Ignorance The mind has a limited structure that, on the one hand, rests on duality, and on the other, on our perception of the world that we have by using our senses. What emanates from that is the experience of one’s own existence (I exist), but also of one’s separation (I am special). The mind is the only instrument of self-knowledge that we have, and also a privilege owing to which we differ from other living beings. However, the mind is also the cause of our misery and unhappiness because we think that we exist as separate beings. Identification with the body, mind and soul is ignorance. A man who is ignorant cannot be truly happy.
Fears What stands in the way for a seeker of Truth and Happiness are all fears, without any distinction (fear of death, illness, fear of losing control over life, fear of rejection, etc.).
Attachments can be developed for everything, and even for trivial matters. However, the basic attachment that a man develops is to his own body, mind, to himself as a person, to certain people and things, but also to spirituality as well. Attachments arise from identifying the self with a continuous sense of one’s own existence (I am, I exist). That same feeling is also the foundation of everything that motivates us.
Destructive feelings and actions
– Destructive feelings of hatred, anger and rage;
– Harming others consciously or unconsciously, which arises from the diverse passions ruled by the character of a person; in essence hurting others comes from emotional immaturity and ignorance (by hurting others we hurt ourselves);
– Continuous contemplation about all the possible dangers and problems that can befall you. This kind of thinking can turn into a habit or become a character trait. The role of negative feelings is to position us in the so-called reality within time and space, but those negative feelings are big energy consumers. When we constantly think about problems, our negative feelings become destructive. Those feelings are purified by the fire of knowledge and constant, persistent work on the self.
Combined negative feelings and assumptions There are various combinations of negative feelings that can intertwine and build onto each other. Here are just a few:
– Aggression, which is caused by a number of prejudices and concepts;
– Painful doubt, when psychological or physical pain combines with the distrust we have towards ourselves and others;
– nInsecurity, disguised by a great deal of effort to present a strong exterior, along with fear-based aggression which is used to convince others of this false presentation. Succeeding in this deception never results in happiness;
– Fear that something will not be achieved and the subsequent aggressiveness of wanting to force a desired result (urgency that everything has to be done here and now).
According to the Buddhist tradition negative types of behavior that directly cause suffering are:
– Physical: killing, stealing, sexual behavior which humiliates another person;
– Verbal: lying, divisive speech, insulting and idle chatter;
– Mental: greed, malice and harmful notions. According to the Taoist tradition,, there are “three poisoners” which are especially emphasised: hatred, longing, and deception (self-deception or deception of others). These are the “terrorists” which obstruct the road to happiness and freedom. In the Far East tradition they are known to be the three deadly sins.
As long as we have desires and fears.,the happiness we seek will remain just an idea, an unattainable dream. Desires and fears exist because of our body and mind. Our attachment and identification to our body is reflected in two ways. Firstly, we are frantically trying to preserve it. Our body is our house but not our truth. Secondly, our identification to it can be seen through the fear of death as if the cessation of the bodily functions is also a termination of our immortal essence. The attachment to the mind additionally stimulates the mind to create thoughts that well up because of our illusion that this world is real. This is why we seek happiness outside of ourselves, in the world that surrounds us, when it can actually only be found within us.
The outward focus of the mind (towards the world) leads to so-called enjoyment in the phantoms of happiness money, power, good looks, prestige. However, a man cannot reach happiness in this way because none of those manifestations in themselves change or purify the quality of the mind, nor ultimately bring a man to the Truth.
Ignorance, as well as destructive feelings, concepts, actions and processes develop many destructive states and situations, some of which are:
- illusions about identity of the self; identification with the body, the mind and awareness;
– low level of self-love, out of which comes a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence;
– inflated ideas about one’s possibilities and the possibilities of others that are unrealistic;
– hampered social communication;
– the lack of compassion;
- excessive need to control things, which comes from fear;
– excessive desire to be successful, and also passion for achievements and status rather than being passionate about the present moment.
Ignorance, negative feelings and thoughts, certain conditions we find ourselves in, concepts, and destructive states and situations are all a part of this perfect world, in which pleasure and suffering are inseparable. Another subtle enemy of happiness is the attachment to our understanding of fate – that our destiny should be something special (as if it is not special already, just as it is), or that we should be predestined to be one of the so-called Greats. An experience, which is created out of fear and desire, appears as an energetic structure that shapes karma. Life then becomes a polygon for unfulfilled wishes, fears and misunderstandings.