We encounter natural and man-made disasters every day. According to Buddhism, everyone has three vices: greed, hatred and delusion. You may recognize them, but do you know what damages these vices can cause to a person, a country or even the world? You may not, but these days there are constant natural disasters and man-made calamities. A country with a great desire and readiness to invade other countries may have floods. A hostile nation with hatred towards others would have disasters caused by fire. A country full of delusional people, with ambitions to conqueror the world will be beset by disasters caused by violent and severe wind.

Some of you may question, how can a person’s behaviour influence nature? Of course it can. All natural disasters are the results of human activities. I can explain this through an old Chinese saying, “The right time, the right place with the right people, creates a unity of nature and humanity.” The weather can change through human activities and human activities can change according to nature; which in turn can lead to natural disasters. In old days, Chinese emperors were required to go to the “temple of heaven” to pray for rain and worship the ancestors. If the emperor did not go, his people would suffer. These are simple truths. So please, do not act out of your greed, hatred, and delusion.

Likewise, please do not worship me just because I have this transcendental power. All of you also have this ability, to a greater or lesser degree. For example, when you inspect a new house you may have a feeling of unease, coldness and even goose bumps, indicating the presence of an overpowering Yin energy in the house. I’m sure that at one time or another all of you have had these types of senses or feelings.

Similarly, someone smiles at you and you may smile at him/her as well if you think he/she looks kind. What makes you think so? First, a smiling face is a kind expression, at least on the surface. Secondly, you can sort of feel whether he/she is a kind person.  The downside is that a bad person can also deceive another by giving the appearance of goodness. I will teach you how not to be deceived. If however, you have already been deceived or hoaxed, then don’t allow your children to be fooled again. There is no excuse for your children to be deceived again.

Many regard giving their parents lots of gifts or taking them to a fancy restaurant is an expression of filial piety. But do you also know that to take care of your body is also an exercise of filial piety? Your bones are given to you by your father and your flesh by your mother. Therefore if you harm yourself, your parents are hurt the most, even more so than yourself. When you are in hospital, the saddest person actually is not you, but your parent. Therefore, you must keep harm away from your body.

Once when I tried to convince a person to do good deeds, he replied “Master Lu, this is my temperament, I cannot change it.” Can anyone tell me what temperament is? I gave this a serious thought which I would like to share with you. See if you agree with me. Temperament, I believe, is formed by a kind of habit that you have been doing for a long period of time, and you convince yourself that it’s the right thing to do. Why is it then that children have temperament? It is because they are spoiled by their parents and deluded by themselves into believing that they are correct.

Many young ladies make the mistake of taking for granted that a boy should be nice to a girl and spoil her. Such a woman takes for granted her boyfriend’s love for her and becomes arrogant, thinking along the lines of things like, “This is who I am. Love me or leave me!” After she turns 50 however, the woman may find that there is no longer anybody there for her. Who did this to her? It is her temperament. Let me tell you this: your temperament determines your destiny. If you can change your temperament, then you change your life for the better!

Before starting a business, many people overestimate their ability. For example, when they start their own restaurants, they smile all the time. Why do they do this? Because they know they would not be in business if they don’t smile. They welcome every customer with a smile. This is what I mean by changing your temperament. If you cannot change yourself, don’t open a restaurant and don’t expect to make money. In the same way, if you cannot change your temperament, you may find that your wife or husband or even your children choose to leave home. In fact, why is it that so many children leave home? You may hear them say, “My parents are very nice people, but they are so bad tempered.” But let me ask you this, what sort of nice people are they? Nice people do not have bad tempers. Nice people don’t scold their children all the time. That is not an acceptable behaviour and you should not make excuses for your defects.

Having said all that, let me assure you that I am on your side, and I will now tell you something that you may find more appealing and encouraging. These defects are not necessarily all of your own making. Many people’s bad temper can be due to foreign spirits occupying them or their house. A person can become angry at home, for no apparent reason. It may not take much for them to become unhappy or to even start throwing things. They may suddenly become enraged, even in the middle of a conversation. Their temper can change even faster than you can say Master Lu. Their behaviour is due to the negative energy fields surrounding them.

Many people have the habit of carrying their temper from one place to another. This is called moving energy fields. For example, it is not unusual for a policeman to abuse their spouse at home after being similarly abused by civilians or their supervisor at work. In China, many girls do not want to marry a policeman, because policemen are notorious for domestic verbal abuse. It is regarded as an occupational hazard or disease. Being continually provoked at work creates a very bad energy field which they are unable to release at work and therefore they may pick a small issue at home in order to let it out. As a human being, you must control your temper. If a person cannot control his or her temper, they move away from acceptable norms of human behaviour and start to act like animals. The difference between a human and an animal is self-control. Animals are not able to control their mind and behaviour as can humans. Animals act as they wish. It is though true that dogs may give the appearance of being sensible, staying down when their owner is unhappy, and jumping about when their owner is happy. Despite that, they do not care about what others think when they want to piddle on the street. Would a human do that? No, because human beings know how to exercise self-control.

The Basics of Metaphysics (Part II)