Hate with Lethargy


Dreaming In Color™ Luman Deck

Today I’m making a slight departure from my usual Tarot posts. I went into my box o’ cards and noticed this beautiful and unique set of cards. They asked to be used, so this is what I drew today. To learn more about this interesting deck, visit http://www.dreamingincolor.us/

Anyone who reads Tarot, or should I say most people who read Tarot, will experience a bit of synchronicity when they draw or read the cards. This was the case for me when I drew these two cards.

As much as I would love to isolate myself from the media- mainstream or otherwise- I find it difficult to do so. I spend a lot of time online, reading blogs, posting to social media, etc. etc. Invariably “news” finds its way to me, whether I’m being insidiously fed it through posts and banners and tweets, or I have someone lean close and ask me if I heard about some or other tragedy. I would say I do my best to mitigate the visual and audial contact of malaise inducing media, but that would be insincere of me to do so.

As a result, I leave myself unshielded from reports of the darker side of humanity; police shootings, mass shootings, acts of terrorism, the vilification of one or another class or group of people, to name a few. The slacktivist responses to these atrocities are often calls to inaction such as thoughts and prayers, decrying hate, and other idioms and expressions that can be summed up in bold white letters over a compelling photo on a jpg image.

All these reports of human vitriol and animosity toward each other had my wife Jacque and me participating in another conversation around such incidents. We conjure up imagined diatribes with hatemongers and test them by sending our rebuttals on the backs of canaries into the coalmines of debate. In doing so, I declared that hate was born of laziness.

Let’s look at the dynamic of what hate is. Hate is an idea, a perspective or a concept which incites within us a very negatively visceral reaction. That which we hate interferes with our ability to experience freedom, joy, and love. If we could only remove the source of our hatred from the realm of our purview, we would once again experience peace.

When it comes right down to it, hate is a great convenience. It allows us to eschew self-examination and personal accountability. We instead place the blame on the evils that lurk outside our sphere of influence, easily encumbering it with our personal baggage which we have chosen not to examine and sort through. The more things we can find to hate, or the stronger we can make our hate, the less work we have to do on taking the necessary steps to improve the circumstances of our lives. It’s not our fault we are angry and dissatisfied, the fault lies in that which we hate.

The truth is, we don’t actually relieve ourselves of the weight of responsibility when we pass our hate onto the objects of our abhorrence. Our own hate is our own encumbrance. The people, situations, circumstances, and such that we believe we despise are simply aspects of our own feelings of helplessness, inadequacy, and fallibility that we are refusing to acknowledge. We believe the work required for self-examination, self-correction, and self-improvement seems Herculean in nature, but casting blame for our circumstance on another is Sisyphean in nature. The former resolves through our own realization and enlightenment in personal growth where the latter has no end. If that which we believe we hate does go away, it gets replaced by another, as the true source of our hatred is our own self-loathing.

Anytime we find ourselves saying the H word, or feeling bile rise at the thought of something we believe to be worthy of our ire, it is a roadsign that, if we chose not to ignore it, would lead to where we need to do the personal work. Otherwise, we will become consumed by our own hatred.


The Cult of Blame


Okay, so now I’m going to talk a little about the shootings. As is evident by the nature of this blog and the posts that lie within, I am on a quest to understand how we create these events. I believe every event unfolds in the macrocosm of society that exists in the microcosm of the self. To cast aside waxing too esoteric, each of us is a poster child of the society and the events that occur within.

I want to unravel the shooter in each of us. I want to turn over the rock to expose our shadow sides, to force us to stare at the hidden underlayment where the creepies and crawlies scurry from the light, at the risk of nauseating and repulsing ourselves. As far as I’m concerned, as long as we keep the archetype of the mass shooter alive in ourselves, we will see them manifest as these unbalanced individuals in our culture.

So what is it about ourselves that these shooters represent? What seems to be the thread that runs consistently throughout their collective psyches? From my understanding these shooters are commonly acting on their feelings of inadequacy and ostracization. The victims of the shootings are representative to the assailants of the people they blame for rendering them powerless and robbing them of their self-worth.

So can we with any honesty say we are nothing like these assailants because we have never fired shots into a crowd of people? Are the majority of us in this society exempt from the act of blame? Au contraire, my friends. We are a culture of blamers. We create an entire scaffolding of self-worth based on the imposed restrictions of our ideals placed on us by others.

Our bad day is the result of someone who was rude to us, who did not provide us with adequate service, whose actions doubled the amount of time it took us to accomplish a task. We jump in the pool of litigation in hopes of being richly rewarded from the result of someone else’s negligence, with the courts assisting us in assigning the blame. We would be so much farther in life if it weren’t for those myriad of circumstances that continually got in our way.

In fact, the art of eschewing personal accountability becomes well illustrated in discussions around the issue of mass shootings. 2nd Amendment advocates blame the lack of armament and the imposition of gun free zones for restricting citizens’ ability to stop these assailants with armed force. Gun control advocates blame the NRA lobbyists for buying any incentive for lawmakers to want to create greater restrictions on gun availability.

In a culture where our personal happiness is believed to be impeded by the actions of others, blame is king. Blame is the perfect panacea for the dull ache of self-examination and personal accountability. When this rampant aspect of our society runs loose to breed in our collective psyche, the most extreme ends of this spectrum will surface and manifest in the most horrific of ways. Whether we are blaming the slow guy in line at the coffee shop for making us late for work or we are blaming television and the media for widespread violence, it is still blame. It is still basically saying we are expecting everyone else to change their perspectives so we don’t have to change our own.