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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. [29] If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. [30] Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. [31] Do to others as you would have them do to you."

I'm not a Christian, but I do find these words by Jesus quite inspiring. How difficult is it for you to do this? Do you think it's even possible to heed his words in the type of era that we are living? How do you interpret these words?
 
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of course it is possible. Scripture is relevant no matter what the date.
Sure, it is a bit hard for me, given my natural human, selfish tendencies. That being said, by God's grace, I have been able to easily forgive, not hold grudges, and well, at least try to love my enemy.
as for interpretation....that's a hard one. it could be interpreted a lot of ways. i just try to look at Jesus's life from the gospels and see how he treated those who did wrong to him
 

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So often the most effective way of resolving a dispute is through compassion and humility. We just need to get past our own pride. :frustrating:
 

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I hope its okay that I'm an INFP answering this, but I kind of think of it like this: your enemy is within, it is inside yourself. If you destroy the enemy, then, you will destroy yourself. So it doesn't make sense to do that, so love your enemy. While I understand people interpret it to mean literally, me vs you, it still kind of applies, as we are all a part of each other. That's my two cents on the subject, at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I find myself sometimes in conflict over people who tell me that letting others take what belongs to me is very wrong and very cowardly.....this is coming from Christians themselves, which leaves me even more confused.:mellow:
 

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I read of alternative view in eastern religions that by not standing up for yourself when people act in immoral manner towards you, you are basically promoting their moral degradation. This reflects negatively not only on their karma but also on your own, thus you should stand up against injustice. I must say I find this view to be way more in line with reality of how the world works, and this is completely irrespective of whether there is any karma associated with it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I hope its okay that I'm an INFP answering this, but I kind of think of it like this: your enemy is within, it is inside yourself. If you destroy the enemy, then, you will destroy yourself. So it doesn't make sense to do that, so love your enemy. While I understand people interpret it to mean literally, me vs you, it still kind of applies, as we are all a part of each other. That's my two cents on the subject, at least.
Now, that is a good interpretation. I've never thought about it that way. It makes sense also: If you love yourself, it will make it much easier to love others. Leading by example would surely make people around the world start loving themselves.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I read of alternative view in eastern religions that by not standing up for yourself when people act in immoral manner towards you, you are basically promoting their moral degradation. This reflects negatively not only on their karma but also on your own, thus you should stand up against injustice. I must say I find this view to be way more in line with reality of how the world works, and this is completely irrespective of whether there is any karma associated with it or not.
Interesting. I think I see where they're coming from. I agree what you said to an extent, and I would be curious to hear what Jesus would've responded to that.

Edit: Actually, I'm thinking what he tried to say was that we should actively try to love our enemies. Not just stand and smile while they're mugging us, but rather, trying to do something about their suffering. This is actually a Buddhist goal as well.
 
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Love comes from within.
 
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Interesting. I think I see where they're coming from. I agree what you said to an extent, and I would be curious to hear what Jesus would've responded to that.

Edit: Actually, I'm thinking what he tried to say was that we should actively try to love our enemies. Not just stand and smile while they're mugging us, but rather, trying to do something about their suffering. This is actually a Buddhist goal as well.
Here is the dilemma though. If you are mugged, beaten, stripped of your identity, reputation, position and power, or may be even killed, and you have turned the other cheek to it and accepted the situation as it is without doing anything to stop your enemies, then you will not be in a position to help anyone with their suffering, including your enemies. You will turn into the one needing help instead.
 

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"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. [29] If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. [30] Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. [31] Do to others as you would have them do to you."

I'm not a Christian, but I do find these words by Jesus quite inspiring. How difficult is it for you to do this? Do you think it's even possible to heed his words in the type of era that we are living? How do you interpret these words?
I am a Christian and I believe these words can be accomplished if we have the willpower. It is difficult, but I can accomplish it soon. In my point of view, if I am wronged by an enemy of mine, I have this feeling or drive to protect them from harm. I asked a question to a classmate of mine one time and she answered harshly back to me. I didn't care. When she was in despair, I treated her very kindly. I have this protective tendency even towards my enemy I believe. Haha :blushed:

However, if I am wronged up to the point that somebody murdered the one I love, I will unleash my Battousai side and will not forgive the person until I knock some sense into him or her.
 

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Okay. This is not mine
We use "self actualization" to describe a lot of things. Reaching our full potential. Happiness and fulfillment.

My concern wasn't whether it's real or not -- my concern was the most common way we think we can achieve it. You see, I think we've got it all wrong. People have taken Maslow's pyramid and run wild with it.

The most prescribed route is focusing on your self. If you focus on yourself enough, you'll eventually figure you out and become comfortable with yourself, and then be empowered.

Think about it. We're all focused on ourselves so much already.

If focusing on self was the answer, wouldn't we all be a lot happier and fulfilled? Do you really think the answer is MORE focus on self?

You will never reach it focusing on self. Ever.

I'm here to propose something radically different.


Your examples of people who reached self actualization were Martin Luther King and Ghandi.

Those are great examples, although somewhat stereotypey.

Did they reach self actualization by being self-centered for 20 years?

No.

They got that way by doing the complete opposite.

They believed in ignoring self and focusing on others. They focused on others more than themselves.

Whatever personal development they had was based on the motivation of helping others.

And that's the key!



Self actualization is not easy. Focusing on yourself is easy. Everyone does that... anyone can do it. That's not it. It's not very hard to be self-centered -- we're born that way.

And people will have you believe focusing on YOU is the answer, because it's easy and attractive. But it's a lie.

Your motivation is not supposed to be self!

The true path to self actualization is the complete opposite of what most people think it is, because it seems illogical. And it's not easy -- it's hard. Because being selfless is hard.

Here's a comparison:
Focusing on self --- easy, born that way, ultimately empty, not the path to self actualization
Being selfless --- hard, fulfilling


It's really a question of love.

Sounds weird but hear me out.

What you focus on is what you love. Makes sense, right?

The key is loving people more than yourself. You focus on what you love.

Have you noticed how people who are deeply in love feel so happy?

They've lost themselves, yet it's like they are on top of the world.

Imagine a life like that. I don't mean life emotionally focused on one individual, but life focused on things other than yourself.

MLK, Jesus, Ghandi and Mother Theresa lived lives like that. Their motives were not about self. Their focus was not on
themselves. Why? Because they loved other things more. They "loved", period. Their focus was elsewhere.

If you wanna try being fulfilled by focusing on yourself, then go ahead. Just cut your losses early when it doesn't work
out. The more people are focused on themselves the more hideous they become.

Mankind is BORN focused on self. That's not the answer.

The answer isn't more self-love, it's less of it.

(In fact, I would go so far to say that the opposite of love is not hate. It's selfishness (or pride)

What (and who) do you really love more than yourself?

That's the question I've started asking myself on a continual basis.

Basically I'm in the process of killing my "self".

If the answer to that question is God and other people, then you've got access to happiness and empowerment beyond limits.

Discuss
 

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GRACE is forgiving, helping or giving something to someone who does'nt deserve it.Because you have the true love of god in your heart CHARITY that comes from FAITH and HOPE . If someone has grace they're christ like having faith hope and charity and would be someone who understood all of gods plan if they displayed it all the time .most of us are only capable of it once in a while.This is something I believe I can't speak for all Christians.
 

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As a Christian I believe that the only way it is possible to love my enemies is by depending on the power of the Holy Spirit to give me that ability I can not do it in my own strength.
 

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I aspire to conduct myself in such a way. It comes naturally to me. But growing up developed a defensive nature in me that I'm having to shed now that I am capable of dealing with life. There are many questions though. I usually act when I feel it is time to act, and submit when it is time to submit. I don't think the scripture means to let people walk all over you, and definitely not to let them walk all over others. But I do think that it means something along the lines of "If you want to be at peace, you have to be peaceful. If you want to be whole, you have to be wholesome." I like to explore the concept of "Heaven on Earth". I used to think that it meant, instead of heaven coming to earth like the aliens in Independence Day, that it was more like humanity starts conducting ourselves better and thus we create heaven on earth. Now I think it's more like, heaven on earth is something that you create inside yourself, similar to concepts in Buddhism and Taoism. We all know how converting the world to think like you ends up. Might as well fix it in yourself and let that spread to everyone else who wants it.

There are times when defending yourself, and definitely when defending those who can't defend themselves, will cause a change for the better in a person. Retaliation will almost always, maybe always, cause harm to all parties involved. It's not something I've ever been able to find a clear distinction on. Right now I think the best way to dissolve a conflict is to not conflict with it. Sometimes you might have to be unkind to the unkind, but I've never found myself in a situation like that, except for situations I could have avoided.

Edit: After reading Imightbecrazy's post I think I need to reiterate. :) I think the best way to go about life is to love others. You can't not wind up loving yourself if you do, and you are loving others while you're at it.
 

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It is easier for me to ignore my enemies than to love them.

I guess that's better than beating the hell out them, which is what I really feel like doing sometimes.

Kudos to people who find it easier to love them.



Here is the dilemma though. If you are mugged, beaten, stripped of your identity, reputation, position and power, or may be even killed, and you have turned the other cheek to it and accepted the situation as it is without doing anything to stop your enemies, then you will not be in a position to help anyone with their suffering, including your enemies. You will turn into the one needing help instead.
Self-defense is not a sin according to some Sunday school teachers I've talked to.

And there is actually a part in the Bible where Jesus Christ loses his cool. In anger, he turns over some tables or something.
 

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Here is the dilemma though. If you are mugged, beaten, stripped of your identity, reputation, position and power, or may be even killed, and you have turned the other cheek to it and accepted the situation as it is without doing anything to stop your enemies, then you will not be in a position to help anyone with their suffering, including your enemies. You will turn into the one needing help instead.
I agree with Vel. Loving your enemies and survival are two different issues. You have to see the context you are in first. After all you can do more good if you are alive than dead.

Whenever something bad happens, like you are mugged, beaten and stripped of your identity, reputation, position and power, it would be best to understand why something like that happened. Life could be trying to teach you an important lesson. In this case, your so called enemy was merely a catalyst that made the lesson possible. Maybe you were complacent or too trusting, hence your enemy had the opportunity to do you in.

Seen in this light, it is easier to "love your enemy" because you see the big picture and how he had the chance to harm you. It's hard to just love him or her like that if you don't look at things on a more cosmic scale.

Sometimes you also have to understand the motivations of your so-called enemy. He could sincerely believe that what he is doing is for the better good. True, his delivery could be better, but putting yourself in his shoes and understanding his motives also help you to "love your enemy."

One of my favourite stories to illustrate my point on motives is as follows.

During the 3 kingdoms era in Ancient China, there was a young scholar general known as Lu Xun. His master Sun Quan had tasked him with the job of eradicating the bandits in the region. Fei Zhan was the bandit leader. Cao Cao was the premier warlord of the north who was trying to use the bandits to destroy Sun Quan. Chunyu Shi served Sun Quan and was a colleague of Lu Xun. The following extract is taken from Kongming Archives:

"Around that time, Fei Zhan (費棧), the leader of the bandits at Danyang, was given seal and cord of office by Cao Cao, and rallied the Shanyue people to coordinate an attack with him. Lu Xun was then sent by Sun Quan to annihilate Fei Zhan. Seeing that Fei Zhan had a greater army than himself, Lu Xun had a great number of banners made, and sent drummers and buglers to various strategic points. Concealed by the darkness of night they slipped all around the hills and valleys, and all of a sudden revealed themselves in great fanfare and charged towards the enemy. The enemy troops dispersed instantly. Lu Xun then stationed his men at the three eastern counties, drafting the able-bodied to be soldiers, and sending the weaker ones to manage agricultural lands. In the process, some ten thousand elite soldiers were added to the ranks and the remnants of the bandits were destroyed. Where Lu Xun’s army passed by, bandits were cleared out, and eventually Lu Xun returned to the fort at Wu Lake (蕪湖).

Chunyu Shi (淳于式), the grand administrator of Kuiji, reported to Sun Quan that Lu Xun enlisted commoners unnecessarily, disturbing the peace of the area. Later on, Lu Xun reported back to the capital, and in a conversation [with Sun Quan], praised Chunyu Shi for being an excellent official. Sun Quan said, “Chunyu Shi had set accusations against you, but yet you praise him. Why is this so?”

Lu Xun replied, “Chunyu Shi’s mind is on taking care of his people, and that was why he criticized me. It would not do if I, in turn, denounce him in order to seek your approval.”

Sun Quan said, “You have indeed the conduct of a trustworthy person! Not all could do what you have done
.”"

I have never failed to be moved by this story which shows the broadmindedness of Lu Xun who happens to be one of my heroes. Lu Xun was able to accept the criticism and bore Chunyu Shi no ill will because he knew that both were working for the good of their country and the sake of the people.

Thus when you love your enemy, you must consider the motives and the bigger picture. Thanks for this great thread, it has given me the inspiration for my next blog post for Han of Harmony which I shall write today!
 
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I agree with Vel. Loving your enemies and survival are two different issues. You have to see the context you are in first. After all you can do more good if you are alive than dead.

Whenever something bad happens, like you are mugged, beaten and stripped of your identity, reputation, position and power, it would be best to understand why something like that happened. Life could be trying to teach you an important lesson. In this case, your so called enemy was merely a catalyst that made the lesson possible. Maybe you were complacent or too trusting, hence your enemy had the opportunity to do you in.

Seen in this light, it is easier to "love your enemy" because you see the big picture and how he had the chance to harm you. It's hard to just love him or her like that if you don't look at things on a more cosmic scale.

Sometimes you also have to understand the motivations of your so-called enemy. He could sincerely believe that what he is doing is for the better good. True, his delivery could be better, but putting yourself in his shoes and understanding his motives also help you to "love your enemy."

One of my favourite stories to illustrate my point on motives is as follows.

During the 3 kingdoms era in Ancient China, there was a young scholar general known as Lu Xun. His master Sun Quan had tasked him with the job of eradicating the bandits in the region. Fei Zhan was the bandit leader. Cao Cao was the premier warlord of the north who was trying to use the bandits to destroy Sun Quan. Chunyu Shi served Sun Quan and was a colleague of Lu Xun. The following extract is taken from Kongming Archives:

"Around that time, Fei Zhan (費棧), the leader of the bandits at Danyang, was given seal and cord of office by Cao Cao, and rallied the Shanyue people to coordinate an attack with him. Lu Xun was then sent by Sun Quan to annihilate Fei Zhan. Seeing that Fei Zhan had a greater army than himself, Lu Xun had a great number of banners made, and sent drummers and buglers to various strategic points. Concealed by the darkness of night they slipped all around the hills and valleys, and all of a sudden revealed themselves in great fanfare and charged towards the enemy. The enemy troops dispersed instantly. Lu Xun then stationed his men at the three eastern counties, drafting the able-bodied to be soldiers, and sending the weaker ones to manage agricultural lands. In the process, some ten thousand elite soldiers were added to the ranks and the remnants of the bandits were destroyed. Where Lu Xun’s army passed by, bandits were cleared out, and eventually Lu Xun returned to the fort at Wu Lake (蕪湖).

Chunyu Shi (淳于式), the grand administrator of Kuiji, reported to Sun Quan that Lu Xun enlisted commoners unnecessarily, disturbing the peace of the area. Later on, Lu Xun reported back to the capital, and in a conversation [with Sun Quan], praised Chunyu Shi for being an excellent official. Sun Quan said, “Chunyu Shi had set accusations against you, but yet you praise him. Why is this so?”

Lu Xun replied, “Chunyu Shi’s mind is on taking care of his people, and that was why he criticized me. It would not do if I, in turn, denounce him in order to seek your approval.”

Sun Quan said, “You have indeed the conduct of a trustworthy person! Not all could do what you have done
.”"

I have never failed to be moved by this story which shows the broadmindedness of Lu Xun who happens to be one of my heroes. Lu Xun was able to accept the criticism and bore Chunyu Shi no ill will because he knew that both were working for the good of their country and the sake of the people.

Thus when you love your enemy, you must consider the motives and the bigger picture. Thanks for this great thread, it has given me the inspiration for my next blog post for Han of Harmony which I shall write today!
Very well-thoughout, but I know that I personally would not be looking at the "cosmic scale" in such a situation, and I wonder if you are not just looking at it in a hypothetical way.
 

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Very well-thoughout, but I know that I personally would not be looking at the "cosmic scale" in such a situation, and I wonder if you are not just looking at it in a hypothetical way.
Nah, I mean what I say. I am not looking at it in a hypothetical way. This is the way of living that I have adopted that places me in harmony with my times and circumstances. Sure I may not always be able to adopt the cosmic view in the heat of the moment, but having such a mindset means that sooner or later, I will return to that equilibrium.

Lots of things happen for reasons which we cannot fully appreciate because we cannot see the big picture clearly enough. Sure we know our own motives and the logic behind our actions. But we also need to consider the logic and actions of others as well. Doing so evokes compassion and it also helps me accept things and to let go whatever anger I may have towards others.

Taken from the I-Ching Hex 20:

"Contemplation of the divine
meaning underlying the workings of the universe gives to the man who is
called upon to influence others the means of producing like effects. This
requires that power of inner concentration which religious contemplation
develops in great men strong in faith. It enables them to apprehend the
mysterious and divine laws of life, and by means of profoundest inner
concentration they give expression to these laws in their own persons. Thus
a hidden spiritual power emanates from them, influencing and dominating
others without their being aware of how it happens
."
 
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