Sep 26, 2014
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Conditioned Reality, The Cycle of Delusion & Seeing Truth and Reality


We create and make our own reality, our own world. We live in that world. We condition that world.

The Buddha very clearly outlined the whole process of conditioning. He explained that we see the world through tinted glasses. He explained that what we take to be truth, to be real, is far from reality. He called the whole process of conditioning and brainwashing, coming mostly from within us, vipallasas.

They are the perverted aspect of the whole process of conditioning. They’re the reason that what we think we know turns out to be wrong. Have you ever been absolutely sure you were right and then found out you were wrong? It happens all the time.
The vipallasas, these perversions of the conditioning process, work in a circle, a cycle of delusion. Our views – what we understand as truth, as reality – influence our perceptions. Basically our views influence what we choose to see, to hear, and experience. Perception is completely controlled by your views. From those perceptions we build up our thoughts. This bare knowledge that comes to the mind as you feel, as you see, builds up our thoughts. And those thoughts in turn confirm our views.
We have this circle of views bending our perceptions to suit their purpose, and those perceptions, again bending the thoughts to confirm the views. That’s the reason we have different ideas, philosophies, and religions in this world. These are all different views and ideas in the world.
I am going to read a poem now. Listen to this poem.
It’s about the love for a mother and everyone knows that that’s a wonderful thing.
‘When your mother has grown older and you have grown older,
When what was formally easy and effortless becomes a burden,
When her dear loyal eyes do not look out into life as before,
When her legs have grown tired and do not want to carry her any more,
Then give her your arm for support, accompany her with gladness and joy,
The hour will come, weeping, when you accompany her on her last journey;
And if she asks you, always answer her, and if she asks again speak also
And if she asks another time, speak to her not stormily but in gentle peace,
And if she cannot understand you well, explain everything joyfully,
Because the hour will come, the bitter hour, when her mouth will ask no more.’
That’s a poem that was translated from German, written by a very well known German called Adolf Hitler in 1923. Did you know that Adolf Hitler was a poet and that he loved his mother very dearly and thought about his love for his mother? No! Well, isn’t that because our views are that such a man is so bad and evil that we can never even entertain the idea that he could have a soft emotional loving side?
How many of you can make ‘Adolf Hitler’s’ out of your ex-husbands or your ex-wives? Do you understand what I am saying? The conditioning process means that if we think somebody is an enemy then we think they’re rotten. We think they’re bad and that’s all we see. We can even think, ‘I am rotten’, ‘I am bad’, ‘I am awful’, and that’s what we’ll see. The conditioning process is so strong that people can sometimes get so depressed with themselves that they commit suicide. Or they can get so full of themselves that they become egocentric and don’t listen to anyone else. This is all just conditioning working in these three ways.
Seeing Truth and Reality
Is Buddhism just another conditioned belief like everything else, with no greater validity than science or any other religion? Is there no truth? Is it all relative according to our conditioning? In other words, how can we break through a conditioned way of seeing and perceiving?
Remember, the whole reason we bend our perceptions, thoughts, and views is because of wanting. We see and we hear what we want to see and hear, and we deny what we don’t want to see, hear, or feel. It’s the wanting that is the problem. It is wanting that conditions us away from truth.
The Buddha became Enlightened by giving up all wanting. Instead of wanting to see the universe in any particular way, or wanting to see himself in any particular way, he overcame all of that wanting, or craving. That’s not a very easy thing to do. It’s called ‘letting go’, being still.
The sign of craving is movement. The sign of attachment is not being able to let go. The sign of ego is controlling. That’s why we come across those things in meditation: craving, attachments, and controlling, again and again. These things stop us from seeing truth and reality. We have to completely let go of all desire and all craving, temporarily, in our meditation.
When I first went to a public house in England to have my first glass of beer. My first reaction to drinking beer was, “This is disgusting stuff; how can anyone drink it? Why do people spend so much money drinking this stuff?” That first perception was probably true; bitter beer was disgusting. But after a while I began to like it. I wondered what had happened there. Why was it that when I first tasted the beer it was awful and then, when I was eighteen or nineteen, I was drinking a lot of the stuff? I saw the reason was that it was socially accepted to drink beer, and everyone else said it was delicious. I had reconditioned my senses to like it. Because society said it was delicious, it became delicious. I liked it because I wanted to like it. That’s all there was to it.
What was that which we just heard? Was it a beautiful sound or was it an intrusive mobile phone? Isn’t it your conditioning that causes you to see in a particular way? If you know the mind is conditioned, why not condition it in a wise way to create happiness? If it’s a mobile phone you have two choices. You can say, “That’s a very beautiful sound, it’s very musical, not like the old phones, ‘ring, ring, ring, ring? At least it’s got a bit of style these days?” Or you can say, “we shouldn’t have mobile phones in here. Who did that? I’m going to talk to them afterwards. We should excommunicate them from the Buddhist Society. We are never going to let them come in again?
Now, which response do you want to take? Can you see how we condition ourselves?
Once we know how conditioning works we can condition ourselves into forgiveness and happiness. One of the first things we can do is say, “Well, I’ve got a choice. I can develop the positive conditioning or the negative conditioning. I can look at a person and see their good qualities or I can look into them and see their bad qualities. Both are there? I have conditioned myself over the many years that I have been monk, to see the good qualities in people. When you perceive the good in a person it’s impossible to get angry or upset with them.
Why is it that if a person says something to upset you, that’s all you remember? You never remember all the kind things they’ve done for you, all the kind words they’ve said to you. I’m the other way. I forget all the rotten things people have said about me and only remember the kind things. Which one is truer? They are both equally wrong. But I choose the one that is wrong and happy. It’s interesting that this type of conditioning – seeing the positive, seeing the happiness, the positive in yourself, the happiness in life, the happiness in other people – is also the path that leads to deconditioning and the unconditioned, to seeing things clearly.
When you develop happiness in your life – getting rid of negativity and ill will towards oneself and others – it gives you enough time to be at peace. To be at peace means to let go of desires. Once you’re satisfied for the time being, then you have a chance to let go of desires and be at peace. This is the path that the Buddha taught.
By having a positive attitude to life, by developing the happiness of the mind, the mind becomes peaceful and tranquil. From that tranquility, when cravings and desires are temporarily subdued, you start to get clarity of the mind – not seeing things as you want to see them but as they truly are. You can only do this when you start from a position of ease and happiness.
The Buddha said that Buddhas only point the way. They point to the path, but each one of us has to walk that path for ourselves.
If you want to find out how much you are conditioned, how much you have been completely brainwashed, then develop deep meditations and have the courage to be shocked. Have the courage to let go of everything including your own ego and self.
Have that degree of strength because only the strong get to Enlightenment. And I’m not talking about the strong in body; I’m talking about the courageous ones who are willing to give everything up for the sake of truth. This is how to overcome conditioning and brainwashing and to finally be free. People in this world think that freedom is being able to do what you want, but greed, hatred, and delusion are controlling you. You are not free at all. If you really want freedom, overcome those conditionings and see reality. It will surprise you, but the truth of Enlightenment is very delightful.
– Ajahn Brahm

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বৌদ্ধদের আরো তথ্য ও সংবাদ পেতে হলে আমাদের ফেসবুক ফ্যান পেইজে লাইক দিয়ে সংযুক্ত থাকুন।:

দি বুড্ডিস্ট টাইমস.কম একটি স্বতন্ত্র ইন্টারনেট মিডিয়া। এখানে বৌদ্ধদের দৈনন্দিন জীবনের বিষয়গুলোকেই তুলে আনার চেষ্টা করা হয়। পাশাপাশি যে কেহ লিখতে পারেন দি বুড্ডিস্ট টাইমস এ। দি বুড্ডিস্ট টাইমস এর সাথে লেখ-লেখিতে যুক্ত হতে চাইলে ব্যবহার বিধি ও নীতিমালা পড়ুন অথবা নিবন্ধন করুন
এক্সিকিউটিভ এডিটর । দি বুড্ডিস্ট টাইমস ডটকম

দি বুড্ডিস্ট টাইমস.কম একটি স্বতন্ত্র ইন্টারনেট মিডিয়া। এখানে বৌদ্ধদের দৈনন্দিন জীবনের বিষয়গুলোকেই তুলে আনার চেষ্টা করা হয়। পাশাপাশি যে কেহ লিখতে পারেন দি বুড্ডিস্ট টাইমস এ।

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