A more difficult topic.
Sharing with you because while I do have wise and kind people in my orbit, you are the wisest and kindest group in my orbit currently.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” An often shared quote by Jung.
While I aspire to and train in practice (you'll have to trust me on this one) to grow in goodness and virtue, and while most people will say that I am a kind and virtuous person, I notice a core belief of being, at core, defective, no good, malicious, even evil.
I believe this belief comes from early childhood trauma and is buried deep within, not analyzed, not observed (often), not admitted, not "aired out", not processed, not released. As such, it contaminates much of my thinking and life.
Holding this (mostly sub-concious) belief, I do not think I am special or different to others, and suspect that many have it. I even saw an interview with a realized teacher who said that was one of his last "pain-baloons" that got cleared out and released.
How might we approach such a belief from a Buddhist perspective? Do you also have such a core belief / wound? If yes, how do you deal with it?
For me this is an interesting topic. I have been exploring my “within” for a while, and I have come across things of darkness as well. These have mostly proved to be the results of my careless and culpable thoughts and speech, which have generated internal kernels of hate.
In dealing with kernels of hate, I have had to rely on the goodwill of fellow beings, who sometimes come and visit me when I’m on the boundaries of sleep. Treating them with respect and gratitude is all thats necessary, and listening to the stories that are sometimes told.
Buddhism inspires virtue, the paramita’s. It emphasises letting go, not-clinging, and doing the right things, such as right speech, right living. You may find that you naturally tend towards such things, and this will strengthen your belief in your goodness. This shifts the balance in your favour.
So, while my journey is not the same as yours, there are still some parallels. Living a good and virtuous life brings its own rewards, it allows you to feel better about yourself and feel less worried about what happened during early childhood.
If you have to give everything of your Self up, when you die, why are you waiting until then?
It doesn't matter. I say this with love. The bullies and abusers of our childhoods and the people we bullied and abused are all part of an intricate web of interconnectivity. A cause and effect that carries forward in all of us. We are just the rails on which volition is carried out. The hollow reed with which the wind makes its music. Nothing short of full and true forgiveness for them and for self will alleviate the dukkha found. Something that's been a life-long pursuit which happens to be in the pocket the whole time. It's all contained within dependent origination. The path is learning how.
Every moment might offer you a different answer to this question.
There are few forces as slippery and tenacious as karma. Not even death slows it's momentum. Our ego, selfish self, adversarial tendencies, or that which innately has us feeling apart from the rest of existence, are just descriptions of how each of us enables its inertia.
The degree to which we can transcend how we continually recreate our ego, selfish self, adversarial tendencies, or that sense of being apart from others, is the same degree to which we can address the causes of that Karma's continence through us.
The 4NT & 8FP through the lenses of a consistent meditation practice, has been my journey back to where ever I have clung to, rejected or ignored another, where the opportunity exists to re-experience the events again but this time beyond the limitation of my past attachments and ignorance's.
This is not even an act of intention.
It is as if everything that I've ever become attached to, remains held within me, subtly affecting the course of my life, until my continuing grasp upon them softens enough to let them go.
The machinery in this process seems to be simply about a mind that has usurped much of the data feeds of the other sense gates in a propagation of it own fiefdom.
Compared to a practice of returning the autonomy of those data feeds to the other sense gates so that all get a more equally shared space of life's stage.
Here, even the darkness has it's place.
The problem that I have with “evil” is that my immediate instinctive response is to go do battle. Unfortunately this leads to conflict, damage, pain and loss, and not to benefit, peace and bliss. It’s an instinct I will have to curb, but it is deep-seated and connects to my enthusiasm.
Ultimately there is no evil, there are only beings with instincts and motivations. And it is better to deal with them through insight and wisdom than through battle, is my feeling.
Just an addition to my OP since I believe I was not clear enough: I do not hold the belief that I am JUST negative, but ALSO negative. It's more of a case of holding "saint" and "sinner" beliefs/egos at the same time and (I believe), deep down, not having a balanced neutral/middle-way belief/ego.
If you try and identify with both those sets of beliefs, you may end up rather divided internally and at war with yourself. Unifying these to create a melded middle way seems to me a difficult path.
It may be better to identify with being a witness to all that passes in front of the senses, and just letting what comes come, and letting what goes go. This is a path more of acceptance.
It is said that “enlightenment is the state of being in total acceptance with what is.”
Observing the stars a moment ago, I saw your point. Sometimes this comes, sometimes that. I am not what comes and goes.
What if we are evil? Or a beginner? Or a mutant?
We are this and that BUT also neti-neti …
we are, when we don't think or question what, who, where, when etc. Are we usually eternal recycling … ?
no … not really … yes in the ignorant staging …
unborn we are …created out of the sense gates moment to momentary delusion
Evil lobster? no more than lucifer or any fabrication …
Just sit with it, see beliefs for what they really are ...
just thoughts...nothing more nothing less...
Exactly! You are not these ideas of positive and negative states, they just come and go, they are temporary. It is more appropriate to drop all these ideas and just Be.
this is why us dervish buddhist perishers 'dye before we die'
i am a great lover of death
In vajrayana a good bone is the kapala …
I believe that a drop of water is "of the ocean" and so is part of the ocean, and can be ANY part. Like the drop of water, I am of the human race. I have within me the blueprint for the greatest evil (and of course in addition to evil, also, good, wise, whimsical, artistic, etc). I have the vestigial templates for all that humans can be. So, in this life, I have choices to make . . .
I think that is important to note. We are conditional beings and we do fall on our conditioning but we aren't just conditioned, we also condition everything else.
Except you did just air it out. That takes guts and a willingness to finally examine it.
It depends on the Buddhist but this one sees that we can break out of our past conditioning and take our current conditioning into our own hands.
If you aspire to be helpful, useful and a positive influence, you will no doubt succeed if you are mindful of choices. As many as possible.
As for the nagging suspicion of your own evilness, I have found freedom from that by seeing through the illusion of opposition. Everything that can be said to be an opposite is really a complimentary. Duality has to be duality of something with no opposition. Even non-duality can't be a true opposite of duality, it just makes no sense. All opposition is conceptual.
Man and woman are not opposites because they are both human and the only opposite of human is no-human. They have to work together to work properly and working together is good. Up and down? They both need a point of reference to work. Light and dark? Too much light and we are blinded, not enough and we can't see. We need a mix which is good because a whole can be divided infinitely.
There is a "good" without an evil twin. Without an opposite. And it is you when you have taken your conditioning into your own hands.
Just my two cents.
We got you, but a physical Sangha could make all the difference in the world.
The most wretched sinner is the saint …
How so? No idea?
That's the way to do it!
Before the ego came into existence, all was well. All will be well again when the ego comes to an end.
I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.