Eating the Hook

 "When people are deluded, they deludedly see that hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, and skin are wonderful things. Beautiful. It’s like a fish biting a hook. Whether it’s biting the hook or biting the bait, it doesn’t know. It wants to bite the bait, but what comes into its mouth is the hook, snagging its mouth so that the fish can’t get away. No matter how much it wants to get away, it can’t. It’s stuck.

It’s the same with us: When we see hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, and skin, we like them. We fall for them—and we’re already stuck on their hook. By the time we realize what’s happened, it’s already hooked into our mouth. It’s hard to get away. If we think about getting away to ordain, we’re worried about our children, our belongings—worried about all kinds of things. And so we don’t get away. We stay right there until we die. This means that the hook has snagged us by the mouth. We don’t know and so we’re deluded—like the fish that’s deluded and doesn’t know which is the bait and which is the hook. If it really knew the hook, it wouldn’t eat the hook. It would eat only the bait.

The reason we’re stuck in the world is because of these five things.

They’re “beautiful.” They’re “wonderful.” We like these things; we submit to these things until we die. Actually, there’s nothing much to them. It’s just a matter of the hook snagging the mouth of the fish, that’s all. Take this and think about it carefully."

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