Disclaimer: The translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won’t be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比，怎么写，都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.
In this chapter, Master tells you about four symptoms that people who are possessed by their inner demons would show. Try and compare it with yourself to see.
The first symptom is that one is moody. They also regularly hate themselves. In one moment, they’re happy; in the next moment, they become sad. They would suddenly lose their temper and then act normally after a short while. These kinds of people are possessed by their inner demons.
The second symptom is that they tend to exaggerate their behaviour and actions. They may only have done some small thing, but they overreact. It’s difficult for those who are possessed to awaken. If you tell them, “Don’t do that.” They will reply, “I’m like that, so what?” What kind of actions are considered overreacting? For example, if they say, “In reality, I’m a peaceful guy. But if somebody provokes me, I make sure to make it hell for them.” Isn’t that quite an overreaction? In truth, these kinds of people regularly lose their temper.
The third symptom is that they always think that they’re right and are unwilling to communicate with others. They are also possessed by their inner demons. “Don’t talk to me about it anymore; I know I’m definitely right.” If one remains to be unwilling to communicate with others for long enough, their mind will be possessed. Many people are too attached that others can’t persuade them anymore. “I’m like that, and?” “She’s definitely like that.” Others reply, “No, listen to me. Nobody talked about you.” “Impossible; she definitely said something about me.” “Dad, don’t be like that. Mum didn’t talk anything bad about you.” “She must have.” This is what’s it like to talk to somebody who’s possessed. They’re unwilling to listen to the opinion of others.
Some people also constantly feel that others are out to get them. When Master is preparing for his class, he sometimes laughs while he’s preparing. There are too many of these kinds of people. It’s too ridiculous. Who doesn’t have this kind of shortcoming where they feel that others are mistreating them. Isn’t that a mental illness? That’s what happens when they’re possessed by their inner demons. There’s also a kind of people who think others want to hurt them. They suffer from paranoia. It’s like when they hear something and put it out of context. “He wants to hurt me! I heard that he told the manager to split me into two.” In reality, the colleague said to split his shortcomings into two to look at. But he thought that he wanted to split him in two physically.
Master tells you these are all inner demons that could ruin you. You must eliminate them. Buddhists should always stay humble and learn. When you bow when you see Master and fellow Buddhists, you’re not bowing to show Master, but you’re doing it to accomplish your cultivation. You are a Buddhist, so you are a cultured and refined person. When you humbly put your hands together and bow, you are respecting Master and the Bodhisattvas, but you are also respecting yourself. You must understand, arrogance is a very deep-rooted bad habit. As long as one act proudly and look down on others, then that’s bad behaviour.
Buddhists must completely comprehend their Buddha-nature. In other words, you should use everything within your power and wisdom to awaken your Buddha nature no matter what. You should also use most of your effort to be completely knowledgeable about the Buddha-Dharma. That way, Buddhists could keep on practising the Buddha-Dharma without retreating. They could read a complete volume of ‘Buddhism in Plain Terms’ in one day. You must also use everything within your power to get rid of your ignorance completely. So you should ask questions more. You must do your best to spiritually awaken all sentient beings around you and help others more often. If you learnt Buddhism for a long time yet, you only cared about cultivating yourself and don’t go and help others; then you could never spiritually awaken sentient beings.
You must think about purifying your spirit. It’s not just about purifying something superficial, but it’s about digging out the mental obstructions that exist within your mind. What are these mental obstructions? It’s mental pain. The more painful something is, the more you need to dig it out. “Why am I like that? Why do I feel pain when I recall it? I need to get to the bottom of it. I must realise what mistake I made so that I can learn the lesson and never do it again.” It’s only when you dig out the roots of your pain deeply that you will never be in pain again. It’s like going through a surgical operation. Some people suffer intestinal pains to the point that the problem develops into colon cancer and requires a surgeon to remove parts of the colon. That is why you must dig it out. Although it’s painful, you still have to do it.
For example, you had a divorce that left you with a painful memory. “Why did I divorce?” It’s painful, but you won’t be in pain the next time. In your first marriage, you belittled your partner, so your relationship quickly ended. Then, you didn’t learn your lesson for your second marriage, and you didn’t change your shortcomings because you didn’t dig out and find the cause of the pain. So even when you remarry, you’ll quickly divorce again. Master tells you, when you are digging out your mental obstructions, you are digging out the root of your pain. You must introspect deeply and turn what you know into wisdom. So just when you’re about to lose your temper, you suddenly think to yourself, “Buddhists shouldn’t lose their temper. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to keep my job.” When your consciousness changes, what you also understand changes, and it becomes a kind of wisdom. Do you understand?
You must resolve all the doubts and suspicions in your mind. You mustn’t allow it to linger there. Master teaches you two methods. The first method is to quickly find out about it clearly so that it’s resolved. The second method is to not resolve it and allow it to gradually resolve itself. Don’t investigate what went wrong, don’t try to understand, don’t think about it, nor do anything to provoke those doubts. Then gradually, the afflictions borne from those doubts and suspicions will fade away. If you keep on insisting on getting to the bottom of things, problems will eventually develop with your thought process.
Master mentioned it before, don’t keep on trying to get to the bottom of things. It would only further cause you pain. There are things that Master is clearer about than you, is that right? How wouldn’t he know about what his disciples are doing? Sometimes, they would go to meet Master and talk about this and that. Regardless of whether it’s about the fellow practitioners in Europe or the USA, how would he be aware of things? Master only didn’t mention it. He won’t try to get to the bottom of things; he would only encourage them because they’re not by his side. Those who think that Master is aware of the truth are foolish. Just like how some children at kindergarten lie and say that they didn’t do something. Are the teachers really unaware of what was going on? That’s the principle.