One-sided views do not accord with the Middle Way.
Sutra text from last issue: The fourth consists of habits of hatred that provoke each other causing mutual defiance to arise. The fifth consists of habits of deception and misleading involvements which give rise to mutual guile. The sixth consists of habits of lying combined with continual fraudulence which give rise to mutual cheating.
The seventh consists of habits of animosity and interconnected enmity which give rise to grievances. From this there come into being flying rocks, thrown stones, caskets and closets, cages on wheels, jars and containers, and bags and rods. It is like someone harming others secretly—he harbors, cherishes, and nurtures evil. Because these two habits devour one another, there come into being tossing and pitching, seizing and apprehending, striking and shooting, casting away and pinching, and other such experiences. Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon animosity and name it a ‘disobedient and harmful ghost.’ Bodhisattvas regard animosity as they would drinking poisonous wine.
The seventh consists of habits of animosity and interconnected enmity. Animosity refers to resentment. You resent me and I resent you. Interconnected enmity means you suspect me and I suspect you. Animosity is a kind of blame. It means blaming others for things that happen. Blame is like saying you didn’t do something, that someone else did it. You pass the blame to someone else. Animosity and interconnected enmity give rise to grievances. One of the Chinese characters for the word grievance is a picture of a bird holding something in its beak. Grievance is like that; people hold on and never forget. From this there come into being flying rocks. This refers to the Hell of Flying Rocks. There is also the Hell of thrown stones. This includes small pebbles being thrown or sand being pelted. Caskets and closets are square objects in which one is sealed. Cages on wheels means being closed in a cart; a cage on a cart. One is locked in such a cage. The same is true of jars and containers, and bags and rods. Jars refer to large vats. The person is put inside and a fire is lit on the outside. The fire burns the ghost to a crisp. The ghost is placed in the vat and burned. Or the ghost is placed in a bag and thrown around. Inside, he can’t breathe. It is both suffocating and painful. It is like someone harming others secretly. It’s like an extremely treacherous person, he harbors, cherishes, and nurtures evil. In his mind he is always harboring evil thoughts.
Habits from previous lives and habits from this life devour one another. You appropriate mine to yours and I appropriate yours to mine. This mutual devouring means that whichever strength is greater will help the other. If the strength of the habits from previous lives is greater, then one will undergo retribution for previous deeds. If the strength of this life’s habits is greater, then one will undergo retribution for things done in this life. There is a mutual appropriation. There come into being tossing and pitching. Tossing means one is thrown to one side. Pitching means flinging one far, far away. Seizing and apprehending. Then one is snatched back. Striking and shooting, casting away and pinching. Pinching means being grabbed and flung into space and then falling down. And other such experiences. All sorts of things like this happen.
Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon animosity and enmity and name it a ‘disobedient and harmful ghost.’ Bodhisattvas, cultivators, regard animosity as they would drinking poisonous wine. The Chinese uses “falcon,” the name of a bird, to describe this wine. That’s because the feathers of a certain falcon are extremely poisonous. If those feathers are steeped in wine, then anyone who drinks that wine will definitely die. It’s lethal. No medicine can counteract that poison. That’s the reference to “falcon wine.”
The eighth consists of habits of views and the admixture of understandings, such as satkayadrishti, views, prohibitions, grasping, and deviant insight and the karma involved in these, which bring about opposition and produce mutual antagonism. From that there come into being court officials, deputies, certifiers, and registrars. They are like people traveling on a road, who meet each other coming and going. Because these two habits influence one another, there come into being official inquiries, baited questions, examinations, interrogations, public investigations, exposure, the youths who record good and evil, carrying the record books of the offenders’ arguments and rationalizations, and other such experiences. Therefore, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions look upon evil views and name them the ‘pit of views.’ Bodhisattvas regard having false and one-sided views as they would standing on the edge of a steep ravine full of poison.
The eighth kind of habit is one that each one of us possesses: admixtures of understanding. The eighth consists of habits of views and the admixture of understandings. Views refers to what we see and perceive. If we use views correctly, they can help us become pure. If we use them incorrectly, or if they are biased, then they can cause us to do wrong things. Admixtures of understanding are like that, such as satkayadrishti. What does that mean? It is a Sanskrit term that translates as possessing a body. It is the view of having a body. There are five views.
1.view of having a body;
3.views regarding prohibitions;
4.views of grasping at views;
These have been explained before. The view of having a body is an attachment to the body. It’s an attachment that my body is mine and everything belongs to me. That’s attachment to a body and attachment to things. One-sided views do not accord with the Middle Way. They are prejudices of two sorts: attachment to annihilationism and attachment to eternalism. The view of annihilationism claims that a person’s death is like the extinguishing of a lamp. There’s nothing left, no soul and no future lives. Attachment to eternalism claims that people are people this life, they will be people next life, and in future lives they will continue to be people. They will never become animals. People are people forever. That’s attachment to eternalism and it is a one-sided view.
Prohibitions. There’s the view regarding prohibitions. It refers, as I’ve told you before, to holding the prohibitions of cows, or the prohibitions of dogs. It means learning how to act like cows or dogs. There are also views of grasping at views. These views are attachments on top of attachments—attachments that are extremely strong. These views, views that involve the self, are entirely too deep. There are also deviant insights of which one is satkayadrishti, the view of having a body. People with this view attach to their bodies. As to views, prohibitions, grasping, and deviant insights and the karma involved in these, people who hold these views display a bit of intelligence, but the insights they gain involve deviant ideas, not proper one. Because of that, they create all kinds of karma, which bring about opposition. Sometimes the karma goes counter to his own ideas or wishes. It works against him, or it works against others. That produces mutual antagonism. They go against each other.
From that there come into being certain situations, such as court officials like ministers of kings; deputies of departments; certifiers who testify on behalf of others, using proof in paperwork and documentation; and registrars who record items in writing. They are like people traveling on a road, who meet each other coming and going. Going and coming they meet each other, view each other.
to be continued