Ego has deceptive veils creates mental confusion and prevents reality
We take it for granted that we see things as they are and rarely question that opinion. We spontaneously assign intrinsic qualities to things and people, thinking " this is beautiful, that is ugly," without realising that our mind super imposes these attributes upon what we perceive.
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Mental confusion is a veil that prevents us from seeing reality clearly and clouds are understanding of the true nature of things. Practically speaking, it is also the inability to identify the behaviour that would allow us to find happiness and avoid suffering. When we look out wards, we solidify the word by projecting on to it attributes that are in no way inherent to it. Looking inward, we freeze the follow of consciousness when we conceive of an "I" and thrown between a past that no longer exists and future that does not yet exist.
We take it for granted that we see things as they are and rarely question that opinion. We spontaneously assign intrinsic qualities to things and people, thinking " this is beautiful, that is ugly," without realising that our mind super imposes these attributes upon what we perceive. We divide the entire between "desirable and undesirable", we ascribe permanence to ephemera and see independent entities in what is actually a network of ceaselessly changing relations. We tend to isolate particular aspects of events, situations, and people, and to focus entirely upon these particularities. this is how we end up labelling others as "enemies", "good", "evil", etc, and clinging strongly to those attributions. However, if we consider reality carefully, its complexity becomes obvious.
If one thing were truly beautiful and pleasant, if those qualities genuinely belonged to it we could consider it desirable at all time and in all places. But is anything on earth universally and unanimously recognise as beautiful? as the canonical buddhist verse has it: " for the lover, a beautiful is an object of desire; for the hermit, a distraction, for the wolf, a good meal. " Likewise, if an object were inherently repulsive, everyone would have good reason to avoid it. But changes everything to recognise that we are merely attributing these qualities to things and people. There is no intrinsic quality in a beautiful object that makes it beneficial to the mind, and nothing is an ugly object to harm it.
In the same way, a person whom we consider to day to be an enemy is most certainly somebody else's object of affection, and we may one day forge bonds of relationship with that self same enemy. we react as if characteristics were inseparable from the object we assign them to. Thus we distance ourselves from reality and are dragged into the machinery of attraction and repulsion that is kept relentlessly in motion by our mental projections. Our concepts freeze things into artificial entities and we loose our inner freedom, just as water looses it fluidity when turns to ice.
Disclaimer: This article was originally published on HappyHo and is republished here with permission.
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