To cheat or not to cheat

mayasurfer's picture

Average: 5 (3 votes)

What to do? If I'm honest and tell the tax department that I receive a small pension from Canada this pension will be taken off my New Zealand pension. By law I have to tell them. But I could easily get away with it by simply ignoring it and hoping they will never find out. It is very tempting to ignore it but I'm afraid that in a "spiritual" sense I will get into trouble. Questions arise like what is the nature of the "tax department", the "other"? Am I seperate from the "world"? By cheating do I cheat in actual fact myself? Will this cheating play on my mind, make me feel guilty? .. strengthen my mind, my ego and make it harder to see that this world is nothing but "me"? With the understanding of non-duality it is probably better not to cheat.... but an extra 40 dollar a week is not bad either. What to do? Many thanks.

leo's picture

Most important: is not to cheat yourself, the rest will follow

This is a good question and first and foremost asking this question means that you don't cheat YOURSELF, that you don't let the mind find the convenient solution and then justify it by using and bending the spiritual ideologies you currently believe in. Most people fall into this trap.

I suggest you not to involve non duality in that. It has little to do with it right now - in case of someone who is submerged in the experience of non-duality, it has a zero significance whether there is a "cheating" or not, and for others, it will be artificial to simulate a decision based on something you cannot realize yet. If and when you abide in the personal experience of non-duality then the right decision for that time will emerge.

Meanwhile, an effective approach would be to inspect your mental reactions when contemplating about this "cheating" and then about "not cheating", without rationalization, without reasoning, without analysis, without ideologies, without society's moral concepts, just focus on the internal feeling - emotions, likes, dislikes, fears, restlessness, body sensations, vibrations. If you do it right, preferably in proper meditation, you will quickly find the choice which resonates as better for you. Then follow this choice and remember always from then on to claim responsibility for your decision.

leo | Mon, 11/24/2008 - 12:55
mika's picture

Guilt is before cheating

Cheating will not affect your mind if you don't mind cheating, if you don't have the pre-established reaction pattern of guilt and conflict. Guilt is before cheating, not a consequence.

The same is with Karma. Your Karma will not be affected if you don't mind cheating and have no guilt or conflicts about it. Karma is not some supernatural cosmic force per se as religions try to make it, it is operated through the mechanism of your mental reaction impressions stored in your psyche as conditioning and thus governs your future doings and being in this life and forward. You can witness it in many types of meditations (e.g. Vipassana).

Putting aside moral principles (that sometimes have some sense although invented by society for its own purposes) and love to others that does not let me cheat others many times even if I may want to, my personal experience is that doing to another person something that I don't like to be done to me immediately creates an inflictive emotion within me that is enormously harmful to me. This is not a hypothesis, you can feel it clearly.

mika | Mon, 11/24/2008 - 14:40
mayasurfer's picture

Wonderful replies

Thank you so much, Leo and Mika. What wise replies. I have contemplated "cheating" and "not cheating" and listened carefully to my inner voice. I realize I only cheat myself by covering up my true feelings by rationalising and reasoning how this or that decision is affecting my karma or the non-dual state or whatever...or how believing and following dogmas or belief systems only condition me to feel guilt...guilt comes before cheating as Mika's the guilt that causes Karma not the cheating...cheating or not cheating is relative and depends on the person and the circumstances. Just listening to my inner feelings, my inner vibrations... it became clear that -for me- what resonates as better is to ....well, this is personal and not relevant to this discussion. And Mika mentioning not to do what I don't like to be done to myself...that makes immense sense and really made up my mind. So I can only thank you both... I have learnt so much from your replies.

mayasurfer | Tue, 11/25/2008 - 09:50
barbara's picture


I have just read the post, the replies, and your response. I wanted to say that I think this was a remarkable and insightful spiritual collaboration that felt as a pure desire to help each other. Inspiring and touching! This is the power of this medium.

I would like to add one small comment: I totally agree that the mental reaction is what counts but I think there is a slight difference though between "cheating" an organization and "cheating" a person (which btw reflects also on the internal reaction). I give to myself some discount on "cheating" organizations but I will never consciously try to cheat an individual, this is the point where I can feel that I do not want to do to someone else what I don't like being done to me. I can't feel it regarding an organization or a company which actually are names for entities that do not exist as a spirit, just functional apparatuses.

barbara | Tue, 11/25/2008 - 14:34
Phroggy's picture


I'm part owner of a small internet business, along with two others. You seem to be saying you would not rob me on the street for a dollar, but you would take 33 cents from each of us. There seem to be many who think and feel as you do. Integrity doesn't stop once the other turns the corner and you no longer can see his face.

Phroggy | Wed, 11/26/2008 - 01:58
mayasurfer's picture

allowing it to happen

Thank you Barbara, another wonderful reply and so true. I can't stop thinking about all your replies. Slowly, slowly I begin to "understand"...actually more than just understanding, a new way of living emerges... allowing things to happen more than making things happen....I ask myself who is making decisions, where do they come from... is it "I" who MAKES these decisions (which is just another ego trip) or is it possible to simply LET decisions happen. Like Leo said... listen to your feelings without analizing, rationalizing, reasoning...from deep within the answer emerges as the "I" surrenders to this "deep within"...something infinitely bigger and wiser is making the decision...the "power of Now" is making the decision, surrendering to the Now, letting it happen in the Here. The response to every problem emerges clearly in the stillness of the moment. The "I" softens and opens up, I can feel it clearly right now... all the answers in the world are right in front of me and when there is no more question, all is answered, when there is no more "me", all is good.
Words, words, words... I could go on and on, I'm stuck in my head, another addiction... I long for biting into the apple and stop sniffing and crawling around the apple forever. Thank you so much, Leo, Mika, Barbara.

mayasurfer | Tue, 11/25/2008 - 21:00