How Violence is Caused by Delusion
Since the recent mass murder here in Binghamton,
I have been pondering the sources of violence.
I remembered this:
When I was young, just learned to drive,
I was going somewhere with my friend.
He was following me in his car.
At one point, I was stopped at a traffic light.
I was pointing downhill just past a raised railroad crossing.
My friend was just behind me.
My car lurches forward.
I wonder what is going on.
Then suddenly, BANG!
another lurch forward,
only worse than the first time.
I look in my rear-view mirror,
and I see my friend shaking his fist.
I wonder: what is going on?!
I get out of my car, and asked
what was happening.
You backed into me,
so I rammed you!
I had a big old heavy car,
automatic transmission in drive,
with my foot on the brake,
His was similar.
Rather quickly, I figured out a more likely scenario:
My friend, unconsciously, let his foot off the brake,
and his car rolled downhill into mine.
I want to suggest here that
All violence is caused in this way:
An initial state of pure delusion,
followed by a retaliatory acts.
This is most unskillful, because
a) Violence never solves anything
b) Violence meets no human needs
c) Violence makes situations worse!
Violence is an unskillful response applied to delusion.
Delusion is caused by ignorance.
All suffering, and all negative emotional states
hatred, impatience, jealousy, envy, pride, craving, aversion,
are caused in this way.
Ignorance is cured by learning to see the truth.
Unskillfulness is cured by wisdom and practice.
Violence is cured by cultivating
compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, repentance.
Learning to see the truth
begins in the Here-Now of this moment.
To learn to see the reality of this moment
requires practice and wisdom.
The details of this practice and wisdom
is what the Buddha has taught.
This is contained in the Buddha Dharma.
The key to happiness and non-violence
is thus to cure the initial state
of ignorance and delusion,
a cultivation of correct vision,
learning to see reality AS-IT-IS.
I have found refuge in the Buddha Dharma
to be one such cure.
It may not be the only path,
but this path is lined with gems!
I encourage you all to look into it.
I am encouraging all of my friends
to attend a Buddhist Meditation and Study Group
beginning Saturdays in May, 10am-noon
at the Unitarian Universalist Church
Riverside Drive in Binghamton.
I will be there most Saturdays.
These classes are the only I know of in the area
which are taught by an ordained Buddhist monastic,
Ven. Kelsang Chondzin, of the Kadampa tradition
in the Gelug lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
Email: WilliamAHuston at gmail