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How to Deal with Afflictive Emotions

 Seriousness

How to Deal with Afflictive Emotions

To understand how to deal with afflictive emotions, we need to understand the relationship between (1) ignorance, (2) afflictive emotions, and (3) karmic actions.

Ignorance leads to afflictive emotions, which in turn cause karmic actions to take place. This relationship may be shown as:

ignorance ® afflictive emotions ® karmic actions

Ignorance

Often the term delusions describes both ignorance and afflictive emotions. A deluded mind does not accord with reality. Ignorance would include misconceptions about reality – such as the self being permanent and autonomous; that there is an intrinsically existent self. All the afflictive emotions are also accompanied by a certain degree of misunderstanding of reality. The various Buddhist philosophical schools agree that negative states of mind – such as attachment (for example, jealousy) and aversion (for example, anger) – are misperceptions.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama identifies some of the chief delusions as attachment, anger, pride, doubt, wrong views, and misapprehensions. A delusion is any mental state that destroys calmness of mind and brings about mental misery – that is, which upsets, afflicts, and torments the mind (The Essential Dalai Lama: His Important Teachings, 2005, p. 81-82).
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