Definition of delusion: A mental factor that arises
from inappropriate attention and functions to make the mind
unpeaceful and uncontrolled. There are three main delusions:
ignorance, desirous attachment and anger.
From these arise all the other delusions.
There are six causes of delusions:
- The seed – this is the potential to develop a delusion that was already planted in our mind through past actions we committed.
- The object – anything we are observing or remembering when we develop a delusion. Attractive object become objects of attachment, and unattractive objects become objects of aversion.
- Distraction and being influenced by others – those we associate with have a strong influence on our own thoughts, views, and actions, for good or bad. We have a tendency to pick up our friends’ bad habits, which is why we need to associate with our spiritual friends as much as possible. Our spiritual friends encourage us in our spiritual practice and set positive examples for us to live by.
- Bad habits – bad habits of any kind are hard to break, including spiritual bad habits such as laziness or idle chatter and meaningless activities, or arguing with others.
- Familiarity – the things with which we are most familiar are the things that will come most naturally to us. We all have all kinds of bad habits or tendencies that come naturally to us because we indulge in them all the time, without even thinking about what we are doing or saying.
- Inappropriate attention – a mind that focuses on the qualities of a contaminated object and exaggerates them, either its good or bad qualities. This what actually generates delusions.