Taking the False for the Real

People don’t recognize what’s real, so they chase after the false, seeking it as if insane.

Confucius said, “I have never seen anyone whose desire for virtue is as strong as his desire for beautiful women.” Even in those days, Confucius lamented the fact that people who cultivated virtue were not as concentrated as those who were fond of beautiful women. That’s why he sighed and said, “I have never seen a man who liked virtue as much as he liked beautiful women!”

I have never seen anyone who is as devoted to working for Buddhism as those who work for money. People who like the Buddhadharma sometimes get tired. They get tired after bowing to the Buddha or reciting Sutras or mantras for a long time. However, money-chasers don’t feel tired even if they don’t eat, drink, or sleep. Take a look at gamblers: They don’t rest day or night, yet their eyes are still bright as gold – they are tireless.

Think about it: why are people like this? Because they don’t recognize what’s real, so they run after the false, seeking it as if insane. This is being really upside down.

A talk given on the evening of April 30, 1983
at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas