Love your enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” From the New Testament – The Bible- Matthew 5:43-48
The feeling of love is for all, universal. It does not make distinctions. Those who have friends will also have enemies. That is the law of duality. To go beyond that, be like the Sun or the Rain, which are displaying their might equally for all. We can call someone a friend, we can apply that label to many but to feel a special sentiment or feeling for those and not for others, that makes a distinction. It is through that distinction how we become trapped in duality and rather than expressing a non-dual feeling, we will go into emotions of like and dislike. As emotions have greater intensity, we will upgrade those labels as well: love and hate. Another duality. That emotional love is what is known as “true love” by many. However, as long as there is an opposite such as hate or fear, that is not the Love which can go beyond duality.
Many individuals will act in an evil or challenging way without knowing about the consequence of experiencing the same that they have done to others, for we are one with Life and what we do to others, we do it to ourselves (“punishment” from God, is the somewhat infantile way to explain the above.) Thus, compassion comes when knowing that their future will be to experience what they have done. It is unavoidable. That is to “pray for those who persecute you.”
It is of great importance to understand through FEELING and not to try to understand these words only with the mind. Change of BEING comes from your feelings and not through the mind.
Turning the other cheek.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” From the New Testament – The Bible – Matthew 5:38-39
This teaching is one of the most misinterpreted in Christianity. Some philosophers thought of that teaching as the “morality of the slave” or the weak.
For someone who has a different consciousness, every act of violence seen or experienced will only show how much violence that one has within. The traditional way of retaliation through violence breeds further violence, which will have more violence as a consequence to be experienced. If someone does wrong to you, the most important aspect is not to have grudges inside, that is to ‘forget’ that experience and give that person another chance. That is to “turn to him the other cheek.” To take the law under our hands is another act of violence with repercussion. We could pursue social justice, if that is needed; but If we have ill feelings towards that one, then we are not following that teaching. Why is it so important not to keep ill feelings? Because they will feed our BEING. The mind will pursue vengeance relentlessly, intensifying the emotion. Thus, we will BE violent.
This is not the morality of the weak nor the strong; but the genuine procedure of the one who is aware.
There is a similar teaching by the Buddha. At one time, he was spat on the face by a stranger. The stranger came back the following day to ask for forgiveness. The Buddha mentioned that the man who received that spit on his face is no longer there. Similarly, the man who spat with anger is no longer there. The waters of the river of Life keep flowing with newness, we are never the same. The Buddha said to the man that he cannot forgive him, for he has no grudge against him. The Buddha turned the other cheek to him.
In practice we see this many times. Someone could be unkind to us and we meet that same person many years later or even the day after. Could we give that person a new chance? Could we give the other cheek?
For many to act like the Buddha or as Jesus has taught will be considered impossible. It is not a matter of copying what higher beings have done for we will repress our true feelings and miss the opportunity to know about ourselves. However, we should know that every act has a consequence and fully observe when the emotion of anger and vengeance appear. To be fully conscious while it is happening, in the “now,” that is the test and the teaching for we will be aware of who we truly ARE at that time. We will be someone else later. When that observation is intense and focused with self-awareness while the episode is happening, then identification with the wrong experienced will not be, and the energy of violence can dissipate and we will have complete control of our emotions at that time. The realization, the aha! moment has to happen while the experience is happening. Not a second later.