From a Yogic perspective, hatred is considered a disfunction of the mind. A non-function, non-fun and not our natural state of experience. The idea that “hate is taught” seems to be a popular notion right now. While hate can indeed be modeled and actively demonstrated, when we look at it from the philosophy of Vidya (right perception, truth, understanding) we can also see that rather than needing to be taught, hatred can arise naturally on it’s own simply through a lack of information and a lack of understanding.
This is one of my first registries of dissonance with the ancient compilations of the Bible. A book that has some of the most beautiful passages I have ever heard, as well as some of the strangest. Early in the text, right after we are taught Man creates Woman (totally the other way around..), is a fundamental establishment that knowledge is the root of evil. The story that Adam and Eve create suffering through their greediness of experiences and understanding, bringing on the woes of mankind by eating from the Tree of Knowledge, is a very different approach to fundamental existence than the Yoga Sutras give us. And it is one that I believe contributes to the breeding of hatred. In the Sutras, we are told that the path to liberation from pain and suffering is through more learning, more understanding and more questioning of everything.
In my mind these are two very different approaches to life. Christianity, just like any other religion, can be a tool for oppression depending on how it is delivered and received. And specifically because of this initial suppression of a natural instinct to learn, I see some damage control needed within our society from this thinking. When a child is taught not to seek beyond, to submit and to “trust that God is in control”, right then and there it is quite possible that racism and oppression can become fostered. No other practices of hatred needed. Our capacity for insecurity and fear and deep reactionary systems — once necessary to keep us alive as we functioned like animals — is incredibly high. Throughout our evolution as humans, which today is changing at a more rapid rate than ever, many of our historical spiritual perspectives are in need of an upgrade. Regardless if racism is “taught”, it can be a natural occurrence from the lack of understanding, questioning and following one’s own intuition.
People are different. They do have different skin color. They are born with different intrinsic needs, different resources and different levels of access to information. Some of these differences enable others, when in disfunction, to take advantage of and abuse others. To rely solely on an idea that there is a greater power out there handling it all can disempower me from the real change I can enact through my own actions and choices.
I am not saying that Christianity is the cause of this. I see many people who are beyond empowered through this religion to take right action and make a positive difference in the world. I am saying that I have seen and felt a disempowerment to enact change for myself through the mental framework of Christianity. It is quite possible that had I been raised with these Eastern traditions I speak so fondly of, that the same limiting patterns would have been established. Either way, I recognize it within myself today as a possible avenue for ignorance. I chose to strive for understanding, both of our world myself, through Svadhyaya, the practice of self-observation. The first step has to be a further unwinding of our own misperceptions and limited thinking patterns. Along that path, what actions are you taking to dispel the disfunction within our society? Hint ::: No one’s role here looks the same. Everyone can and should be making their own unique contributions. Watch out for frustration or judgement against others for their actions or inactions and turn inward to always gain completion with your own first.
These words are written to be access to knowledge and a perspective that may inspire relief during such a figuratively and even literally dark time. If you find yourself exhausted by the news and your dealings with others, seek to learn something new about your environment. Everything is a framework for existence, from gardening to astrology. The Vedic perspective from this upcoming eclipse is that it is a very inauspicious time, counter-productive and challenging. So hold faith in humanity and your neighbors hand. This isn’t the end of our journey through this life together.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu
Written from the beginning cycle of my inner thighs, one of my favorites! Blog post, check.