"The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil"

Our enemies are a blessing

It is instinct that urges us to avenge ourselves, not wisdom. If someone hits you, you hit back without thinking. I believe I have already told you about the three yogis who, hoping to attain perfection, withdrew into the forest to pray and meditate. A man came by and hit one of the yogis in the face and immediately he jumped up and hit him back twice. For him, perfection was still something to be hoped for. The second yogi was also struck and was about to jump up and hit back when an instant of reflection made him sit down again. He at least had learned a measure of self-control. As for the third yogi, he did not even notice when he was hit; he just went on meditating. As you see, there are different categories of human beings.

The first yogi belonged to the category of those who still react according to justice - and sometimes to injustice. The second yogi belonged to the category of those who control themselves, because they take the time to reflect. He thought to himself, "There is no point in retaliating; it will only complicate matters." The third yogi was so highly evolved that his enemy's blows made no impression on him.

And now I must go even further and say that your enemies are a blessing. You will be thinking, "The man is out of his mind. How can an enemy be a blessing?" But this reaction shows that you have not understood much about anything. Truly, our enemies can be a blessing, for it is they who help us to become strong and powerful and luminous. It is because you are not enlightened and cannot see this that you succumb to your enemies. If you were intelligent you would understand that they are giving you the opportunity to become a divinity. Your enemies are hidden friends; it is they who oblige you to develop you will-power and to evolve.

It is important to understand that the two principles of light and darkness are always present in the world, and always at war. This means that if you are on the side of darkness you will be attacked by light; and if you are on the side of light you will be attacked by darkness. You have to expect this. Yes, but that is no reason to throw up your hands and do nothing positive. In spite of all the hostility and dissension that surrounds you, you must keep working. And you must keep fighting, but only on condition that you fight with the weapons of light. The methods I give you are so beneficial that, if you understand them, you will always be victorious, always on top of circumstances; for they enable you to use higher energies and forces that are still largely unknown.

Enemies are a temptation sent by the invisible world to test you, for your first reaction is to use the arms they use, to prove that you are stronger than they are. They are a temptation, therefore. Yes, but they are also a blessing, for they force you to become stronger. Instead of loafing about in idleness, instead of resting on your laurels, they force you to surpass yourself. True, this level of consciousness requires great love and goodness ...

The Metaphysics in C.P. Cavafy... *