Sunday, October 15, 2006

Universe of Love & Hate by Louis Evan Palmer


Due to its scope and somewhat extemporaneous composition, this will be a rambling dissertation.

In our Universe, there appear to be at least two cornucopias both emotions. The first being the font of Love, the second, of Hate - where these emotions can pour forth in a seemingly endless flow. It is possible that Hate doesn't actually exist and is merely a twisted or mirror-image of Love. These observations being mostly empirical but also to a degree logical.

Perhaps, the initial questions should center on emotions in general and where they originate. Are they only the sparks and surges of a body and its nervous & endocrine systems? If they are, in fact, the effects or emergent qualities of a physical system then they are, by definition, transient and malleable which does seem to be the case.... yet.

An interesting question suggested by the above: are there any emotions or feelings that exist and persist throughout our life, or for years? Do emotions require outside stimulation; in other words, are they always a reaction?

One thesis being offered is that all emotions are offshoots of a single primal emotion; for the sake of argument, let's us call that primal emotion "Love". Where an emotion will be taken to be a thought & a feeling wrapped around a memory and an expectation - which seems a lot like saying it's unknown.

Like a photon, an emotion may be a force without mass. Whereas, Light is a number of photons, Emotion could be viewed as a number of elemental emotion particles which may organize themselves like Elements in the atomic table into a hierarchy of relationships and their associated energies and effects.

Because they seem to be twins of each other and the most powerful of the emotions, it may be instructive to look more closely at the emotions we call Love and Hate.

Love is a force that moves towards the object of its affection with good intentions and gifts of every sort; it imputes goodness and seeks to provide and protect for its beloved. For the most part, it is active and hot. It has desires to be with the object of its affections and to share and care and enjoy and empower. Sharing, may in some situations, entail consensual taking as in sexual love.

Generally in our experience, Love has an object, it is not undifferentiated. It is a powerful emotion or state and can override even the urge to self-preservation.

Hate is also powerful, some would argue more powerful. Hate can motivate someone to kill another, more easily than Love. Hate also thrives best with an object on which to focus - undifferentiated Hate lacks power. In our experience, Hate is typically focused on other humans.

When Hate takes on a non-human focus, such as particular types of animals, it is usually derivative - that is, that animal has killed someone the human values or cares for (a family member, a pet, an animal in a herd); or, the animal has come to represent qualities that humans dislike or fear - say, a wolf representing a snarling, blood-thirsty incarnation of evil. It's not a case of, say, hating large sea-going turtles for themselves and no other reason.

Hate would focus and direct bad intentions or perform actions and make plans that will harm or hurt the hate-object. In this way, Hate would be seen as different from repulsion in that repulsion constitutes a flight response based on Fear - which may generate Hate but is a precursor as it were.

There can be a "hot Hate" or a "cold Hate". A "hot Hate" will generate destructive actions against the hate-object but also still has a conscience and can still feel revulsion at some of its actions. A "cold Hate", on the only hand, has submerged its malevalence and now carries out its hateful actions without feeling. Of the two, the "cold Hate" is more dangerous because it can now "go industrial" in its Hate.

Hate can go back and forth between "cold" and "hot" but once its goes "cold" the "hot" flashes become merely interludes in a "cold" landscape. "Hot Hate" is the first phase which if maintained for long enough will generate a cadre of "cold Hate" haters - they will then take the Hate to an industrial level, that is, long-term actualized mass hate. At an individual level, it's murder.

Hate thrives on differences, their identification, their magnification, their preservation. Hate will comment or elaborate on differences to do with dress, custom, foods, beliefs, mannerisms, symbols; more powerfully, differences to do with religions, economic status, interaction with others, symbols; most powerfully, when the hate-object becomes identified with an ideological enemy - then almost anything becomes possible as the battle is now with the equivalent of a spiritual or cultural virus or plague.

Groups that use, or depend on, differences, particularly extreme or superfluous differences, and the powerful reactions they can generate as a means of generating solidarity and exerting control are playing with an explosive mix. Yes, a mature society will have evolved a means of tolerance that can accomodate these differences but this almost always entails compromise on both sides - when that is missing, or not present to a sufficient degree, then the brew that feeds Hate starts heating up.

By the time we arrive at the propaganda stage, we are in danger of having past the dialogue point and are now entering the pre-conflict stage. The early stages of propaganda is the time for urgent action to identify and accomodate and correct, to the extent possible, the catalysts of ill-will towards the hate-object. Propaganda being replete with unfair characterizations, attributions and threats and violent proposals. (You may have noticed that we are inundated with propaganda)

Domination can be considered a form of Hate where intentions and motivations are the deciding factors. A father's or mother's discipline when temperate and for the obvious betterment of the child should thus escape from being labelled as a form of domination.

Interestingly, Free Will, especially when viewed in opposition to domination, can be viewed as an expression of Love.

Does "hate" have any place in our civil society? For example, is it possible to just "hate hate"? Or, stated in another way, can Hate be controlled and used for "good"? In effect, using "Hate" as a tool for the purposes of "Love". The Means versus the End again.

The answer seems to be clearly "NO". They have different goals and motivations. One is fed by division, the other by communion. etc. etc.

Hate most commonly is directed towards actions - we hate what other people "do" rather than what they "are" - the "hot-hate" against what people "do" will get increasingly hotter until it reaches the end state of "cold-hate" against what people "are" - now, the hate-object is no longer human, no longer worthy of existence, it is a mistake of creation, or a faulty experiment in human dynamics that is to be terminated, or a plague to be wiped out.

This brings up the interesting question of "rights" - what gives anyone the right to hate anyone else (or love)? And, more importantly, to do anything about it? Having or being in a Family is the obvious example but beyond that? A mystical family? A common origin and destination? A shared journey and purpose? All of these reasons point to "Love" rather than "Hate" making it seem that the Hate is the frustration of Love, its thwarting, and the loneliness and fear it (or rather "we") generates.

To be continued.

Universe of Love & Hate, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


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