Saturday, January 8, 2011

What is delusion?

Question : (Unedited)
What is delusion. Pls explain with examples. tq.

My comment:
Hi C,

"Delusion" is a mental state which misleads a person's perception of the "real" world.  It is like in a state of hallucination where one is unable to see the true picture.  It is like looking at a rainbow believing it to be real; or in a desert looking at a mirage.  It is the result of not knowing the real nature of things.  "Not knowing" means "ignorance".  Ignorance causes us to have a deluded mind. This mental state is the cause of all our follies.  It prevents us from seeing the real nature of this life and the universe, and existence in general.  It tricks us to view life as pleasurable, of substance, and permanent.  In reality existence is the direct opposite, that is, unsatisfactory, insubstantial, and impermanent.

The first of the Noble Eightfold Path is Right View.  If one does not have this Right View, then in the Buddhist context, one is being ignorant. And when one is being ignorant, one has a deluded mind.  With this deluded mind, one's perception of the world is flawed, resulting in stress and sorrow.  What is this Right View?  Others use the terms "Right Understanding" or "Right Perspective".  On the fundamental interpretation, it is the understanding of the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths are the truth of suffering; the truth of the cause of suffering; the truth to the ending of suffering; and the truth to the path leading to this ending, which is the Noble Eightfold Path.

On a more comprehensive interpretation, Right View means in addition to the above, the understanding of the salient aspects of the Buddha's teachings.  The main teachings are the "Trilogy of Existence" (Impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, insubstantiality); the Universal Law of Kamma (and rebirth); the Cycle of Dependent Origination; and the five aggregates of a being.  To advance further in real understanding is the realization of these teachings (Dhamma, which means universal truths) through experiencing the results from practising the Dhamma.  Once a person achieves this realization, he can be considered to have gained wisdom.  He is no more ignorant. His mind is clear, more delusion! He experiences inner peace in this troubled world.

In common experience; it's just like a person trying to find the way in darkness.  The 4 Noble Truths are the lights dispersing the darkness.  While the Noble Eightfold Path is the road one has to travel to reach one's destination.

Smile from justinchoo :-)

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