We can become more independent and free if we realize that both we
ourselves and other people are only nāma and rūpa, phenomena arising
because of conditions and falling away again. When others speak in an
unpleasant way to us there are conditions which cause them to speak in that
way, and there are conditions which cause us to hear such speech. Other
people's behaviour and our reactions to it are conditioned phenomena which
do not stay. At the moment we are thinking about these phenomena, they
have fallen away already. The development of insight is the way to become
less dependent on the vicissitudes of life. When there is more understanding
of the present moment, we will attach less importance to the way people
behave towards us.
Since lobha is rooted so deeply, it can only be eradicated in different stages.
Ditthi has to be eradicated first. The sotāpanna, the person who has realized
the first stage of enlightenment, has eradicated ditthi. He has developed the
wisdom which realizes that all phenomena are nāma and rūpa, not self. Since
he has eradicated ditthi, the lobha-mūla-cittas with ditthi do not arise
anymore. As we have seen, four types of lobha-mūla-citta arise with ditthi
(they are ditthigata-sampayutta) and four types arise without ditthi (they are
ditthigata-vippayutta). As for the sotāpanna, the four types of lobha-mūla-
citta without ditthi still arise; he has not yet eradicated all kinds of
attachment. The sotāpanna still has conceit. Conceit can arise with the four
types of lobha-mūla-citta which are without ditthi (ditthigata-vippayutta).
There may be conceit when one compares oneself with others, when one, for
example, thinks that one has more wisdom than others. When we consider
ourselves better, equal or less in comparison with others we may find
ourselves important and then there is conceit. When we think ourselves less
than someone else it is not necessarily kusala; there may still be a kind of
upholding of ourselves and then there is conceit. Conceit is rooted so deeply
that it is eradicated only when one has become an arahat.