I wanted to just talk about how certain things are worded in older teachings. For example when considering the Three Poisons it is often said that desire, hate and delusion are bad, and that one should strive to eliminate them. People should guard against them, arm themselves and so on.
This kind of wording around battle and strife actually goes counter to preserving an internal unity. By saying “I am going to fight these impulses” you are dividing yourself up into good and bad, and conducting an inner battle in which everybody loses, including you. Taken to extremes you might end up transforming your inner world into a wasteland.
It is better to think in terms of redemption and inner transformation, a refinement of energies. One should embrace these negative energies and learn to transform them, by seeing what is at their roots, what they are really made of. That’s what insight and mindfulness are for.
Thich Nhat Hanh seems to understand this really well, and certain other modern teachers also. Changing the language around this kind of effort has been something that many teachers have contributed to, but it’s something to be aware of in older teachings.