Today we are going to learn the full extent of this next set of precepts, but limited to as much as I can give from personal experience, leaving space for your own experiences to resurface as you do a life review on yourself.
These are the next set of precepts:
Do not be drawn into lust, envy, pride, apathy, vanity, engulfment, war, rudeness, greed, and power over others, for these will make you transgress against others and will taint your soul.
These sets of precepts are all one of the same. It is the tainting of your soul from a new set of actions, inaction, and transgressions against yourself and others.
Each one, separately and from their own origin, will keep you distant from the clear mind that is needed to avoid transgressing against yourself and others.
Let’s get to them one by one with a short example for each. You may want to write down your own personal errings as you trim down your karmic path.
Although lust is defined as a psychological force producing an intense desire for an object or circumstance fulfilling an emotion such as sexuality, love, money, or power, let us limit this definition to sexuality
Lust comes in so many ways in today’s world that there is barely no escape from its temptation
You can see how lust infiltrates in the clothing industry following the latest trend by exposing sensuality in the newest fashion as it stretches social and cultural boundaries in small increments year after year.
We all see it in the most recent film production, in the music industry, in the cover of a book, in magazines, social media, and many other sources of advertising
Lust is the driving force for males and females to mate and reproduce, but it has also been used to entice, lure, seduce and attract the mind of the prey as he or she is driven into temptation, adultery, and immoral thoughts
Test yourself how much of your human mind is invested in immoral thoughts driven by lust. Have you ever become a prisoner of your own impure thoughts? From the simplest lusty though to seducement, we all have either fallen victims or have become the transgressor as lust fills our lives and minds through our physical senses.
Envy is commonly known as a feeling of unhappy or resentful longing moved by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
In short, envy is in the heart of those who desire or are jealous of what others have.
Envy taints your soul with malice as you wish not the best (and most probably failure), to your fellow human now considered by you as your opponent or adversary.
Envy brings strife, conflict, discord, animosity, disagreement, quarrels, fight, and even war among each other. You can see how envy takes place every day at work, among family members, neighbors, and even among those you don’t even know but heard of their accomplishments.
Let me give you a short but true story I experienced while my youngest daughter was in High School a few years back. Since she was in middle school, she became passionate about playing the violin. She pursued to extend her talent throughout High School until she made it to the second row in her latest audience for the upcoming school concert.
The way you earn your sitting for a concert was through auditioning before the music teacher. The best players were assigned to first and second-row, respectively, and down the line based on your talent.
Upon the teacher’s final decision and after making it to the second-row, my daughter was challenged by another student who did not make it to the second row and made a formal request to challenge her.
To my surprise, the schooling system allowed for someone to challenge the teacher’s decision, and a new audition took place. My daughter held her position in second-row, but her spirit was hurt as she doubted her talent and became frustrated and embarrassed by the challenge
This is only one aspect as to how envy can become transgression against others. Take a spin back to your immediate past and see how you may have harmed others and how you may have tainted your own soul with envy rather than happiness for others’ success stories.
Pride is known as a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated with, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
In this world of achievements, success, and glory, one cannot expect less than to be proud of what one does. In today’s world, it is even considered a virtue, and pride abounds as something good to have in order to be successful by their own definition of what is a success.
But pride also takes you to see yourself as better than others, leading to arrogance and vanity.
I am proud of what I do as I teach spirituality, but I am also humble enough not to let the dark side of pride become present in my daily life.
Here is my advice to you: Do not compare yourself with others, because everyone is unique in their own way. Do your best, but be humble. Value others above yourself but also those below your capabilities, for everyone is learning something in this world of our own creation.
Apathy is known as lacking interest, enthusiasm, or concern. It is also known as indifference, inactivity, or inertia.
The world is full of those who live day by day, not caring for what the future may bring but to benefit from others. I know this from over thirty years of firsthand experience as I worked every day, knocking on doors selling insurance.
The number of people relying on their welfare checks knowing they can work, those many filing for disability benefits while faking their illnesses, and those living off their parents, siblings, and relatives were alarming.
Today, after having lectured for over nine years now, I have seen apathy in the audience I lecture when I see no change in their behavior pattern after seeing them time and time again.
I have seen apathy in the stubborn and obstinate not wanting to change his/her ways for lack of commitment or interest in spiritual growth.
Apathy takes you into depression, lack of willingness to change your life, lack of interest in becoming a better person, it draws you into spiritual indifference. But above all, I have seen how apathy may lead someone to show or having an insensitive and cruel disregard for others.
Take this moment to test yourself as to how apathy may be holding you from attaining further spiritual growth or your unwillingness to change your ways.
Vanity is known as the excessive belief in one’s own abilities or attractiveness to others. It is closely held to pride, but vanity is also said to come from those who love money, the envious, or the wicked.
For the purpose of this lecture, it pertains more to arousing interest as to be attractive by one’s looks, sensuality, and appeal to others.
As you can see, vanity comes in different forms. It is like a deceiver in disguise as this economic world is built and ruled by vanity.
Many of us have not noticed, but just to give you a few examples: Making a spectacle of your looks is vanity. Dressing up to impress others or to appeal sensuality or to be gallant is vanity. Preserving your youth and not aging with grace is vanity. Bragging over your belongings is vanity. Unfortunately, those who have fallen victims of what I have claimed to be vanity will find words to justify their actions, starting with denial and followed by justifying their actions, claiming not to be vanity.
For instance, those who feel that they need to preserve their looks, drive the latest car model, dress to appeal to the business world and many other examples, will not recognize they have become vain—until they wake up and see their already damaged skin, their cars getting old and their dresses…well, let’s talk about fashions:
While in my former profession in the financial industry, I had to wear the latest business suit, the color matching of those days, and the latest tie in order to look successful and professional.
I became enslaved by the world of fashion, as the business world determined my attire. Year after year I had to replace my wardrobe with new ties, dress shirts and suits as each year the new trend changed from stripes to solid colors, from bright to dull color tones, from wide to thin and from long to short ties. Year after year I became furious for having to keep up with the upcoming trend.
Keeping up with the latest fashion was one thing, but letting it affect my inner soul was another. I always kept myself at the edge between who I was and who they wanted me to become. Test yourself and see if vanity has made you become someone else other than yourself to better appeal to others. Think of what you have done to your body or who you have become to please others and yourself as vanity takes control of your life
Engulfment has many definitions as to the application of the word. In this case, it makes reference to excessiveness on one’s behavior, such as food, sex, greed, and other human desires.
Since I already expanded in those previous precepts, let’s take this one to test your excessive misconduct with food, alcohol, sex, money, and any other behavior patterns you know is affecting your personal life as to having or not control of yourself when it comes to excessive behavior patterns that may be sabotaging your spiritual growth
War is known as a state of armed conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state. But also war comes in the form of conflict with neighbors, family, friends, co-workers, and business acquaintances.
War is a form of aggression. The aggressor transgresses against his victim, and the victim either surrenders or fights back. There is not much to say here because everyone should know by now that war leads nowhere but to physical or moral destruction and even to the loss of lives.
Neither I will get too deep in this subject because war conflict between nations is something that involves so many aspects, from politics to economic reasons, power, greed, stripping or claims of land, and many others unjustified reasons, where thousands of victims are claimed. This one is for you to ponder if you ever find yourself in conflict with one another
Rudeness is defined as lack or bad manners, discourtesy, defiance, disobedience, insubordination, and those many things we do when we do not agree with something or someone.
Being disrespectful is something I’ve seen growing through the years with new generations. When I was a child, I was told that I must respect the elder and address them as Sir or Madam (in Spanish, it translate to “Don” or “Doña”).
I was always taught to add the prefix “Don” or “Doña” whenever I address myself to an adult, and as an adult, I would always call an elder by their prefix, especially if I didn’t know their names.
Today is a different story. I have seen rudeness in the child who does not respect the elder; in the driver who cut me off while I’m patiently waiting my turn to a freeway exit; in the child, adult, and elder I have seen cutting the line while I patiently waited at the entrance to my favorite attraction; in the salesman who suddenly turn rude when I don’t want to buy from a pressured sell; in the friend or stranger who does not care to what I had to say; in the visitor who does not want to follow instructions; in the student who refuses to obey orders, and the many, but many instances I have been either the transgressor or the victim of rudeness.
Let me give you a personal example: Following the trend of the many with this wrongful act of cultural behavior, while driving on heavy traffic conditions in my homeland, the norm was to avoid traffic by cutting in line or making my own shortcut to keep me from running late to my next business appointment.
This trend turned into a nightmare because it was me against them in a neverending quest to beat each other. This inexcusable act of rudeness stopped the day I realized how this practice was building a karmic debt that I’m still paying today after a lifetime of wrongdoing.
I learned that patience beats rudeness. But to build that patience was like giving up one’s strongest addiction. I could feel the anger inside me building to a boiling point when I was following the Rule of Conduct, meanwhile someone was doing to me what I did to others for so many years. That was karma unfolding before my very eyes as the words: “Don’t do to others what you don’t want to be done to you” kept resounding in my head.
That’s when I knew how rude, disrespectful, and unsubordinated I became by not following the rules of traffic. I was so unjust, inconsiderate, thoughtless, and disobedient—but never realized it until after I woke up and opened my eyes to what I was doing and the consequences of my own actions as I was selfishly transgressing against others.
Today I take alternate routes when heavy traffic pile-up just to avoid seeing those doing what I did, as a painful reminder of who I was before waking up.
Today I wait patiently in traffic for my turn. Today I yield at those who seem lost, make the wrong turn, or are in a hurry. But I can also tell who is taking advantage of my good deed and who is not, simply by seeing the good gesture of thanking me with a head movement, or a waving hand. Those are the good deeds that make you feel good as rudeness becomes a thing of the past.
Explore in your memory bank how much rudeness is still in you that you know you need to overcome to become a better you in this quest to spiritual enlightenment.
Greed is an unnecessary desire to acquire or possess more than one needs. It is also known as avarice.
Greed is seen in the wealthy, but also in the poor. I have seen the poor becoming greedy with the little he or she has. You can see it in those who become hoarders and those who won’t give to the needy for fear of losing what little they have in the world of scarcity they live.
I get it—if you live in scarcity due to your karmic path, it can become scary having to give to others what little you have left. I can also see how others may take advantage of the poor who keeps giving from the heart, but there is a fine line that you must draw when giving to those who seek to take advantage of you.
On the other hand, I have seen the wealthy wanting more for not being satisfied with what they have. Wanting more of what you already have, or more of what you need is greed. It also leads you to vanity, pride, and engulfment, among other wrongful acts against the Rule of Conduct of the just and the righteous.
Do a life review on yourself and see if greed is in you and to what extent.
Power over others is as broad of a concept as having to make a life review from childhood to the moment you are reading these lines.
Power over others starts as a parent when you were either the victim of a child abuser or have become a child abuser yourself. Let me explain:
Many parents don’t realize the power they have over their children, how manipulative they can become to that child, how much fear they might bring to a subdued child, and how strict they may become by enforcing their power over their children.
When visiting clients at their homes to collect their monthly insurance premium during my early years in the business, I witnessed many, but I will tell you how one child would come to the house crying because she knew her father would lash her for being late from school. I would never forget how it broke my heart seeing the fear of that child and the angry face of her father who paid me and dispatched me to go and punish her.
I witnessed many, but I will tell you how a client opened the door while wearing dark glasses because her husband had beaten her and left her with a black eye. Sadly, her response to my attempt to help was that she felt and hit herself.
I witnessed many, but I will tell you how a dog was kept confined in perpetuity to a six-foot chain, having no escape but to the smell his own feces, and no movement other than stand, sit and wait for the end of his life.
I have witnessed the abuse of power in the animal abuser, in the child abuser, in the spouse abuser, in the bully, in the intimidator, in the strong against the weak, in the smart mocking the foolish, in the law enforcers, in the lawmakers, in the lobbyists, in governments, in nations and from those in power as to the future of this world.
See for yourself how much harm you may have purposely or ignorantly caused to others by nor realizing what this eye-opening lecture is showing you.
Creed and power go hand in hand as well as rudeness, war, engulfment, vanity, apathy, pride, envy, and lust. They all are transgression to yourself and others.
But because they have become standard practices among many of us, they are taken lightly, until after someone dies. But then again, based on their level of understanding, it may become a casualty, and those not directly affected by it will keep on with their daily life as a sad but inevitable reminder of how far we are from spiritual enlightenment.
We are just scratching the surface, and you may already be overwhelmed by this wake-up call. Overcoming all those wrongful acts you may have already seen throughout your lifetime is not easy.
That is why I want you to stick around as I will take you by the end of this ten-week program to work with yourself and your personal experiences to help you navigate through this path to recovery. It is recovery because deep inside, most of your wrongdoing is the product of your childhood, parenting, education, culture, and social behavior as you have learned to survive in this heartless world of our own creation
It is time to recover and step it up, just as the sick who learns that his illness is none other than the product of his bad judgment, makes a shift to recovery and promise never to go back to his old ways
Make an assessment of where you are standing when it comes to following this second precept. Be honest with yourself, and do not procrastinate. Procrastination is a step away from perpetuity, and that is what will await us if we don’t make some changes now.