Hate with Lethargy

 

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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.

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Karma with Six of Pentacles

Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan
Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan

I drew these two cards this morning and I said to myself, “Self… this is going to be an easy post.”

Or maybe too easy?

I mean, when I look at these two cards, I think of the old adage What goes around comes around. Alright, I guess I’m done, right? Blog post written, now I can finish my coffee, go grocery shopping and watch some football today.

However, the voice of HAL comes through this post and says “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” (now I have to brace myself as I share this post with my wife to find her completely non-plussed by the 2001: A Space Odyssey movie reference, but I’m sorry… I gotta get my geek on). As virtuous as that quote may seem at face value, it sometimes doesn’t say quite enough, in my opinion. Let’s follow the Woo Woo White Rabbit down its burrow hole…

The drawback to the above stated adage is that it implies that we are a depot on a circular track of sorts, that our actions are like a train that leaves the station only to return to us at some point in the future. It operates on the premise that there is the self, the ego, the individual, the Mr. or Ms. Me; then there is the rest of the world that resides outside the demarcation of our identity otherwise known as our skin.

In all actuality the train never really leaves the station. You see, the dividing line between me and the rest of the world is a David Copperfield act. The appearance that we as individuals are separate from everyone else is all smoke and mirrors. But we so often walk around like our identity is a hazmat suit that serves to isolate us from world affairs so our words and actions can operate with impunity.

I love the term instant karma as coined by John Lennon. How we regard others has an instant effect on ourselves. There’s no waiting for karma to check its schedule to find the most inconvenient time to come collect its debt. The woo-woo part of this that I believe in the deepest part of my being is that every single event that we witness outside ourselves is a reflection of our inner landscape. If we observe it happening out there, it’s definitely happening in here.

Thus, the words and actions we take toward another- good, bad, indifferent, delicious, nasty, tender, obnoxious- we really are taking toward ourselves. We can believe that we are clucking our tongues and shaking our heads at the inappropriateness of a character that is begging to invite our denigration, but we are choosing to cast that perspective, which speaks more to our own character than to theirs.

In order for us to truly be the person we wish to be, we must treat and regard others as if they are the personification of our best selves. Does that mean to tolerate injustice and mistreatment of others? No. It means to find the compassion to regard them fully in their humanity, bringing their life experience and personal learnings to bear from their own perspectives. Without compassion for others we cannot possibly have compassion for ourselves.

Trying to create a separation of ourselves from those of whom we disapprove creates a separation of ourselves from ourselves. It is a knee-jerk reaction designed to sequester the dark aspects of who we are in order to avoid having to regard them in any form of self-awareness. When we empathize and embrace the disparate natures of others we will as a result heal the aspects of ourselves in which we have become self-critical and disapproving, because we are them and they are us.

Man’s Search for Meaning

This blog is a repost of a paper I had written for an assignment toward my bachelor in divinity through International College of Metaphysical Theology
This blog is a repost of a paper I had written for an assignment toward my bachelor in divinity through International College of Metaphysical Theology

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl helped to confirm for me that my life truly has meaning, yet that meaning holds a great many questions for me still.

As I read the account of Viktor Frankl’s experiences in the Nazi concentration camps I became quickly self-aware of my own history, my personal experience and upbringing. Here I am, an American born citizen, raised in the back half of the twentieth century with all the indulgences and trappings of middle class, reading an account of a man who suffered extreme injustice, torment, and suffering yet through it was able to find meaning in his life. My first inclination was to wonder if the account would serve to justify the importance of suffering as a means of enabling a person to see one’s purpose, a notion no doubt fueled by the specific brand of Judeo-Christian religious upbringing of my childhood. Continue reading Man’s Search for Meaning

Coming face-to-face with shadow

I feel as of late I’m beginning to understand the idea behind shadow work. The idea of shadow work arises from shamanic practices, which approaches dealing with the dark aspects of the self as a means of spiritual growth, of moving forward through the aspects of ourselves that cause us to create our own limitations. Continue reading Coming face-to-face with shadow

Reopening a door

It’s time to reopen a door. Perhaps this door is synonymous with a wound…

As I enjoy using the tag surfing aspect of WordPress to discover other insightful and interesting blogs, I have lately found several that have been very raw and honest. This I truly admire, as that was the initial intent of this blog, to find the boundaries of where I feel vulnerable and sensitive about who and what I am and attempt to step over each of them. Continue reading Reopening a door

Differentiating between self-help and unsolicited advice

I have to be honest here. I find myself agitated by unsolicited advice.

Let me clarify. I’m specifically speaking of indirect unsolicited advice. In all honesty I haven’t been receiving any direct advice from anyone as of late. I haven’t had anyone look me in the eye and offer a sound should to remedy a particular challenge or obstacle or grievance I’ve been experiencing. Continue reading Differentiating between self-help and unsolicited advice

A most ironic sign

Strange when the message indicating one’s overindulgence lies within one of the indulgences.

As we are now into the summer months where I work, the buildings are like a scene from The Quiet Earth. The echoes of the students have since dissipated from the classrooms weeks ago. I buzz from room to room like a bee, alighting on the pistil of each computer, pollinating them with prerequisite upgrades and clean-up fixes. Continue reading A most ironic sign