Who are our enemies this week? The enemy of self?

I came across this extract from George Orwell’s 1984

Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.
Orwell, George. 1984. – http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Consensus_reality

RP At our worst we define our self from those we hate and those who govern often manipulate by giving us a new hate target. At least one UK newspaper sells on the premise that most of the public cannot fail to respond to daily tut-tutting which is low-level hatred.

The answer to the question of the title is the same as last week and the one before – ‘The only enemy is the enemy of self’

Susan gammage on this subject starts an article with;

‘Abdu’l-Baha talks about seven material ideas and worldly thoughts which attract man to the centre of self. These seven “invisible enemies” prevents us from ascending to the realms of holi­ness and imprison us in the claws of self and the cage of egotism. These seven are:

Anger
Passion
Ignorance
Prejudice
Greed
Envy
Covetousness
Jeal­ousy
Suspicion

Just as the earth attracts everything to the centre of gravity, and every object thrown upward into space will come down, so also material ideas and worldly thoughts attract man to the centre of self. Anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jeal­ousy and suspicion prevent man from ascending to the realms of holi­ness, imprisoning him in the claws of self and the cage of egotism. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 241)

What does surrendering to these enemies result in?

We’re prevented from ascending to the realms of holi­ness
We’re trapped in the claws of self and the cage of egotism.
Whenever we try to escape from one of these, we will unconsciously fall into hands of another
Let’s look at each one separately to see why ‘Abdu’l-Baha refers to them as enemies.

TO READ SUSAN’S article go to – http://susangammage.com/7-invisible-enemies-that-trap-us-in-the-prison-of-self

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“When I drink tea it’s very pleasant to…

“When I drink tea it’s very pleasant to be aware
I am drinking cloud.” What happens when you die?
by Thich Nhat Hanh

…….You may think you are still alive but in fact you have been dying everyday, every minute, cells die and are born – for neither do we have funerals or birthdays (laughter).

Death is a very necessary condition of birth. With no death, there is no birth. They inter-are and happen in every moment to the experienced meditator. For instance a cloud may have died many times, into rain, streams, water. The cloud may want to wave to itself on earth! Rain is a continuation of the cloud. With a meditation practitioner nothing can hide itself. When I drink tea, it’s very pleasant to be aware I am drinking cloud.

When you are parents, you die and are reborn as your children. “You are my continuation, I love you.” The Buddha told us how to ensure a beautiful continuation – a compassionate thought, a beautiful thought. Forgiveness is our continuation. If anger, separation and hate arise, then we will not ensure a beautiful continuation. When we pronounce a word that is compassionate, good and beautiful that is our continuation.

When a cloud is polluted, the rain is polluted. So purifying thoughts, word and action creates a beautiful continuation. We can see the effects of our speech in our children. My disciples are my continuation ­– both monastic and lay. I want to transmit loving speech, action and thought. This is called karma in Buddhism.

This body of mine will disintegrate but my karma will continue – karma means action. My karma is already in the world. My continuation is everywhere in the world. When you look at one of my disciples walking with compassion, I know he is my continuation. I don’t want to transmit my negative emotions, I want to transform them before I transmit them. The dissolution of this body is not my end. Surely I will continue after the dissolution of this body. So don’t worry about my death, I am not going to die.

Let us meditate on the birth of a cloud. Does it have a birth certificate? (laughter) Examine the notion of birth – the notion that nothing can come from something, from no-one to someone. Is it possible for something to come from nothing? Scientifically this is not possible………………

from a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh

http://www.plumvillage.org/transcibe/7-what-happens-when-you-die.html

Quotes from the Heart of Buddha’s Teaching by…

Quotes from the Heart of Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh

“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Heart of Buddha’s Teaching

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Heart of Buddha’s Teaching

“The wave does not need to die to become water. She is already water.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Heart of Buddha’s Teaching

“Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Heart of Buddha’s Teaching

“The Three Kinds of Pride are: (1) thinking I am better than the other(s); (2) thinking I am worse than the other(s); and (3) thinking I am just as good as the other(s).”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Heart of Buddha’s Teaching

“Birth is okay and death is okay, if we know that they are only concepts in our mind. Reality transcends both birth and death.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Heart of Buddha’s Teaching

“Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Heart of Buddha’s Teaching