What is likable? In whatever they do, the kids follow their parents or guardians and the same tract is visible later too, in lesser intensity. As they grow up, they start using their minds along with the worldly knowledge that they have gathered around. The way in which they think and conclude is based on external impulses and internal thinking.
It is just like a newly rewired microchip with newer and additional features. They override certain older decision making abilities. Today, the conclusions are based on the latest technological inputs. Similarly, humans alter their thinking patterns. They may dislike cheese as a child but now they may just love a huge cube. How has this come about? This has happened since they started to think conclusively as they grew up. They might have read somewhere how important protein is for a man. So any kind of additional inputs creates newer likes and dislikes. But the object has never altered. Only the mind has created the outlooks.
You drank water from the bottle and later realized a dead cockroach inside it. You immediately stopped drinking. Now the water became unpalatable. But wasn’t the cockroach there right from the beginning? Then what is it that made the difference?
Know that the object is not creating the disgust for the water. It’s the knowledge that there is a dead cockroach which created it. So you can understand now that the objects are just around but our knowledge makes the difference. Which means when we realized the dirt inside, we rejected it. That goes to show the mind has extreme likes and dislikes. These in turn create the desires or extreme hatred for somethings.
If one were to overcome the mind and have equanimity then appearance of any object would not make a difference to you. Note that the object has its characteristics of taste, etc., but whether the object disturbs you or not is within your own hands. A bitter gourd is bitter to taste, which is a well-known fact since it’s the characteristic of that vegetable, but to like it or dislike it is within your mind alone. Whether you like it or not, the veggie won’t change it’s taste on its own. But by disabling your mind you can like it. Or just eat it without enjoying or savoring the taste. So now you see that you have disabled the mind and your taste organ too. The part called enjoyment happens because of desires. To enjoy something you have to have a desire to enjoy that.
So if you can overcome your desires and subsequently your mind, nothing will affect you at all. You can still relish any kind of likable or dis-likable item or circumstances.
But mind you the quality of the object is not changing. So don’t try to enjoy poisonous substances or intoxicating ones. You still have a long way to go of making water into wine or poison into honey. So continue your quest for decimating your mind and still having the ones you dislike!
Image Courtesy by Theatlantic