A bunch of articles on what so-called “delusions” are in Buddhism, and how to overcome them.
Since identifying and removing our delusions is, one could say, the bread and butter of a happy life, I’ve been meaning to write something about delusions in general for a while.
We give a disproportionate meaning to the things we are seeing, and misrepresent them to ourselves, and this leads to nothing but trouble.
At the moment we tend to think that happiness comes from out there, and we also think that our problems come from out there. We will generally blame someone, something, anyone, anything, rather than our own states of mind.
Freedom is the ability to choose any thought we want whenever we want it, regardless of what or who is going on around us. (First cause of delusion, the seed.)
Delusions are just thoughts; we don’t have to let them rule us forever. They are not an intrinsic part of our mind — they are like clouds in the vastness of our sky-like mind.
It is possible to accomplish these things because there is no such thing as an object of delusion (the second cause of delusion) that exists from its own side. If someone was an inherently disagreeable object of anger, then everyone who saw that person would get angry; but of course they don’t – it is not just Foe Destroyers, their pet dog also loves them to bits!
Because we are grasping at things as if they were outside the mind, we then believe that their apparent desireability or distastefulness inhere in them, and have nothing to do with the way we are perceiving them. If something out there looks nice, we naturally want to pull it toward us, and attachment is born. If something out there looks nasty, we naturally want to push it away from us, and anger or aversion is born.
(Looking at the third cause of delusion, inappropriate attention.) And the next thing we know, we’re mad. Literally mad. We say, “I’m mad at you.” I think that we do go a little bit mad, sometimes very mad. It’s the same with “I’m mad about peanut butter cups.” We are actually mad when a delusion arises, why?
Looking at the last three causes of delusion, (4) familiarity, (5) distraction and being influenced by others, and (6) bad habits.