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.