Near and far enemies

Each of the Four Immeasurables has Near and Far Enemies, shown in the table below.

The Near Enemy is a deceptive substitute which we can settle for or confuse with the real thing. This can separate us from the true feeling, rather than connecting us to it, so we need mindfulness to avoid it.  Each Immeasurable also has a direct opposite, its Far Enemy.    Developing the Four Immeasurables helps us to challenge these in ourselves.

THE NEAR AND FAR ENEMIES

 

Near Enemy

Far Enemy

LOVING KINDNESS

Attachment, greed

Hatred, ill will

COMPASSION

Pity, grief

Cruelty

EMPATHETIC JOY

Joy tinged with insincerity or personal identification;  forms of joy that are  excessive such as elation,  exuberance; Schadenfreude

Envy, jealousy,

Aversion

EQUANIMITY

Indifference, foolish unknowing

Greed, taking of sides, partiality, resentment, reactivity