6 – TO BE GOOD OR BAD DEPENDS ON THOUGHTS
There is nothing bad unless we think it is bad. One thing is bad for a person, only because he thinks it is bad. But, the same thing is not bad for another person, only because he does not think that way. This shows that to be bad or good does not rest on external attributes; it rests on the thoughts of each individual. Then, why should we agree to let our thoughts allow us to do bad?
A pig asks a lion to fight with him because he is jealous of the lion's reputation. The lion refuses to fight because the pig is covered in feces. Since the lion does not want to get dirty, he refuses to fight and does not engage in the contest. The lion's reputation is not diminished. Similarly, sometimes good people need to ignore bad people and not respond to an attack. They do so not out of fear, but because they do not want to get involved in any scandals.
If someone does something bad to us, we are not happy and end up creating a kind of suffering: suffering of hatred. We experience the anxiety of rejection. If someone does something good to us, we delight in the satisfaction, the attraction, and we want it to last forever, to have and to own the person or the feeling. This is another kind of suffering: suffering of love. We experience the anxiety of attraction. And when someone says something bad about that person, it hurts us as well. The two types of suffering cannot bring happiness. When we can renounce dissatisfaction and satisfaction and rest the mind in equanimity, we will become free and live in supreme happiness.
A deity approached the Enlightened One and said, "This life is so insignificant. When old age leads to death, there is no resistance at all. Those who see the fear of death should make merits that bring them happiness." The Enlightened One repeated the deity's word. But, where the deity said "should make merits," the Buddha made a different reference, saying, "Those who seek true peace should abandon all worldly temptations." (LOKAMISAM PAJAHE SANTIPEKKHO - LOKAMISA/temptations include all enticements of sensory pleasure) The deity spoke softly while the Buddha spoke serenely...
The Enlightened One said his Dhamma is like clear water suitable to be swallowed. Just as clear, clean water can be bathed in and injested so as to get rid of humidity and thirst and to satisfy our physical need, the Buddha's Dhamma is an advantage to our heart and mind. It is a tool to put out anger and truly quench the mental thirst.