Stubborn Prejudice

When the body is sick, it may be easily cured with medication. However, when the mind is sick, it may be beyond medical help!

Of all the sicknesses of the mind, none is worse than wrong views. Buddhism teaches that there are five kinds of wrong views. These wrong views are self-centeredness, extreme views, deviant views, stubborn distorted views, and rigid asceticism. All five are forms of prejudice. When we become attached to wrong views, it becomes a serious sickness.

People who have extreme views think that their death is like the snuffing out of a light. They do not believe in the Law of Cause and Effect, or in karmic retribution. They do not understand rebirth and transmigration within the six realms. They hold no hope in this life or future lives. Others indulge themselves in sensual and fleeting pleasures every chance they have. They think that since they were born as humans, they will always live as humans. They assume all of creation are for them to enjoy indefinitely. They fail to understand the truth of impermanence. Both of these kinds of people hold wrong views.

Some are attached to suffering, while others are attached to pleasure. The latter sees life as a party. They live every day for enjoyment. They do not realize that the world we live in is as dangerous as a burning house. On the other hand those who are attached to suffering create their own unhappiness. But they do not know how to improve the causes and conditions of their lives or create positive karma. Living a cold and remote life, they prevent themselves from finding the end their suffering.

When the Buddha first achieved enlightenment, he realized that the Truth he had realized was entirely different from the views of the mundane world. Due to the stubborness with which sentient beings are attached to their own views, the Buddha was afraid they would ridicule the Truth. Because of this, the Buddha considered entering into nirvana immediately, avoiding unnecessary trouble.

Most people only believe their own eyes. They only believe what they see. Actually, what we see may not be true at all. When engineers attempt to make a ground level, they only use one eye. This shows that, at least in some circumstances, one eye is better than two. Sometimes we may even find that things are more accurate when we do not see with our eyes at all. By using the mind instead of the eyes, we are then able to see the Truth. With our eyes, we can only see the false exteriors. This will feed our prejudice and attachments.

For example, there was once a man who judged others by the color of their skin. When he became blind later in life, he could no longer see the color of other people’s skin, and was able to rid himself of racial prejudices.

There is no peace in the world. The governments involved in conflicts and disputes are attached to their own prejudices. They fail to see their citizens’ pursuit of peace and happiness. We hope that the leaders of the world can learn to practice compassion and wisdom as taught by the Dharma. If they can respect and tolerate one another, ridding themselves of stubborn prejudice, harmonious international relationships will be possible. Peace and prosperity can be enjoyed by all.