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Loving your enemies

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posted on Dec, 5 2009 @ 08:48 PM
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Is loving your enemy one of the highest, holiest, most difficult moral tasks?

It was a cornerstone of Christ's philosophy. Buddhism encourages love and compassion for all sentient beings, which include those who harm you. I don't know much about other traditions but I assume much the same can be elsewhere.

How do you love your enemy? How far can you take this? And how far can it take you?

It seems to me that if you truly managed to love your enemies, you would be a human saint...a perfected man, gone beyond.

The road must lay through compassion. When we can see what is the same in another person as in us, it is a great sparkpoint for compassion in general.

But how does it all play out, really? Gandhi took it to an amazing level. but even his story may not be as clean as it looks on the surface. And I do have some problems with the idea of total passive resistance. I believe we have a moral imperative to protect our families and a right to protect ourselves. We also have moral responsilities to our communities, like it or not. Psychopaths walk among us....many. Passive resistance could easily become a cop-out or at least in conflict with other strong moral imperatives.

Perhaps a spiritually advanced being would be able to resist one's enemies while simultaneously loving them, but such a person would have to be extremely disciplined and also a holy being. Is such a thing even possiblble? I used to think so but actually I don't think I've ever seen it.

Thoughts?

[edit on 12/5/09 by silent thunder]




posted on Dec, 5 2009 @ 09:33 PM
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If i choose to love my enemy, i am conceptually understanding them. You cannot love something that you dont have a sense of understanding for, and therefore, if i love/understand my enemy, and after understanding i still love them yet choose to remain in disagreement with them, i am only reaffirming my own beliefs, and solidifying my beliefs and faiths.

so basically, by loving my enemy, i am strengthening my own argument, and the reasons that my enemies are my enemies.

With christianity this means that you are reaffirming your faith.

In other aspects, as in warfare, understanding my enemy gives me a much greater chance of success. In comparison to todays events, do you think that the americans who claim extremist muslims as thier enemy really understand the extremist muslim? or do they claim them as enemies because the TV says they are bad?

Loving your enemy is not akin to complacency and it is not an excuse for inaction, but is rather (IMHO) a means of providing a much more precise and strong reaction and therefore is a strategical advantage. In any aspect of life, this is obvioulsy a good thing.

-Wx



posted on Dec, 5 2009 @ 09:34 PM
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While I agree with the idea, we just can't achieve it. Maybe a higher species can....maybe they love all of us already.

Humans still carry that little seed of doubt, mistrust, hatred, no matter what. That fear we carry prevents 100% love...it's built in.

Hopefully soon we will evolve into Pure Love.

Nice post.



posted on Dec, 5 2009 @ 09:35 PM
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You don't have to hate them to hinder them.

Think about if it was your kid - no matter what they did, you'd still love them. You might yell at them, punish them severely, but you wouldn't hate them.



posted on Dec, 5 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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Well depending on what you study, all is controlled by God, and God has each person's best interests at heart, so what's to be protected from?

So to work on loving enemies, while sounds noble, is sort of a failure from the start perhaps since there isn't any enemies to begin with. It's the wrong direction. Truly loving friends is difficult enough and that's more the direction of what God desires. Enemies are temporary.

But I've still heard from the same source that you should defend yourself if needed. Killing isn't "bad" nessicarily but that's a different story.

[edit on 5-12-2009 by ghaleon12]



posted on Dec, 5 2009 @ 10:51 PM
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It's quite hard to love your enemies.

I can't even explain my feelings towards the entities or entity that run this planet. I feel as though I hate them and I feel at the core of my being that I really don't hate them.



posted on Dec, 5 2009 @ 11:02 PM
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We could start the process by Friending our combatants on ATS instead of Foeing them....but would they take that the right way?
____________________________________________



posted on Dec, 5 2009 @ 11:11 PM
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I think the problem with this philosophy is in the word love. We know that the religion that preaches "love your own enemies" is one of the most genocidal religions on this planet and murdered many innocent humans in the name of "love" So surely these people who murdered in the name of love, did not understand love as being compassionate to ones enemies. This is why the Muslims define their love as a practical love, where loving your enemies means that you love them enough to give them a chance to convert to Islam.

There is a logic to the Islamic philosophy of love. If you believe that your religion is right and you know for a fact that all other religions are wrong and will lead to hell, then it is an act of love to brings other into the light, even if that means doing it by force. Thus love does not necessarily have to be compassionate.

I understand love as more like reamining open to others views and understanding them, but at the same time being critical of them at the same time. So I can love my enemy to the extent that I will be open to their view and try to understand it, but at the same time I will be critical of it and respond to it accordingly. Another way I show love is by not being violent to others views that diverge from my logic, unless it is absolutely necessary.

[edit on 5-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 01:10 AM
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It is easier to explain when dealing with your family or anyone you have unconditional love for. Your children. You know how they sometimes do things that you hate and you still love them even though they did that thing you hate? I have heard it said Love the sinner hate the sin. It is a very hard thing to even think about. But if everyone loved their enemies, who would be enemies? Because someone doesn't follow the path, do you follow them? Hate brings Hate. Love brings Love. Which of the two are best? By answering that you will have your answer.



posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 01:24 AM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 



I think the problem with this philosophy is in the word love. We know that the religion that preaches "love your own enemies" is one of the most genocidal religions on this planet and murdered many innocent humans in the name of "love" So surely these people who murdered in the name of love, did not understand love as being compassionate to ones enemies. This is why the Muslims define their love as a practical love, where loving your enemies means that you love them enough to give them a chance to convert to Islam.



I would be interested in you naming one religion that has not killed innocent humans in the name of anything. Buddhism might be the only one.



There is a logic to the Islamic philosophy of love. If you believe that your religion is right and you know for a fact that all other religions are wrong and will lead to hell, then it is an act of love to brings other into the light, even if that means doing it by force. Thus love does not necessarily have to be compassionate.



If you have to force people to believe in anything you take away the only thing that could foster faith. Choice. If any god would have wanted to force humans to worship him, then he would have made robots with no choice. We do have a choice, which explains the many different religions.



I understand love as more like reamining open to others views and understanding them, but at the same time being critical of them at the same time. So I can love my enemy to the extent that I will be open to their view and try to understand it, but at the same time I will be critical of it and respond to it accordingly. Another way I show love is by not being violent to others views that diverge from my logic, unless it is absolutely necessary.



Yes love is understanding. That is very true. Love is also patient, loyal, kind, and truthful. All of the good things in life.



posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 03:20 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I wrote off one of my oldesit friends about 10 years ago. I loved her dearly, but she was an energy vampire. She recently got in touch with me and almost apologized for the damage she did, but didn't actually do so. She hurt her daughter by boycotting her wedding and damned my mother for being there for mine, even though she knew it was wrong for me.

Years ago I broke off communication with not only that friend but a few others too who did nothing but leach my energy.

Do I love them? Yes. I wish them the very best. They have their own lessons to learn, and I can't teach them, much as I tried over the years. I do love her and them but do not want them in my life. Is that wrong? Not for me.

Forgiving someone doesn't mean it's okay for them to be in your life. I don't expect them to beg for forgivness. After a certain point, it's their issue to find peace with. I love that friend, but that doesn't mean I'm going to let her into my life and take the risk she'll suck my energy again. I can't take that risk.

Love is all and forgiveness is part of that. I forgive her and love her but don't want her in my current life.

It seems I need to just say that to her.

Love and forgiveness rules.



posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 05:44 AM
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I wouldn't take the saying literally.

I would interpret it as learn to love your enemy or make peace with your enemy so that there is love.

Kind of like saying find peace with your enemy.

[edit on 6-12-2009 by vjr1113]



posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 05:55 AM
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Would you love a man who raped or killed 20 kids? You people act as if hatred is something bad which it isn't. There are times when it's ok to hate those who have damaged many.

It's better to just forget the enemy even exist after his/her death. Don't waste time in loving or forgiving them.



posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 08:07 AM
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I would be interested in you naming one religion that has not killed innocent humans in the name of anything. Buddhism might be the only one.


You would be surprised, there can be violent Buddhists as well. However, there is no history of Buddhist crusades and violent conversations as there is in Christianity and Islam, which have history of the most violence in the world. In contrast Eastern religions are relatively peaceful and tolerant, especially those in the Dharmic family. This is not to say that there have been no episodes of violence in their vast history, it has been extremely less. In ancient India, Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Carvaka(atheism) and many divergent schools have coexisted and nobody really killed each other for having different views. There was more a tradition of open debate and democracy.


If you have to force people to believe in anything you take away the only thing that could foster faith. Choice. If any god would have wanted to force humans to worship him, then he would have made robots with no choice. We do have a choice, which explains the many different religions.


Sometimes forcing people to your own belief, values and philosophy is necessary. For example, a terrorist's beliefs, values and philosophy may pose a threat to your own, and it may become necessary for you to act in violence against them. Another example, a racist and a multiculuralist will oppose each other so strongly, that violence maybe necessary.

In an ideal world we could all live according to our own individual philosophy and beliefs, but in the real world as we have to share the planet with each other, there cannot be absolute individualism and tolerance.


Yes love is understanding. That is very true. Love is also patient, loyal, kind, and truthful. All of the good things in life.


Again love is not necessarily always kind. A parent could love their children, but in their act of love they may also have to punish them sometimes. It is not because they no longer love them, it is becaus that they love them that they believe it is necessary to punish them to bring them in line with what they believe is right.

[edit on 6-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 10:29 AM
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post by Indigo_Child

I would be interested in you naming one religion that has not killed innocent humans in the name of anything. Buddhism might be the only one.


I am a Buddhist and even I must admit Buddhism has its dark side. In the recent Sri Lankan conflict, for example, which pitted Buddhists against Hindus, there was much atrocity on both sides. Tibetan Buddhist monestaries were massive landholders in medieval times with thousands of serfs who were routinely beaten, yoked like oxen, and had their hands and feet cut off. "Zen and the Art of Archery" looks nice when written elegantly on the over of a book, until you contemplate what those archers were shooting at: human flesh. Warriors would go to Rinzai monestaries to learn martial arts, which they would then take onto the field and use to slaughter other humans. In medieval Japan, Tendai and Jodo-Shin monestaries maintained standing militia. And so on.

As a Buddhist I love my religion but I resist all attempts to see it whitewashed as some sort of new-age Disneyland. There is plenty of dark blood caked in the crevaces of it its 2,500 year history.

[edit on 12/6/09 by silent thunder]



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 01:16 AM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 



Sometimes forcing people to your own belief, values and philosophy is necessary. For example, a terrorist's beliefs, values and philosophy may pose a threat to your own, and it may become necessary for you to act in violence against them. Another example, a racist and a multiculuralist will oppose each other so strongly, that violence maybe necessary.

In an ideal world we could all live according to our own individual philosophy and beliefs, but in the real world as we have to share the planet with each other, there cannot be absolute individualism and tolerance.



If one is on a path of peace, which IMOP is the best path to take, then he never meets anyone. Only if he stays on his path. If someone tries to do violence to you and you to him, then you left your path and are now traveling his path. Only by staying on your path will you make it to it's destination. So if you believe that violence is always wrong and peace is the only way, then off your path you will not go.

Yes in an ideal world. I here ya on that one. Until everyone reaches the truth, and changes their view to a common goal for all mankind, there will be conflict. Your also right that there cannot be absolute individualism and tolerance in this society. I do not think it is changing that is needed. I think it is building. Start with ourselves.

Look inside for answers. Answers has come out of everyone, so I know they are in there. So since there can be no collective individualism, lets try single individualism.

Single Individualism can be pretty powerful, after all someone has to be on top. Right? That path has been shown, over and over, to have a lot of, shall we say, temptations which has always been to known to distract one from their spiritual journey.
We seem to somehow get off our path and as we all get older we start realizing it. But it could still work.


Again love is not necessarily always kind. A parent could love their children, but in their act of love they may also have to punish them sometimes. It is not because they no longer love them, it is becaus that they love them that they believe it is necessary to punish them to bring them in line with what they believe is right.


From the way I see it, there is a major difference between going as far as killing someone, and a parent lovingly, punishing their child. You do not kill your child because you love it. I mean maybe it's just me, but how on earth could that be wrong? That is love.

Who's job is it to teach our children these things. It is us parents. Right from wrong. We all know what is right and what is wrong, in our hearts. Our own hearts condemn us for what is wrong.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 01:20 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Then there is not one, that I know of anyway.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 01:23 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Maybe there has to be violence to show the good side of things. But look at Buddhism now. I do not hear anything about them hurting anyone now, or anything for that matter. Seems as if they have been enlightened.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 04:41 PM
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reply to post by Conclusion
 


Check the link in my post; Buddhist violence is ongoing.

From an non-metaphysical viewpoint, humanity only "needs" violence for survival. I mean, its a tough old world out there. Some scientists think we cannibalized our cousins the Neandertals into extintinction. Lovely behavior, huh. You don't make it to the top of the food chain without sailing down a river of bloodshead.

On the other hand, the human skull has grown more gracile (thinner) in the last 100,000 - 50,000 years, suggesting less long term-violence as a species. A decrease in violence would be necessary for the trust required in the formation of larger groups (villiages and eventually small cities), so this makes sense. It also suggests that we have the capacity to adjust our levels of violence and trust, both instinctually and intellectualy. Our religions and philosophies have become more complex and moral, too (and although this point could be argued, at least human sacrifice is much less common globally than it once was). We can control our own destinies as a species to some extent, particualrly if we are aware of the issue. A more peacful humanity is perfectly possible.

History teaches us to wary of optimism, though....any fundamental change like that would take a long time, on the order of tens of millenia. Long before that could happen, we could easily wipe ourselves out in this or that fit of technologically-mediated fury. IT could happen within a few decades or centuries..or any moment now, for that matter.


[edit on 12/7/09 by silent thunder]



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 04:50 PM
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The most simple way to at least have a basis for loving your enemies, is that they show you, and indirectly teach you, "right from wrong". Or more simply put, they help increase your awareness by offering different perspectives to allow you to choose what you want, or reinforce what you already stand for. With no enemies, there would be no way to reinforce or value what you care about.

How you take this information and turn it into actual love.. Well that's up to you.

[edit on 7-12-2009 by vasaga]



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