Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Ten Fetters (Fetter #5)

There are Ten Fetters that keep us from getting our Zen on.

This is #5: ILL WILL

Ill Will has a spot in two Buddhist Lists.  It is the second of the Five Hindrances, and it is the fifth of this list.  Ill Will exists because of a lack of empathy.  It is very difficult to get rid of Ill Will, because some people seem to be such assholes.  There, I said it.  There are many people on our little planet that seem to be making things much worse for others.

The problem with the illusion that there are "bad" people and "good" people is this: the "bad" people, the ones that seem the like the most horrible sociopath, are empty phenomena, just like you and I, Dear Reader.  A hurricane is an empty and selfless phenomenon, and so is a murder, child molester, or general douchebag around the office.

Hurricanes are unfortunate, when they wipe out cities and kill people.  "Bad" people are also unfortunate, when they annoy or hurt people.  We build levies to protect cities from ocean surges during weather events, and we pass laws and build prisons to protect people from people who are just out to make others miserable.

But all phenomena are empty and selfless.  All phenomena.  You and I, Dear Reader, and the sociopath staring out from the mug shot on the news are all empty and selfless phenomena.

Meditate on empathy.  You and I and that other "horrible" person are just interlocking parts of the universe.  Humans are just brains reacting to outside stimuli.  They are electrical activity in the brainpan, and nothing more.  All humans are suffering.  Practice empathy for even the most heinous of annoying people.  They are one with the universe, just like You and I.