F R I E N D S A N D E N E M I E S
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, May 3rd, 2005
Do not turn away from your friends—in My Name
can you enlighten them.
Have courage—be true disciples of the Master.
Teach them to love the world of spirit.
Sow the wisdom sent unto you. Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 70.
Count the actions of vehement enemies
as preferable to those of lukewarm friends.
Knowledge devoid of love is dead, but the radiance
of the rainbow comprises all fires. Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 189.
Mothers, in their wisdom, foresee the occult conditions at the birth of a child. The mother’s spirit knows how the enemy tries to harm the new wayfarer. During the transitory time of gestation it is easier to send the poison. It is easy to stir the mother’s anger and to fill the home with the dust of discontent. Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, I:VI:8.
Do not make enemies. This is an enjoinment to all. Know your enemies, beware of them, stop their actions, but bear no malice. And if the enemy comes of his own accord under your roof, give him warmth, because large is your roof and the newcomer shall not take your place. But if it is difficult to overcome a deep feeling, then cover it with the smile of Light. Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, II:VIII:4.
About uplifting the enemy. The Teaching of the Community has very solicitously in mind the upliftment of enemies. For this, one should not harass the enemies with direct proposals. But personal aspiration toward world tasks can attain such tension that inevitably the enemy is drawn in the same direction. We must not forget that the enemy by his very enmity is already connected with us. In this bond lies the weakness of the enemy. Hating us, the enemy begins to fill his being with a picture of us. The enemy chains his consciousness to us and often ends up as a simple imitator, to which fact indeed he will never confess. The enemy will imitate first in an external way, and then, when his hatred has led him to this point, the cosmic grandeur of the talk may entice him inwardly.
When we know that the enemy is attached to us we can look upon him as a foolish member of the household. Thus, penetrate into the essential nature of the enemies and you will find a place for them. They may serve beautifully as the legs of your workbench. Out of the obstinacy of ignorance they intensify their forces in order to stick to you. But you have nothing to conceal because you work for humanity, and the enemy must become an imitator or else perish. This perishing, indeed, is not by your hand but is from a spark of the world apparatus. Therefore I insist on fiery striving. New Era Community, 138.
Everyone has his enemy. The importance of one’s enemy indicates one’s own importance, just as the size of a shadow is determined by the size of the object. One should not concern oneself too much about one’s enemies, nor should one regard them with disdain. No one exists without a shadow.
Akbar, called Great, regarded his enemies with attention. His favorite counselor kept a list of his enemies. Akbar often inquired, “Has not some worthy name appeared on the list? When I see a worthy name, I will send my greeting to the friend in disguise.” Agni Yoga, 270.
The hands of the enemy are ever ready to destroy the works decided upon by Us. The ears of the enemy are cocked to hear slander that can be used against Us. It is not enough to say, “Rejoice at the enemy.” One must learn to understand his ways. The enemy is like the unknown quantity in a mathematical problem. But this unknown can be determined using already-known facts. Hence, it is possible to take the measure of each detected enemy.
Consider carefully the circumstances in which your actions are taken. Learn to remember the conditions under which certain feelings came to you. We will return to them again.
An enemy is something unknown, one which must be recognized, conquered, and transformed into the familiar—properly speaking, the cognized. During this process one should also observe oneself. Agni Yoga, 303.
Unity is pointed out in all beliefs as the sole bulwark of success. Better attainments can be affirmed if the unity of coworkers is assured. One may cite a great number of examples when mutual trust among the coworkers helped in lofty solutions. Let people, from home and hearth up to the spacial preordinations, remember about the value of cooperation. The seed of labor withers without the moisture of reciprocity. Let us not look backward too much. We hastening fellow-travelers shall become weary if we jostle each other. We shall realize a beautiful meaning if we can introduce the great concept—friend. Community may consist only of friends. New Era Community, 4.
The heart knows its friends! Therefore, carefully examine your friends lest you admit into your heart a casual passer-by. The Teacher is your closest friend. Do not add to His burden. Agni Yoga, 109.
Thoughts sent into space attract kindred thinking. How should one act if one’s broad views do not achieve their goal? One must expand them still further. Beyond the boundaries of hostility lies the field of friendship. The traveler must know the geography of this domain.
Is attainment possible without exaltation? Is self-sacrifice possible without joy? Is courage possible without enthusiasm? Thus point out and remind others about these easier and more immediate ways to gain psychic energy. My Hand points out the treasure to the seeker. Agni Yoga, 547.
Let us turn for the last time to friendliness as a basis of life. Friendliness is not the rouge and powder of malice. Friendliness is not a veil. Friendliness is not a mask of treachery. Friendliness is not an affable grimace. Friendliness must be understood as a feeling coming from the heart, devoid of hypocrisy. There are many errors concerning the concept of friendliness, for people have become accustomed to deceive even themselves. But since the quality of friendliness is indispensable for the Fiery World, it must possess genuine honesty. First of all, Fire does not tolerate fluctuations. Hence, one must understand the quality of friendliness in its entirety. Friendliness should not be considered as some sort of achievement. One should not give praise for the quality of friendliness, for it is inseparable from an expanded consciousness. How is it possible to imagine the transformation of the Fiery Mist into a whole beautiful world, without having the strength to purify one's own thoughts from small splinters? Let us realize how petty these splinters are! And it is not difficult to rid oneself of them; one has only to uncover them in the consciousness. Let us not be afraid that people in general cannot return to friendliness, there is enough of it in each of us, therefore, let us assume the same thing about the others. But let us not make of this fiery quality, weak will, subserviency, and pitiful hypocrisy. Fiery World I, 138.
Even plants and trees influence each other. Every gardener knows this reciprocal action, knows where grow mutual friends and where enemies. Then how much more pronounced must be these interactions in the animal kingdom and certainly among men! During an ordinary conversation at dinner the experienced eye of a hostess detects such mutual attractions and repulsions. The fiery heart senses such mutual interactions far more clearly, but these manifestations should be noted. It is not enough to sense them; they must be transferred to the consciousness, to be utilized ultimately for good. Fiery World I, 595.
If on entering a house you noticed a viper on the host’s table, what would you do? Would you think the matter over, while the snake attacked your friend, or would you decide at once to crush it? We say–save your friend from evil. Do not becloud your head with perplexity, but act for the good. One cannot put on the same scale a man and a snake. It is impossible to put on the same level the lower consciousness and the temple of consciousness. If we cease to discriminate, where will be our responsibility before the world? He is no hero who spares the snake and loses a friend. Not a hero is he who evades his duty while offering excuses. Not a hero is he who does not distinguish between the great and the small. Not a hero is he who has lost the measuring rod of the heart. The Leader knows the heart measure and the fiery solution. Fiery World II, 105.
There is a manifestation of new tensions. The enemies invent new tricks; but let us be as a rock and we shall arrive at victory. One may rejoice that each attack brings new friends. Such friends are inconspicuous, but they can be likened to the cement of a building. Fiery World II, 413.
Prayer may be likened to a magnet. The action of prayer makes the heart tense and attracts from space the best thoughts; even though such thoughts of the earthly strata may not be Grace itself, nevertheless they are benign. Enrichment by such thoughts imparts new strength, as does a meeting with friends. One should value such friends. One may not encounter them, but they are close at hand. Space itself is filled with them, one has but to send them a good thought. Prayer has a magnetic quality. Aum, 37.