Watch the process by which you make a mistake, by imagining a time when you were filled with hatred or lust. Does it not seem that the hated or desired person or thing is extremely substantial, very concrete? But look more closely and you will notice a conflict between appearance and reality. Notice how you:

  • First perceive the object;
  • Then determine if the object is good or bad;
  • Then conclude that the object's goodness or badness exists inherently in the object;
  • Then generate lust or hatred according to whether the object's goodness or badness has been exaggerated.

The benefit of insight is that it prevents us from attributing goodness or badness beyond what is actually there. This makes it possible to reduce, and perhaps eventually to end, lust and hatred, since these emotions are built on exaggeration. This, in turn, leaves more room for healthy emotions and virtues to develop.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in How to Be Compassionate