Wrong View, Greed, and Ill-Will: Non-Virtues of the Body
I have covered the non-virtues of the body – stealing, killing, and sexual misconduct.
The Non-Virtues of speech – idle talk, harsh talk, divisive speech, and lying.
Now, the non-virtues of the mind.
Can we all agree that greed is not good? Greed might be the at the top of the list for much of the problems in the world. Has greed caused this divide among the rich and the poor? When it comes to greed, you want what other people have, and you really want to take it for yourself. You don’t want them to have what they have. Let’s say your co-worker gets the promotion that you wanted. You don’t want them to have it and you hold on to this desire of still wanting the promotion. It really can create a lot of internal mental harm. In that situation, the person who wanted that promotion starts creating a lot of jealousy, they hold negative thoughts about the situation – especially toward the person who got promoted, and it’s potential fuel for some bad actions, like sabotaging the newly promoted person. Greed is really bad in this case.
To want what other people have, like happiness or success, but wanting to take it away from them? Ugly.
It’s this attitude – I want this, you should not have this. This must be mine.
This must be a hard way to live, because a person full of greed is always wanting and taking. You can’t be happy if you practice greed – how could you be? You are never satisfied in life, it’s always about more for yourself.
Ill-Willis enjoying people to suffer. This is actually about being happy when bad or negative things happen to people.
I remember the last time that I mindfully did this. I was driving on the highway and as usual, there are people driving way too fast and taking chances. These drivers really worry me when I share the road with them. Why even bother taking a chance and risking your own (and anyone else’s) life. I remember one time there was a really foolish person going too fast. They zig zag’d and zoomed right by me. 10 minute later, I could see that they got pulled over. I was happy. I was so happy that they were caught and now they were going to get punished. That was happiness about someone else getting punished. How can that be?
One of the ways that I practice the right view rather than the wrong view, is that don’t ignore the principal of karma. You know, the ‘what goes around comes around saying’? At it’s simplest, any action taken with the body, speech, or mind creates positive or negative karma. Karma is certain, a person cannot escape it. Karma will grow, like a planting of a seed – before it comes back, in a positive or negative way, it’s actually going to grow. The good news is, if you have done something bad, that karma will end. Once the karma comes back to the person, it’s over. For example, you steal a candy bar from the store, and maybe the karma comes back looking like 20 bucks fell out of your pocket. The karma of your stealing has come to a close. It’s done. Problem is, you can’t really pin point or predict it, so it’s a matter of faith. The idea of karma is a promotion to do good actions and to try to be a good person.
There you go. The 10-Non Virtues according to Buddhism. Anyone can do them. You don’t have to be Buddhist to take them. And really, it’s not complicated at all. If you need to make some changes in your life because your actions are not producing happiness, then go with this, or another tradition. If I was a betting man, I would put my money on the idea that the rules of all of the traditions, are fairly similar with one another.