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An Even Bigger Thing Is Only Memory

2020-10-14 21:27 From: www.xuemo.com Author: Ruxue Media Browse: 16406155 Times

 

An Even Bigger Thing Is Only Memory

If you establish happiness on something that is formed by the coming together of causal conditions, this implies that your happiness will be conditional. Once that thing your happiness depends on dissolves away with the scattering of those causes and conditions, then your happiness too will dissolve away. Happiness that is based on external things will not last, no matter what the external things are.

Maybe some friends will ask: “Ultimately, how much happiness is true happiness? How does true happiness ultimately differ from happy feelings?” There is no way for me to take this feeling and fill your mind with it, but I can tell you this: if you recognize true mind, then you will discover that all happiness you get by depending on external objects cannot compare to the inherent “heaven” of your inner mind. This is because everything in the external world is always continuously changing.

For example, you scrimp and save in order to buy a new style cellphone, but it soon malfunctions, so what then? You may immediately start thinking of another even newer model cellphone. Take another example. You hope that by buying a BMW you will make your clients notice you more, but when you buy the BMW, you discover instead that people do not care what model car you drive, they have begun to care about other things. What should you do then?

If you establish happiness on something that is formed by the coming together of causal conditions, this implies that your happiness will be conditional. Once that thing your happiness depends on dissolves away with the scattering of those causes and conditions, then your happiness too will dissolve away. Happiness that is based on external things will not last, no matter what the external things are. Then too, this kind of happiness is just a kind of feeling, and feeling is a kind of memory, and memories are things that will be lost. So then, this hope of making yourself become happy through external things is without a doubt a great contradiction. With this kind of expectation, you will constantly experience the pain of loss. Even if you get what you want, you will feel worries about gain and loss, and you will have no way to enjoy the happiness you have. Obviously then, happiness founded on external things is something that will not last, no matter what these external things are. After you clearly understand this point, when you re-examine the many things you have very much cared about, you will discover that in reality they had no meaning. Nothing in the world has any true meaning, because nothing will last forever. There is no fundamental distinction between having them and losing them, and so none of them are worth caring about. But this does not imply that a person must not be concerned about anything, and drift along at random. On the contrary, understanding the natural law of causal origination and causal extinction is to let you have a more positive, active life.

I’ll give a simple example. If you know your beloved is suffering from a terminal illness, and she has just a month left to live, you will love her dearly, as you would love a rare treasure, and cherish and enjoy every minute and every second you spend with her. You feel that as long as she is still alive, you are already very fortunate. At a time like this, you will not care whether or not she treats you well, or whether or not she does every detail of life well, or whether or not she can be a hundred percent in your eyes. By the same principle, only when you recognize that all things are continuously changing, will you put aside all calculations, and live well in the present moment.

But this is still an inference, and inferences bear the marks of thinking. Thinking is thought: it is another kind of memory. But true mind is not logic, not the result of inference. It is the most inherently real thing, the wisdom fundamentally inherent in life. It is not elusive and erratic, changing a thousand times every instant. It does not change along with external objects: since it has no empty illusory birth, it has no empty illusory extinction. But in the same way, it is not vacuous and empty, with nothing there. When there is nothing there, when it’s dead and still, this is inert emptiness, not the true mind. Only that which can give rise to wondrous functioning is the true mind. The wondrous functioning of the true mind is being awake to the present moment, clearly understanding the present moment, being enlightened in the present moment. That also means every minute that you must abide in peace in the true mind, abide in peace in the empty inherent nature, maintain lucid awareness, uphold correct mindfulness. You must not let desires control your mind, and you must not sink into oblivion so you do not respond to anything. It is like knowing you are thirsty, so you drink a cup of water, but you do not calculate whether this water is good or not, and you don’t tie yourself up thinking about why you did not buy something else to drink – this is the wondrous functioning of the true mind. My writing is the wondrous functioning of the true mind, and when we serve sentient beings this too is the wondrous functioning of the true mind. The wondrous functioning of the true mind is something that adapts to circumstances, and has no set form, and can extend to everything in the world. If, whatever you are doing, you are pure and lucid, you are your own master, and you are not controlled by selfish desires, then this is the true mind giving rise to wondrous functioning. This is because you clearly understand that everything in the world is memory – whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whoever you chat with, whatever other people tell you – all these are things that have passed by. Whether you calculate and compare or not, you cannot really change anything, and there is nothing that does not pass by. After you clearly understand this fact, then you will not suffer loss, and you will not feel pain and suffering any more. You will discover that adapting to conditions is truly a good thing. If you can truly adapt to conditions, then no “issues” will exist in this world, and there will only be “apparent forms;” there will not be any “pain and suffering,” only “experience” and “nourishment.”

It’s too bad that we are always being deluded by the world’s false appearances. When we are deluded, we will feel that we have encountered a barrier we cannot cross, we will feel that there is no way from life to continue, we will see no hope, and our bodies and minds will be exhausted with fatigue. Sometimes our inner minds will still have another voice that takes advantage of the moment to speak to us and say: Why do you want to go on living? Living is too tiring – it would be better to die. When you are dead, everything will be resolved. You will no longer have to worry that people look down on you, you will no longer have to worry about having enough food, you will no longer have to worry that the people you love will abandon you, you will no longer have to worry about anything. … So one day the stock market crashes and there is someone whose hopes are dashed and he jumps off a building and commits suicide. Who knew that as soon as he hit the ground, the stock market would bounce back? In his imagination, his family went bankrupt and his wife and children left, and he was out on the street without enough to eat, and other disasters struck. Actually, everything will be changing, and it was just his guesses that harmedhim. This is the way the world is. Gigantic disasters are created by people’s false minds.

When you have enough lucid awareness and knowledge of the truth, you will be able to leap out of the external circumstances where so many apparent forms objectify and evaluate you, and then you will discover that they are all filled with uncertainty. This implies that you certainly must take responsibility for the results produced by your own choices and actions. But these results are not necessarily as impossible to accept as you imagined, because the world is impermanent, and filled with all sorts of variables. As for that pitiful man before [who committed suicide when the stock market crashed], his death was a kind of variable, and stock prices rising again was a variable, and the dissolving away of the emotion of fear was also a variable. Furthermore, if he could have abided in peace in the true mind, and not been under the control of his desires, and he had lucidly evaluated this own ability to accept the situation, and had gone ahead and invested, then he would not have made this irrevocable choice, and he would not have thrown away his life after his investment was lost. If he had been able to abide in peace in the true mind, it is even possible that he would have taken the money he invested and used it to develop enterprises that served the public good or helped other people – this too would have been very good. This too is another variable. When the mind changes, the world changes, and one’s life is created by one’s mind. It is a pity that he deliberately chose death. This is why what is lamentable for people is not a matter of the things they encounter, but that they use a mistaken attitude to face human life.

While we are unable to choose our own fate, in fact we are still able to choose our attitude toward life. It is just like what Laoshun always says in my novel Desert Ceremonies: “What old heaven can give, heaven’s children can accept.” What old heaven can give is heaven’s tolerance. What heaven’s children can accept, is human dignity.

The interesting thing is, when you have a noble attitude, and calmly accept everything in your fate, including those things that the great majority of people are unwilling to accept, then you will discover that actually the greatest thing is also no more than a memory. No matter whether it is the thing itself, or the feeling of pain and loss, they all ultimately pass away, and they cannot last forever.

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