You know the saying about taking the rough with the smooth? Well life generally consists of a mixture of good times and bad times, happiness and sadness, health as well as sickness. In general, it is the ratio of these opposites that makes us feel that life is going well, or going badly.
Buddhism teaches us that human life is endowed simultaneously with both good and evil. The human mind is interpreted as partaking of ten different conditions, or states, the Ten Worlds, including, at one end of the scale, hell, which is filled with suffering; hunger, dominated by greed; and animality, characterized by fear of the strong and contempt for the weak.
At the other end are the worlds of Bodhisattva and Buddhahood – states of mind in which people strive to help others by eliminating suffering and imparting happiness. Buddhism further teaches us that it is the nature of life for good and evil to be essentially inseparable.
As we have seen previously, all ten worlds contain, and are contained within the other worlds. This explains how we can be flying high one second and down in the dumps the next, generally at the whim of some external cause.
By realising that the worlds are so interconnected, we can learn to exercise more control over our changing life-states, or mood swings as they are commonly known. The result of greater self-awareness, brought about by the self-improvement that our practice brings, is that we can maintain a more stable, happier state of mind, and isn’t that the whole point?