Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/30/2019

Complicit

2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow

3. “He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me.” Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.

4. “He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me.” Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred.

5. Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.

―Dhammapada, Chapter 1, The Pairs

“Remember, it is not enough to be hit or insulted to be harmed, you must believe that you are being harmed. If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation. Which is why it is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it easier to maintain control.”

― Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness

I can scarcely believe it but when I stop to consider the matter I see it’s true: I cannot feel insulted or abused if I don’t cooperate. Why should I be disturbed by the fragmented thoughts and opinions of another even when they appear, malformed in their speech? What control di I have over theirminds or mouths when it is almost too much to rein in my own?

Surely I will forget and fall under the delusion that I can and should correct anything but the best opinions of this fantasm I call myself. But, at least in these small moments away from the cascade of criticisms I can remember this is not me, not myself and over this I have no control.

May I recall how anger and fault-finding burn the mind and may I generate a heart of compassion for those whose mind are thus poisoned.


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