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There Are No Enemies in Death

When bad people are alive, you can oppose them. But as soon as they are gone, they're not your enemies any more. They're just people who once were, but now are not. Memories.

The quote - there are no enemies in death - comes from "Lone Wolf and Cub," a favorite serious of mine. You can see me reviewing a bit of it at the entry "Rule an Empire, Fistful of Rice."

After some mortal enemies is vanquished, the protagonist gives them a respectful burial. When asked why, he explains that there are no enemies in death.

It's easy to get caught up in cheering for one side of history, but your feelings don't affect what's already happened. And strong feelings can easily blind you from figuring out what really happened.

It may not always be possible, but it would be good for you if you can become dispassionate in analyzing long dead eras.

Inside Out

On Made of Metaphors

In Buddhism there's this great concept of near-enemies and far-enemies. Two things are far-enemies if they are polar opposites: the far enemy of compassion is cruelty. But near-enemies are more subtle: they seem very similar at first, but when you look deeper, they're still opposites. The near-enemy of compassion, for example, is pity. They kind of seem like the same thing, because both mean you "feel bad" for someone else, but compassion is dignified and brings you closer together. Pity is condescending. It distances you from the other person.

Far-enemies aren't that interesting to me because they're pretty obvious. Polar opposites. Ho-hum. But I love near-enemies, because there's a lot to talk about in the subtlety.

So let's talk about two of the biggest near-enemies of all: self-consciousness and self-awareness.

Superficially, they seem very similar. Both of them are about paying attention to yourself, your thoughts, words, and actions in the present moment.

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