Everyone as a Friend

Jeffrey Hopkins explains the Buddhist logic of embracing our enemies as our friends.

Jeffrey Hopkins

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So how should we view sentient beings? If they have all been in every possible relationship with us from time without beginning (and time has no beginning in Buddhism), should we consider them to be enemies? Everyone has indeed been the enemy—the person who wants me to trip, fall down the stairs, break a leg. My first teacher, Geshe Wangyal, said that one problem with this outlook would be that you’d have to go out and kill everybody.

Difficult to do. Everyone has also been neutral, like the many people we pass on the streets; we may even know some faces, but we don’t have any open relationship with them. They are just people working here or there; we may see them often, but there is neither desire nor hatred. Should we consider them to be neutral? Or should we consider these people to be friends?

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