Ok, so in Buddhism as well as yoga, there is a concept called “the 3 poisons”. The 3 poisons are; Attachment, Aversion and Ignorance. These poisons influence every part of human politics in every way. There is never an action or path we take that isn’t influenced in some way by these poisons.
When we fall in love, there’s attachment, when we hate someone, there’s aversion and if we don’t even notice a person exists, well there’s ignorance. This doesn’t however mean that we can’t love that special person with all of our hearts though. The poison comes into action when we become scared that we’ll lose that person in some way. Maybe we don’t want them to go out partying because they might meet someone better than us and leave. Then we get that horrible sinking, dark, heavy feeling inside and that’s the poison of attachment. Hard to do, but we can find peace in non-attachment by realising that if we truly love that person, then we can be happy for them knowing they’re are leaving us because they’ve met someone who makes them happy.
Aversion can be understood by looking at feelings like; fear of dentists, or of planes, or of heights etc. That panicky feeling we get deep down inside when we are afraid is the same as the horrible, dark, sinking feeling I mentioned above. Going to the Dentist for some people is just pure hell! They concentrate completely on how much it’s going to hurt and how much they don’t want to experience the pain and can end up becoming hysterical if the feeling goes far enough. But it’s completely irrational. We go to the Dentist to maintain healthy teeth. The transitory pain we feel can actually be put to one side if we bring ourselves into the present and realise we are benefiting from it.
Ignorance is a strange concept though. It’s like we try to wrap ourselves in cotton wool because we don’t want to experience anything good or bad. Some people do it with drink and drugs. Others do it with television or computer games. Being in denial of our surroundings creates dillusion and dillusion creates suffering. As Buddha said “All life is suffering and the cause of this suffering is the 3 poisons.” How do we stop this suffering? We have to learn to become aware of our actions, our thoughts, and our emotions. We become that which we concentrate on the most.
Living with a constant feeling of negativity will make us negative people, pessimistic and always looking on the downside. Learning to find the good in the bad and the bad in the good is what will eventually set us free, because it balances our positive and negative sides. When there’s someone you really like… I mean, you think they’re amazing and you’re driving youself mad wondering if they like you as much as you like them...there’s no balance in your feelings. This is attachment at work, because you can’t get them out of your head. The pining and the longing you feel is the poison of attachment coursing through your veins, making you think and feel irrationally. The only thing you can do is bring attention to the feelings and realise them for what they are because at the moment, you’re not balanced. You’re looking into the future wondering what will be, which means you’re missing the fun of here and now. You’re getting to hang out with someone who’s fun to be around and you enjoy their company. Having faith that everything happens for a reason and knowing we’re in exactly the place we’re supposed to be in whether we feel that to be good or bad, is what will set us free in the end.
The buddha said that to find relief from the 3 poisons, we have to take refuge in the 3 jewels; Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
- Buddha: meaning not only the constant universal power, but also the ability in everyone to become enlightened.
- Dharma: is the natural law of things, it cannot be controlled it just is what it is and we can only observe its movements.
- Sangha: is basically the same as church in christianity. A gathering of people with a common goal, who support each other’s efforts.
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