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Commentaries on Living Series 2

Commentaries on Living Series II Chapter 4 'The Process of Hate'

SHE WAS A teacher, or rather had been one. She was affectionate and kindly, and this had almost become a routine. She said she had taught for over twenty-five years and had been happy in it; and although towards the end she had wanted to get away from the whole thing, she had stuck to it. Recently she had begun to realize what was deeply buried in her nature. She had suddenly discovered it during one of the discussions, and it had really surprised and shocked her. It was there, and it wasn't a mere self-accusation; and as she looked back through the years she could now see that it had always been there. She really hated. It was not hatred of anyone in particular, but a feeling of general hate, a suppressed antagonism towards everyone and everything. When she first discovered it, she thought it was something very superficial which she could easily throw off; but as the days went by she found that it wasn't just a mild affair, but a deep-rooted hatred which had been going on all her life. What shocked her was that she had always thought she was affectionate and kind.

Love is a strange thing; as long as thought is woven through it, it is not love. When you think of someone you love, that person becomes the symbol of pleasant sensations, memories, images; but that is not love. Thought is sensation, and sensation is not love. The very process of thinking is the denial of love. Love is the flame without the smoke of thought, of jealousy, of antagonism, of usage, which are things of the mind. As long as the heart is burdened with the things of the mind, there must be hate; for the mind is the seat of hate, of antagonism, of opposition, of conflict. Thought is reaction, and reaction is always, in one way or another, the source of enmity. Thought is opposition, hate; thought is always in competition, always seeking an end, success; its fulfilment is pleasure and its frustration is hate. Conflict is thought caught in the opposites; and the synthesis of the opposites is still hate, antagonism. "You see, I always thought I loved the children, and even when they grew up they used to come to me for comfort when they were in trouble. I took it for granted that I loved them, especially those who were my favorites away from the classroom; but now I see there has always been an undercurrent of hate, of deep-rooted antagonism. What am I to do with this discovery? You have no idea how appalled I am by it, and though you say we must not condemn, this discovery has been very salutary."

Have you also discovered the process of hate? To see the cause, to know why you hate, is comparatively easy; but are you aware of the ways of hate? Do you observe it as you would a strange new animal?

"It is all so new to me, and I have never watched the process of hate."

Let us do so now and see what happens; let us be passively watchful of hate as it unrolls itself. Don't be shocked, don't condemn or find excuses; just passively watch it. Hate is a form of frustration, is it not? Fulfilment and frustration always go together.

What are you interested in, not professionally, but deep down?

"I always wanted to paint."

Why haven't you?

"My father used to insist that I should not do anything that didn't bring in money. He was a very aggressive man, and money was to him the end of all things; he never did a thing if there was no money in it, or if it didn't bring more prestige, more power.`More' was his god, and we were all his children. Though I liked him, I was opposed to him in so many ways. This idea of the importance of money was deeply embedded in me; and I liked teaching, probably because it offered me an opportunity to be the boss. On my holidays I used to paint, but it was most unsatisfactory; I wanted to give my life to it, and I actually gave only a couple of months a year. Finally I stopped painting, but it was burning inwardly. I see now how it was breeding antagonism."

Were you ever married? Have you children of your own?

"I fell in love with a married man, and we lived together secretly. I was furiously jealous of his wife and children, and I was scared to have babies, though I longed for them. All the natural things the everyday companionship and so on, were denied me, and jealousy was a consuming fury. He had to move to another town, and my jealousy never abated. It was an unbearable thing. To forget it all, I took to teaching more intensely. But now I see I am still jealous, not of him, for he is dead, but of happy people, of married people, of the successful, of almost any one. What we could have been together was denied to us!"

Jealousy is hate, is it not? If one loves, there is no room for anything else. But we do not love; the smoke chokes our life, and the flame dies.

"I can see now that in school, with my married sisters, and in almost all my relationships, there was war going on, only it was covered up. I was becoming the ideal teacher; to become the ideal teacher was my goal, and I was being recognized as such."

The stronger the ideal, the deeper the suppression, the deeper the conflict and antagonism.

"Yes, I see all that now; and strangely, as I watch, I don't mind being what I actually am."

You don't mind it because there is a kind of brutal recognition, is there not? This very recognition brings a certain pleasure; it gives vitality, a sense of confidence in knowing yourself, the power of knowledge. As jealousy, though painful, gave a pleasurable sensation, so now the knowledge of your past gives you a sense of mastery which is also pleasurable. You have now found a new term for jealousy, for frustration, for being left: it is hate and the knowledge of it. There is pride in knowing, which is another form of antagonism. We move from one substitution to another; but essentially, all substitutions are the same, though verbally they may appear to be dissimilar. So you are caught in the net of your own thought, are you not?

"Yes, but what else can one do?"

Don't ask, but watch the process of your own thinking. How cunning and deceptive it is! It promises release, but only produces another crisis, another antagonism. Just be passively watchful of this and let the truth of it be. "Will there be freedom from jealousy, from hate, from this constant, suppressed battle?"

When you are hoping for something positively or negatively, you are projecting your own desire; you will succeed in your desire, but that is only another substitution, and so the battle is on again. This desire to gain or to avoid is still within the field of opposition, is it not? See the false as the false, then the truth is. You don't have to look for it. What you seek you will find, but it will not be truth. It is like a suspicious man finding what he suspects, which is comparatively easy and stupid. Just be passively aware of this total thought process, and also of the desire to be free of it. "All this has been an extraordinary discovery for me, and I am beginning to see the truth of what you are saying. I hope it won't take more years to go beyond this conflict. There I am hoping again! I shall silently watch and see what happens."

Commentaries on Living Series 2

Commentaries on Living Series II Chapter 4 'The Process of Hate'

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