Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Friday, August 11, 2006


There seems to be a lot of that going around right now. Hardly limited to our times, the lovers of hate have always trod the globe in greater or lesser numbers. There’s a whole lot of them whining about right now.

From the dude hoisting a “Hannity sucks ass” sign in front of television cameras at the Ned Lamont campaign headquarters in Connecticut, to terrorists arrested in Great Britain by the British a day later who were in process of blowing up a number of aircraft in flight to the U.S., hate is popular currency. Whether “hate light” or “hate heavy” hate is hate. And hate attracts more hate (Law of Attraction, a.k.a birds of a feather...) and a mass of hate creates still more of the same. It can be a baffling situation for those not playing the hate game.

Hate is a cop-out, as they used to say. It’s an avoidance measure - an easy bromide for an unwelcome reality: I am responsible for my life. It doesn’t matter how it’s phrased or interpreted, the fact is there. That’s why thinking is so important.

The hateful carry a long list of hurts, sufferings, grievances, injustices, and injuries that are your fault. It’s not rational, of course, but repetitive thinking makes it a belief and as real to the hateful thinker as if you actually inflicted some harm. A twelve year old Palestinian youth schooled to blame all misery of “Jews”, “Christians,” and “the great satan,” or an unhinged domestic political operative, learns irrational hate. Somehow killing or destroying others will result in a happy life for him and his fellow haters.


An irrational idea, passionately held, is still an irrational idea. In order to maintain the energy of an irrational idea, one risks becoming insane. In this sense, insanity is that wonderful definition of doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results. The insanity – “if I do it even harder this time, I’ll get the result I want” – takes the hater further and further away from understanding and applying the universal laws for genuine relief, benefit, and health.

But that’s a great mental leap and it appears much easier to blame others and hate them as an excuse for personal unhappiness. It is a lazy mind that enjoys the tidal sweep of hate movements which seem to absolve the individual of responsibility. The herd, the mob, mentality feeds on this surrender of personal choice. Hate becomes global, or non-specific. The global hater can not identify any specific instance of direct harm to himself/herself from the hated object (Israel, Bush, white males, black teenagers – the list can be very long!) which makes the hate irrational. The injustice, the harm, exists only in the thinking of the hater. That doesn’t make it less “real” in emotional intensity, it just means there is no solution to the suffering outside of the thinking mind that gives it life.

What can rational, non-hating, folks do? Continue with what most do (often unknowingly) - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Law of Attraction reinforces whatever is mentally broadcast. The more that level of thinking and experience is increased, the less reaction there is to the squeals, whines, and actions of the haters. In psychology it’s called extinction.

A person will stop doing something when there is no longer a payoff. Hateful people thrive when they get a payoff from their extortion, terror, accommodation, attention, and so on. Keep in mind that punishment is a keen attention which reinforces such behavior. (Ah, there’s the rub for the non-haters.) The process is also neutral - it is possible to extinct positive and constructive behavior as well. If such “good” behavior does not result in a payoff, it too may vanish. (Here’s the opportunity for those folks who believe they need to “do” something – give attention to those doing positive, loving, uplifting things rather than squander energy on the hateful.)

The accumulated hate in the Middle East, and engrained in some domestic politics, won’t suddenly extinguish if you give your attention to people practicing the “Golden Rule.” However, that attention will attract more like energy, and folks, practicing the same. As the Law of Attraction works, the greater the presence of the Golden Rule. With more and more attention and energy attracted, the hate mongers get less and less payoff and thus have reduced influence.

The 21st century does not have to perpetuate the hate of the 20th, 19th, 18th, 17th… It’s up to us, in a manner of thinking.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments welcome. You know the etiquette.