I woke up today to a clear blue sky full of cumulonimbus clouds. I entered a vipassina meditation. I wrote guided meditations. I completed my newest episode of Ask Teal, and sent my son off with Blake to play at a playground. Since people first discovered my “abilities”, I have found myself in the inquisition all over again in this life. As a child, I was haunted by the perpetual perception that people wished to extinguish me. And it was not that it felt worse than it actually was. Many people did want me to die, as people often do when they feel powerless enough to something that they cannot conceive of peace with you alive.
I have stopped reading the death threats that I receive. Instead, they are placed into a folder incase they are needed for security’s sake. But hatred has reached me today. Laced with the bite of irony, the original painting of mine called “integrity” was purchased by a group of people in the Czech Republic and publicly burnt in accordance with what they thought was right. It was burnt because they think I am satanic and because they also think I am a disguised reptilian. The burning is a symbolic message that I am not welcome there. It is an attempt to protect people from me and from what I create. I figured that this would be a perfect time to talk about hatred.
Hatred is caused by 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?
Anger is not the fuel for hate. Fear is the fuel for hate. When we hate, we have to be brave enough to ask what it is that we fear. So today, in order to understand this action, I went looking for the two-sided answer to explain the fear inherent in this circumstance. I tend to trigger a great many powerless feelings that lie dormant within someone’s being.
Behind every single action lies a positive intention. All hateful acts are misguided attempts to carry out a positive intention. People murder people so that they can feel better. People drop bombs on each other so that they can feel free. People burn flags (or in this case paintings) to purify the world of what they fear is evil. This hateful act is a distorted attempt to maintain goodness. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is not the case, because there is no hell waiting for anyone after this life. But the road to suffering, just like the road to wellbeing, is paved with intentions. The road to well being is paved with questioned intentions. And the road to suffering is paved with unquestioned intentions.
What upsets me about this situation is the feeling of not being able to explain myself and my intentions. This is the feeling that people have when they are charged with crimes that they did not commit. This is the madness that stains you when you feel as if your pleas are falling on deaf ears. To be at the mercy of someone who has already made up their mind about you is a kind of powerlessness that too many people have had to experience over the course of history. It is frightening to be misunderstood.
As ironic as it is that integrity was the painting that they chose to burn, it is equally ironic, that the hater and the hated share this same sensation of powerlessness to each other. The ego slips into despair when it is unable to escape pain at the hands of someone who is unwilling to understand. People, who have already made up their mind about you, are deaf to hearing any excuses. Every single thing you say and do will be woven and spun against you, because it creates a missing sense of security for those who are scared. It provides them with cognitive closure when they take information that is provided to them and mold it to fit in with their already existing beliefs. If we begin to use new information to dismantle our existing beliefs, we wander into the land of uncertainty. And there, we think we may just drown. Without a life vest, with no sight of solid land, we may be sucked beneath the waves of confusion and change. We may have to admit that we were ‘wrong’.
If we hate, we need to cradle our hate like the crying child that it is. If we fear, then there is something within us that is desperate for love and understanding and trust. It is my wish that hatred is not met with hatred. Hatred does not absolve someone from hatred; instead it condemns them to the prison of it. Hatred narrows the scope of our own soul. It cuts us off from ourselves. And in such a painful condition, a person is capable of anything.
For our own sakes, let our desires, friendship, joy, equanimity and love unite us more so than a common hate for something. And may we always seek to understand. Understanding extinguishes hate and fear alike. I have learned something over the course of my many lives. And the thing that I have learned is this… The moment that I come to understand those that I hate and those that I call my enemy enough to defeat them entirely, is the moment that I come to understand them enough to love them and thus no longer desire to defeat them at all.