Self-gratification at the expense of everything

2009年7月30日 星期四 下午4:24 评论关闭

We will go all the way if it is something for ourselves. For our self-gratification, body-speech-and-mind-gratification, we will go all the way, we will exhaust ourselves, we can stay on for hours and hours, and we can continue to do it year after year after year.

However, in the end, no matter how much we chase to gratify ourselves we will come to a rest, look back and say, “But I’m not gratified. Whatever I’ve put my energy toward has all blown away in the wind.” For all the effort we put in, we feel even more depressed because there has been no result. We may not get the result that we want but we will spend all our time, energy and knowledge on it.

All of us are good at some things that other people are not. This is because we have put time toward these things, because we feel that doing it will gratify and bring us happiness. In fact, the more we do it, the more it takes us away. We need to realise that – not as a scolding or put-down, or because we are bad, but as a realisation.

We might pursue self-gratifying pursuits and ignore everything else that is considered holy to our culture. I am not just talking about Buddhism. In some cultures, it is parental care; in other cultures, it is doing community work or meditation. When we self-gratify at the expense of whatever is important in our culture and society, or if we self-gratify at the expense of whatever we are supposed to do, that is where we suppress the Divinity within us. That is where the Divine goes down.

If we have arrogance or pride and we don’t want to share, we don’t want to go under it and learn, we are suppressing our Divinity. It is divine to learn. It is divine to improve. But if your ego, our shame or our reputation gets caught, then we are suppressing the Divine.

Divinity or the Divine cannot be damaged in any way. Yet when we go after self-gratification, year after year after year, at the expense of the development and discovery of our Divinity, it is not good. For example, we might write into love columns or personal ads and receive a lot of response. 40 people write back wanting to have sex with us and we feel happy because of that. But this type of “happiness” doesn’t bring us real happiness. After meeting those 40 people, we think, “Is that all I’m worth? That’s it?” Instead, we go down. We can spend a lot of time writing letters and checking newspapers. We spend hours looking but nothing happens. That takes away from the Divine because it is only self-gratification at the expense of everything.

Tsem Tulku