“To aid us in considering the destructive nature of the delusions and the undesirablity of their effects, I will quote from the Bodhicharyavatara. In the fourth chapter, entitled “Conscientiousness,” Santideva explains that delusions such as hatred, anger, attachment, and jealousy, which reside within our minds, are our true enemies.
As can be seen from the following two verses, he states that these enemies do not have physical bodies with legs and arms, nor do they hold weapons in their hands; instead, they reside in our minds and afflict us from within. They control us from within and bind us to them as their slaves. Normally, however, we do not realize that these delusions are our enemies and so we never confront or challenge them. Since we do not challenge the delusions, they reside unthreatened within our mind and continue to inflict harm on us at will.
The enemies such as hatred and craving
Have neither arms nor legs
And neither are they courageous nor wise;
How, then, have I been used like a slave by them?
For while they dwell within my mind,
At their pleasure they cause me harm;
Yet I patiently endure them without anger.
But this is an inappropriate and shameful time for patience.
Negative thoughts are often deceptive. They play tricks on us. Desire, for example, appears to us as a trusted friend, something beautiful and dear to us. Similarly, anger and hatred appear to us like our protectors or reliable body guards. Sometimes, when someone is about to harm you, anger rises up like a protector and gives you a kind of strength. It gives you a false sense of power and energy, the result being, in this case, that you might get yourself beaten up. Because anger and other destructive emotions appear in such deceptive guises, we never actually challenge them. There are many similar ways in which the negative thoughts and emotions deceive us.
In order to realize fully the treachery of these negative thoughts and emotions, we must first achieve a calm state of mind. Only then will we be able to see their treacherous nature. (p. 67-68)
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