When love is felt for your enemy, it makes the enemy impotent, and powerless to hurt you. If the enemy persists in trying to hurt you, he/she will only hurt himself/herself.
Two negatives do not produce a positive. If you hate me and I respond with hate. The result will just be more hostility, division and prolonged animosity. So how should we deal with a so-called “enemy”? I say love the person! Don’t hurt, maim or kill the person. The word I want to drive home is the “enemy” is a PERSON! He /she has hopes, needs and wants just like you and me. What do all of us want? To be loved, understood and respected.
Love is not an emotion! So what is love? It is energy in motion. People say to me I hate such and such a person. When I say “Love the person”, most people react like “Are you mad? I just told you I hate him/her! How can you ask me to love him/her?”
We have strange ideas about love. In the relative world, we say “I love you”. As long as you do what I want. When you stop doing what I want, We say “I don’t like you anymore.” “I hate you.” “I wish you were dead!” “Get away from me.” In the relative world, we hang on to or fence in the other person. Human love does not want to share with others but rather wants its own personal satisfaction. Genuine, real and authentic love wants to share its love and the more it is shared the happier it is. There is no longing, wanting or demanding in genuine love because longing, wanting or demanding is separation. When we feel separated, isolated, detached we are lonely. We become nervous, irritable and defensive.
Real authentic love is oneness. It does not allow separation. It is impossible to love one and hate another. When we do that we are not loving. The other person is doing something for us, that is human love. When you love someone because he/she is doing something nice for you, that is human love. True love is unconditional. In true love, you love the person who opposes you. When we are truly loving we love everyone equally. This is the highest level of maturity a person can grow to. But this is why we are here, to grow, to mature, to be able to love unconditionally.
When you think a thought, you send out energy. If I think a bad thought towards you, you can feel it. You may not understand it, but you will not feel good towards me. If I think a good thought towards you, you will feel much better being with me. If I send loving thoughts to you, you will want to spend more time with me because you feel so good when we are together. Most people mistake ego approval for love. Because it is not genuine love it is not satisfying. Therefore we continuously need and demand it. This only produces frustration, anger and hostility.
Authentic love is the cohesive force of the Universe. It is attracting, incorporating, and constructive. It affects anything, everything and everyone it is applied to. Governments cannot right the world, but when enough individuals wake up to being genuine love then the world can, will and must change. Where is this genuine love? It is found inside you at your core being. When you release, extend and give out the energy of true love you impact everything in the most positive way. This is how we should be living every day.
I will share a story to try and make this clearer.
Akihiro was 15 years old when I met him. One day I was on my way home from teaching Aikido at a high school club in Fuchinobe, I noticed this young man coming towards me. He was bleeding and looked like he had been in a fight. As he came up to me, I asked him if he was alright? He replied yes. I asked him if I could give him some dressings for his cuts. He accepted my offer. As I got the first aid kit from my bag we started to talk. He explained a group of students from another school had fought with him at the train station. Akihiro was a nice young man but he had a lot of anger inside. He was going home to get a knife and he was going back to the station to kill the students that had attacked him. I took my time dressing his wounds and listened to him talking about getting revenge. How much he wanted to take the life of these students. He would kill them slowly, painfully and extend their suffering as long as possible. When I finished tending to his cuts, he thanked me for my kindness. I asked him if I could go with him to his home to get the knife. He asked why? I told him I wanted to make sure he got home safely and then I would be going to the station myself and if he was going to kill these students then that was something I wanted to see for the experience. He gave me the ok to go home with him. As we walked he asked me questions about where I was from? What was I doing in Japan? When I told him the work I was doing teaching Aikido this really got his attention. He asked me if I had ever killed anyone? I told him I hadn’t and that was something I never wanted to do. But you are teaching a martial art. The purpose is to kill, maim, and destroy the enemy. He said. I explained that was the initial objective when people created martial arts but Aikido is more evolved. We teach how to control ourselves, others and the situations we find ourselves in. We know because of our practising the martial art techniques how to deal with knives, guns and other weapons but our aim is to save life not take it, unless we have no other alternative. And we always have other alternatives. We got to his apartment there was no one home. I asked if he lived with his family? He lived with his father, his mother had died three years ago and his father worked a lot. They hardly ever saw each other because their schedules were so different. The father came home late and left early.
Akihiro ran inside to the kitchen and grabbed a large kitchen knife. I asked if he could give me a glass of water? It was a hot summer day. He gave it to me and I drank it slowly. As I drank it I asked him if he killed the students how this would affect his father? He had not thought about this. If the police catch you, which they will, you will be taken away from your father and not permitted to see him. Your life as you know it will be changed forever and once you cross this line there is no going back. You will have to live with the consequences of your actions for the rest of your life. Your ancestors and descendants will be ashamed of you for killing these young immature boys. You are about to create a lot of bad karma. My words started to get through to his rational, logical, and sensible mind. What would you do if you were me? He asked. Which is stronger your love for your father or your hate for these boys? He put his head down in shame, embarrassment and humiliation and started to cry. I hate these boys. I want them to die! But I love my father more. What can I do? I gave him three options: 1. Kill the boys, 2. Go to the police and report them for attacking you. 3. Forgive them, send them positive energy and let the experience go.
He was a smart young man and I taught him how to do the third option. Akihiro put the knife back and we spent time dealing with the negative emotions letting them go and replacing them with self-approval, and other positive states that proved helpful. He became very peaceful, calm and happy. As I left he asked if I would teach him Aikido. I agreed and he came to my classes at my dojo in Nakayama. The boys who attacked Akihiro were caught by the police and were arrested. They now have criminal records. Akihiro is growing up into a fine young man. Last year he got engaged and married a beautiful girl from Nagoya and they are having a baby soon. His life turned out much better than it would have if he had taken the knife to the station. Revenge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Who dies first? You do. Giving love when others hurt us is very difficult but if we go through the difficulty the Universe will bless us with good things.Until next time I wish you peace love and success. Martin Acton shihan