Like a simple Dog chained to a strong Post!

The Blessed Buddha once explained mental imprisonment like this:
Imagine, friends, a dog tied with a strap bound to a strong post: It would
remain running and circling around that very same post... So indeed too, the
unlearned ordinary person, who regards form as self, who regards feeling
as self, who regards perception as self, who regards constructions as self,
who regards consciousness as self... He keeps whirling and spinning around
those 5 clusters of clinging! Furthermore: If that dog walks, or stands,
or sits down, or lies down, it does all that always quite close to that very
same post... Exactly so too does an untrained ordinary person, who regards
form thus: "This is mine, this I am, this is my self". And who regards feeling,
perception, constructions, and consciousness thus: "This is mine, this I am,
this is my self." If he walks, he walks quite close to those very same five
clusters of clinging! If he stands, or if he sits down, or lies down, he always
does that, as if locked and chained to those same five clusters of clinging!
As bound, he keeps running and circling around form, around feeling, and
around perception, around constructions, and around consciousness...
Since he keeps on rotating and spiralling around them, he is neither freed
from form, nor from feeling, nor from perception, nor from constructions,
nor is he freed from consciousness. I tell you, it is therefore, that
he freed from birth, aging, decay, nor death! Neither is he freed from
sorrow, pain, lamentation, frustration, nor all forms of desperate despair!
Neither is he freed from this entire mass of Suffering ...!

Mental chains - invisible - are much stronger than steel!

The foolish ordinary person is like the dog, his view is like the leash, his
artificial and imagined "I"-dentity (egoism) is like the post. Like the dog's
running around the post, is the ordinary person's running around his dearly
yet assumed personal identity, bound to it by craving, clinging and views!

More on Narcissism, Egoism, and Personality View (Sakkāya Ditthi):"I"-dentification.htm

The prison is not "out there", but "in here" within mind!

Good Dhamma talk by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu on Clinging:!%20Dependent%20Co-arising.mp3

More on these 5 Clusters of Clinging (Khandha):

Source: The Grouped Sayings by the Buddha. Samyutta Nikāya XXII (99-100); [III 149-152] An Ocean of Dhamma Teaching! On Clusters


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Updated: 22 December 2016