No Enemies

no enemies

“If your heart is large enough to envelop your adversaries,

you can see right through them and avoid their attacks.  And

once you envelop them you will be able to guide them along the

path indicated to you by heaven and earth.” – Morehei Ueshiba

The monkey mind is good at making enemies.  Enemies of ideas, things, places and people.  Enemies of past, future, ourselves and time itself.  Along the path of practice we come face to face with the fact that even great insight, perception and ability do not remove enemies from our minds because our sense of individuality thrives on the idea of enemy.

Making enemies is the manifestation of hatred, one of three corrosive root poisons (with greed and delusion) which destroys and scatters the wisdom and power we have gathered through practice and quickly opens the gateway to hell in our consciousness.  After awakening we perceive the hatred of others much more clearly and there is an impulse to make enemies with the mind of contention itself, but this is only another trap.

When we harbor the mind of contention we mistake ourselves as separate, mistake time as absolute and mistake our flimsy, mundane dream struggle for the great law of cause and effect.  Realizing emptiness, seeing the illusion of time and relying steadfastly on unfathomable outcomes of cause and effect anchored to the quality of our consciousness is the antidote.

It is important to remember that ‘the world’ is rooted in the three poisons, created from them, and driven on ceaselessly by their presence and effect.  The world, or samsaric consciousness, is an unsolvable, impossible and unpassable state born of the nature of unsatisfactoriness and suffering, ensnaring deluded beings indefinitely in its seemingly insurmountable web.  It is a game you can never win.  This is why it is delusion to believe that you can fix ‘the world’ or that there are beings to save, and this is exactly how God plays the game of “the loser wins.”  Only by the clear recognition that time and the world are shadows cast by the mind can the way beyond enemies be opened and the play of the root poisons be transcended.  As Shantideva points out, it’s a lot easier to wear shoes than it is to try to cover the Earth with leather.

Meanwhile, when hatred arises we should be grateful because it is one of the most direct and fortunate gateways to progress due to its strength and immediacy.  The tantric antidote is to realize that a game of enemies can never be won for long on either side, that there are ultimately no sides, and that even the winner loses big, as he remains bound to samsaric consciousness by the root delusions.  Offer your hatred and enemies to the soil of samsara and renew your commitment to seeing through the net of existence.

(See also The Great Vehicle)

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