The Buddha talked about “the three poisons” which indulging in will lead to bad karma: greed, hatred, and ignorance. Fortunately, there are three antidotes that can ameliorate the effects of the poisons: generosity, compassion, and wisdom. Luckily, cultivating these antidotes is pretty straightforward and it is possible to do a little bit every day to better oneself. My work as a massage therapist grants me ample opportunity for the mindful practice of generosity and compassion, to which my clients often attest. But the other day I asked myself, “What is wisdom?” All of the Buddha’s teaching are recursive, operating in layers that constantly refer back to themselves. A first example? What I just laid out about the three poisons and the three antidotes is in itself a little packet of wisdom.
In several previous posts I began exploring the meaning of the word “philosophy,” and as you may recall it is from the Greek words for “love” and “wisdom.” Philosophy, when done right, is nothing more than the search for wisdom. And with a little logical slight of hand, we have our nugget for today: the diligent and honest practice of philosophy as the search for wisdom is, in fact, good karma.