The qualities of hate

A new study published in PLoS One today reveals that hatred isn’t the blind, irrational emotion it might seem. In fact, hate activates the brain regions associated with higher reason and the ability to predict what other people will do.
Source: i09

Hate isn’t the same as anger, but may be close enough for what I’ll explore – briefly – here.

(When I look at it for myself, it seems that hate is just a particularly persistent and strong form of anger, one that is fueled and maintained by stories taken very much as true, and that the essence of it is anger.)

Academic psychology is still in its infancy, and is still exploring the basics, which is good. In many cases, research helps confirm and refine common perceptions, and it sometimes also come up with quite counter intuitive results – which is even more helpful.

In this case, the general findings seem quite close to how we – or at least I – experience anger.

It clears out the cobwebs. Brings clarity. Focus. Single pointed attention if needed. Energy. And a “get things done” impulse.

In addition, I find that if anger comes up and I (continue) to attach to a belief, it is often reactive and somewhat confused. And if anger comes up and there is a release from the initial belief, the energy behind anger is available more as a tool – to be used however seems most appropriate in the situation. (Anger can also come up from habitual patterns, without a – current – belief behind it.)

Confirming the adage that the conflicting emotions [romantic love and hate] are two sides of the same coin, a team from University College London has discovered that they rely on the same structures in the mind.
Source: Telegraph.

The same study found that hatred and romantic love activate many of the same brain regions.

One is a strong attraction and the other a strong aversion, and both involve strong desires and passions, so again – this seems to fit immediate experience of the two. And they are not really two since attraction includes an aversion to not have what I want (to not get it, or to lose it), and the other way around.

Of course, there is another form of love. The one that is free from attraction. A love of existence as it is. Big Heart. And this love can easily co-exist with anger. The energy of anger – which is not “anger” anymore when freed from beliefs – can operate quite well within Big Heart. It becomes a skillful means, a way for the human self to function effectively in the world – when appropriate.

See also the full study at PLoS One.

Initial outline…

  • anger
    • alert, focused, directed energy – “get things done” impulse (anger isn’t the same as hatred, but may be close enough for this purpose)
      • if attach to a story, then often reactive and confused
      • if released from a belief, then clarity and focus
    • research findings on brain changes matches the experience of what happens
  • love
    • researchers define love as romantic love (attraction)
      • same brain structures
        • anger, strong aversion
        • romantic love, strong attraction
        • again matches experience
          • strong attraction/aversion are two sides of the same coin
          • a strong desire to have or avoid something
    • but anger can also easily exist within Big Heart love (if released from a belief)
      • background/context of love (Big Heart)
      • using the energy for clarity/action

2 thoughts to “The qualities of hate”

  1. I feel im a little late getting on the “awakening” train. But to arrive late is considered more than never arriving at all, right?

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