So let's look at the mind. Let's look at these deluded states of mind and just see how they function. That's what we need to do. Then sanity comes, because then we can see them and change them. Recognize them. Basically consciousness, or mind, is made up of two things: just two: positive states of mind (this is not a moralistic issue) and negative states of mind. This is not as if God or Buddha said you should be this way so you'd better be this way. In Buddhist approach, this is practical issue. So what does positive mean? Positive means beneficial, empathetic, connected to others, doesn't it? Productive. Necessarily productive. Kind of it makes things happen, it is expansive. And negative is the opposite- alienating, separating, cut off, dark -non-productive-non beneficial. And they are experiential things, not moralistic, you look at a dog-when you hit it, it doesn't know the words, but you look at the energy - we know what negative and positive mean, we don't need God or Buddha or some great philosopher to tell us in general. When you hear the words love, generosity, compassion, kindness, immediately something resonates, doesn't it? We immediately recognize them in us, and they are yes, thank you, something I want. We all know that. That means they're positive. And you look at the other one- you say jealous, angry, depressed, anxious- immediately we know the meaning, and we know that they are the things we do not want. They are the negative ones, the non-productive ones. The non-beneficial ones. There is a third, indifference, but we'll forget about that for now. Effectively, then, we have positive states of mind and negative states of mind. There's nothing apart from that, if you think about it, at the level at which we function. So basically what Buddha is saying is that the growth of the positive one is your potential. So finally, what is a Buddha? An enlightened being, putting it in the most simple way, is a person who has developed, to the nth degree, beyond which you cannot develop, all the so called positive qualities and has removed the negative-that's all-that's it. So those positive qualities are within us-we see them, we have them, the seeds are there, the kernel is there. We have the experiences. Then there are the negative ones. So if it is so that we want to grow the positive ones and diminish the negative ones, we need to be able to distinguish them. It's like you have this big mass of green-full of weeds and roses, all messed up, entangled together, you know. A great big thing and someone says that you can make it into a marvelous garden. You don't just go out there and start pulling away, because you will pull out the wrong things. You've got to learn the theory, some form of botany, that helps you know what has to be pulled out and what has to be grown, right? You have to learn the theory: how that benefits this and how these things work together. Indeed this is at first intellectual. You need this and when you have learned you can put your hands on the garden, and on the basis of the vision of your garden, you can start doing the work. This is exactly what practice is, just the same thing. We're using Buddha's model of the mind, using Buddha's 'botany', you know. Which is an explanation of what to grow and what to decrease. So let's look at what it is, the positive qualities- if it's not God or Buddha that makes them positive, it's not as if, you know, you've got to be loving because-it's because what Buddha is saying is that if we look at what we mean by love, that it is something natural, that it is something that is kind of naturally positive-it's just the nature of it-you don't make it positive- so ok, 'love' in Buddha's term is the wish that others be happy-it is necessarily beneficial. It is impossibility that that can ever be negative. It is impossibility. It is necessarily a positive state of mind. The wish that others be happy. Compassion is said to be not only the wish that others be happy, but also the wish that others don't suffer. Again, that too is constructive in its nature - in its nature is positive. It is connected to other, isn't it? It is non-schizophrenic, it's empathetic, it's open, it's spacious. It's pacifying, it's cooling-it makes the heart feel goo d-that's what happiness is. And it is the cause of happiness. So what Buddha is saying is that positive states of mind are the cause of happiness. And happiness is what we want. So then the negative ones are the opposite. The negative ones-you don't make them negative, it's not as if Buddha turned up and said "this is negative" and then created morality. If we look, we can see from the experience of it that it is innately harmful, destructive, paranoid, separating, alienating, lonely, dark, small, narrow, miserable. That's the nature of negative mind, negative states of mind. So another way of saying it, what Buddha is saying, is that the positive ones - it's kind of like using the analogy of water- we think of water-this pure, clear, stuff- it's two bits of H and one bit of O (H20) -this is the label we have given to this stuff we call water. It's just a label we have given to water. It is a concept. We know that we have just water that it is totally clear pure stuff. As an analogy, that is our mind in its natural state. That is what Buddhism is saying, is that our mind is naturally pure-you don't make it pure, its potential is clarity and purity. That what it is, that's what consciousness is, that's what mind is. Now we know water can be polluted, but we also know, and this is a crucial thing that no matter how polluted the water gets, that with enough skills, we can analyze the nature of the pollution, and by precisely recognizing it, we can find the antidote to it. And we know that it can be removed, and we know that it doesn't fundamentally affect the nature of that water. The H two O ness is always there. So consciousness is like that. It doesn't mean we've been pure once, and now we're impure, not like that-it means that that is the natural state of who we are, and the components of that pure mind are simply these virtues, that's all-that's all it means. The mind when it is totally pure, is made up of - the H two O of mind is love, compassion, all these qualities-these are the labels we give to the experience of pure consciousness. Finally, enlightened consciousness. That is the purest, the absolute kind of development, beyond which it cannot be developed. That is the natural potential of every one of us.
So ok, if it is so that that's our natural potential, and we, with great humility, look at our minds now and realize that we are not omniscient, and we don't see all the minds of all living beings past present and future, we haven't got compassion for everyone as if they were oneself, and we don't have the power to manifest our minds throughout universes so they benefit as long as eons last, we can recognize we're not that (and that's enlightenment), we can recognize that if that is our potential, then what is it that 's holding me back- what is it that prevents me from being that at this moment, and that's why we have to look at the delusions. That's why we have to look at what's holding us back: we have to look at the pollutions. And we have to be precise in our description of the pollutions, our identifications of the delusions, so that we can apply the antidote, so we can remove them and discover our pure nature. It's like that. That's all. That's the job, you know. So ok, what are these delusions we are talking about? The root one, as Buddha is saying, the root one, is ignorance. Its function is to isolate, separate, and kind of concretize this UNIVERSE BIG Sense of this "I", although at the same time kind of pinhead big sense of "I" completely deluded sense of "I", a totally fabricated sense of "I", a fantasy sense of I, and its nature is fear, a paranoia, fear, dark, cutoff, separate, alienated, tiny, but overwhelming. This instinctive sense, the pervasive sense of an independent self-existent real solid definite "ME-ness", which totally pervades everything-there is not an instant when it is not there. It mustn't be rampant at some times, and indeed it is at some times, but it is always there, coloring all the time, coloring everything we think and feel and say and do and experience. And the main voice of this I is "I WANT" because the irony of ego, kind of like it's kind of cut off, and the irony of ego is hugely empty, hungry and bereft, and lonely, and therefore desperate to feel full. So it wants something. So what do we want? In this schizophrenic world, having the senses, which are the product of desire, the product of delusions, we have the sense of this separate I, quite literally separate; there is "ME", and there's other. That's the universe, isn't it?
So the main voice of this ego-grasping, of this "I"ness is "I WANT'. And what's the point of that? Because when you want something, it's because you feel you don't have it, in a neurotic way, because you feel empty. And that is the irony of ego-we actually feel empty. Bereft. And so that neediness that bottomless pit of yearning, that hunger in a neurotic sense, THAT'S ATTACHMENT. That is the voice of "I". The main voice-and it is constantly there, moment by moment, not just occasionally there, but constantly there.
And not only that, but we are living in a desire realm. Which literally means that this body and this universe itself are the products of desire-the products of desire. What are the senses? Think about them-they don't experience desire, they are the function-it is through them that we actually experience the things out there, isn't it? That is the thing about this ego grasping, it is totally schizophrenic - there's ME here and this world out there- this world full of all these delicious things that "I WANT".
And why do we yearn for them so much? Why do we have this grasping for them? Because this desire, being a misconception, makes the mistake of believing, a million percent, that that delicious person, that gorgeous taste, that lovely smell , that nice feeling, that concept-that when I get that, when I have it inside me, then I'll feel full. That is what desire thinks. And this is what Buddha was saying is a big fat rotten LIE! It is not like that! And what is so hard to see is to see that, to see how desire is deluded. And it is not meant to be a moral issue. As soon as we hear these words we kind of feel a bit resentful, you know, like what do you mean- I'm not going to have pleasure? That's how we feel. And that's the kind of mistaken way Lama Yeshe taught in the Introduction to Tantra. We have this kind of puritanical view. About religion, we're either completely hedonistic, and grasping and shoving everything in, or we're completely kind of puritanical. And the irony is that they are both coming from a misunderstanding of desire.
So Buddha is not being moralistic. This is the point. He is not saying you should not have pleasure-the irony is he is saying you should have masses of pleasure . Or as Lama Yeshe would say " the more pleasure the better, dear", and we would all laugh when he said it, but he deeply meant it. Because the bottom line is when you have completely removed attachment, what you have is just unbearable bliss all the time, so the point the point of being a Buddhist is to be unbearably happy. THIS IS THE POINT. To have huge pleasure, but naturally and appropriately. Right now, because of the misconception that desire has, we have got the wrong end of the stick. Desire thinks that that cake- that delicious chocolate cake, that gorgeous vibrating thing out there is full of all this energy, all coming from the cake, nothing coming from my side, we think- we think that cake is actually the cause of happiness- this how instinctively we think, isn't it? At that moment when you're hungry-that's how it works, isn't it? Or that divine person- it is an instinctive belief, it is an instinctive belief because for eons we have been investing our energy in that, we have been believing the voice of attachment. So we instinctively follow it. Which is why it feels here (heart) why it is like a huge emotion, totally pervading our body. Nothing to do with conceptual. To hear that Buddha says that attachment or desire is conceptual sounds kind of like a joke, isn't it? Sounds like it is so cold and analytical. The only reason it feels so huge and emotional and oneness with us is that for eons (He's saying) we have been following the lie of attachment. Which is investing the power in the outside object. This all has to do with ignorance and emptiness as well, because ignorance is the underlying pervasive misconception that sees this self existent real solid independent absolute definite delicious object out there, that I am empty of, and when I have it, I will be full (of happiness). That is how desire functions in a gross way, isn't it? That's how it feels. So that is instinctively compelling us, from moment to moment, from second to second, from thought to thought. Everything is compelled by that exact sense, that yearning, wish, that kind of hunger that neurotic hunger. That hunger is one of the key qualities of all delusions: that they grossly exaggerate the qualities of the object. There is always an object of that delusion; you have mind, which is the subject, and you have an object.
So in this simple sense, there you are, with an empty stomach, and there is this attachment energy, and, having a habit of having eaten chocolate cake, then this object appears, which we recognize, and are in the habit of having, and what we don't see, and this why all the delusions are so subtle and hard to see, is that they come with a huge amount of package. When you come to the cake, it is the feeling that you are not bring anything, except the empty stomach, and the cake - it's all happening from the cake's side, all the energy is from the cake's side, that is how you feel- it's all out there, in the cake, this magical delicious object that is actually vibrating deliciousness, it really feels that way, doesn't it? But actually, interestingly, as Lama Zopa says, when you really understand the true nature of the cake, of how the cake actually exists, he says it is so subtle, what actually does exist, it is almost as if it were an illusion. I think this is very interesting, so tasty- in other words, what he is actually saying is that delusions 'decorate' on top of what is already there (which is so subtle), a whole bunch of junk that isn't there.
And the thing is that we don't see it. It is even puzzling when we hear it-'what do you mean I've been decorating a bunch of junk on top of the cake that isn't there?' This is the point of delusions-what we see we see cake in a certain way - and what Buddha is saying is that we are making up cake- in our mind, attachment has written a huge story about cake and what it will do for us - a novel about this on the basis of "I" and what it will do for me. It is an entire complex conceptual construction, the 'decoration' is an invention, an elaborate view, an interpretation, whatever you want to call it- that is there, and that is mostly what we see. We just think we see the cake as it is-there it is, brown, this shape, and so we are all comfortable we've got the cake right. But about the only thing we've got right is the label. That's all. We correctly call it cake instead of cup, you know. But actually what we're seeing or experiencing, what we are grasping at IS A TOTAL LIE. It doesn't exist like that. There is a cake there, it is brown, it is square, all those things are validly correct, and this is what's hard to distinguish- the correctness, and the incorrectness. What is actually there and what is not there. That is the job-that's the job.
It is learning to see the projections of the mind. These stories, this view of what cake is, are the projections of ignorance. The projections of attachment. The fantasies of these delusions. You think of a person, in exactly the same way. The person you are totally in love with. Or the person you loathe. It is the same thing. We don't think, do we, that there is a whole bunch of views in our mind that we are bringing to that experience of that awful person. We really believe that that person, from out there, from their own side, independently definitely is an awful person. We hear their name, it appears awful, we see their face, it appears awful. The discomfort in our mind, it is huge. We think the discomfort, the unhappiness, the hurt, the anger, the pain, we actually think and believe that it is actually in the person and that they are doing it to us. It is how it feels, isn't it? And that's what the lie is. But actually, the person is whatever they are, as Rinpoche would say-so subtle it is as if they are an illusion- and all of the rest is junk in our own minds. This is the point, as literally everything comes from this mind-this is the point. It seems too radical.
But the more one looks at the way the mind is projecting, having a viewpoint, it is bringing its own interpretation, its own baggage, we bring so much baggage to everything we experience, and then we have the incredible, the so outrageous conclusion that we are bringing up all this junk, which is in here (inside), and we actually call it the object, we call it the person. And we BELIEVE, as Rinpoche says, we BELIEVE- that's the killer of Karma. It is bad enough that we have a misconception, that we make up a story, of delusions, the delusions make up a story, and then it dumps it on the cake or the person or whatever we are seeing. That's bad enough, but the killer, what keeps us in Samsara, is that we BELIEVE the story our delusions are telling us. We don't even THINK that our mind is making up a story. We don't even realize that. That is what is so difficult to see. When we can begin to see this process, then sanity comes. This is the beginning of sanity, the beginning of wisdom. We're talking emptiness here; this is wisdom. It is like clarity, sanity, because right now another quality of attachment is that it is the voice of the complete victim. Isn't it. You come to cake, you're hungry, you like cake, what you are saying is that you have no control-cake is this incredible powerful thing, and I just HAVE TO HAVE IT. That is attachment talking. Attachment gives all the power to the outside object. Which is why we feel like a baby. That's the victim mentality. And victim mentality, the one of hopelessness, the one of no control, that's the voice of attachment. Literally. That's exactly how attachment functions. Attachment is giving all the power (and this is another way of looking at it) to that object. It sees this truly delicious divine thing, which the mind has made up, and then we believe it. It's like one lama said - the way delusion works is like the child who draws a Lion, and then becomes afraid of it. That is what we are doing. We invent everything in our reality, and then we have all the fears and the paranoia and the depression and the grasping.
But we made up that cake-we made it up ourselves. We actually made it up. Something to be cosmic-it is meant to be literally true.. But to discover this is so profound, isn't it? We made up that cake. And then we grasp after it, become victim to it. It is kind of insane. It's just like drawing the lion and becoming afraid of it. It is absurd.
It is hard to see this, but this is the way delusion function. And basically they are liars-it IS NOT TRUE. What attachment is seeing is simply not true. What attachment is seeing simply does not exist. There is a cake there, we're not saying there is no cake. But what we think is cake and what cake actually is are hugely different. This is interesting. And because this is hard to understand, indicates how ancient it is within us. Because it has been our habit for aeons, to see things in this way and then to believe in the story our mind tells us.
So when we can start to realize that our thoughts are our own, our delusions are our own and no one else created them, then we can start to feel a little bit empowered, and have less fear at what comes into our life, because it is our creation. Our creation-we created it. The cake has no power from its own side-it just simply doesn't. It's just a bunch of chocolate and eggs and sugar. It has no power at all. We give it all that power, through the senses, and we believe.
So be precise about the senses, how they are functioning; how can Lama Yeshe say that attachment has nothing to do with the senses? How is that so? It feels the direct opposite, doesn't it? Let's analyze. What is being experienced in relation to that cake?
What are the states of mind? One of them, is the senses indeed-you smell it in the kitchen- so there's your nose sense-smelling, because you know from familiarity, you identify it-there's chocolate cake. It triggers it-then there's the touch, the sight, you see it when it comes to the table, then you touch it, the hand feels it, then there's the taste consciousness, (the one you're wanting the most) so four of the five senses are involved in the experience of that cake. Now, those senses, like I said, are like dumb animals. Your tongue doesn't experience the hunger for the cake, it doesn't leap out of your face and grab the cake desperately you know, even your hand doesn't, although it looks like it. The hand does, but not from its own side. It doesn't. The hand doesn't come from its own side and rush to pick up the cake. So what does? It's the mind, isn't it? The thought. It is the story about what is chocolate cake, and I need chocolate cake, as I am empty of all the stuff about chocolate cake that is chattering away in the mind. That is where the delusions exist. Attachment is not a function of the taste. It is simply not possible. How can it be? Your tongue doesn't feel neurotic. Your tongue doesn't feel grasping, your tongue doesn't feel 'I want to have more cake' it is just a doorway through which this bunch of thoughts, these concepts, this sense of "I" grasps at the experience, isn't it? That is all. So the senses do not experience attachment. It is a logical fact.
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