What causes hatred? The perception of threat. The perception that something or someone in your life diminishes something you hold dear. A threat is something that is likely to cause danger or damage. In other words, it is something that is likely to hurt you. When a person feels as if they are in the presence of a threat, they feel fear and that fear is quickly converted into anger, which is a state of defense. You can think of anger and aversion as a person’s attempt to keep their boundaries intact so as to stay safe. The person tries to push that thing away from itself or somehow eradicate the threat. Hatred is the human ego in a state of defense. When we find ourselves hating something, the questions we have to ask ourselves is: What threat does this thing pose to me? How is it hurting me? And what am I afraid of?
For example, a woman may feel hatred towards another woman who is very beautiful and when she looks deeply she may find that this woman is a threat to her own self-concept or self worth. Or a man may feel hatred towards another man who is flirting with his girlfriend and when he looks deeper, he may find that this man is a threat to the closeness and security he feels in his relationship. Or a group of people may feel hatred towards another group of people with different religious views. When this group looks deeper, they may find that they believe this other group is evil and therefore cruel or wicked and intends to cause harm to earth.
The safer we feel, the less we hate. The problem is that hatred tends to snowball. When we perceive a threat, the body goes into hypervigilence mode. We begin to look diligently for danger and in a universe based on the law of attraction, our focus upon it guarantees we will get more of it. We find proof we are unsafe because of this thing that poses a threat to us so we feel more unsafe and we attract more proof that we are unsafe until we have so much proof that we believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that a person or thing is a threat to us and our life on all levels and we hate that person or thing with a passion. Some of us find ourselves more frequently on the receiving end of hatred. This is especially true if we experienced shame or the idea that we are bad as part of our childhood wounds. We tend to take this hatred personally. We make the hatred we receive from others mean that there must be something bad about us. This pushes us into self-doubt, self-hatred and self-distrust. But we need to see that the hatred does not exist because we are bad. It doesn’t exist because they are right about us. Hatred exists because the other person perceives us to be a threat to something they treasure and are therefore attached to. What we have to ask ourselves is: What threat do they perceive me posing to them? For example, we may discover that someone feels we are a threat to their physical safety or to their self worth or to the way they want the world to be or to their beliefs or to their sense of rightness or goodness. It is much easier to feel better about someone or something when we feel compassion for them. Compassion comes naturally when we can clearly see the pain behind someone’s hatred. When we see the hurt or fear there, we don’t feel the need to defend ourselves as violently because it isn’t really about us, it’s about the fact that something about us makes them feel threatened. Perhaps we can even help them to feel less threatened about whatever they feel threatened about relative to us. When it comes to hatred, whether it is us hating them or them hating us, we need to address the fear underneath the hatred. We need to address the vulnerability inherent in the threat we perceive. This means that we have to: 1. Question the threat. As well as explore and loosen our negative attachment to the thing we think they pose a threat to. 2. Find non-reactive, conscious strategies to diminish the potential threat without causing the other person harm. 3. Increase our feeling of safety and integrity. This means deliberately thinking thoughts that help us to feel safer relative to the threat we perceive, and doing things in our own life that cause us to feel safer. Any form of positive focus about the situation we feel threatened by will diminish the feeling of threat. By doing these things, we will experience a decrease in hatred. At its root, hatred occurs when we feel powerless to how we feel. We feel bad and don’t think we can feel good as long as the thing we think caused us to feel bad still exists. Taking our focus off of those things that cause us to feel bad and placing our focus on things that cause us to feel good allows us to see that we do have the ability to alter how we feel. This empowerment helps us to see that we aren’t just at the mercy of the world and thus, we feel less threatened by things and thus we don’t feel hate towards them.
For example, lets say that you feel hatred towards your boyfriend’s ex. Let’s say that when you ask the questions: What threat does this thing pose to me? How is it hurting me? And what am I afraid of? The answer is she is a threat to my feeling of closeness and connection with my boyfriend and the idea of him growing distant from me, hurt me and I’m afraid that she will break us up. First, you question the threat. Is she really a threat to your connection with your boyfriend? If so, how? Question the validity of this threat completely. Then, you may want to explore how the attachment you have to your connection to your boyfriend is painful and therefore negative because what you really want is a man who will choose you and whom wants you enough that you don’t have to work hard to earn closeness with him. So it may even be better to have his closeness tested in this way so you can either see his true colors or develop real security with his connection to you. Then, you may decide to have a proactive and vulnerable discussion with either your boyfriend or his ex or both about your fears of losing connection. Then, you may wish to focus on proof that helps you to feel as if the connection you have with your boyfriend is in fact secure.
This world functions like a mirror. And so, in order to end hatred in the world, we must end hatred in ourselves. But the thing is, to end hatred in ourselves we must address the aspect of us who hates, as it truly is. It is like a small child that is terrified and in a state of fear is reacting by trying to push the thing it is afraid of away from itself. We need to have love and compassion for the aspect of us that is feeling threatened. By doing this, we create more safety for ourselves on an internal level and this subdues the hatred. In the spiritual field hatred (like anger) has been turned into an unacceptable thing. This means we cannot even admit to it in ourselves when it is there. Hatred is very dangerous when it is suppressed and not dealt with directly. So I encourage you to lay down the attachment to seeing yourself as a peaceful and loving person long enough to admit to any hatred that may be resident within your being. When we are not in the practice of suppressing our hatred, but are also not conscious enough to work with it directly, we mistake the fight or flight peak in energy we feel in hatred for power. Hatred is the opposite of power. It only occurs when we feel powerless to a threat. We then become reactive. Instead of addressing the internal world in its state of fear, we try to eradicate the threat itself. We wage war against it in order to try to get rid of it. This does not work in a universe based on the law of attraction, where whatever you resist persists. This is exactly why people in the media say that bad press is good press.
Hating someone feels bad. It causes pain not only to the thing on the other side of that hatred, but also to you. When we feel hatred, we tend to think that feeling of hatred is done to us by the thing we hate, they caused it. When we have to see is that even if they have done things to justify hatred, the hatred is not their problem, it is our problem. It is our reaction to them or what they did. This is good news because it means we are not powerless to our hatred. Hatred is a cover emotion for fear and hurt. So address the fear and hurt directly then focus on things that cause you to feel empowered and safe and watch the hatred melt away.