Recognizing the Enemy

The enemy within, the anti-self, the unreal self, the lesser self—there are many names for the part of us that sometimes sabotages our highest dreams and ideals. The early Christian Gnostics called it the counterfeiting spirit. It has also been called the dweller-on-the-threshold.

Everybody has one, but few are aware of its existence. Yet if we are observant, we will admit that from time to time we have all seen or felt the lesser self when it acts in ourselves or in others.

When we say the unkind words we wish we could take back, when we do those things that we know we should not do, when we neglect to extend love to friends and family, when our thoughts and deeds betray our highest wishes and aspirations, then we can know that we have had an encounter with the enemy within. But even if we recognize the encounter, few are prepared to deal with this enemy – or even know how to begin.

If you wish to overcome this enemy within, the first step is to recognize the not-self and understand how it works, which is precisely the purpose of this book. (In fact, your own enemy within would rather that you not pick up this at all.)

You will learn that this enemy is often very subtle: the last thing that it wants is for you to know that it exist. For once you do, you are more likely to see through its ploys and traps.

It most often prefers to live below the surface of awareness – like some phantom of the opera, hiding in the shadows and causing havoc in your life. This secretive nature of the enemy is one reason why it is called the threshold of conscious awareness, where the conscious and subconscious minds meet.

Many of the saints of East and West have left record of their own struggles with the dweller-on-the-threshold. Indeed everyone who has ever returned to God in the spiritual of the ascension has had to wrestle with this enemy prior to their victory.


Source: The Enemy Within  – by Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet

Painting: Saint George and the Dragon — Paolo Uccello

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