Author Topic: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?  (Read 24282 times)

WoselTenzin

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Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« on: July 06, 2011, 12:33:12 PM »
We innately hold on to the view that:-

1. Everything is permanent

2  We are going to live for a long time.

We may intellectually know that everything is impermanence and death is uncertain but we do not really believe it.

Isn't it strange that most of us continue to deceive ourselves even though we know the truth and set ourselves up for more sufferings?

Why do we find it so difficult to believe the truth of impermanence and the uncertainty of the time of death?



« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 02:32:59 PM by Admin »

Positive Change

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Re: Why do continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
We innately hold on to the view that:-

1. Everything is permanent

2  We are going to live for a long time.

We may intellectually know that everything is impermanence and death is uncertain but we do not really believe it.

Isn't it strange that most of us continue to deceive ourselves even though we know the truth and set ourselves up for more sufferings?

Why do we find it so difficult to believe the truth of impermanence and the uncertainty of the time of death?



Dear Wosel Tenzin,

On the contrary, I reckon we all know one only true fact the day we are born, is that we WILL die. But somehow we actually choose to "ignore" or "evade" the subject. Hence I disagree that we think death is uncertain. We all know that death is certain!

Having said that we tend to delude ourselves and hide from the inevitable by surrounding ourselves and hiding behind samsaric pleasures. It is when we are close to death that we realize... oh oh... or for some they still think "its ok I enjoyed living". Sigh!

How strong our mind is that we can even spin a lie to ourselves concerning our mortality. Imagine using that same mind for the benefit of others or for one's spiritual journey!

Helena

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 03:56:02 PM »
If I dare say - WE LIVE IN DENIAL!

We know for certain that we will die but we act like we are going to live forever, imagining there is always going to be a tomorrow waiting for us patiently to come around.

Despite all our education and intellect, our minds are really quite narrow and rigid. We are not as open minded as we like to believe. Imagine if it was not for Youtube and people loading all kinds of videos on UFOs, Ghosts, Hauntings, Psychic abilities, etc - we would still be trapped in that old rigid thinking that THESE THINGS really do not exist. I bet some people are still holding onto that view.

We like to think in such absolute terms and we tend to depend too much on visuals. Because we see something, our minds start to jump into conclusions and passing judgements. Unfortunately, we do not realise that our conclusions and judgements are limited by our own experience, knowledge and past upbringing. We can only relate and identify with what we are familiar with.

Honestly, without Buddhism opening up our minds to the various possibilities, the different realms and the countless different ways of delusions we are creating and living every single moment of our lives - we'd still be living in a world of illusions.


Helena

DSFriend

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2011, 05:16:27 PM »

Why do we find it so difficult to believe the truth of impermanence and the uncertainty of the time of death?


This question have crossed my mind countless times. here's a little of what i've thought of ...

Impermanence can be observed on a daily basis..it doesn't need any clairvoyance or special scientific tools to show us.

Why is it so difficult for us to believe. Well, Buddha is undoubtedly right about teaching impermanence and he also taught on ignorance, the root of all our sufferings.

Just knowing is not enough and we will continue to experience the difficulties to believe in the dharma because we do not continuously contemplate on the disbenefits and benefits of the way we think, the way we live. Thus on a daily basis, we do not rehabituate/infuse our thinking with the dharma we have learnt....

I read somewhere before from the zen tradition that ignorance is defined as assertion of self will.

I guess as long as we assert self will, we make our own reality. Therefore we create our own obstacles to believe the truth.

Buddha taught us that we must question the teachings for ourselves. I find that it is sad that often times, we question so much that we get no where. In the gelug monasteries that I know of, it is well known that monks engage in daily debates. They are taught how to debate and it is guided on a daily basis by the debate master.  I find lay people's "debates" more as arguments instead of a form of learning...a way to further reinforce our own ignorance and self will!

pgdharma

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 09:07:07 AM »
If I dare say - WE LIVE IN DENIAL!

We know for certain that we will die but we act like we are going to live forever, imagining there is always going to be a tomorrow waiting for us patiently to come around.

Despite all our education and intellect, our minds are really quite narrow and rigid. We are not as open minded as we like to believe. Imagine if it was not for Youtube and people loading all kinds of videos on UFOs, Ghosts, Hauntings, Psychic abilities, etc - we would still be trapped in that old rigid thinking that THESE THINGS really do not exist. I bet some people are still holding onto that view.

We like to think in such absolute terms and we tend to depend too much on visuals. Because we see something, our minds start to jump into conclusions and passing judgements. Unfortunately, we do not realise that our conclusions and judgements are limited by our own experience, knowledge and past upbringing. We can only relate and identify with what we are familiar with.

Honestly, without Buddhism opening up our minds to the various possibilities, the different realms and the countless different ways of delusions we are creating and living every single moment of our lives - we'd still be living in a world of illusions.



In general most of us live in denial hoping that if we deny it will not happen to us. We may think we are young, strong, healthy and we are not going to die yet. However, death is certain and life is uncertain. In order to face the fact that we are going to die anytime, it will be good to practice death meditation. It may be difficult in the beginning but practice makes perfect.  Every time when I attended a "wake", I imagine myself inside that coffin and contemplate when my time will come,how long more will I be alive and what and where will be my next rebirth.  By being aware that death can happen anytime, I try to put in more effort in my spiritual practice with the hope that when death comes it will not be so scary.

dsiluvu

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 04:15:01 AM »
I think we fail to realise impermanence because we are basically because we forget,  and too comfortable being in our comfort zone. If anyone ask us to do something out of the ordinary to what we are used to do, immediately most of us will react negatively or hesitantly. Let's not think about our own death, perhaps it is better to think about our loved one's death... how well would we cope when it really happens. If we contemplate now, it will be like a measuring stick to show us how deeply attached we are.

Big Uncle

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 06:24:50 AM »
That's true! We live in denial! I read that we are too distracted. We are just too lazy to do anything about it. Lazy here means being caught up, wrapped up in our endless pursuit of enjoyment, gratification, money, sex, jobs, careers, businesses, status and power. Some of us also allow family, relationships and everything that holds us from pursuing a higher spiritual goal. We are really lost in these pursuits. These pursuits makes not see the reality of it. That everything is really impermanent and ultimately betrays us because we can't take them with us when we die. That's what I read of what the Buddha mentioned as one of the three types of laziness.

Positive Change

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 06:49:22 AM »
Yes.... Denial and Deception! Having said that, how do I actually "get out" of it? Sure it is easy to say, I understand it is all impermanent however, when we are neck deep in the rut, it is hard to dig or claw our way out. Or so it seems! Perhaps it is enough to have the a firm realisation that these attachments DO NOT make us happy or lead us anywhere and "continue" (so to speak) with our attachments BUT not be attached?

Sure we have bills to pay, loans to settle, what have you's... but letting go is not about letting go of our responsibilities. I think it is about letting go of the perception that it is the defining factor in our lives. And with this mindset, our "problems" (even as they exist) really become manageable. It is this firm conviction and "belief" I find that is the tool which gives us the power to overcome our obstacles AND our attachments.

triesa

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 08:43:50 AM »
Besides all the denials and deceptions......I agree with what pgdharma has mentioned above.

Perhaps we should engage in meditation on death. If we do this daily, it only makes sense and it is a natural progress that we will eventually realise that whatever we do in this life for ourselves........ job, family, money, children, houses, cars, holidays....etc etc, we will not be able to take any of these with us upon death.

So then what would really help us upon death? It is only our spiritual attainements and realizations, if any. So all the more we should engage in dharma practices while we still can.

kurava

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 12:14:35 PM »

Why do we find it so difficult to believe the truth of impermanence and the uncertainty of the time of death?


Because we'll be frozen with fear when faced with the above reality, because we choose to focus on temporary and short term benefits and because we don't know how to transform the realization into a positive force that motivates us not to waste a single moment of our life !

Positive Change

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2011, 08:51:18 AM »

Why do we find it so difficult to believe the truth of impermanence and the uncertainty of the time of death?


Because we'll be frozen with fear when faced with the above reality, because we choose to focus on temporary and short term benefits and because we don't know how to transform the realization into a positive force that motivates us not to waste a single moment of our life !

I think it is "easier" to not face reality for most of us... because when reality sets in we need to move on and progress and our inertness and laziness keeps us in or so called comfort zones of existence. Living day in day out, doing very mundane things which do not bring us happiness in the long run but only create more unhappiness.

What have we pursued in our lives that we can truly say has made us happy? The car? The house? The superbike? The Golf Club membership? The Job? The Armani Suit? The new pair of Cavalli Boots? Even if we think (deceive) ourselves into believing these bring us happiness, what happens when the inevitable comes around... can we take it with us?

All the effort in continuous pursuits for nothingness... Sure, I am as guilty as the next person but I prayer with my protectors help and Guru's guidance I can to a certain extent transform myself enough to gain certain realisations which will free me from this cycle. If not this lifetime... definitely my future lifetimes in order for me to realise this fact much sooner than later...

hope rainbow

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 11:37:57 AM »
I think it is "easier" to not face reality for most of us... because when reality sets in we need to move on and progress and our inertness and laziness keeps us in or so called comfort zones of existence.

PC,
Perhaps, it helps to think of what are the causes for us to enjoy "comfort zones".
Just by looking at the world around, the visible world of human fellows, it is clear that to have "comfort zones" is a luxury that most our fellow humans do not even have access to.
Thus, in fact, even if we want to enjoy our comfort zones, we must get out of it to create causes for us to have them.
And as we are at it, it might be that, at the end, we realize we did not really need these comfort zones anyway, because the true comfort is when we know we have helped others. That is a real comfort zone I think.

WoselTenzin

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 07:56:16 AM »
I think it is "easier" to not face reality for most of us... because when reality sets in we need to move on and progress and our inertness and laziness keeps us in or so called comfort zones of existence.

PC,
Perhaps, it helps to think of what are the causes for us to enjoy "comfort zones".
Just by looking at the world around, the visible world of human fellows, it is clear that to have "comfort zones" is a luxury that most our fellow humans do not even have access to.
Thus, in fact, even if we want to enjoy our comfort zones, we must get out of it to create causes for us to have them.
And as we are at it, it might be that, at the end, we realize we did not really need these comfort zones anyway, because the true comfort is when we know we have helped others. That is a real comfort zone I think.

Actually, our "comfort zone" itself is deceptive because at the end of the day, attachment to this "comfort zone" give us nothing but suffering.  Supposed we are attached to our "comfort zone" of doing very little out of laziness, in the short term we may "enjoy" the comfort and get away with it but in the long run we will be the ones that lose out, fail and suffer.

In any aspect of life, in order to succeed in anything, we must do what is expected of us or even more than that.  Otherwise, failure will be our result because we have not put in the effort to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills or experience to succeed.  This applies in our secular as well as spiritual life.  Therefore, attachment to "comfort zone" that provides short term comfort is deceptive because it set us up for future failure and sufferings.

hope rainbow

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2011, 03:56:44 AM »
In any aspect of life, in order to succeed in anything, we must do what is expected of us or even more than that.  Otherwise, failure will be our result because we have not put in the effort to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills or experience to succeed.  This applies in our secular as well as spiritual life.  Therefore, attachment to "comfort zone" that provides short term comfort is deceptive because it set us up for future failure and sufferings.

Thank you WT, I agree with what you wrote.
What, though, if my comfort zone is Buddhism and serving my Guru?

Positive Change

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Re: Why do we continue to deceive ourselves?
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2011, 06:26:37 AM »
In any aspect of life, in order to succeed in anything, we must do what is expected of us or even more than that.  Otherwise, failure will be our result because we have not put in the effort to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills or experience to succeed.  This applies in our secular as well as spiritual life.  Therefore, attachment to "comfort zone" that provides short term comfort is deceptive because it set us up for future failure and sufferings.

Thank you WT, I agree with what you wrote.
What, though, if my comfort zone is Buddhism and serving my Guru?

Dear Hope Rainbow...

If Buddhism and serving my Guru does become one's comfort zone so to speak... I think its beautiful! Because the essence of our practice will then be our main objective. In the regular sense, our "attachment" to our comfort zone is normally something we have a problem letting go off... hence if we truly put our whole heart into our spiritual practice and not have one foot in and the other foot out, it is something to rejoice!