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Do Not Resist Evil
by A Friend of The Zoo Fence
from Maui

“I really like your idea of a tree with notes tacked on it. I realize that each of us has got to walk this path alone, but your tree image reminds me that I am not really alone, after all. Anyway, here is my note for the tree!”

Surprisingly, the most effective way I have found to overcome bad habits, old desires, and other tendencies which distract me from the path has not been to struggle against them, but instead to deny them my attention. Personally, I think this is what is meant by “Do not resist evil.” [See, for example, Matthew 5:39. This is a theme encountered in many spiritual traditions.]

If you think about it, resistance requires effort, and effort requires energy. So, by resisting something, we are actually giving it our energy, which empowers it, the very opposite of what we want to accomplish. So, instead, whenever one of these things raises its head, I just ignore it. I turn away, and look ahead, to where I want to be going.

In other words, whatever else may be going on in your head, always give your attention, which is your energy, to the thing you value most. The rest will eventually die, like unwatered plants, and turn to dust.

I do not want to make this sound easy, because of course it isn’t. But I don’t think it is any harder than fighting against myself, and I am certain it is more effective, at least in my case.

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