To 'forgive one's enemy' one must 'love one's enemy'...
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Quote: (From a book called 'bible', a collection of spiritual concepts):
"Forgive Your Enemies!"
BeiYin: As one can see around us - most of people just 'outlive their enemies'.
To 'forgive' one's enemies it needs much more than the advice of a preacher or something written somewhere in a book. Although there is some wisdom in this advice, to follow it one need to reflect about it and understand more of the meaning.
What does it mean to 'forgive one's enemies'? Why there is an 'enemy' in the first place? How one becomes an enemy? Why somebody turns into my 'enemy'? Or is it that simple like: ' Who is not with us - is against us!'
Who has not the same opinion, the same view is a potential enemy. When he expresses his view, then he becomes an enemy and as a following action we need to defend ourselves, if necessary by eliminating the enemy.
Who does not confirm us, our world view, our self image, our thought properties and so our existence, can be tolerated as long as we don't feel offended, that is the case as long as our space is not invaded by expressions which are different than ours. Yes, every body is different and can be tolerated not coming near to us.
How can one forgive somebody who is offending us? That would mean to open up to the influence of somebody who is not on our side. How can one forgive somebody who is different?
Isn't our main interest to grow? To gain more? To get bigger? To swallow whatever we can? And as there are from others the same intention, so they are automatically our enemies. To be able to forgive them we need to reduce our interests...
Might be the first step that we quest ourselves? That we question our wishes, goals and needs?
It seems a long way to go before we can even think about it to 'forgive our enemies'.
But probably this would be worthwhile because not every thing which comes to us is against us even it looks like because it is not confirming ourselves.
Unless one wants to stay in the darkness of one's limited view and so rejects all light... And even the possibility of healing of one's disease...
Quote: The preacher's Sunday sermon was: "Forgive Your Enemies."
BeiYin: Doesn't come from the same source (the bible) the saying: "Love your enemies."?
Well, this is one of the many beautiful concepts which can be adapted intellectual and emotional, but to realize and to integrate them into one's daily life seems nearly impossible. To be able to do so it needs advanced conditions of the evolution of the individual and these are simply not present.
Or is this saying a kind of nonsense post like the many in this news group? Without any sense or practical meaning? I guess not. So what does it mean?
"Love your enemies!" There is something in this saying which seems not to be logical: If I am able to love my enemies, then these are not my enemies and so I wouldn't call them 'enemies'. OK, so there are my enemies and then, when I follow the advice to love them, then they are no enemies anymore. That simple! Indeed it would be nice if this would be possible, but it is much more complicate.
If one really is capable to love one's enemies - out of one's BEING - and not just HAVING this concept, then they would not be enemies in the first place, because love would open one to understand the position of the other, tolerate this and then probably there would be no need to feel offended and also not to defend oneself, because the other - even reacting defensive - will not be seen as enemy. So from one side the problem is solved: There is no enemy. But this doesn't change the other side. Or does it? Even he is not an enemy for me - I am still an enemy for him.
As he (or she) is defending his/her position with all means, he/she will not accept one's love, not even recognize it. One will stay as an enemy - the picture is established. There seems nothing possible to be done about it. As I understand the other, I will not respond to the attacks and aggression, the black mail, the lies, the manipulation, etc. But even my
silence will be felt as dangerous and invading. Why? Pretty clear: Out of fear.
I have learned a lot about the behavior of people - and myself - by watching animals. Often (maybe always?) animals are aggressive because they are afraid. We know that an aggressive dog for example can sense the fear of a person and then more probably will attack. If one is in the presence of an aggressive dog the best is not to have any fear and just ignore the dog, the aggressive dog will calm down fast and then it might be possible to do some movements towards each other without need of defense... I know this works because I have practiced it. This is easy for me because I love animals and specially dogs and I do understand them, also dogs can sense not only fear but also love and respond to it.
With people it is more difficult because they have lost their natural instinct and are stuck in their rigid concepts and self image...
Who is interested to read about this? Probably nobody, at least in this news group when I see the total lack of response... But who knows? If there are 6.000 subscribers then a few troll hunter shouldn't be able to force their rigid and limited view on all...
Forgive Your Enemies.
BeiYin: Why there is an 'enemy' in the first place?
Betsy: An enemy is someone or something that threatens a possession that you are holding. In the sense of your post, the physical possessions you are talking about are our own dearly held mental images. These we are defending or protecting for the purpose to prove the reality of the 'me' or how we see ourselves.
BeiYin: Who has not the same opinion, the same view is a potential enemy. When he expresses his view, then he becomes an enemy and as a following action we need to defend ourselves, if necessary by eliminating the enemy. Who does not confirm us, our world view, our self image, our thought properties and so our existence, can be tolerated as long as we don't feel offended, that is the case as long as our space is not invaded by expressions which are different than ours.
Betsy: As everybody is different, there can't be anybody who has exactly the same opinion as you do. So in essence, all viewpoints threaten your own. So what happens is that in groups, families or society certain rules are developed (many unwritten), so that there
at least exists a level of tolerance where everybody isn't constantly offended. But these rules quickly become outdated and stale not being able to keep up with the changing, growing reality. Even these rules can never suit all people because of the wide variation. It also
serves to give confirmation to others for that which they are seeking, so that they will tolerate you and let you into their inner circle...
BeiYin: How can one forgive somebody who is offending us? That would mean to open up to the influence of somebody who is not on our side. How can one forgive somebody who is different?
Betsy: It looks like I'll have that enemy as long as I feel offended by what they threaten that I want. So I see that true forgiveness can only come when I no longer feel offended. In practical terms, when I realize that I feel offended, then I know that I'm defending some value of my own. I want something on the outside to be different that how it is, I want it to conform to my image! On the other hand, I don't see that I can just turn off the feeling of being offended. I can take this kind of reaction in myself as a cue to look deeper to see what it is that I'm protecting. I know that if I take a deep look at what is behind it, that normally I discover that it's not something that I need to hold anymore, seeing the folly and history of why I have been holding that certain wish. Having dropped this desire, then I can forgive the enemies who threatened it. This action is our forgiveness, knowing the main enemy is oneself.
BeiYin: Isn't our main interest to grow? To gain more? To get bigger? To swallow whatever we can? And as there are from others the same intention, so they are automatically our enemies. To be able to forgive them we need to reduce our interests...
Betsy: Yes, these are our main interests, but generally one isn't aware of it. Yes, I can see how this 'unconsciously' creates our enemies. Everyone around us in our daily lives, we're all competing for the best for ourselves, and so all are trying to grab and hold onto the same 'empty space'. Yes.
Betsy: Loving your enemies is to appreciate those whose existence provokes in you your own defense response. At the time you may think of them as an enemy, because you are having strong feelings and want to blame that which is in front of you that you feel caused it. Later you may come to realize that all the thoughts and feelings you have are all self-generated.
Anything outside of you can be a catalyst to provoke a strong feeling inside of you, but in truth they are NOT the cause. Later you may also realize that there is always a relation to your expression and how other people respond to it. Each person responds to the other out of their own viewpoint which has to do with their unique history, but underneath there is a commonality.
If you are on the path of self-inquiry wanting to find out about who you are, at first you discover that it's impossible to answer this question yourself. It is like you are completely blind to being able to look at yourself. I remember when I reached this point and really wanted to know about me. So then I decided to ask each person close to me to honestly tell me how they saw me without holding back. I had a session with each person: my close friends, my mother, my father, my sisters and brothers and lastly my children. (If you really want to know ask your kids, they will tell you straight up!) I somehow knew ahead of time that what they told me would be hard for me to swallow, so I also had pencil and paper and wrote down verbatim all that they said so that I could digest it later.
Later I was able to look at it in a quiet space without rejection, and having all these viewpoints there appeared commonalties which I couldn't deny. This was my first real look at myself and it was an eye-opener, I can also tell you that I didn't like it.
Later I found a therapist to help me see more clearly the deeper picture. But all of this 'work' I can see would not have helped me at all, if there wasn't behind it the honest, sincere desire to find out about myself.
Afterwards I realized that how people respond to me can give me clues about my own unconscious behavior, because of my blindness to see myself. As long as I maintain the attitude of wanting to know about my self and grow beyond my old conditioning, then I can remain open to the other's response. From the other side, I should be able to appreciate 'those enemies' that provoke in me a strong reaction, because this makes for me something visible about myself that wasn't visible before. (My strong reaction 'by itself' shows I'm unconsciously defending something). From either side that I look at it, I can see that if I 'relate' to my own thoughts and feelings that are shown to me by my enemies then I can grow beyond my old rigid structure that has become worn out. I know that by changing myself and dropping those old worn out patterns that my life is much more 'harmonic'. I understand that 'enemies' can be significant mirrors for me, 'if' I don't give them the blame and accept ownership for my own reactions. With this attitude I can love my enemies.
The judgment that one forms of the other at the time when there is a disagreement then becomes an established picture. This picture or image of the other was formed coming out of one's need to defend oneself, it is very personalized. Then it is stored for 'ease of judgment' in the future and retrieved and used over and over again with this person. I can see why it is like this, in that we can't always attend to every little detail that comes our way. So with our daily experience we are always learning, recording images and laying down habitual response patterns to be retrieved for later use. This mechanism is there for reasons of efficient response, so that we don't have to relegate so much energy to thinking about things we've already processed (learned). But we must also realize that to keep retrieving old images and using them as a short-cut to not really look, that our world view becomes static and unchanging.
The question then seems to be how to drop these pictures we viewed the other through coming out of a past experience? We are changing; the other is changing as we all are growing. Then isn't it just logical that we can't continually use our old pictures to view the other?
I think it's much easier to be this way with animals than with people, because animals don't hold such complex images that they want to complete. Also there is not a common goal to defend, there is hardly ever competition and what is left is unconditional love. With two dogs it's not the same... Knowing about it, it would be good if we could all try to practice being in this way with each other.