Strangeness; Perceiving the Unwholesome

It is a strange feeling, looking back and seeing the changes the last year has brought. In a lot of ways, I don’t feel like the same person anymore, which offers great credibility to the idea of there not being anything that can be honestly called my “self” in the world.

However much change I can perceive in this being, the circumstances of daily life seem nearly unchanged — I suppose this helps support the idea of karma.

I sometimes look back and see the years of violent shows and video games, alcoholism, and smoking as such a huge waste of time, yet somehow I needed to go through all of that to get to where I am today. I suppose I’m not quite qualified to answer the question “why?”

The odd thing is, I still seem to have the basic mindset that these activities are enjoyable in their own limited context. For instance, watching a violent (and sexually charged) science fiction show for the first time in over a year was fun, but the downside was that it sent my mind reeling in ways I hadn’t quite anticipated.

I have a similar feeling about violent video games now, also unanticipated. I don’t play them because I’m very quickly drawn into the fantasy of shooting, maiming, and slaughtering the “bad guys.” I know it is just a game, but it leaves me seeing the world in this “me vs. them” state of mind for a while, something I don’t want or need.

This leads me to see that even an activity like drinking would probably be “fun,” but I would be very displeased with the mental turmoil afterward. I don’t intend to try this out to see if I’m right, either — I’ll leave this idea in the rubbish bin where it belongs.

So as I progress along the path, I am beginning to see the unwholesome nature in many of these activities, even when they aren’t specifically breaking precepts or otherwise “evil” in appearance (and sometimes they certainly are).

And so I reaffirm my intent on Right Effort, to:

Prevent the unwholesome that has not yet arisen…
Let go of the unwholesome that has arisen…
Bring up the wholesome that has not yet arisen…
Maintain the wholesome that has arisen…

May you attend to your goals with diligence, friends, and be well.

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2 comments

  1. That is such huge spiritual growth – that you are able to see past the desire, and the initial craving, to the bigger picture of how it will affect you long time. That’s something I am trying to work towards myself.

    Much peace to you my friend.

    1. Thank you. And to you, also, Meg. 🙂

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