Our present state of mistaken apprehension does not accord with the mind’s true nature, which is ever and already perfect and pure. Mistaken experiences depend upon mind’s fundamental pattern that identifies the apprehending subject as “the self.” The self is not inherently existent, although we erroneously cling to the belief that it is. Since we think that the self exists of its own accord and as a unique entity, we assume apprehended experiences are other and distinct from the self and automatically cling to a dualistic outlook as a result. It is just this dualistic notion that gives rise to feelings of sympathy and antipathy, attachment and aversion, i.e., sympathy for those persons and things that live up to our expectations and aversion against those persons and things that obstruct our expectations. Our expectations evolve from our hopes and fears related to misleading assumptions of happiness and suffering. When feelings of sympathy and antipathy arise, other disturbing emotions naturally spring forth – desire, anger, pride, jealousy, just to name a few. These afflictive emotions drive us to act the way we do with body, speech, and mind. Our activities create karma, the “infallible law of cause and effect.” Living beings experience the result of their personal and collective karma in the active process of being and becoming.
It is necessary to become free of the initial delusions that are the source of suffering, i.e., the mistaken beliefs in an apprehending self and apprehended objects different than the self. They bring about feelings that necessarily give rise to frustrating karmic results. When free of the mental patterns that are the cause of attachment and aversion, then freedom from suffering will have been attained. No outer means can eliminate suffering and guarantee lasting happiness other than the practice of hearing, contemplating, and meditating the precious Dharma instructions.
3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche
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