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Friday, April 1, 2011

Dalai Lama on how do self-attachment and so forth arise in such great force

Afflictions are classed as peripheral mental factors and are not themselves any of the six main minds [eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mental consciousnesses]. However, when any of the afflicting mental factors becomes manifest, a main mind [a mental consciousness] comes under its influence, goes wherever the affliction leads it, and 'accumulates' a bad action.

There are a great many different kinds of afflictions, but the chief of them are desire, hatred, pride, wrong view and so forth. Of these, desire and hatred are chief. Because of an initial attachment to oneself, hatred arises when something undesirable occurs. Further, through being attached to oneself the pride that holds one to be superior arises, and similarly when one has no knowledge of something, a wrong view that holds the object of this knowledge to be non-existent arises.

How do self-attachment and so forth arise in such great force? Because of beginningless conditioning, the mind tightly holds to 'I, I' even in dreams, and through the power of this conception, self-attachment and so forth occur. This false conception of 'I' arises because of one's lack of knowledge concerning the mode of existence of things. The fact that all objects are empty of inherent existence is obscured and one conceives things to exist inherently; the strong conception of 'I' derives from this. Therefore, the conception that phenomena inherently exist is the afflicting ignorance that is the ultimate root of all afflictions. (p.26)

--from The Buddhism of Tibet by the Dalai Lama, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins, with Anne Klein, published by Snow Lion Publications

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