IS your enemy someone who disagrees profoundly with you personally and always seems to be making trouble for you? Perhaps you feel your opponent is a particular political group or another nationality, religion, or color. The enemy may seem to be any or all of these, but in a very profound sense enmity is never really personal. We tend to think of it strictly in terms of people, and this is understandable. But isn't the common denominator always a state of thought? Enmity expresses subversive, destructive thought -- impersonal, carnal thinking that would undermine our confidence and composure and create divisions among us. When we begin to realize this, we've taken a first important step toward gaining dominion over evil, and through prayer we can forward the healing of conflict. Subversive thoughts presuppose a mind and a power apart from God, from the one divine Mind. But devisive, destructive thoughts are illegitimate because God is infinite, the only power, the only creator, who governs all identities. In absolute truth we all express the one perfect Mind, because we all have one creator. True creation isn't filled with warring mortals with personal minds continuously in conflict. God's offspring, spiritually created and governed, live in harmony.
It took me quite a long time to be able to apply this practically in my own affairs. When I felt I was under personal attack I would perhaps read the ninety-first Psalm, which begins, ``He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.''
I knew the secret place is a state of calm, spiritual thought, and not a physical locality, and I tried to cultivate and maintain this mental state. Doing so kept me out of trouble, but it was a long way from obeying the injunction Christ Jesus gave to his disciples to love their enemies.1 Not hating I found possible. But actually loving was something quite different.