Enemy or Supreme Teacher?
Opposition, not Hate
Love Thine Enemy
9:15: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed."
4:7: "and if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door: and unto thee shall be its desire: but do thou rule over it."
There are two enemies we must deal with on a daily basis:
1.The enemies of the peaceful world we wish to live in
2.Our own private demons that cry for attention, and have the means to destroy our personal, inner peace
Ah, the enmity of others...that eternal and frustrating enemy! The enemy of our desire for peace. The enemy of our desire for what we would like to see happen in this world. The enemy of our world-view and hopes for our future. How to deal with it? Anger? Lashing out? Yes...in the childish stages, which admittedly, I live in for much of the time. But yesterday my friend told me how foolish this was, and described his way of dealing with enmity: Pause, take a step back, weigh your options. Is it worth it to get into this fight? What will be gained by it?
Is that possible in the heat of anger? Or maybe I should ask, why the anger? For Carlos Casteneda has this to say: "To be angry at people means that one considers their acts to be important. It is imperative to cease to feel that way." Hmmm, I like that one! Because really, what power do they have but that which you give them? But... would knowing that stop me from lashing out in a fit of anger....?
The Tao te Ching says something like this; "Give the enemy nothing to be angry over, and the enemy will dissappear on its own." I like that one too. It brings to mind two Samurai warriors in a battle--the goal being to avoid the blows of the other, more than in dealing the blows itself. Calm, cool, detached. But still...will that stop the wave of anger from lashing out?
No, I'm afraid the advice of my friend and the second verse posted here is the only way to go: Do thou rule over it! Step back, take hold of your emotions. Act, not react.
For, in actuality, our enemies can turn out to be our best allies. Our enemies can become our best teachers.
For they force us to hone our opinions down to a crisp. They force us to crystallize our feelings to a sharp point of clarity. They force us to define exactly what it is we mean to say. And that is a good thing.
So, in the spirit of the Samurai warrior, I say thank you to the enmity that has been put between us; it is teaching us to rule over it!