Meditation On Hate

November 19th, 2020

       When I was about seven I remember having the first experience of hating. We had recently moved back to the town of Barstow after living in LA for a year. I had a group of friends before and I was eager to connect with them, but they wouldn’t accept me as friend as before, but ridiculed and rejected me; yet in my confusion I kept going back to try. One day we were playing kickball on recess and they harassed me in front of the others during the game. At one point I was coming around second to third and one guy tackled me and the other was trying to sit on my face to humiliate. The bell rang and they were made to stop and I ran after the main guy and did not hit him but screamed in his ear for retaliation – and did it with hate. I remember feeling that I had crossed a line, for I had never felt hate with the desire to hurt another like that before. In doing this there was a certain loss of innocence. In a way I have been trying to recover from it ever since.

       Hate repels. To turn oneself over to hate and be motivated by hate one has to turn off their conscience to some degree, which involves a rejection of love, and a closing to one’s innocence. This takes place in degrees, not completely, but it is dangerous because we must have innocence to receive God. Giving over to hate requires a lot of hype, it takes a lot of energy to perpetuate because it is not the true nature of our being but the inversion of love. We all have to wrestle with this and I think most people are not willing to turn off their conscience.

      Hate is a difficult subject to talk about; it is ugly exposed to the light of day. But it is important and therapeutic to examine it. There is another side to it to understand. 

     For instance, the color black is generally thought of as negative and evil, and white as good and heavenly, which is true, but there is a flip side to each. There is a positive meaning to black that includes a regenerative quality because it is cathartic. The negative of white is a self-righteous sense of self. Swedenborg describes the correspondence of black and white:

     “Spiritual qualities are portrayed by colors; people know this because of the rainbow and other things, and from experience. To understand, take only the case of the colors black and white. The color black absorbs all rays, scattering them around randomly, without any order; hence comes blackness. Similarly, wickedness, which is portrayed by the color black, absorbs all rays of mental light, and spreads them around inordinately, until nothing of light or white appears. The color white, however, does not take in the rays of light, but reflects them. Similarly, those who are self-righteous, placing righteousness in [good] deeds, reflect the rays of mental or inward light, and do not take them in. A similar principle applies to other colors” (Spiritual Experiences, n. 1393).

     The essential goodness of white spiritually is that it represents perceiving and feeling the truth that all good comes from God. In this perception the circuitry of the human soul operates as it is meant. If one thinks the good comes from oneself then they are taking the light for themselves, and it is not in flow, so this is self-righteousness, or pride. These people think they are the source of light. The black of hate comes from hell which constantly wants to incite pain and chaos, and this is the opposite of the good of white. White corresponds to wisdom because it is the color of light. Hate corresponds to black because it loves the shadows, it wants to hide, deceive, falsify, scatter, smother and destroy.

      The regenerative quality of black comes from penetrating into it, from overcoming its dark fearful presentation. In psychological healing we have to enter into the bad feeling and deeply feel them to see what they are about, we have to see what they are crying out for, but they appear and feel dark and scary and covered with shame and failure. For instance, when we are agitated severely by something we regress, that is, we emotionally go back to the time of pain and trauma; and so we act-out, become reactive and chaotic. In this state we often take our pain out on others and try to hurt them… But, it is very important to realize, that regression points the way to the source of the problem; if we maintain an awareness of our core self as we feel the hate or frustration (and accept the presence of the Lord as our mentor) – we can bring light into the hidden – this is the place where the problem must be recognized and healed. This is a process, but as light is brought to the core of the problem it dissolves the coals of pain and this allows new light into our whole being.

      In the Bible Jesus says: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me”. (Mat. 10:34-37 NKJ)
This has always been a difficult saying for people to understand but it has to do with the necessity of dealing with hate that is imbedded inside. For light to enter evil must be removed. The people in the time of Jesus were imbedded in an ancient honor/shame society. It is called an agonistic society, which means to be in competition, conflict and enmity. Jesus is teaching the people that they can come out from under the smothering social definition of themselves. To do so requires recognizing the pressure they are putting on each other and on themselves. Inwardly, they are pressured into a state of ill-will, contention, suspicion, and hate. Hate is self-perpetuating, especially under the pressure of a society immersed in it.
 
      To come out of this knot, we have to overcome old habits, we have to see how we are both victims of it and party to it. This means confronting the internal rage and anger, which takes self examination, compassion and commitment. We have to turn from using the energy of anger and hate to hurt others to fight the source that wants to perpetuate hate. Hate contains in it a hidden condemnation of ourself for participating in it; it is always trying to hide this shame in order to perpetuate a downhill, destructive cycle. Now, It is extremely important to understand that just as it is a truth of our being that all good comes from God (and thus that we are not the good) it is also true that all evil comes from hell (and we are not the evil)! We have to extract ourself from participating in evil and then we can stop identifying as being the evil, and thus we begin to feel our innate abhorrence of evil, for this is the process of separating ourself from it (otherwise known as repentance).  
 
     Now we can understand transmuting the energy of rage from hurting others into fighting for our true identity; which is the fight for our very soul. I believe that this is what Jesus means when He says, “I did not come to bring peace but a sword….a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.” Fighting for our personal relationship with God also means fighting to awaken our capacity for affection, love, kindness, joy and forgiveness. For many this requires emerging from the fear of dark spirits and from the habit of defining ourselves by others’ expectations. Hating father, mother, daughter, etc. is where the battle takes place because so often in the family the members are perpetuating certain roles on the other that are not from their own thoughts but what they have been pressured into, or that have been imposed on them from outside. Feeling the energy of anger and hate forces a person to interpret the cause of the hate, and separate from it, which leads to the exposing of the source of evil. This process initiates the innate fighting spirit in our soul to know ourself, and to know God. This is transformation.
 
      It is worth adding that there is a certain kind of ‘righteous hate’ or anger that looks like negative hate. An example of this would be a soldier who has to kill and fight; this has the same burning passion of hate but inwardly comes from a love of country, his fellow man, or family; it comes from a love of what it is good and true. Another example would be a man or woman that is in true love and feels jealousy at a rival, for true love defends its truth and fights for it. 

The Development of an Inner Sanctuary: Interpretation of Psalm 23

December 4th, 2019

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. The Lord Jesus is our guide and inner teacher, we are meant to be led by Him. He is the living Word and teaches us through the Word and by the Holy spirit, which is His presence. He teaches those who genuinely yearn for good in their life, church and country. The Lord and the life He gives restores our wholeness in spite of circumstances. The inner life He offers us is the greatest treasure, but we have to fight for it. The more we allow ourself to be led by the Lord the more we become our true self.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. The 23 Psalm is a lot about having an inner sanctuary. In love and faith to the Lord we can have a sense of inner peace. This is an inward resource that provides direction, and self-agency in spite of what problems may come. I am a hospice chaplain and hope to help others find this inner pasture as they pass the days in bed. One can see the kind of inner resources people have and I help them to develop their inner life as best I can. Green pastures represents spiritual nourishment; and the whole phrase means peace that comes after trials. In John in regard to pasture the Lord says, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”.

He leads me beside quiet waters. This also refers to inner sanctuary and the mercy the Lord gives to all who go through trails.

 He refreshes my soul. My sense of this is that for those who yearn for God, they receive an intimate love for Him, and with that the light of wisdom. I have often experienced that when I read the Word and seek to understand the scriptures, I feel a palpable light enter into my my mind and body and brings a sense of joy and purpose and relief from stress and anxiety. My soul feels refreshed in a spiritual way, very much like our mind and body does at the sight of a calm body of water, or at the sight of a flowing river in a green valley. God can be seen in nature, the innate moral yearnings of man, and in the Word.

Our psyche lets go and receives the Lord when we come into humility. True humility never remains unknown like a spring flower hidden within grass that releases its fragrance far and wide. Humility is the soul’s true beauty because beauty is the form of love. It makes it possible to find strength and rest unlike pride which is wearisome to the soul

He guides me along the right paths. In the spiritual world there are paths that lead to heaven or hell. In the world of spirits one is being constantly vastated either toward heaven or hell according to one’s own loves and inclinations. The Lord and his angels also walk with us in this world in the sense they are constantly trying to guide us to the heavenly path. Swedenborg writes that the ‘stone along the path’ spoken of in the Bible is a real place along the path that leads out of the world of spirits to heaven or to hell. Those who cannot see the stone in the path stumble on it and fall the wrong way. Those who can see and accept the guidance of the angels from their inner love are guided to their place in heaven. 

       This phrase also has to do with the way ‘paths’ are built in our psyche. Paths our built in our mind by the union of exercising our love and intelligence in union for a useful life accomplishment, whether that be big or small. The path is formed by exercising our skills and inner gifts from the love of being useful, and becomes a bond with God particularly when we realize the good we do comes from God. The path is laid when action is taken.

 For His name’s sake. By the word “Name” (including Jehovah, the Lord, and Jesus Christ), is not meant just the name of one person, but the whole infinite Kaleidoscope of truths and loves of which Jesus Christ is the source, and for which He is worshiped. The power in the Name of Jesus Christ is not in the mere name but in loving and understanding who He is and what he did for us. He redeemed everything by His supreme acts of love. The resurrection can be compared to the dynamics of Supernovas, where all the elements on the periodic table are produced in the moments before and during the explosion, and where immeasurable heat and light are produced and distributed to the universe. In the resurrection Jesus renewed all things, He distributed spiritual gifts to the souls of man, He paved the paths to heaven that had been lost in the psyche and soul of man. In Him are all the infinite and interconnected truths and loves of life. He is the source and He is the way, and we have the opportunity to know the way by the gifts he gave us to use.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  Jesus gives us the eternal promise that He is closest when we are lowest, undergoing trials and temptation, and most in need of him. Trials will always come in this world, but we can always trust in the Lord that He will be with us, and that he is just. There is no greater power than divine truth from Him.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. In correspondences the table is a container of celestial truths, because good food means spiritual nourishment, and the table holds these in abundance. Our soul is made to be a receptacle of wisdom from the Lord, as a plant receives light from the sun and converts it to life energy. The anointing of the head with oil also corresponds to the taking-in of spiritual nourishment. This verse is reminiscent of Mary of Bethany anointing Jesus. She was so filled with love for Him and the revelation that He is God that her ‘cup overflowed with Joy’. Love elevates perception, and perception elevates love so she was on fire with the union of love and awareness. In spite of the difficulties of the circumstance Mary seized the moment and anointed Jesus while he was alive. For her incredible act of love – being the first to understand that He is God – Jesus memorialized her action for all time.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The Lord gave us life from the moment of conception. From His infinite wisdom He made us to fill a unique need in the universe at the time of our conception. We have to live into it from our own will. Everyone ever born is meant for heaven (chosen), but because we are free many choose poorly. (Freedom is both the means of salvation and the cause of hell). Nevertheless, all life is sacred, and all are meant for heaven where God wants nothing more than to prepare a place of us at the table.

The Form of our soul at death is determined by the concordance between our external and internal self. What this means is there is a union formed between faith and charity when we act on them together, but not so if we make them separate. From the union of love and intelligence (charity and faith) springs forth renewed life like water from a fountain (as it did in Mary). At the same time, in this process, we also bond with God (to the degree we developed it) for He is the source of the good we are expressing.  The constellation of this union at the time of death does not change. This is the meaning of ‘As the tree falleth, so it lies”. Bringing our internal and external into harmony by the way we lived is a spiritual practice. Our internal and external being in harmony speaks to being genuine, honest, humble and strong. If they are separated we have been dishonest, avoidant, lukewarm and cannot be in the light of heaven. The practice of union is the source of all genuine spirituality. The constellation of this union at death is like a seed which, when exposed to heavenly light, will grow in magnificent ways we cannot conceive of now, and it does so for eternity. (In my house I will build you many mansions.) He is with us always.