Life is only as beautiful as our hatred. We’re here for a short time; what are we giving to it, here and now?
I was reminded recently that in states of deep gratitude–wherein we are deeply connected with life, cruelty simply becomes impossible–like midnight and midday existing in the same place at the same time. So when we entertain thoughts of, speak words of, commit acts of cruelty–whether
minor, middling, or major,
openly or hidden,
through commission or omission,
what does that say about us right then and there?
Isn’t it the case that any form of cruelty has hatred and fear as core components? And where we harbor hatred, are we not right then and there emitting poisonous energy which harms ourselves and others? In maintaining any thesis of hatred, how could we ever manifest lasting personal happiness and collective upliftment?
In seeking to beautify our lives, we must practice both increasing what’s beneficial and decreasing what’s harmful–much like in cultivating a garden we both add ornamentals and subtract weeds; too much of one and too little of the other yields an incomplete, suboptimal result.
And hatred, doesn’t that belong to the domain of what’s harmful? How could it belong to what’s beneficial? Does a sick plant bear good fruit? Does rancid milk make a good cappuccino?
How might an internal climate of cruelty in its various guises be manifesting in our lives today? A few possible ways (bearing in mind that context is crucial):
“us vs. them”
If only he saw it my way
If only she didn’t do what I did not want
Speaking over others
Not listening to others
Disparaging those who disagree with our own position
False shows of positivity
Overly agreeable or people-pleasing
Acts of self-harm
The inhumane killing of other life forms
Resorting to killing as a first option
Thus, it becomes plain and clear that in order to see personal and collective upliftment (are the two even separable?) we must commit to deepening our own self-awareness–engaging both the light/pleasant and the dark/unpleasant sides of our being–through right daily practices. For just as the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, we can only love to the extent we hate.
Points to Ponder/Action Items
The mind that sees benefit in and engages in the various forms of cruelty is not the same mind that sees the harm of and purifies attachment to cruelty.
Just as the rainbow has several colors so too do we have several levels of mind.
Making our hatred conscious in the context of service to the highest good, we are in a position to examine, evaluate, appraise, and discern in the name of the highest good. We distinguish between correct and incorrect, beneficial and harmful, what is to be kept and what is to be discarded, etc. Thus, in seemingly increasing hatred by bringing it to the forefront of mind and facing it, we can effect a true decrease in hatred by purifying attachment to what our inner wisdom immediately tells us is harmful.
Acknowledging that we harbor hatred in our hearts that gives rise to cruel thoughts, words, and actions, what is the path of the highest good from that point? How can one know confidently that one is aligned with the highest good–since we understand that “smiling faces tell lies” and “words are cheap”?
Make time to introspect and reflect daily upon our thoughts, words, and actions. Where may cruelty and hatred have manifested itself, even in seemingly insignificant ways? Sometimes a small shard of pottery betrays the existence of an entire city buried underground.
Surrender a space for Divinity to teach us where we have deviated from Truth. Make a clear and conscious decision to abide in Truth, and to not abide in non-Truth.
The stain on our shirt can only be cleaned if we acknowledge first that there is a stain, and, second, decide that we want the stain removed from the shirt.
Copyright (c) 2020, Justin Jaucian