Modern Bodhisattva’s Way of Life:  Who do you trust?

We need to ask ourselves why do we trust our attachment and all our other delusions?  We should personally go through each one of our delusions and realize how much suffering they bring us.  For example, how does my own desirous mind bring me so much suffering?  How does my own mind of doubt bring me so much suffering?  We need to make it personal.  We have to know, recognize, that there’s suffering in our mind whenever attachment and the other delusions arise.  Then we will be able to identify how delusions are a cause of suffering.

All delusions are necessarily deceptive minds.  They promise us one thing, but they deliver us the exact opposite.  Attachment promises us happiness if we have the object of our attachment, but then when we don’t have it we suffer and it just increases our desire.  Doubt promises us to protect us from making a mistake by believing something that is potentially wrong, but then we don’t believe anything and so we can never get better.  Pride tells us it will give us self-confidence, but instead it makes us feel insecure and when we don’t live up to our unrealistic expectations of ourself we feel discouraged, guilty and lose self-confidence and we do even worse.  Anger promises us to put an end to the things that cause us suffering, but it always makes the situation worse and makes us miserable even if the external situation changes.  Self-cherishing promises us that it is only by taking care of ourself that we will find any happiness, but it is the root of all other delusions, causes us to engage in negative actions and makes us into a drama queen every time something happens to us.

We need to look at each delusion in turn and see clearly how we suffer while they’re present, and then ask ourselves “why do we trust these minds?”  Problems come straightaway when we have delusions.  They always betray us and makes the situation worse.  Worse than that, they throw us into the lower realms.

(4.32) No other type of enemy
Can remain for as long a time
As can the enduring foes of my delusions,
For they have no beginning and no apparent end.

More important than realizing they have been harming us since forever is to realize they will go on harming us for as long as we don’t stop them.  Our external enemies can at most harm us in this life, but the inner enemies of our delusions harm us in all our future lives, so they are infinitely worse.  A student of mine was once having a complete psychiatric breakdown, and she asked how long it would last.  I then in turn asked Gen Lhamo and she said it will last for as long as she doesn’t purify its causes.   In the same way, our delusions will continue to torture and kill us in life after life until we purge them completely from our mind.  They won’t ever stop until we stop them.

(4.33) If I agree with external enemies and honour them,
They will eventually bring me benefit and happiness;
But if I entrust myself to delusions,
In the future they will bring me only more pain and suffering.

Our delusions dress up as our friend, and we’re fooled.  All delusions are necessarily deceptive minds.  They tell us that they do us good, we then believe them and act upon what they suggest. But then, they wind up harming us.  They deceive us.

Delusions are deceptive because they pretend to help.  Aversion promises us to be separated from the object of our dislike, but it creates the cause to attract it.  Jealousy promises us the ability to obtain the other person, but it pushes them away.  Ignorance thinking things exist from their own side promises us an ‘objective look at reality’, but it blinds us to the real reality that things are empty.  Our job is to identify the deceptions of our delusions and then when they arise we will no longer be fooled by them.  Then, they will no longer have any power over us, even if they continue to arise in our mind.

If we respect our external enemy, then there’s every possibility that person will become our friend.  If we respect delusion, it will become our worst enemy, just grow bigger and bigger.  We must now try to see through the disguise of the delusions.  It’s not difficult!  It is not a good disguise.  We just have to observe our experience to see how our delusions betray us.

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