Wisdom Arises Through Understanding

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Self Deception

Recently, I was observing an interesting phenomena in myself after it was brought to my attention while in a conversation with someone.

I've noticed how I layer ideas upon ideas to guide me in operating in this world and because of this layering, I seem to have an idea to run everything.
For instance, if i have the idea that "others needs are more important than mine" or "to be a nice person, I must give in" or If I don't get what I want, its just my destiny."  or " wanting things is wrong or its selfish" , I will take action and speak according to these ideas.

With these thought, if I were going shopping with a friend and both of us like the same item, I would most likely not to express my like for the item when my friend has expressed her like because it would seem that I'm not nice and to make myself feel better I would layer another idea on top of the first idea like "its only a material good, its not permanent" . This will seem to put the mind to rest but am I really ok ?

From my observation, its not ok because I have shut out the possibility of seeing how the mind relates to all the wanting or desiring and to learn about the nature of it. By putting ideas as Band-Aid, I shut the case up very quickly and this disallow me from learning more about the mind. In another words, I'm not learning, I'm just fixing things so that I can maintain my seemingly peace of mind. In other words, no wisdom is grown. What is grown is just tolerance. If there were no big issues, I could well operate my whole life like this.

Having the ideas are not wrong. The ideas are what I call first level information for us to train our mind with some information for us to ponder and use our intelligence to apply it but as we progress in our practice, we must also look into this information to see how its operating in our system to learn from it. Unfortunately, we take the information given as the ultimate truth and regurgitate it in the situations that we experience. We are not learning to observe the relationship we are having in the mind with regards to the information.

As the Buddha said, we need to let go of the raft once we are at the opposite shore. Hanging on to the raft just hinders our progress.


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