If the Buddhist position is correct, unselfishness, as represented by the
Bodhisattva Vow, is the universal psy- chotherapy. In the desperate effort to
advance our ambitions or cater to our personal likes and dislikes, we are usually
unmindful of consequences. We take it for granted that our antagonism injures
the person against whom it is directed. Psychologically, this is utterly untrue.
Any excess injures the person who permits it to exist within himself. The simple
truth is that intolerance, intemperance, and avarice return to cause suffering
for those who set them in motion. As Buddha said, "effect follows cause
as the wheel of the cart follows the foot of the ox."
Perhaps we cannot at this time transcend all the shortcomings of our natures, but we can reduce our difficulties by strengthening inner conviction and recognizing the practical value of establishing only constructive patterns of causations. To visualize the Kannon image in ourselves, to give full allegiance to this transcendent being fash- ioned from the very substance of consciousness, is to know as living and eternal fact the tranquillity of the Bo- dhisattva state. Then indeed, the radiant Kannon pours from her graceful vase the waters of blessedness by which the mind is cleansed of its conspiracies, the heart of its destructive intensities, and the body of its infirmi- ties. Enlightenment releases consciousness from such contrasts of intellection, allowing the heart and mind to obey the universal laws by which they were fashioned, and which they are destined to serve. Having transcended self-interest, the Bodhisattva consciousness never uses emotion to justify or satisfy personal ambitions. Having no ulterior motives, it is capable of completely honorable conduct and that degree of love which is free from any trace of destructiveness.