Two news stories have touched the same nerve in me in this new year of 2011.
Both involve the shooting by a lone individual of another with whom they disagreed to such an extent that they felt righteousness and duty in committing murder - and in directly undermining any due process of communication or law with resort to a justification of ‘might is right’; the act of the denial of life to another; killing the messenger to shut down the message that they - not God - have determined is hateful and deserves to die.
Both gunmen operated out of a sense of support and vindication from the culture of hate that had brodcast itself in self righteous terms; the Pakistani gunman was protecting Holy God from blasphemy. The American gunman was protecting the Divinely inspired Consitution of the United States of America from evil marxists or perhaps ‘We, the People’ of the USA from a tyranous secret conspiracy of a corrupt government. The theme remains the same
This kind of thing can and does sicken many of the whole notion of God, religion and so called holiness. Because it is so clearly hypocritical and deluded. But with what they do have of a sense of the sanctity and value of life they may well be more ‘the messengers of God’ than many who seek to perpetuate their own private or mutually agreed agendas in God’s name.
Because until man awakens from a childish fixation on specific forms, thoughts and symbols as holding fixed and asserted meanings in and of themselves, there will not be a true and consistent opening of the heart to the sanctity and holiness of life and the divine inspiration that guides from within - and not via external gods or externally created authorities that are liable to tyranous subjection of the Living Impulse of our heart.
The uncovering in man of a sense of falsity - or invalidity or wrongness - offers a step toward awakening from a deeper understanding than his own thought allows. But if we are engaged and identified in a mood of fear - that indulges hatred and judgement to its own sense of advantage - we will not awaken to a deeper curiosity that uncovers more than we knew before in a greater perspective - but will seek out and find scapegoats and enemies upon which to project our sense of wrongness upon. And we call it life even while it kills us.
Whether we are to emerge from the thrall of the mind of fear or remain slaves to its tyranny is a matter of individual responsibility now. For only the witness of the mind that disagrees with the god of fear can call it out to be undone. Fear says “If you speak out I will shoot you” - but it can only seem to have the power it wields through a culture of joining in a common hate - a culture that thrives on false witness, gossip and judgemental indulgence.
To partake in hate is to be a party to the acts of violence that are intent on undermining trust, cooperation, tolerance and all of the qualities that ARE the embodiment of love in our own minds - and in human society.
This is not a call to hate the ones who hate. This is a call to refuse hatred and insist on finding an honest, straight and open way to communicate - both within our own mind and with each other. A call to a clearout upon the principles of good housekeeping. The truly good will arise without self-manipulating effort when we cease to hate and so clear our hearts and minds of conflict - and not from setting ourselves against the symbols and messengers of that in our life to which we have aversion to.
Is there a helpful use of hate?
Perhaps only this - that to identify a falsity in oneself and immediately recognize it has nothing that I want and costs you all that I hold dear - is to empty or abhor myself of my thought so as to refuse to validate it in the terms it suggests. I abide in open trust that what is true reveals itself because I am no longer actively accepting falsity as a basis from which to live. Yet even here it is language that suggests that I ‘hate’ falsity - for the falsity itself is the hate - and I am not as it suggests and so I put it behind me by giving attention to the Living.