[Buddha-l] Accuracy

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Tue Jun 15 11:30:05 MDT 2010

On Jun 15, 2010, at 10:08 AM, Bob Woolery wrote:

> Or am I as badly deluded as ever?

I think it's safe to say that all buddha-l subscribers who are still experiencing episodes of duḥkha are ipso facto deluded. In traditional Buddhist usage, delusion means a bit more (and less) than disagreeing with the feverish prejudices of those who rant and rave on buddha-l. As I understand the term, delusion refers to nothing more or less than being mistaken about effective ways to achieve contentment and to avoid those kinds of pain that are avoidable and to accept patiently those kinds of pain that are not avoidable.

Given that the principal effect of delusion is avoidable unhappiness, and given that no one but oneself is in a position to know whether or not one is unhappy, it follows that no one can know that another is deluded. The interesting thing about delusion is that it is something that, by its very nature, one is disinclined to realize that one has. At best, one can know that one is unhappy and that the unhappiness is probably the result of some kind of mistaken view about how to go about being content. But of all the views one has, which ones are the mistaken ones that are causing pain? THAT, of course, is the question we all wish we could easily answer. Not being able to find the right answer to that question, most human beings do the next best thing: they blame someone else for all their unhappiness. Human beings are very good at imagining demons (as the world's religious and political literature eloquently attests.)

But of course it's just plain dumb to blame all the unhappiness in the world on IMAGINED demons when in fact it is all caused by Republicans.


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