The enemy

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how self-righteous do you feel?” That’s the question I want you to answer after reading this passage from Bhante Gunaratana’s Mindfulness in Plain English.

“Practically speaking, if all of your enemies were well, happy, and peaceful, they would not be your enemies. If they were free from problems, pain, suffering, affliction, neurosis, psychosis, paranoia, fear, tension, anxiety, etc., they would not be your enemies. The practical approach towards your enemies is to help them overcome their problems, so you can live in peace and happiness.”

The common response to this idea goes something like this: “Of course! It’s other people who are neurotic, self-absorbed, insecure and weak. That’s why they have such a problem with me. Because I’m none of those things.”

But is that true? 

Is it other people that have the problems, or is it you? How do you know you’re not the enemy that Gunaratana speaks of? What makes you so sure you’re not conflicted, scared, insecure and mean?

What is the supreme faith you have in your own goodness and humanity founded upon?