Understanding the Dynamics of Hate, by Jose Stevens

Love x Hate creative sign with clouds as the background

A new José Stevens Article

Understanding the Dynamics of Hate

This article is for the purpose of greater understanding about the phenomena and hopefully greater understanding can lead to more compassion but not necessarily greater acceptance of bad behavior.

When I speak of misogynists, man haters, LGBT haters, Muslim haters, and fanatics of all stripes I am not addressing those who have legitimate complaints about certain individuals or even societal prejudices that tend to dominate in various parts of the world.  For example it would be fair to say that women are treated badly when it comes to unequal pay, domestic violence, sexual abuse, glass ceilings, and under representation in certain high paying fields of influence.  These and other insults are a given in our society and need correction and it is right and correct for women, feminists or not, to be vocal about the need for change.  By the same token many men correctly observe that some women can behave horribly toward them and attempt to destroy their reputations or financial status through sheer hate. The same can be true for the LGBT community.

Fanatics may include misogynists and man haters and people who have other targets as well. Some are fanatic about religion, others about gun rights, abortion, organic foods, vegan diets, gays, endangered species, government oppression, anti-communism, anti-socialism, and the list goes on and on.

What these people all have in common is that they are in great resistance to something external to them and they want to attack it. Somehow they think that if they could eliminate that one thing everything would be better for them. Of course life is not so simple and it is not true that everything would be fine. Something else would crop up to irritate them instead.

The basics of resistance

Here are several principles that apply to resistance that many people overlook.

What you resist persists: What we do know through simple observation and the laws of physics is that resistance causes persistence.  If you were to press your hand against the wall, the harder you press against it the more it seems to resist until you hurt your hand. Many people find out how true this is when they resist the local police or they resist the local mafia chief. Does this mean that resistance is never appropriate? No. Some things, like war should be resisted, fought, and ultimately changed. However when you resist something you need to be smart about it. You need to identify your allies and enlist support and then you need to work strategically and have patience to work for the changes you want to see. Just grabbing guns, shouting, or throwing things is not a good policy. Social change does not come through the barrel of a gun unless you are living in a fascist regime.

What you resist you become: When resistance takes place over a long period of time what you can observe is that the one resisting becomes like that which they resist. The most famous example of this is the common observation that people getting older have (or their friends have of them) that they have become just like their mother or father who they hated or resisted when they were young.  Other examples include people who when young and idealistic were liberals and when they got older they became conservative. Sometimes it goes the other way but not as often.  Soldiers have often married into the culture of the enemies they fought.  A great spiritual leader was famous for saying, “First they ignore you; then they laugh at you; then they hate you. Then you win.” This implies of course that the more they resist the more they are going to come around to your way of thinking eventually.

Resistance is fear, then becomes hate or prejudice. Resistance is born of fear, a product of the material world where the illusion of separation predominates. That which we do not perceive as ourselves seems foreign and therefore potentially dangerous to our survival. Logically then, we defend ourselves from it and seek to destroy it before it destroys us. If we perceive this other as bringing change then it is also change we resist and try to stop. After all, we are comfortable with the known and the unknown could kill us. The fearful person suggests it is better to kill it first.

When we consider the phenomenon of reincarnation this principle takes on a whole new meaning. We always become in the next life what we resist in this life. Oh horror of horrors, how people hate, fear, and resist this idea. The unpleasant fact is that whatever we hate or fear we will become. Black hating whites become white hating blacks and vice versa; misogynists become man-hating women; man-hating women become misogynists; Muslim hating Christians or Hindus become Christian or Hindu hating Muslims and vice versa; Indian hating colonists became white hating Native Americans and vice versa; Nazis became oppressed Jews and angry Jews became angry Germans and Jew hating Arabs and on and on and on. Gay hating straights are sure to become gay in their next life and vice versa. The pendulum swings endlessly until understanding and compassion begins to grow and eventually erases all prejudice. Little by little exposure to the hated builds understanding. That is one of the main universal principles that govern this experience of pretending to be human being for awhile.

Nothing arouses greater venom than someone with extremist views being confronted with what they recently were. Some of the most violence oriented ecologists and animal rights people are coming from a lifetime where they were the predators and just as violent. Some of the most extreme right to lifers have only recently been slaughterers of infants. No one wants to hear this. It is just too odious yet it happens to be the way this game is designed. The only way out of this endless “becoming what you hate or feel victimized by” is to let it go. To make peace with what you hate and fear.

The most angry people around are the most fearful. They project their fears on selected targets that they perceive to be the enemy. Perhaps they faced this enemy many times in former lives. Perhaps they themselves were this enemy, it does not matter which. Fear wants to attack, Fear wants to feel safe but it always generates more fear. People on a course of fear and hatred will never find safety in this manner. They will only find their negativity growing until it destroys them through poor judgment, loss of control, irrational insanity, or criminal activity. The most fearful people in the world are the most dangerous because they have lost their humanity and exchanged it for the paranoia of an abused animal.

There is also a curious twist to the hatred that many people carry. That is the fact that they themselves are aware that they are part of the group they hate the most. Adolph Hitler was partially Jewish. Some of the most serious oppressors of gay people in government have been secretly gay themselves. There is a suggestion that the recent shooting of patrons in a gay nightclub in Florida was carried out by someone who had his own leanings toward being gay. That is not unusual. These people often have secret lives and they hate themselves for it because they believe they are doing something wrong. They relentlessly attack and punish themselves and in a fit of passion turn the attack and punishment toward the members of their own community as if destroying them would take care of their guilt and shame. More than one radical feminists secretly fantasize about men dominating and humiliating them and many dominant moguls of industry secretly pay prostitutes to humiliate them. This kind of behavior has been going on forever. There is nothing new about it. What causes it to become criminal is the lack of acceptance, the extreme prejudices of society that fails to understand where this is all coming from. Much of it has to do with classic defense mechanisms like identifying with the aggressor, projection, and reaction formation where one plays out the feared drama over and over.

What to do?

No matter what soul age, we all tend to harbor certain prejudices, certain levels of bigotry, certain areas of resistance to groups of people, certain individual representing belief systems that we find extremely disagreeable and so on. I grew up surrounded by major prejudice and some of it got under my skin.

All my life I have had to attend to and observe various prejudicial feelings deeply ingrained in me from childhood. Interestingly this has been an enlightening process of cleansing for me. Fears die slowly but can be erased more quickly through exposure to that which is feared. Naturally some of my most enduring clients, colleagues, and relationships have been with members of all these feared groups. After years I no longer noticed what color, race, religion, or sexual orientation people belong to. In this way I know when I have made some progress. The question I ask myself is, “Whom do I still resist? Whom do I carry a charge about? Whom do I fear? Yes, I can still identify groups like that. That is what I shall become, that is what I shall find all around me if I do not find the place of neutrality. Who do I still resist? Some of the people I still lack neutrality around are man haters and fanatical religious types. That sets the stage for being surrounded by these people in a future life. Perhaps they will be my parents, my coaches, or my teachers allowing me to find more compassion for them. Maybe I will have to work with these folks or perhaps I will have to struggle all over again with being a prejudiced person, having my own hate for what I am out-picturing. That would be hard.  So there is more work to do, more forgiving, more compassion, more understanding. I better get to it sooner than later. There is still time in this life to make much progress, why not? Does this mean I have to allow myself to be abused by these people? Absolutely not! How would that help? No, what it means is to find understanding, compassion, and forgiveness for their suffering because they do suffer horribly. Hate makes people miserable. There is nothing fun about it. Hate stems from fear that creates separation, paranoia, conspiracy theories, doubt, meanness, and joylessness. There is nothing good about those things.

Who do you hate? Who do you fear? Who do you resist? Perhaps they will be who your daughter or son marries? Perhaps they will be your parents next time around. Maybe they will be your jailor, your boss, your oppressor. Now is the time you can do something about it because if you don’t you are stuck with them for another go around. Think about it and have a little chuckle at the diabolical game we created to learn about love.

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To become a butterfly, you must be willing to give up being a caterpillar.