Seth on hate with respect to love

Love and hate are both based upon self-identification in your experience. You do not bother to love or hate persons you cannot identify with at all. They leave you relatively untouched. They do not elicit deep emotion.

Hatred always involves a painful sense of separation from love, which may be idealized. A person you feel strongly against at any given time upsets you because he or she does not live up to your expectations. The higher your expectations the greater any divergence from them seems. If you hate a parent it is precisely because you expect such love. A person from whom you expect nothing will never earn your bitterness.

In a strange manner, then, hatred is a means of returning to love; and left alone and expressed it is meant to communicate a separation that exists in relation to what is expected.

Love, therefore, can contain hate very nicely. Hatred can contain love and be driven by it, particularly by an idealized love. (Pause.) You "hate" something that separates you from a loved object. It is precisely because the object is loved that it is so disliked if expectations are not met. You may love a parent, and if the parent does not seem to return the love and denies your expectations, then you may "hate" the same parent because of the love that leads you to expect more. The hatred is meant to get you your love back. It is supposed to lead to a communication from you, stating your feelings – clearing the air, so to speak, and bringing you closer to the love object. Hatred is not the denial of love, then, but an attempt to regain it, and a painful recognition of circumstances that separate you from it.

If you understood the nature of love you would be able to accept feelings of hatred. Affirmation can include the expression of such strong emotions.

– The Nature of Personal Reality, by Jane Roberts, a Seth book (1974); Kindle location ~7700
How does it take me 40 years to find such a spot-on description? This should be taught in schools.

Comments

DanSmith said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
DanSmith said…
I think this makes a lot sense, but it's not the full explanation.


Hatred always involves a painful sense of separation from love, which may be idealized. A person you feel strongly against at any given time upsets you because he or she does not live up to your expectations

How does this account for the hatred of Islamic radicals of the West? Or, on a more benign level, hatred of the far-left of the far-right and vice versa?


You do not bother to love or hate persons you cannot identify with at all

This part is a bit shaky as well; altough here you could argue that the above mentioned groups identify to the degree that they all seek to maximize their own power and influence.
denis bider said…
Dan: How does this account for the hatred of Islamic radicals of the West? Or, on a more benign level, hatred of the far-left of the far-right and vice versa?

Seth did not speak of Islamic radicals or political parties, but he did speak of a frequent and (to me) similar phenomenon - the common hatred of an individual for mankind:

(Kindle location 7830)

"Now: Sometimes you may think that you hate mankind. You may consider people insane, the individual creatures with whom you share the planet. You may rail against what you think of as their stupid behavior, their bloodthirsty ways, and the inadequate and shortsighted methods that they use to solve their problems. All of this is based upon your idealized concept of what the race should be — your love for your fellow man, in other words. But your love can get lost if you concentrate upon those variations that are less than idyllic.

"When you think you hate the race most, you are actually caught in a dilemma of love. You are comparing the race to your loving idealized conception of it. In this case however you are losing sight of the actual people involved.

"You are putting love on such a plane that you divorce yourself from your real feelings, and do not recognize the loving emotions that are the basis for your discontent. Your affection has fallen short of itself in your experience because you have denied the impact of this emotion, for fear that the beloved — in this case the race as a whole — will not measure up to it. Therefore you concentrate upon the digressions from the ideal. If, instead, you allowed yourself to free the feeling of love that is actually behind your dissatisfaction, then it alone would allow you to see the loving characteristics in the race that now escape your observation to a large degree."

Seth: You do not bother to love or hate persons you cannot identify with at all

Dan: This part is a bit shaky as well

I think it is incisively insightful. It is 100% true in my experience. Do you hate the Sentinelese?
DanSmith said…

Seth did not speak of Islamic radicals or political parties, but he did speak of a frequent and (to me) similar phenomenon - the common hatred of an individual for mankind:

I don't think that the West or the Islamic radicals have any idealized conceptions of each other, of which they could fall short of.



I think it is incisively insightful. It is 100% true in my experience. Do you hate the Sentinelese?

As mentioned in the first sentence of my first comment, the explanation is sensible, but it's not complete. The fact that I'm indifferent to the Sentinelese is consistent with the explanation, but the examples listed above are much less so, IMO.

denis bider said…
Dan: I don't think that the West or the Islamic radicals have any idealized conceptions of each other, of which they could fall short of.

I have to say I find it very difficult to understand how any informed person could say that.

It seems obvious to me that the West has a vision of life very different from Islam. It seems obvious that Islamists have a vision of life very different from the West.

Dubai is possibly the most liberal Islamic city there is. My wife and I will not be traveling there because of the oppressive nature of its regime, which is aligned with the Islamic vision. If anything, Islamists find it not sufficiently oppressive.

Now add to this that over the past 90 years, the West and Russia have been playing geostrategic chess in the Middle East, using the people who live there as pawns, funding violent revolutions, supporting terrible dictators, funding religious extremists, funding wars - you have to be literally blind to very recent, still ongoing history to understand how it's possible that many of the people who live there could conceivably hate us.

The West is failing to meet any kind of criteria for morally or responsibly interacting with the region. What they want from us is either to be left alone, or to be loved. What they get from us is ruining their lives and riding roughshod over their necks. Obviously they hate us.

I question your education that this is something of which you're not informed.
DanSmith said…

I have to say I find it very difficult to understand how any informed person could say that.

Are you sure you read that sentence correctly? Because the below is just supporting that sentence:


It seems obvious to me that the West has a vision of life very different from Islam. It seems obvious that Islamists have a vision of life very different from the West.



Dubai is possibly the most liberal Islamic city there is. My wife and I will not be traveling there because of the oppressive nature of its regime, which is aligned with the Islamic vision. If anything, Islamists find it not sufficiently oppressive.

Now add to this that over the past 90 years, the West and Russia have been playing geostrategic chess in the Middle East, using the people who live there as pawns, funding violent revolutions, supporting terrible dictators, funding religious extremists, funding wars - you have to be literally blind to very recent, still ongoing history to understand how it's possible that many of the people who live there could conceivably hate us.

The West is failing to meet any kind of criteria for morally or responsibly interacting with the region. What they want from us is either to be left alone, or to be loved. What they get from us is ruining their lives and riding roughshod over their necks. Obviously they hate us.

Yes, it's perfectly clear to me what are the possible reasons why many in the Middle East hate the West. Our discussion isn't about _why_ they hate us, but if their hate can be explained via Seth's thesis, and I don't think it can be, because it doesn't satisfy his criteria, which is what I was referring to with:


I don't think that the West or the Islamic radicals have any idealized conceptions of each other, of which they could fall short of.



I question your education that this is something of which you're not informed.

Parts like these add absolutely no value to the discussion.
denis bider said…
Dan: Parts like these add absolutely no value to the discussion.

Please consider that I might have limited interest in "discussions" in the first place. In my opinion, information is either understood or it is not, if it's still not understood after a single clarification, further back-and-forth is usually pointless and wastes the effort of all involved parties. Discussions, therefore, are generally of little use unless something needs to be done and the parties must agree on what they are doing.

In personal life, I don't really welcome discussion. I welcome pointers to interesting information I might have missed. That's about it.

Dan: I don't think that the West or the Islamic radicals have any idealized conceptions of each other, of which they could fall short of.

It looks like we have very different understandings of the same sentences, then. I believe it was explained sufficiently first time, I also attempted a clarification, and if it didn't get through, then it just didn't.

Neither you, nor I, have an obligation here to get our ideas through successfully to the other. I'm sad when the ideas don't get through, but there are worse things in life.
DanSmith said…
Given that I wrote the sentence I know what I meant with it, and the meaning is in line with your "counter-points". Hence there isn't any disagreement on it.
denis bider said…
If you mean the statement:

"I don't think that the West or the Islamic radicals have any idealized conceptions of each other, of which they could fall short of."

... then I just consider this outright stupid and I can't conceive of a possible framework in which you could say this. This leads me to conclude that your meanings of various words are subtly different from mine, but I do not find it worthwhile to chase down the differences.
DanSmith said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
DanSmith said…
How did you interpret it then?
DanSmith said…
It means that the worldviews, values, of the West and Islamic radicals are so fundamentally different that their expectations are already at the zero mark - you can't fall short of something that's non-existent. Hence their hate can't be explained via Seth's thesis, which necessitates existence of at least some expectations. Again, it's not that the reasons for hate here are a mystery, but it can't be explained via his thesis.
denis bider said…
It seems obvious to me that the differences create larger expectations, not smaller. We want them to be more like us: we imagine ourselves as a "beacon of freedom, liberty and justice". A beacon does not serve if it has no one to transmit to: the obvious recipients are countries where people are currently oppressed one way or another. Our idealized vision of them is for them to be more like us, and to the extent they fail to be, we hate them (or at least dislike them). Same in the other direction.

I'm not sure how this is not obviously apparent.
denis bider said…
Relevant quote for the "beacon" concept:

Even close allies, such as the British government, for example, have called for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility on the grounds that, as a symbol of injustice, it had tarnished the United States as a “beacon of freedom, liberty and justice.”
DanSmith said…
Wait, we're talking about _radical_ Islamists. People who want their societies to be ordered via Sharia law, women to be merely a property of their men and all the other oppresive ideas. Are you seriously saying you've got _any_ expectation at all of them to want to be like the Westerners?
denis bider said…
Of course I have ideal expectations of all people (which they're not meeting). When the expectations are so deeply unrealistic as you describe, we forget that we have expectations of them at all. But we do, otherwise there would be no reason to hate them. You don't hate a blade for cutting you since you have no different expectations of the blade.
denis bider said…
Let me elaborate on that. If you have an opinion that someone "should" or "should not" do something, you have an expectation of that person. The word "should" both (1) ascribes agency, i.e. the person has a choice in whether they do the thing or not, and (2) establishes an expectation, i.e. when given this choice, then to gain your approval, the person must choose one of the options over the other.

In the case of radical Islamists, for example, an obvious "should not" is to not kill innocents. You ascribe to them agency, you describe a choice, and you establish an expectation that they will meet it. When they don't meet it, that's a reason to hate them. "We trusted you to express yourself in a way that does not involve killing innocents and you did so anyway!"

If you skip any of those things - i.e. you don't give them agency, or you think they don't have a choice, or you don't establish an expectation, then there's no reason to hate them. If they don't have agency, then they aren't people but things, and we don't hate things; if they don't have a choice, then we can sympathize with them; and if they have agency and choice, but we don't establish an expectation... well in this case, due to severity of the transgression, it's hard to not establish it.

In order to perceive them as having agency and choice, yet not impose a "should not" about killing innocents, you need some kind of metaphysics where rampant butchery of humans is in some way OK, not so serious, or is accepted by all parties on some level, even though it doesn't seem to be that way. There are various metaphysics like that which allow you to not judge them. Most people don't subscribe to those metaphysics, which goes hand in hand with most people's fear of death.
DanSmith said…

In the case of radical Islamists, for example, an obvious "should not" is to not kill innocents. You ascribe to them agency, you describe a choice, and you establish an expectation that they will meet it. When they don't meet it, that's a reason to hate them. "We trusted you to express yourself in a way that does not involve killing innocents and you did so anyway!"

If you skip any of those things - i.e. you don't give them agency, or you think they don't have a choice, or you don't establish an expectation, then there's no reason to hate them. If they don't have agency, then they aren't people but things, and we don't hate things; if they don't have a choice, then we can sympathize with them; and if they have agency and choice, but we don't establish an expectation... well in this case, due to severity of the transgression, it's hard to not establish it.


This is a pretty coherent argument, and putting it this way, it does make sense. However, I'd say my expectations, even in this area, are quite weak, given the past conduct of this group in the past. Personally, I'd hate more my neighbour, who listens to loud music in the late hours, more than an Islamic radical blowing himself up, despite the latter being a much more severe transgression.
DanSmith said…
Btw an interesting piece about the in-group effects, we discussed the last time https://www.niemanlab.org/2020/01/the-fact-checkers-dilemma-humans-are-hardwired-to-dismiss-facts-that-dont-fit-their-worldview/

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