Tuesday, May 29, 2018
John F. Kennedy’s birthday. If it weren’t right next to Memorial Day, it would have become a national holiday half a century ago.
5:15 a.m. Shall we continue?
No harm in taking a day off, if you prefer, and doing your other work.
No, I guess I’d rather do this first. No reason for it to interfere with writing up my program. I did some good work on it yesterday, thanks to your making conscious something about the nature of the conflict that leads to procrastination. Interesting, by the way, that I didn’t get – and evidently didn’t need to get – a sense of the cause of the conflict. Learning that it existed and could be ridden over seems to have been enough.
So – to work?
How would it transform your world if you – anyone – were to begin to love your enemies?
Going to deal with trivial matters as usual, I see.
Seriously – how would it transform your own lives and your experience of the external world?
And I know full well that you do not mean “enemies” in the sense merely of opponents in some contest, even war, but enemies in the sense of people who embody elements we hate, and who probably hate us, or at least hate what we love.
Yes. We are looking at things, as we always do (and as it would profit anyone to begin to do) as closer to real, the more internal, and closer to unreal, the more external. The external does not exist with the same degree of reality to you or to anyone in 3D or out of it as does the internal. What you feel is real. What you know is less so, and you may extrapolate from there. While in 3D you are in an environment that argues the opposite, but since you are never only in 3D, a part of you always knows better, if you only listen to it.
So, if you hate, you know it, you experience the emotion first-hand, it is not a rumor to you. Similarly, of course, if you love, or fear or experience any emotion. Feelings are as intimate as any experience can be, closer to you than your own body, in fact.
The temptation would be to let this slide off into metaphor, to avoid the reality of it.
Yes, that would be the temptation. Resist it, or rather, set it aside. Any new truth that is not entirely congruent with one’s accepted beliefs is going to seem poetic exaggeration, or incompletely understood metaphor. The work comes in realizing how the new statement is accurate. (Of course, there is still the question of whether or not one accepts it after examination, but as in anything, examination must follow, not precede, perception. First treat the new perception as if you whole-heartedly accept it – that is, really look at it. Then examine it carefully – in the cold light of day, so to speak – to see if it really is a truth or is imposture.
So, for the moment at least, take for granted that feelings are realer than concepts, news reports, generalizations, prejudices (that is, generalizations about news reports, so to speak), and ask, what if you began to love your enemies?
I know, too, that you don’t mean that in a sucrose “What if everybody suddenly began to place nice” way. You are asking, what if we practiced loving enemies who continued to hate us.
Who continued to hate you, who were responsible for grievous wounds inflicted on you and on others you love, who continue to, even aspire to continue to, inflict wounds. In other words, make it the ones embodying the traits you hate most; the ones, too, responsible for the greatest crimes with the longest shadows; the ones who embody the most despicable characteristics.
Child rapers. Torturers. Stone-hearted thugs willing to do anything to advance their own interests. Icy indifferent manipulators similarly willing to do anything.
And, in your case, politically, a few examples of effects you hate?
The men who caused the Civil War and the ones who continued to spread hatred afterwards. The men who killed Lincoln, and those who killed Kennedy. The manipulators who caused and continue to cause our involvement in so many wars either for their own profit or because they are playing The Great Game.
But even these, you see, do not inspire hatred in you to the extent that those do who embody violence against specific others. That is, a representative in your mind of killers or torturers – especially killers or torturers of innocents – is closer to your emotion, even if merely an imagined figure, than is a political manipulator, no matter how invested you are in the harm they inflicted. The one is realer, because closer. The other is still capable of evoking real emotion, but it isn’t as close. Do you see that – feel that – as well as understanding it?
When you set it out this way, I can feel it, yes. I would have thought just the opposite. I would have thought that my feelings toward the men who conspired to kill John F. Kennedy, or, earlier, Lincoln, would have been stronger than my feelings toward a hypothetical example such as an abstract baby-killer.
The difference is this (which in passing will explain why the strength of your feelings will fluctuate depending upon how you approach it): When you concentrate upon an example as an example of something, per se, either you will give it life or it will remain an abstraction. That is, you will feel about it, or you will think about it. (Naturally it is never an absolute either / or; life is mixed motives, mixed experience, but the principle holds.)
So, concentrating upon the qualities you hate, rather than on the human embodiments of those qualities – does this not clarify our point?
Seems to me I got the point years ago. I may not always live up to my own ideals, but I did get the point.
Spell it out a little.
If you hate hatred as an abstract quality, say – how does that work out? Or – start from externals. I see political and economic and ideological manipulators. Say I see men driven by hatred, and I detest all their works. Say I see hypocritical sanctimonious bible-thumping politicians who enrich themselves by spreading hatred, or ignorant dupes who channel their own frustrations into political or ideological crusades against anyone and anything that threatens them, which in practice means nearly everything that doesn’t look like them to themselves. How does it help anything if I add my own dose of hatred to the mix? I used to have a signature on my email that said, “Hatred + anything = hatred.” So, it isn’t like I don’t know what you’re getting at, even if I don’t always practice it.
You don’t do so badly; that isn’t our point. The point is, what if you actually poured love upon what you are inclined to hate?
I suppose it would marginally ameliorate the situation. But that isn’t your point, is it?
No. What is your main responsibility while in 3D?
Your own soul.
Correct. And making a habit of pouring out or generating or serving as conduit for hatred accomplishes what?
Oh, I see it.
Yes, but now think about it a bit. You see your actions in the world; they are definite (and that means, defined in shape and scope). If you are what they call a world leader in some field, your actions may have huge impact. If you are what they call a private individual, your actions may affect “only” everyone you deal with (and, second-hand, everyone they deal with, etc.).
But your actions are only a shadow of your being. They reflect who you are, but only reflect it, and often enough they are distorting reflections. It is your being that is primary, not your actions, and that is formed by your continuing stream of decisions, among them, a stream of decisions as to how to react to stimuli. John F. Kennedy is murdered, with all the consequences that brings. How do you react? A family member is murdered, a neighbor, someone you don’t know but only read about, or dozens or thousands in another country. Always, how do you react? If you allow others to choose for you, as if you were a vending machine – they push a certain button, you produce a certain response – how is this conscious, or productive, or in fact other than destructive of free will, or self-creation? And what good does it do anybody anywhere any time?
We ask again – and we’ll pause here – what if you began to systematically and without exception love your enemies? How would it transform your world and your life? Your world, your life?
And that is enough for the moment.
Thanks as usual. Next time.