In the practice of metta it is important to understand the emotions which nullify metta either by being similar or being dissimilar. The Visuddhimagga calls them "the two enemies — the near and the remote." Greed, lust, worldly affection, sensuality — all these are said to be the "near enemies" because they are similar in tendencies. The lustful also sees the "good side" or "beauty," and therefore gets involved. Love should be protected from it lest the masquerades of these emotions deceive the meditator.
Nibbida wrote:Thank you friends. So far, it seems the Visuddhimagga is the earliest documented reference to this formulation.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Nibbida wrote:Thank you friends. So far, it seems the Visuddhimagga is the earliest documented reference to this formulation.
I would not jump to any such conclusion until I had a thorough knowledge of the Suttas and Commentaries.
Finding a reference to show that something is in the Canon is relatively easy, proving that it is not is an entirely different matter. If you find something in the Visuddhimagga or Milindapañha, or in the works of well-respected contemporary authors like Venerable Ledi Sayādaw or Mahāsī Sayādaw, it is best to withhold judgement.
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