Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Near Enemies

… one of the most insightful bits of Buddhist psychology has yet to reach a widespread modern audience: the notion of the "near enemy". According to this way of thinking, for every desirable habit or state of mind, there's a "far enemy", which is its obvious antithesis. Thus hatred, it won't surprise you to learn, is the far enemy of love. Near enemies, on the other hand, are much sneakier and harder to spot, because they so closely resemble the thing they're the enemy of. Needy, possessive co-dependency can look and feel a lot like love, when really it corrodes it.
                                                                                      Oliver Burkeman

We love to point at the “far enemy”
At those things that create a
“clear and present danger”

We lavish our attention
And our energy on them

That we can see
The hatred of others, and at the best of times
Our own hatred, which distorts and poisons

Well we can sometimes see
Although sometimes we are profoundly blind
To the impact of hate on our lives
(look at America today, and the hate of so many for those who are not like them)

To the way hate destroys compassion, and generosity

But attachment, the near enemy of love
It is so sneaky

We do not see
How our need to hold close the things we value
Instead of protecting them
Destroys them

We hold so close to our values
Our Bibles
Our children
Our expectations

We think we are loving God
And loving our children
And loving the pathway of decency, justice, and morality
But really
We are just smothering,
Twisting and destroying


All this while seeing ourselves as loving
Proclaiming ourselves loving
(it’s really loving to take away essential health care services)

Ah Sacred One
Deliver us
Not just from those far enemies
Those ones we can see so clearly

But from our near enemies
The ones that live
Most likely
Within our own skin

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