“CLEANSING CONFLICT What is a saint? One whose wine has turned to vinegar. If you’re still wine-drunkenly brave, don’t step forward. When your sheep becomes a lion, then come. It is said of hypocrites, “They have considerable valor among themselves!” But they scatter when a real enemy appears. Muhammad told his young soldiers, “There is no courage before an engagement.” A drunk foams at the mouth talking about what he will do when he gets his sword drawn, but the chance arrives, and he remains sheathed as an onion. Premeditating, he’s eager for wounds. Then his bag gets touched by a needle, and he deflates. What sort of person says that he or she wants to be polished and pure, then complains about being handled roughly? Love is a lawsuit where harsh evidence must be brought in. To settle the case, the judge must see evidence. You’ve heard that every buried treasure has a snake guarding it. Kiss the snake to discover the treasure! The severe treatment is not toward you, but the qualities that block your growth. A rug beater doesn’t beat the rug, but rather the dirt. A horse trainer switches not the horse, but the going wrong. Imprison your mash in a dark vat, so it can become wine. Someone asks, “Don’t you worry about God’s wrath when you spank a child?” “I’m not spanking my child, but the demon in him.” When a mother screams, “Get out of here!” she means the mean part of the child. Don’t run from those who scold, and don’t turn away from cleansing conflict, or you will remain weak. Also, don’t listen to bragging. If you go along with self-importance, the work collapses. Better a small modest team. Sift almonds. Discard the bitter. Sour and sweet sound alike when you pour them out on the rattling tray, but inside they’re very different.”