We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hate: Reaping the Fruit

Hate is as all-absorbing as love, as irrational, and in its own way as satisfying.  As lovers thrive on the presence of the beloved, haters revel in encounters with the one they hate.  They confirm him in all his darkest suspicions.  They add fuel to all his most burning animosities.  The anticipation of them makes the hating heart pound.  The memory of them can be as sweet as young love.

The major difference between hating and loving is perhaps that whereas to love somebody is to be fulfilled and enriched by the experience, to have somebody is to be diminished and drained by it.  Lovers, by losing themselves in their loving find themselves, become themselves.  Haters simply lose themselves.  Theirs is the ultimately consuming passion.

Frederick Buechner,
Listening to Your Life, p. 123