Taking a Closer Look at Jealousy
(Minghui.org) For years I thought of jealousy as that unsettling feeling when I saw someone better than myself. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I realized that the jealousy Master talked about has a much deeper manifestation and connotation.
On one hand, jealousy shows up as when we feel bad or unimpressed when we see someone better than us. On the other hand, it also manifests as a state of disdain and contempt towards those who are not as good as us, who do not match our expectations.
We typically compare things like ordinary people's fortune, looks, children, spouses, careers, education, and the cultivation states of practitioners. When we see a practitioner do better than us and think “that's not a big deal,” we are already feeling jealous. This is also the case when we see a practitioner who isn't doing well, and instead of helping him with compassion, we look down on him.
Jealousy is also manifest when a certain practitioner improves or does better than us and we feel unconvinced, instead of happy for him. We forget to “Compare with one another in study, in cultivation.” (“Solid Cultivation” from Hong Yin)
Master uses the story about Jiang Ziya and Shen Gongbao inZhuan Falun to explain the issue. My understanding is that Shen's jealousy came from the fact that Jiang was picked instead of him for an important task. In Shen's eyes, Jiang was not as talented or capable as he. However, one's heart is the most important, not talent.
It reminded me that when I saw people who were bad at the job they did, or were slow and not sharp, I always got impatient with them. I believe that this was also a result of jealousy. I also felt repulsed when I saw or heard of immoral acts or comments. I was even disgusted by that person. This was also an act of jealousy. An enlightened being would have compassion and feel sympathetic instead.
“A wicked person is born of jealousy. Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.”(“Realms,” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
My understanding is that when I have a wicked thought, it is often linked to some kind of jealousy.
“The issue of jealousy is very serious as it directly involves the matter of whether or not you can complete cultivation. If jealousy is not abolished, everything that you have cultivated will become fragile. There is this rule: If in the course of cultivation jealousy is not given up, one will not attain Righteous Fruition—absolutely not. Perhaps you have heard before that Buddha Amitabha spoke of going to a paradise with karma. But that is not going to happen without giving up jealousy. It may be possible that one falls short in some other minor regards and goes to the paradise with karma for further cultivation. But it is absolutely impossible if jealousy is not abandoned. Today I am explaining this to practitioners, so you should not keep yourselves in the dark and fail to enlighten to this. The goal that you intend to achieve is to cultivate toward high levels. The attachment of jealousy must be relinquished, so I have singled out the issue in this lecture.” (Zhuan Falun)
Master singles out jealousy in Zhuan Falun and stresses it, so I know that we must pay special attention to eliminate this particular attachment. The existence of jealousy will allow for the existence of many negative entities in our universe, which will in turn interfere with our doing the three things well.