A Culture of Hate

Vajradhara

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greetings everyone...

it's with a heavy heart that i sit here to write.... i'm saddened by the senseless death of people.. the mindless hatred that spews forth from the mouths of tyranical despots.. the culture of hate that seems to be indemic.

hatred is not something that a person is born with... it is something that they learn over time. generations of people have been instilling a hatred into their children.. a hatred of Jews or of Christians or of Muslims or of Blacks or Whites or Browns or Yellows. this child, in turn, teaches their children their hatreds, their intolerances, their bigotries. the cycle continues endlessly.

i am naieve enough to hope that a peace plan for the middle east and the establisment of a Palestinian state would resolve alot of this.... however, i don't really expect that it will... and it breaks my heart.

the hatred has been given too much power in that part of the world... it owns people, neighborhoods, towns and cities. people wrap themselves in their hate and misery and vow to purpetuate thier pain and woe unto others. eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, we hear the battle cry echo from the crowded city streets awash in blood, dust and tears.

have you ever looked into the eyes of a child full of hate? it is as if something inside has been destroyed, raped and taken away replaced with a cold detachment and loss of emotional empathy for other living beings. the loss of innocence is something that will have a profound effect on these children, and therefore, on the world at large as we have to deal with these children of war.

the rich and old send the young and the poor to die for political causes and religious beliefs all the while extolling the virtues of "peace" with one side of their mouths and preaching hatred and intolerance from the other.

somewhere.. somebody is planning to kill... planning to hurt as many people possible in an attempt to rectify a perceived injustice... never realizing how utterly and totally misguided they are in this course of action..... and i'm not sure for whom i feel more sorrow.
 
Kindest Regards, Vajradhara!

I'm not certain what to make of this post. Your posts are usually so profound and uplifting.

i'm saddened by the senseless death of people.. the mindless hatred that spews forth from the mouths of tyranical despots.. the culture of hate that seems to be indemic.
Senseless death saddens anybody with a heart. Senseless death is all around us, always. Accidents cause senseless death, perhaps more so than deliberate intention.

Mindless hatred is not limited to despots. A cultural inclination towards hatred goes so much deeper. Consider, a successful politician (including a despot) is going to reflect and mirror the society and culture "he" intends to rule. In other words, it would very difficult and rare for a political leader to come to power espousing a philosophy significantly different from the cultural preference. The professional politician feeds off of the cultural biases. Hatred may become formalized by some form of law, but it would have to already exist in the culture. For example, Hitler did not introduce anti-Semitism to the German people, it already existed. Hitler, shrewd politician that he was, merely fed and formalized that hatred. Many more examples can be presented.

The cause of the culture of hatred is much deeper. It wells up from a source we seldom question. So, if hatred already exists in a culture, and it doesn't begin with politics, where does it come from? I can't speak with absolute certainty, but I believe hatred stems from "scapegoating." There are historical examples where a catastrophe or disaster strikes a people, and through superstitious reasoning (perhaps fuelled by some form of religion) becomes blamed on a select group. By assuming a scapegoat, the people gain an "other" to blame for their misfortunes (Frazer called this "sympathetic magic"). This often manifests as war, but far more often assumes a subtle form of hatred.

hatred is not something that a person is born with... it is something that they learn over time. generations of people have been instilling a hatred into their children.. a hatred of Jews or of Christians or of Muslims or of Blacks or Whites or Browns or Yellows. this child, in turn, teaches their children their hatreds, their intolerances, their bigotries. the cycle continues endlessly.
So yes, hatred is taught. It is often institutionalized through religion and politics, even education. But the most important and significant source is parental example. A person can easily doubt their religion, even their education, and possibly their politics. But to doubt Mom and Dad is unthinkable to most. Prejudices can be very difficult to lay aside. The convenience of a scapegoat, especially to superstitious people, justifies endemic hatred.

i am naieve enough to hope that a peace plan for the middle east and the establisment of a Palestinian state would resolve alot of this.... however, i don't really expect that it will... and it breaks my heart.
I agree. In part this is because the hatred between both groups is so ingrained it will likely never be set aside. It seems to me the moderate voices of both sides are shouted down so loudly that they are not heard by either side. Both sides are comfortable in their hatred, letting go of that hatred is impossible as long as parents continue to teach hatred to their children. The children, not knowing any different (better?) accept their parent's teaching without question. The cycle feeds itself. The Palestinian child witnesses the rocket attack that kills his schoolmate and it reinforces his acculturated hatred. He doesn't see the suicide bombing that rips open a transit bus, and if he does, in his mind it is justified revenge. The Israeli sees the transit bus ripped apart and the dozen or so people slaughtered, and encourages the further assaults on those Palestinians responsible (which, in a vengeful state of mind, includes just about every Palestinian), and doesn't see the schoolkid killed by the rocket attack. Both sides are guilty. Pride, arrogance, stubborn insistence and ingrained hatred on both sides disqualifies any serious attempt at peace.

the hatred has been given too much power in that part of the world... it owns people, neighborhoods, towns and cities. people wrap themselves in their hate and misery and vow to purpetuate thier pain and woe unto others. eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, we hear the battle cry echo from the crowded city streets awash in blood, dust and tears.
This is valid, but it is not limited only to Palestine. It is a tendency in the human races everywhere. Anywhere two cultures clash, there has been some form of prejudice promoted. Even in the history of the Buddhist faith, there are wars that have been fought in the bid for acceptance and legitimacy. In fairness, Buddhism as a religion seems to me to attempt to overcome "hatred." Buddhism as a culture, however, has had its moments of clash with other cultures that included war and institutionalized hatred. As one example, consider the Japanese attitude of cultural superiority.

have you ever looked into the eyes of a child full of hate? it is as if something inside has been destroyed, raped and taken away replaced with a cold detachment and loss of emotional empathy for other living beings. the loss of innocence is something that will have a profound effect on these children, and therefore, on the world at large as we have to deal with these children of war.
What you say is valid. It is also endemic throughout the world at different times. Any time a people is overcome or subjugated, those children will bear scars that carry on for generations.

the rich and old send the young and the poor to die for political causes and religious beliefs all the while extolling the virtues of "peace" with one side of their mouths and preaching hatred and intolerance from the other.
Ah yes, the hypocritical dichotomy. Religion and politics do indeed feed hatred. If the people had no hatred, there would be nothing for religion or politics to feed. As long as people remain cattle, subject to the lemming effect, finding comfort in going along with the crowd, this will not change.

somewhere.. somebody is planning to kill... planning to hurt as many people possible in an attempt to rectify a perceived injustice... never realizing how utterly and totally misguided they are in this course of action..... and i'm not sure for whom i feel more sorrow.
On the one hand, a person can act alone in planning to kill. On the other, institutionalized killing is altogether different. Sometimes the lone killer uses ingrained hatred as motivation and justification. In a case such as Palestine, acculturated hatred manifests as institutionalized killing. Depending on the parameters of the institution (religion/politics/education) is how that killing takes place (one person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter). There is a difference between an individual acting out, and an institution acting out. Timothy McVeigh was an individual hoping to incite a civil war that did not come to pass. Palestine is a civil war fed on institutionalized hatred that likely will not end, certainly not as long as mothers and fathers continue to teach their children to hate.

It is sad that humans are this way, that hatred comes so easily and naturally.
 
karma, be glad your not in their position

should be thankful, not sad

imho
 
Vajra, I share your sadness. The recent events in Iraq unfortunately confirm that the capacity for atrocity lurks in all of us. I know it does in me. I've seen it there, pulsing, just waiting for anger to unleash it.

The sister of one of the women photographed in Abu Ghraib has said that her sister was set up, that she isn't that kind of person who would smile at a prisoner's humiliation. But apparently she IS that kind of person. She followed orders. She did it! And if push came to shove, who can say what you or I would do? Some scientific data show that we would follow orders too ([link=http://www.prisonexp.org/ newwindow]Stanford Prison Experiment[/link]).

Already I hear people talk about retribution for the beheading. And yet, we've killed thousands of people in Iraq. True, we haven't cut off their heads on television, but they are still dead. Can you imagine if it was someone you loved? What would you do? Would you scream for blood? How much is enough? How many innocents have to be killed to get to Al Qaeda? Or don't the innocents matter? Only vengeance matters ...

What does one person do when faced with such horror? Or is their nothing I can do? I am so distraught about this that I almost can't stand it ...

Sadly,
Zenda
 
Namaste all,


thank you for the thoughtful replies.

i'm not clear what my purpose was with this post... i was watching the video of the murder of the american contractor and i was practicing empathy with all of the people on the tape.. and i was simply overcome by the virulent hatred that i felt...

and i'm not sure whom i'm more sorrowful for... the victim or the murderers.... perhaps.. i'm sorrowful for them all. the killers have no idea what this action is going to do..

as an aside.. i'm speaking from a spiritual persecpective in this instance...

the taking of life of a sentient being is very difficult karma to work out... it will be a terrible ordeal for all of those beings and they blithley engaged themselves in it.

there is a thing called the Maharishi Effect that has been confirmed through various studies to reduce disorder and chaos amongst society... demonstrably lowers the crime rates in cities and other fairly surprising things.

the interested reader is directed here for more information:
http://www.natural-law-party.net/special_progr/maharishi_effect.htm



Juan, the Japanese attitude of distrust of gaijin is based on something other than Buddhism :) remember... Buddhism was transmitted to Japan by foreigners.

Zazen, it's true enough that my karma, thus far, has not been such that a painful, hatefilled dissolution is mine... yet... there isn't much difference between those beings and me. i feel compassion for the suffering that they are engendering for themselves.

Zenda, i've been there... i did what i though had to be done. reflecting on it now, i wonder if it was the correct action to take.. it was a very unskillful action and probably set my practice back by several decades. we reap what we sow. here's a snippet from a speech His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave concerning the war in Iraq, perhaps it will be of some benefit:



"Unfortunately, although we are in the 21st century, we still have not been able to get rid of the habit of our older generations. I am talking about the belief or confidence that we can solve our problems with arms. It is because of this notion that the world continues to be dogged by all kinds of problems.

But what can we do? What can we do when big powers have already made up their minds? All we can do is to pray for a gradual end to the tradition of wars. Of course, the militaristic tradition may not end easily. But, let us think of this. If there were bloodshed, people in positions of power, or those who are responsible, will find safe places; they will escape the consequent hardship. They will find safety for themselves, one way or the other. But what about the poor people, the defenseless people, the children, the old and infirm. They are the ones who will have to bear the brunt of devastation. When weapons are fired, the result will be death and destruction. Weapons will not discriminate between the innocent and guilty. A missile, once fired, will show no respect to the innocent, poor, defenseless, or those worthy of compassion. Therefore, the real losers will be the poor and defenseless, ones who are completely innocent, and those who lead a hand-to-mouth existence.

On the positive side, we now have people volunteer medical care, aid, and other humanitarian assistance in war-torn regions. This is a heart-winning development of the modern age. Okay, now, let us pray that there be no war at all, if possible. However, if a war does break out, let us pray that there be a minimum bloodshed and hardship. I don't know whether our prayers will be of any practical help. But this is all we can do for the moment.
 
Zenda71 said:
Vajra, I share your sadness. The recent events in Iraq unfortunately confirm that the capacity for atrocity lurks in all of us. I know it does in me. I've seen it there, pulsing, just waiting for anger to unleash it.
This looks like a good place to confess, if you don't mind.

I've been teaching Taiwanese children English for 2 weeks now and they are quite undisciplined and unecessarily rude. I'm not used to teaching and their blatant nastiness was pushing my thermometer into the red. Then I was sitting with a co-teacher and she did something and I was very rude to her.
It bothered me all the way to bed and I regret it deeply. To watch yourself being turned into a monster over fortnight is a sad thing.
Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but that sort of thing never happens to me. That's why it made me so sad when I thought of what I had done.

The potential is always there. Always be mindful, there is no den.
 
samabudhi said:
This looks like a good place to confess, if you don't mind.

I've been teaching Taiwanese children English for 2 weeks now and they are quite undisciplined and unecessarily rude. I'm not used to teaching and their blatant nastiness was pushing my thermometer into the red. Then I was sitting with a co-teacher and she did something and I was very rude to her.
It bothered me all the way to bed and I regret it deeply. To watch yourself being turned into a monster over fortnight is a sad thing.
Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but that sort of thing never happens to me. That's why it made me so sad when I thought of what I had done.

The potential is always there. Always be mindful, there is no den.
Remember to be gentle with yourself too. You can always apologize and try to repair what you've done. And remember what happened because it will be instructive in your actions in the future.

My issues are always harsh speech. I am opinionated and sometimes I rant without regard to another's feelings and I hurt someone badly. I try to be mindful of it and make amends when I can. It is far from easy.

To bring this back to the OP, I think compassion for the aggressor and the victim is infinitely possible. Vajra, thank you for the passage from the Dalai Lama. It is of benefit. Our family prayer, which I think is relevant:

May all being be happy and free from suffering.

With metta,
Zenda
 
Damn, those TM people must have been really lax of late...

Funnily enough, I've been completely unable to empathise with any of this. As soon as we get into wars and politics, I disengage, step back to look at the wider picture, and try to observe how this may affect humanity over the span of future decades. This how it affects the individual becomes lost to me. Perhaps this is why I spent a lot of this morning trying to track down the full video to the execution - and also something of the parents sitting themselves down on their lawn to grief - to remind myself of the individual scale of tragedy involved here.

As for generally getting angry with the kids and being ashamed of that - I completely empathise with samabudhi - I was so incredibly peaceful and chilled out a few years back. Now I have three kids. The stress sometimes is quite incredible.
 
I use to be able to stand back and enjoy watching destruction and hate. Seriously. I don't know if age has made me smart or stupid, but I'm now consumed with an indiscriminate sense of empathy. And I hate it. I'm every Kathy Bates character trapped inside a young mans body.
 
A Culture of Hate, a culture of fear.

Hate in the modern world goes hand in hand with fear in a large number of respects. The two work around one another in a vicious cycle that seems to perpetuate the same old death, destruction and misery.

Here's just a little addition to the whole concept of the culture of hate. Where does it all begin? Is it the sodier firing the weapon, the family that then turns to alternative forces and vigilante justice or the orphaned child that then becomes a hateful individual? Where does it all start. Society consists of individuals and individuals make up the entirety of society. In my opinion it is the friction and interaction between the two that causes it, not on a global level, but a personal level that then expands beyond the communal boundaries and extends to global hatred. Growth of hatred is exponential as it is easier to hate than love which is why it is so common. However, you must judge each individual on their own merits in such instances and question why the hatred has become aroused within themselves.

A final personal note on the way in which normal people were converted to monsters in Iraq. I then question the worth of all of this in parallel with the rest of the world. We stand up and take note when westerners are affected but this has been going on for generations in Tibet, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa and elsewhere in the world. Only now it happens to western people do we take notice. I hate to shatter the bubble of propaganda surrounding the world but non-westerners are not statistics, they are people. When the MAJORITY of the world realises this then something may be done to end the perpetuating of the vicious cycle continuing the culture of hatred. As the world expands into a global society, national boundaries become more and more invalid and this needs to be taken into account when concerning ourselves with the rights of individuals.
 
Zenda71 said:
The sister of one of the women photographed in Abu Ghraib has said that her sister was set up, that she isn't that kind of person who would smile at a prisoner's humiliation. But apparently she IS that kind of person. She followed orders. She did it!
And she did so grinning ear to ear like a jackel (no offense to jackels). And the 'freedom fighters' who chop off the heads of civilians and praise god while doing so are surely grinning under their hoods, as well. Its a sickness.
 
Re: A Culture of Hate, a culture of fear.

Ressurecting an old thread here. Anzac expresses the problem well, or at least a big part of it...

Anzac said:
Hate in the modern world goes hand in hand with fear in a large number of respects. The two work around one another in a vicious cycle that seems to perpetuate the same old death, destruction and misery.

Here's just a little addition to the whole concept of the culture of hate. Where does it all begin? Is it the sodier firing the weapon, the family that then turns to alternative forces and vigilante justice or the orphaned child that then becomes a hateful individual? Where does it all start. Society consists of individuals and individuals make up the entirety of society. In my opinion it is the friction and interaction between the two that causes it, not on a global level, but a personal level that then expands beyond the communal boundaries and extends to global hatred. Growth of hatred is exponential as it is easier to hate than love which is why it is so common. However, you must judge each individual on their own merits in such instances and question why the hatred has become aroused within themselves.

A final personal note on the way in which normal people were converted to monsters in Iraq. I then question the worth of all of this in parallel with the rest of the world. We stand up and take note when westerners are affected but this has been going on for generations in Tibet, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa and elsewhere in the world. Only now it happens to western people do we take notice. I hate to shatter the bubble of propaganda surrounding the world but non-westerners are not statistics, they are people. When the MAJORITY of the world realises this then something may be done to end the perpetuating of the vicious cycle continuing the culture of hatred. As the world expands into a global society, national boundaries become more and more invalid and this needs to be taken into account when concerning ourselves with the rights of individuals. [Bold and color by Pathless]

Last night, I saw the movie Hotel Rwanda for the first time. I knew going into the movie that it was about genocide, but I had no idea how powerful the film would be. If you haven't seen it, I would encourage you to go do so as soon as possible. This movie... I am at a loss for words. It does illustrate the exact point that Anzac is making about people in the west turning their heads away from genocide and violence in the majority of the world. America in particular, and the west in general, has a very bad track record of intervention when injustice is taking place. Typically, the military might of the west is not exercised to protect human rights and lives until someone from the west, and usually someone who is white, is killed or kidnapped.

There is a scene of dialogue between a well-meaning journalist and the hero of the story, Paul Rusesabagina, that drives home this point:

http://www.pluggedinonline.com/movies/movies/a0002029.cfm said:
"Once people see the footage, surely there will be help!" exclaims Paul after Jack (a journalist desperate to get images out to the rest of the world) shoots video of women and children being viciously cut down. Jack grimly responds, "I think if people see this footage, they'll say, 'Oh my god, how horrible,' and they'll go on eating their dinners."

People react in the way that Jack describes partly because they have no idea what to do to stop something as massive as genocide, and partly because they have no idea how to affect change in their own communites, let alone halfway across the world.

Here are some links to get people thinking about where they can start:

www.rwandapartners.org: Rwanda partners is a non-profit corporation committed to coming alongside the people of Rwanda as they seek to rebuild, reconcile, and restore their nation.

www.darfurinfo.org

www.millionvoicesfordarfur.org: send a letter to President Bush; Rally for Darfur in Washington: April 30, 2006

I am sure that there are many other resources out there. I leave it in your hands to explore them and take some action.

Thank you,
Pathless
 
Reminds me of two songs from the late 1960's/early 1970s which are quite relevant still but fewer people really take the words to heart. The first id Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone and the other is Black and White by Three Dog Night.
*********************************************************
Sly - Everyday People Lyrics

Sometimes I'm right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I'm in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah
There is a blue one who can't accept the green one
For living with a fat one trying to be a skinny one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo-bee
Oh sha sha - we got to live together
I am no better and neither are you
We are the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me you know me and then
You can't figure out the bag l'm in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah
There is a long hair that doesn't like the short hair
For bein' such a rich one that will not help the poor one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo-bee
Oh sha sha-we got to live together
There is a yellow one that won't accept the black one
That won't accept the red one that won't accept the white one
And different strokes for different folks

(C) 1968 by Daly city Music

*********************************************************

Black and White


The ink is black
The page is white
Together we learn
To read and write
To read and write.

The slate is black
The chalk is white
The words stand out
So clear and bright
So clear and bright.

A child is black
A child is white
The whole world looks
Up on the sight
A beautiful sight.

And now a child
Can understand
This is the law
Of all the land
AII the land.

And now at last
We plainly see
The alphabet
Of Liberty
Liberty.

A child is black
A child is white
The whole world looks
Up on this sight.

The world is black
The world is white
It turns by day
And then by night
It turns by night.

*********************************************************

Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
 
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