Friday, September 6, 2013

Your Enemy is Your Friend

One of the basic tenets of Buddhism is interdependence; nothing exists without a causal factor. A human egg can't be fertilized without a sperm, an orange won't grow without light and you can't eat your lunch (if you have food) unless someone grew it, picked it, transported it, and the food somehow made it to your mouth through a long chain of events that go back to the Big Bang and beyond.

Interdependence is not an abstract philosophical concept that only theologians, mystics, or high priests can decipher. It is common sense unless one is insane and views his or her identity as a being divorced from all reality.

This morning I received a weekly email quote from an elderly Tibetan lama, trés apropos to the human condition:

If you know your enemies can turn into your friends,
When you are angry at them, you will cut through it.
If you know that your friends can turn into your enemies,
You'll cut through your attachment to them at its root.
What you must know about your friends and enemies
Is that they are equal. Understand this.
 --Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

Lest anyone think this to be Buddhist babble, remember that Japan and Germany were once bitter enemies that are now strong allies. And America's former arch-enemy Osama Ben Laden was financed by the US government to fight the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. And brother, was that whole saga a blooper in the movie of history!

So keep an eye on the prize -  the basic sanity that lies at the core of all people, and animals too. Even wee little things, right down to quarks, change from moment to moment, as certain as the sun rises and sets every day - even when it seems to be hiding in plain sight above the clouds.


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