Day 135 – The nature of evil

Evil thoughts and actions do not just appear on their own.
They emerge according to the thoughts I give rise to.
Thus, when those thoughts disappear
bad karma also vanishes.

죄는 본래 자성 없고 마음 따라 일어나니, 마음 만일 없어지면 죄업 또한 스러지네.

Literally, the first line says “Evil thoughts and actions do not have self (true) nature.” Well, that’s a little vague in English! The nuance is that they are not separate, independent things just floating around out in the world. Also, perhaps most importantly, they are not permanent things. They don’t have some existence that lasts forever or that exists apart from us.

In a way, you might be able to read this as “They are empty.” This is a description you have to be very careful about, because people lacking wisdom have used it to justify all kinds of harmful actions. While evil actions may not have true, inherent nature, they sure can generate a lot of painful results! And trigger unimaginable chains of causes and effects, so know that your own shortcomings are not permanent, and will change when your thoughts change, but don’t disregard them. You’ll still experience the results of whatever mischief they get up to!

That aside, this is such a hopeful verse! Change the way you’re thinking, start entrusting what you’re feeling and worried about to your foundation, and things will begin to change. It probably won’t happen immediately, but it will change.

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