Wednesday, May 21, 2008


There is an interesting simile which illustrates the nature of a fetter.

If there is a white bull and a black bull tied together by a rope, the question is asked, whether the white bull is a fetter to the black bull or the black bull is a fetter to the white bull. In fact neither is a fetter to the other; the fetter is the rope by which they are tied together. Similarly the desire we have for external objects is the fetter that binds us.

Nibbana as Living Experience by Lily De Silva

Picture by: Rickydavid@Flickr


G said...

This is true, Solitaire.
We shouldn't forget the purely mental desires that cause attachment also, of course. We can make a fetter out of clinging to certain mental states or ideas/ideals as well, can't we? Recognizing our desires as fetters that tie us to the suffering condition is the beginning of wisdom. May we all develop such wisdom!

G at 'Buddha Space'.

solitaire said...

Yes, absolutely. In fact, we are attached not so much to external objects per se but rather to our ideas and perceptions projected onto the external world. And perhaps, the strongest fetter of all is our idea of "I, me and my self".