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The Worthy Enemy


When we appoint an enemy we are often times virtually soaking our hand through the mirror and try to secure what we despise in ourselves, we are trying to give a form to our insecurities and a forgotten contempt that somehow resurged in the presence of the adversary, because it is not the adversary that lures us into evil, it is always ourselves, the adversary simply becomes the scapegoat fin our own internal drama.

The idea of enemy is derived from the dichotomy between host and hostile, so there is certainly linguistic basis found in describing an unfriend as an enemy. This enmity is born from hurt and disappointment, from accusations and misalignments. We need to consider well if the unfriend deserves the dignity of an enemy in the sense of being an worthy adversary.

The Buddha once commented that our enemy is as important as our teacher – and it is in this field we need to separate the enemy from the adversary and even more so, the enemy from the fly.

What we see today is that mere disagreements lead to enmity, this is not enmity, and disagreements are about difference in opinions, sentiments or essence and should serve as a tool for discernment. This discernment would be about excluding or inviting in the disagreement for the sake of discourse and not excluding or inviting in because of difference of opinion. If we invite in an opposing opinion on the level of an enemy we bring this figure, this force into our field, our room, our awareness, our mind… the enemy becomes an unfriend in our world.

I believe in the importance of adversaries, but these people, spirits, animals or wood spirits are somehow in alignment with us as they bring on a self-exorcism, where we purify ourselves and our essence and opinions. The adversary is not an unfriend; it is the foe, the Devil we choose, because somewhere in the dungeons of our psyche we know there is something to be taken from this relationship. It is not about hatred or disdain; it is about a martial interest, an agitation, like Foucault had with Derrida, like Satanael had with God, where the focus is about wisdom and understanding where the right and the wrong is merely wings on the compass.

The adversary can be named enemy, but not as unfriend, rather as Opposer, as ones Nemesis, we are speaking of a growth on the part of the one who appoints the Nemesis – and if the liaison is good also on the part of the other. It is a relationship of growth of self-awareness that is born from our weaknesses, insecurities and doubts being kicked and bashed… It is like in the restaurant scene in Michael Mann’s HEAT (1995)



This is enemies as in adversaries. This is not unfriends or two guys subdued by petty disagreements or some rubbish occurring on one’s personal or professional life that ignites wrath and fire.

Elect your enemy with care – never elect a fly to be your enemy, may it always be someone that truly challenge you and never someone that only irritate you. If you elect and unfriend or a fly to be your enemy you will never see growth from this. You will never have moments of aha!, you will never see clarity or the shape of self getting stronger… you will only see hatred and resentment growing more fierce. This anger, this hatred growing will contaminate your life with absurd obsessions and you will gulp down your own poison by the dregs as you give the darn annoying fly an aura of divine control of your life.  

Turning the fly into an enemy starts with the disappointment, with the grudge of unfriendliness – with a feeling of being misrepresented or accused wrongly for something. It calls upon a fire from within, protective and angry… and it is in this moment of heat we need to try to stop and think if this fly is worthy our world or if we should let it fly… because when we confront our Nemesis we do not find resentment and anger, we find interest and a need to explain… the rustic rocks of discourse in the making. And with the Nemesis more rocks are made and laid down, it is a solid work, not the work of flies drawn to the stench of rotting flesh and useless arguments.

Yet, if the nuisance with the fly takes on overarching proportions, if the fly takes away your peace and your sleep and replace it with irritation and agitation, there is certainly reasons to revisit the fly and see if we didn’t misjudged this wanna-be enemy in our world and can learn something from it.
Even in this, we need to be mindful of our reactions and actions and in this, if we re-act as in a counter movement or if we act as in a natural movement to get the nuisance away…  

This, because at the end of the day the friend and the unfriend, the enemy and the adversary are placing themselves in such ways that bonds are made, negative and positive, triangles, sextiles, squares and opposition and we need to handle these relationships as wise as we can, for the sake of our own wisdom and growth. The soil is never the enemy of the seed…

Art: Odd Nerdrum

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