Buddhist Greed, Hatred And Delusion

In this post, I will elaborate on a very short yet profound Buddhist teaching that applies to every spiritual seeker. Regular readers of axel g know that I'm not religious, however, I draw a lot of inspiration from Buddhist spiritual teachings.

Greed, hatred and delusion are as commonplace in everyday life as food, clothing and money. In other words, the teaching can easily be applied to your life.

The main reasons I chose to write about this particular teaching is because it is really short, profound and quite easy to understand, which makes for a perfect article.

I will share my personal insights and reflections of the teaching, so it is not presented the traditional Buddhist way.

Greed, hatred and delusion is the ultimate way to describe the human condition. In short, we are full of desires and anger, yet we don't understand the harmful consequences of indulging in our desires, thinking angry thoughts and expressing anger.

Greed (Desire)

The human mind is filled to the brim with desires, ranging from sexual desire, wanting to be wealthy to craving food. Many desires are subtle or insignificant, such as wanting to rest after a long week of work or wanting to spend time with friends.

Strong desires make us feel really good and are therefore hard to resist, they pull us to the left and right.

Whenever you give in to a strong desire, you identify with it to such a high degree, that you become the desire, on a mental level. To identify with a desire means to thoroughly enjoy the pleasure it brings, to forget about the rest of the world and to essentially become the desire.

There are destructive desires such as consuming alcohol, drugs and tobacco. There are also selfless desires like wanting to keep your grandmother company, or wanting to help your friend with the shopping, while she has the flu.

It is really individual how strong the desires are. For example, you may only want to party once a week, while some of your friends just can't get enough of the cocktails and the dancing. At the same time, your friends may get bored while you are playing with your puppy, for hours on end.

The reason sexual desire is listed first, is because it is one of the strongest desires. As you probably already know, most religions and spiritual traditions encourage their followers to abstain from sexual activity, or at least to limit it as much as possible. Why is that? Please that a moment to reflect on it?

Here is another question for you, do you think it is possible to become enlightened as a sexually active person?

I would like to share some wisdom that is based on my personal insights.

When you tap into secret spiritual wisdom you clearly understand the consequences of your actions, such as sexual activity. Secret spiritual wisdom, as the name suggests, can not be shared freely. Such wisdom is meant only for those who are ready to receive it. The secret spiritual wisdom naturally arises in the mind, when you have matured to a certain degree.

Some sexual activities are detrimental to spiritual development. So, the general guideline to keep sexual activity to a minimum, is a good rule of thumb. My recommendation is that you limit sexual activity to the best of your ability. By doing that, you support your spiritual development.

I can only share fragments of the secret spiritual wisdom. I sincerely apologize if my vague writing causes any confusion.

Someone who doesn't restrain their sexual desires, will have to live with the negative consequences. The same holds true for overindulging in any desire. Moderation is the key.

Hatred (Anger)

Anger dwells at the very core of the human mind. It can take a myriad of forms, such as irritation, impatience, cruelty, hatred and evil. Whenever we think angry thoughts or express anger, we feel unhappy. Anger also has an extremely negative effect on the people around you.

Who likes angry people?

When you think about something that makes you angry or verbalize it, you identify with the anger, forget about the world around you and eventually become the anger itself. Anger burns like a violent flame and its negative consequences are much easier to understand than that of desire. That is because we all have personal experience of being exposed to anger.

Please note that every form of anger has negative effects on wellbeing and spiritual development. That includes subtle forms such as impatience and irritation.

A spiritual seeker that is familiar with secret spiritual wisdom, avoids anger like a normal person avoids sticking the hand in a flame. Anger is destructive, ugly and evil.

Like with desire, thinking angry thoughts and verbalizing anger are detrimental to spiritual development. It pollutes the mind.

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Delusion (Not Understanding Reality)

An individual that has received secret spiritual wisdom, or even better, an enlightened person, understands the laws and the structure of the spiritual world. Just like every society has laws, there are laws in the spiritual world. Delusion or not understanding reality, refers to not being familiar with these laws, principles and structures.

The human mind is packed with desires that make us feel good and anger that makes us unhappy. Even worse, we don't understand the rules and principles of life, which results in unhappiness. This makes it most challenging to be a human.

Not understanding reality as it truly is, means that you blindly follow or give in to your desires and anger. When you don't understand that fire burns your skin, you may place your hand in a flame out of curiosity or just for the fun of it.

Secret spiritual wisdom teaches us the laws and structures of the spiritual world. You clearly come to understand the negative consequences of giving into strong desires and anger. With this knowledge, you avoid certain thoughts and activities, just like the average person doesn't engage in stealing and killing.

Until you become familiar with secret spiritual wisdom, minimize sexual activity, avoid anger at any cost, and always do what is good and right. This will empower your spiritual practice.

Best of luck!

Related:   Irritation & Anger   Spirituality Explained   Buddhist Non-Attachment

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