in a Completely Enlightened Person
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Lecture at Harvard University, Boston, MA, U.S.A.
February 24, 1991 (Originally in English)
Q: Is a liberated soul is really liberated from greed, anger and lust?
M: Yes, the enlightened person, when he is angry, is not really angry; he is not deeply shaken. Or, the person who the anger is directed towards is not affected with hatred or with a negative atmosphere. The enlightened person is never angry for selfish purposes. He's never angry because you don't give him enough money, because you run away from him, or his wife runs away with another man or vice versa and he tries to chase her back and find other ways to harm the rival. The enlightened person may appear to be angry, but for different purposes.
Sometimes he has to use so-called "aggressive energy" to break through obstacles in order to work and to advance in his mission. He's not angry because no one feeds him, no one gives him money, or no one loves him. You cannot get away from anger. You must use it. There is a difference between real anger and the one who is enlightened and uses anger as a weapon.
It's just like a knife in the hand of the surgeon. It's different than the knife of a murderer. It's still the same - it hurts, it makes one bleed, but it also heals. The surgeon knows how much to cut, where and how long, but the murderer just blindly kills people out of hatred or for selfish interests.
Anger, greed, lust and all the so-called negative qualities all come from nirvana; all come from the kingdom of God. They are all noble qualities. Why are we greedy for the things of this world? It is because we came from the glorious kingdom of God. We are used to glory and richness, and we are used to things that we don't need to work for. That's why we are mostly lazy and don't like to work. We just want money; we just want diamonds. [Laughter] We must know in this world, it is different. We use this greed to push ourselves through this world in order to achieve the precious Stone, which is inside us, the wish-fulfilling gem.
Greed is not bad; anger is not negative; lust is okay. It is just that we have to use them in the right way: as tools to heal, not to kill. Then everything is okay. Nothing is negative. It's our misconception that makes things negative. [Applause]