06 February 2012

Contemplation: Four Inverted Views, 1

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your object of contemplation:

Virtuous man, since beginningless time all sentient beings have been deludedly conceiving and clinging to the existence of self, person, sentient being, and life. They take these four inverted views as the essence of a real self, thereby giving rise to dual states of like and dislike. [Thus], based on one delusion, they further cling to other delusions. These two delusions rely on each other, giving rise to the illusory paths of karma. Because of illusory karma, sentient beings deludedly perceive the turning flow [of cyclic existence]. Those who detest the turning flow [of cyclic existence] deludedly perceive nirvana, and hence are unable to enter [the realm of] pure enlightenment. It is not enlightenment that thwarts their entering; rather, it is the idea that 'there is one who can enter.' Therefore, whether their thoughts are agitated or have ceased, they cannot be other than confused and perplexed.
from The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment, p. 50

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