An Enemy V1
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Explanation of this Guided Experience
The purpose of this experience is to reconcile with the past, particularly with some person who has left us with a feeling of resentment. The advantages of such reconciliation are obvious, and will benefit not only our external behavior but also allow us to integrate and to overcome oppressive mental contents.
I’m downtown at the height of rush hour, walking hurriedly amid the bustling people and traffic. All at once everything stops as if paralyzed, and I realize that I alone can still move. I begin looking at people, staring at a woman and then at a man. Walking around them several times, I examine them very closely.
Climbing up onto the roof of a car, I look all around and notice that everything has fallen silent. Reflecting for a moment, I realize that I can do anything I please with the people, the cars, and everything else. Immediately I set about doing all the things that strike my fancy, and carry on at such a frantic rate that soon I’m left exhausted.
While resting I think of new things to do, and again throw myself into carrying out my every whim, without any inhibition.
But who do I see there? It’s none other than the very person with whom I have a number of scores to settle. In fact, I feel this person has done me greater harm than anyone else in my entire life.
Since things won’t remain motionless for long, I hurry over to my enemy, who can barely move. Realizing the situation, my adversary looks at me in horror, but is still paralyzed and defenseless. I begin to tell this despicable character everything I’ve been wanting to say, promising my immediate revenge.
Knowing that my adversaryfeels every situations in which this person treated me so terribly. (*)
As I reproach my enemy, several people walk past. Hearing my accusations, they stop and begin to harshly criticize the character, who responds between sobs, expressing deep remorse for these past misdeeds. Kneeling on the ground, my adversary begs forgiveness, but more people arrive and continue the interrogation. (*)
After a while the crowd declares that so vile a person cannot be allowed to live, and they condemn my enemy to death.
Just as they’re about to lynch the terrified person, who keeps pleading for mercy, I tell them that I forgive my enemy. The crowd unanimously accepts my decision, and the people go on their way. Once again I’m left alone with my adversary, and I take advantage of this to finish getting even. Sensing my enemy’s growing desperation, I say and do everything else that I feel is called for. (*)
The sky darkens threateningly, and a driving rain begins to fall. I take refuge behind a storefront window and watch as the city returns to life. Pedestrians run, and cars crawl cautiously through sheets of wind-whipped rain. Continuous flashes of lightning and sharp thunderclaps frame the scene, as I gaze out through the rain-streaked glass.
I feel completely relaxed, as though empty, while I observe almost without thinking.
Suddenly I see my adversary approaching, seeking shelter from the rain. On seeing me, the person exclaims, “How lucky that we’re together in this storm!”
As my rain-soaked enemy looks at me sheepishly, I offer a comforting pat on the shoulder, while all the poor soul can do is shrug. (*)
In my mind I begin to consider all the problems that beset this character. I see the difficulties, the failures in life, the person’s enormous frustrations and weakness. (*)
I feel the loneliness of this wet and trembling human being who is taking refuge at my side, and see how dirty and pathetically neglected the person is. (*)
Suddenly I’m moved by a strong feeling of solidarity with my companion and declare, “I’m going to help you.” The person does not say a word, and growing misty-eyed, can only gaze down at both hands. (*)
The rain has stopped. Going out onto the street, I take a deep breath of the fresh air and leave at once.
Note the resistances and the contradictions that were created between what you wished to say and do, and what you actually did do in the scenes. Study whether the reconciliation you achieved during the experience modifies your everyday behavior in relationship to the problem. If the resistances to reconciliation have not been overcome, it is suggested that you repeat the experience.