Identifying with a desire or a fear tightens the knot that binds one to it and thereby increases the sway it can have over one. Only when Buddha was able to experience the desires and fears that threatened to overwhelm him as nothing but impersonal and ephemeral conditions of mind and body, did they lose their power to mesmerize him. Instead of perceiving them as forces of an avenging army intent on his destruction, he recognized that they were no more solid than brittle, unfired pots that crumble on being struck by a well-aimed stone. As soon as Buddha stopped compulsively identifying the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that arose within him as “me” or “mine,” Mara could no longer influence him.
– Stephen Batchelor, “Living with the Devil” (Summer 2004)~ Tricycle