picture, where qualities that can be undesirable in some settings may be present because, in the past, they had benefits that caused them to persist through natural selection.
Whatever the origins and imagery, naturalist perspectives are in agreement with traditional wisdom – that we often have conflicting desires and at times can appreciate guidance in ways of wrestling with passions that may cause regrets.