Yogi: If the mind continues to be aware of craving and aversion, can the defilements stop?
Sayadaw: If just by continuing to be aware, the defilements cannot stop yet. It is only when wisdom comes that they stop immediately.
Our objective is not to make them stop, but to learn from them. If they disappear, we cannot learn any more.
[Yogi’s note: The mind needs to experience the defilements repeatedly for understanding to arise.]
Are defilements good or bad? You need to know how bad they are. If you understand more and more how much suffering they cause, because of understanding, they get weaker and weaker.
People say anger is no good; everybody understands that anger is no good, but they get angry every day because they don’t really understand how much anger makes the mind suffer. If you really understand how bad anger is, the mind will not allow anger to arise in the mind.