Based on the Merriam Dictionary, hate is defined as an intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury. So, where does it come from and who is ultimately responsible?
Let us begin with the root cause of all strife. SELF. It is our Ego that demands attention. All hate comes from within each one of us. We are kind, mean, graceful, vulgar, spiteful, forgiving, peaceful, violent, just, unjust and we are the creators of all of that.
We are the creators of our own emotions. How incredibly painful and responsible is that? That when we feel and show love, we create it and when we feel and show hate, we create that too based on how we feel about ourselves and our environment.
As above, so below – As within, so without tells us to know ourselves so that we may know others.
We are who we are and where we are because we put ourselves here. I know that sounds harsh and unrelenting, but continuing to make excuses for our failures, bitterness, and hate will not lift us out of fear, pain, and unhappiness any faster. It will chain us more securely to it.
If you have stumbled upon this page in hopes of finding that hate comes from some other place than within you, it will not be found here. Taking ownership and responsibility for ourselves, for our emotions, is the first step in recognizing where the source of all our hate, violence, and poverty of mind come from.
Put more eloquently, James Allen wrote in As a Man Thinketh,
“ALL THAT A MAN ACHIEVES and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts. In a justly ordered universe, where loss of equipoise would mean total destruction, individual responsibility must be absolute. A man’s weakness and strength, purity, and impurity, are his own, and not another man’s. They are brought about by himself and not by another; and they can only be altered by himself, never by another. His conditions are also his own, and not another man’s. His suffering and his happiness are evolved WITHIN. As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think so he remains.”
Evolved within. What we are, the world is. Regrettably, there is a growing display of deteriorating thought that concludes the emotional feelings of hate to be another’s fault. If I hate you or you do something to anger me and I feel a sense of loathing, then that emotion is your fault and not mine.
You provoked it and are responsible for it. I am to be looked upon as the victim of my own actions due to someone else’s insensitivity, gross negligence, and utter disregard for my personal feelings and beliefs.
How does blaming our lack of self-awareness improve any situation? How does not being able to handle other people’s faults improve ourselves? Sure it’s easier to blame others for our injury and pain, but it solves nothing.
Personal Accountability must be absolute. Einstein said,
“Cease attributing your problems to your environment and learn to exercise your will and your personal responsibility.”
Exercise your will. You think denying yourself a chocolate fudge cupcake with an ooey gooey cream center after determining to treat your body as a temple is a piece of cake? Do you think sending love out to an individual who just cut you off in traffic almost causing an accident is easy?
How are some of the wisest men in the world completely ignored today? Buddha would advise,
“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.”
Unguarded Thoughts. In other words, thoughts lead to words, our words to actions, our actions to habit, our habit to character, and our character to Destiny. We reap what we sow. Again, James Allen wrote,
“Justice is not separate from love; love is not separate from justice. The essential oneness of the two principles is simply expressed in the divine edict: “Whatsoever a man swath, that shall he also reap. It is in accordance both with perfect love and perfect justice that man should reap the good results of his good deeds, and the bad results of his bad deeds. All men admit this theoretically, though the majority refuse to recognize the operation of such a law in the universe, arguing, when overtaken with trouble, that in their case they are not reaping what they have sown, as they have never done anything to call for such misfortune, but are suffering innocently (unjustly), or are afflicted through the wrong-doing of others.
We observe Nature, how it rewards the successful and rots the lazy and say how cruel and unjust it is while at the same time admiring with utmost quality the very thing that sustains it. In politics too, we rot the successful and reward the lazy believing this will sustain humanity while we cling to our beliefs that Justice is based on the consequences of our actions and not the action itself.
Now, some will argue that it is our environment that molds us, that it is our circumstances that controls our emotions, that we are helpless victims and have no say in how we feel, act, or behave. I find this utterly soul crushing, limiting, abusive, and delusional.
Oh, what? James Allen again? Yes!
“If Circumstances had the power to bless and harm, they would bless and harm all men alike, but the fact that the same circumstances will be alike good and bad to different souls proves the good and bad is not in the circumstances, but only in the mind of him that encounters it.”
One mans treasure is another man’s trash.
But, I digress.
The first thing we must do before we can move past hate is seek forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves and others for any injury and pain is the biggest step we can take towards finding peace. This is also the most difficult. Our ego demands retribution, constantly. And, we are more apt to find others at fault. No one said Self-reflection and Self-accountability would be easy either. If it was, everyone would and could do it.
This is a story of The Buddha and how he held a mirror up to intolerance, ignorance, and unkindness and defeated it with, well, forgiveness and love.
Buddha was sitting under a tree with his disciples one afternoon minding their own business when a man came and spit in Buddha’s face. Buddha, without reaction, wiped off the offense and asked, “What next? What do you want to say next?”
The man was astonished never expecting anyone to ask “What next?” after spitting in their face.
The offender – the hocker of spit – was confused and genuinely angered. In his past when he had insulted others, they would react with anger and retribution. If they were cowards or weaklings they would smile and bribe him. But, Buddha was not offended, cowardly, or angry and said simply, “what next?”
Ironically, Buddha’s disciples reacted for him and became angry at the man. Ananda, his closest disciple, wanted Buddha to punish the man for the offense otherwise everyone would feel they could spit in Buddha’s face.
Buddha instead was offended by his disciples, saying, “The man must have heard the many stories told by others, people who have formed an opinion of me based upon others ideas, prejudices, and ego, that I am a revolutionary, a corrupter of minds. He did not spit on me, he spit on the idea of me, he does not know me so how can he spit on me?”
Buddha was not offended because he saw other people’s hatred, ignorance, and intolerance towards him not as an insult, but an understanding that we are only injured by what is inside us, not what we believe to be inside other people. He felt compassion for those who suffered from their own anger and hatred as Buddha was at peace with himself.
When we are at peace with ourselves, we do not become offended or angered easily. We do not lash out in violence or hate and justify our actions. Being at peace with yourself means never being offended by others insensitivity, ignorance, and self-loathing. We teach our children today to go to a Safe Space or to deny others their voice in order to spare their feelings.
The Buddha did not need safe spaces. What Enlightened Individual Does? Buddha did not need to silence individual voices in an effort to not feel anything. Buddha meditated on controlling his own thoughts and behaviors rather than trying to control everyone else around him in order to find a false sense of peace.
Actually, Buddha concluded the man had spit upon his own mind, and, being in no way apart of the man’s mind, was not the least bit offended. He was, however, curious to hear more about what the Flemster had to say since spitting is a way of saying something.
Sometimes when language is not enough to express deep love or passionate anger, you do something, you lash out. You hit someone, you spit on them because you have something to say that words cannot express.
Encouraging the man to speak up, Buddha again asks, “What next?” And, he continued to chastise his disciples for reacting to the man with anger. The man turned toward home puzzled by what just happened. He slept little that night.
The next morning the man approached Buddha and threw himself down at his feet. Buddha said, “What next, you are still trying to say something?” Buddha understood this man was moved by deep emotions – words were just too much for him.
The man looked at Buddha and said, “Forgive me for what I did yesterday.” “Forgive?”, said Buddha, “There is nothing to forgive. I am not the same man I was yesterday, and you are not the same man you were yesterday. Even the river that flows behind us is not the same river it was yesterday. Come, let us talk of something else.
When we blame a person’s hatred on anything other than ignorance, lack of self-comprehension, and personal pain and injury, we exasperate the situation. Would it not be fair to say that HATE is individual and created from the workings of our own weak influenced minds? These days we do not need a reason as much as we need a target.
The man who spit upon Buddha was ruled by the opinions of others and did not know himself or Buddha well enough to form his own thoughts based on experience. He was a slave to others beliefs, opinions, thoughts and a slave to his lack of self-comprehension spitting upon his own mind out of ignorance.
Taking ownership of our thoughts, feelings and actions, of being aware of them and how they control us, is the first step toward learning forgiveness, tolerance, and peace for ourselves. Self-awareness is not Selfishness. Self-Awareness is the greatest gift you can give yourself and the world.
There is a story attributed to the Cherokee tribe that explains beautifully where hate comes from and who is responsible for our emotions.
“One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between ‘Two Wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which Wolf Wins?” The Old Cherokee simply replied, “THE ONE YOU FEED”.
Which Wolf are you constantly feeding? Which Wolf is winning? Do you believe it is time to make a conscious effort to find out? Every moment of Every day we have a choice in what we feed our minds. Is it kindness and compassion or is it hate and intolerance? If we have hate in our hearts and on our brains and then lash out in anger or violence it shows the world what it already knows and that is we have absolutely no comprehension of our selves.
We have not taken the time to meditate on peace, love, and compassion. We have not taken a few moments to go into silence. Whose fault is that? Is it our family member, our friend, our neighbor, our countrymen? Is it another religion or political pundit?
How do we demand kindness from the world when we are not first kind to ourselves? How do we first demand forgiveness and tolerance of others when we are not first forgiving and tolerant with ourselves? If we want kindness in the world it is only appropriate that we be kind. If we want peace, demanding it of others through violence is actually quite ridiculous. Reflections.
Christ our Savior, while nailed to a cross and with arms wide open forgave his executioners. At the end of his life, he became what he believed in. Jesus understood that daily meditation and constant mental reflection on Faith, Forgiveness, And Compassion makes you Faithful, Forgiving, And Compassionate. We are, after all, what we think. We are what we meditate upon.
Going into Silence. The Buddha Meditated. The Christ Meditated. Perhaps there is a benefit to Meditation, you think? James Allen in the Path to Prosperity wrote,
There is absolutely no other way to true power and abiding peace, but by self-control, self-government, self-purification. To be at the mercy of your disposition is to be impotent, unhappy, and of little use in the world. The conquest of your petty likes and dislikes, your capricious loves and hates, your fits of anger suspicions, jealousy, and all the changing moods to which you are more or less helplessness subject, this the task you have before you. You must daily practice the habit of putting your mind at rest, “going into the silence” as it is commonly called.”
You say you hate someone – but the seed of hate lies within you just as the seed of love. What you choose to cultivate is your decision. What you choose to show the world is up to you. If it is hate, resentment, injury and fear you feel – understand you are choosing to feel this way. It is what you are meditating upon. If others are projecting their misery unto you, rise above it, lift yourself beyond the personal and transitory and know yourself.
We can only really improve the world by improving ourselves one individual at a time. We cannot change the world demanding it do what we are not willing to do ourselves. As Above, So Below. As Within, So Without. All Change begins within. The only Change that really matters and makes a real difference in the world is the one that begins within YOU.
The Politics of Happiness. Below are the words said to be written on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in the crypts of Westminster Abbey in London, England and it emphasizes that if you really want to change the world, it does not begin with politicians or saints, outside yourself, but within – The INDIVIDUAL
When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.
But, it too, seemed immovable.
As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but atlas, they would have none of it.
And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family.
From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.
We all want to change the world, but we all want the world to change around us while we do nothing to change ourselves. We are all willing to change the circumstances that surround us, but more often than not unwilling to put forth the effort required in bringing about the required change within us.
We are all powerfully spiritual, creative and divine beings. We have the ability to create the circumstances we desire if we practice focusing on what we want to see in ourselves first. It all begins with intention. The Will. Intention is the practice of holding in our minds that which we desire in the physical world.
To recognize that anything is possible and the mind is just as powerful as the body when both are acting in harmony to one another. If you want kindness, be kind and act kindly. If you want Love, be Loving and act lovingly. What you are you find, your society is a reflection of you. Have a little Faith. Have a little courage. Have a little Love.
James Allen wrote,
As a being of Power, Intelligence, and Love, and the lord of his own thoughts, man holds the key to every situation, and contains within himself that transforming and regenerative agency by which he makes himself what he will.”
Humans have an expansive amount of insensitivity, thoughtlessness and selfishness. We have not evolved much beyond our flaws and sadly probably never will. What has grown considerably is this belief that someone else is responsible for how we feel and we should not be held accountable for what comes next because , “It wasn’t my fault, the devil made me do it”.
Life is only a reflection of our inner life, so we can begin to improve our environment simply by improving our minds.
Prentice Mulford wrote in Thoughts are Things,
“In the spiritual life every person is his or her own discoverer, and you need not grieve if your discoveries are not believed in by others. It is not your business to argue or prove them to others. It is your business to push on, find more and increase individual happiness.”
There is nothing more rewarding and existential than discovering and taking full responsibility of one’s own authenticity. Not the experience of others, but the experience unfolding within YOU.
We must see how impossible improving our circumstances can be when we refuse to see the cause of it. We are powerful beings. We can succeed and we can fail on an enormous level. But, we cannot expect to grow in prosperity and abundance by wallowing in self-pity, intolerance, anger, and bitterness. At some point, we must stop and have a little courage, self-belief, faith, will, and determination to change the fixed habits of thought that has led us to this exact moment.
But, how can we improve our thoughts? Well, first begin with the breath and simple meditation. Meditation is mindful awareness of the moment free from bias or harsh judgments. It is being in the present moment without attaching opinion, self, or bias to it. Remember again, the root of all strife is SELF.
We do tend as human beings to see everything as good or bad, so being in a state of thoughtful awareness detached from the ego or self means the moment is not good or bad, but is what it is – so rejoice in it.
Bhante Gunaratana wrote,
“Mindfulness gives us time; time gives us choices. We don’t have to be swept away by our feelings. We can respond with wisdom rather than delusion.”
How many of us live our lives in delusion? You can calm the mind by bringing your attention to your breath. When we are focused on our breath, we are not focused on feelings of intolerance, hate, lack, sadness, injury, or pain. We are also not focused on trying to conjure up feelings of happiness, joy, and abundance when we are just not feeling it.
A wonderful exercise I like to practice is called Complete Breath.
First, start by sitting up straight. Take a deep breath into the belly while you lift your shoulders to your ears. Exhale slowly as you bring you shoulders back, around, and down opening up the chest (your heart). Opening your heart is key to any successful meditation practice so keep the Chest open and full during this exercise.
Place your right hand above your naval. Do not press. Take a slow deep cleansing breath in. The breath should flow into the belly with your hand rising with the breath. Continue the breath up into the lungs while shoulders remain still and silent. You may count to 4 with the slow breath in. Hold the breath for 7 seconds. Now, release the breath slowly for a count of 8 bringing your naval to your spine pushing all the stale air out. Whenever trying breathing exercises, try and make the out breath double the in. So, if you count for 6 seconds in breath, make your out breath 12 seconds.
This releases tension, toxins, stress, and anxiety. Once you have calmed the mind, you may like to begin envisioning peace for the people you do not like, who you believe have caused you pain and suffering. Generally, the things we do not like in others is the same thing we do not like in ourselves. Send out to those who need forgiving pink and green energy and know that it is for your benefit and not theirs. What you give, you receive.
You may conclude your brief breathing meditation practice with a little gratitude. Being thankful for what you have goes a long way in living a joyful life.
In conclusion, Hate is an emotion based on fear, anger, and injury constantly sustained and concentrated upon by a heart and head separated from any thoughts of love and peace. Love is an emotion based on kindness, affection, and compassion separated from any thoughts of hate, anger and injury.
We all have a choice on how we want to feel and the emotions we want to entertain. We are co-creators of our environment. We are absolute creators of our MINDS. Create circumstances of prosperity, peace, and kindness. It is your choice. Your destiny.
The power is within you. If you own and recognize your pain, hate, and injury – discover the source and move to forgive those who cause it, forgive yourself, because we are not the same river we were yesterday.
If we choose to focus upon hate and entertain thoughts of fear and anger and our reaction is violence or injustice and our goal is to wound another, then we only have ourselves to blame. Making ourselves miserable on purpose which in turn makes those around us miserable will not bring in goodness and light. That I can guarantee.
But, if we are to entertain our brains for a few moments a day on loving and compassionate thoughts for all even those who have caused us injury or pain, then maybe we can make our world a better place.
“What you are the world is and without your transformation, there can be no transformation of the world.”
The world benefits from a loving, more peaceful you. How could it not? If you want world peace, be world peace. We will never change the world by demanding society change. What ripple ever started from the outside and made its way in? The ripple begins within you. Throw the first stone of love and watch what happens.