The Root of Hatred
Hatred is a disease. The root of hatred is anger. Anger itself is raw energy that is fresh and immediate. Anger can manifest as clarity and inspire us to make necessary changes. When anger crystallizes in an impure form it is hatred. Hatred is habitual and toxic. Hatred is learned from the people who influence our lives or it is regurgitated from past experiences.
Hate is a Habit
If we look closely at our situation as conscious beings, the people and circumstances we experience are our own perception. The person standing in front of us and the people surrounding us are perceived through our senses. We take our perceptions as they come in and decide how to feel about them. After deciding how we feel, we make the choice to react or not. Anger arises when we are perceiving something that is disturbing. Perhaps there is a valid reason for being angry and it is appropriate to take action to create better circumstances for the future. This is anger as clarity. However, it is also possible that the experience of anger is caused by a habitual pattern of hatred. In this case, anger is distorted and is often channeled in inappropriate and destructive ways. I’d guess that somewhere around 95% of actions done out of anger are distorted by hatred.
When We Hate Something, We Hate Ourselves
The paradox is that when we decide to hate something, we are hating our own perceptions. We cannot separate ourselves from our perceptions, but we can choose how to relate to our perceptions. If a lightning bolt were to strike us dead in a moment of hatred, the hatred would cease to exist and so would the object of hatred. We would be dead. The feeling of hatred and the perception of something to hate would cease to exist in an instant. Furthermore, one person may be experiencing hatred for an object they are perceiving, and the person standing right next to them may have no feelings of hatred whatsoever for the exact same object. It is not the object that causes hatred, it is how we choose to relate to the object that is at fault. There is no doubt that hatred is a choice and a subjective experience that is inextricable from one’s relationship to their perceptions.
Spreading the Disease of Hate
The disease of hatred is spread when we decide to share the discomfort we have with our own perceptions with others. When we act with hatred it encourages other people to relate to their perceptions with hatred. Perhaps there is the desire to destroy the object of hatred. Even if we succeed in destroying it, thus removing it from our perception, this will only reinforce the habit of hatred for ourselves and others. Also, others will perceive us as a threat and may decide that it would be in their best interest to destroy us.
Dealing with Hatred
The first approach to dealing with hatred is to stop indulging the habit. When feelings of hatred arise, acknowledge them and don’t act on them.
The second approach is to redirect our feelings of hatred inwardly. Fight fire with fire. If we hate our hatred, perhaps we can destroy it and be free of it. This approach may backfire.
The third approach is to recognize hatred for what it is. Hatred ultimately comes from dualistic confusion when we separate ourselves from our perceptions. If we don’t create this schism in experiencing the present moment and recognize that we can choose how to react to our perceptions, it becomes utterly ridiculous to hate anything.