A superior person knows how to determine his own fate. One can establish one’s own destiny and seek one’s own blessings.
In the world, there are many things that you might think are good, but there are also bad things that occur within them. You might think you’re very happy right now, but in the future you may experience pain and grief. If you want to avoid these afflictions, you should simply hold to the Middle Way means neither going too far nor coming up short. Afflictions are gone, and so is happiness. The Doctrine of the Mean says:
While there are no stirrings of pleasure, anger, sorrow or joy,
The mind may be said to be in the state of equilibrium.
When those feelings have been stirred, and they are moderated,
What ensues may be called the state of harmony.
If you understand this principle, then no matter what you do, you shouldn’t go overboard, become confused, or be upside-down. You should clearly recognize black as black, white as white, good as good, and bad as bad. If you can distinguish them clearly, you won’t do things that are a mixture of good and evil.
Everything that happens to us in this life comes from the karma that we created in past lives. If you want to change our fate, we must perform many meritorious deeds. It is said, “A superior person knows how to determine his own fate. One can establish one’s own destiny and seek one’s own blessings. Calamities and blessings do not come on their own; people themselves bring them about.” This is the same principle.
Students of the Buddhadharma must clearly recognize causes, effects, retributions, and responses. Don’t carelessly create evil karma or plant evil causes. Don’t make mistakes in cause and effect. Be extremely cautious, or you’ll be sorry when you undergo the retribution.