On Sunday, I referenced this podcast when we talked about praying for your enemies. A quote is below.
[Another podcast you might like to hear is one from Scott Atran: Hopes and Dreams in a World of Fear.]
you know, Jesus himself, because of the social circumstances in his culture, was only able to teach for four years. And the Buddha, poor guy, he had to slave away for 46 years after his enlightenment. So he had time to provide more practical methodologies to underlie these sort of high moral-sounding slogans like love your enemy.
And there can be such a thing — now the other thing, of course, that we haven’t mentioned yet, but both Sharon and I completely agree with, there is such a thing as tough love. Or the Tibetans might prefer maybe the expression “fierce compassion.” This is like where you don’t indulge another person in their evildoing or their nasty behavior and sometimes you have to be forceful. But that forcefulness with them will have a different impact and it will be subliminally sensed by them as coming from a different place when it doesn’t have that extra bite, that extra sting, of hatred and vindictiveness in it. It’s just forceful opposition to whatever negative things they are doing.
So the psychology of love your enemies does not just mean ‘Come and trample on us, come kill me, my enemy, oh, yes, I want you to shoot me or something.’ It means, you know, I want you to be happy. I’m gonna be happy no matter what, and it’s better. You’ll be more happy if you don’t kill me actually. And I might be more happier if you don’t kill me, but I’m gonna be happy, whatever you do to me.