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How do you not hate a Hitler or people who rape young children

The 5th verse in the dhammapada says:

For never here do hatreds cease by hatred. By freedom from hatred they cease: This is a perennial truth

I understand the meaning, but struggle with how one can not hate someone like Hitler, or if you'd been raped as a 12 year old by a group of adult males.

I do understand that even in those circumstances forgiveness is still an essential thing even if it is very difficult to do.

But if there was no hatred towards Hitler then we would not have fought back and we would not have defeated Nazism.

I feel that verse 5 is right, but struggling to fully rationalise and comprehend it in all situations.

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It is interesting that the 5th verse says “freedom from hatred”, not forgiveness. Forgiveness is a step further, for when you recognise that some people just don’t fully realise what they are doing.

    FoibleFull
  • @Bunks said:
    Yeah I understand. I felt the same way toward the man who shot up mosques in Christchurch not so long ago.

    I struggle less to forgive him, as he was clearly VERY misguided, totally disillusion and had seriously wrong thought. Or to put it less politically correctly he was a lone crazy guy. This isn't quite the same as an organized invasion by the Nazi's that resulted in the deaths of millions of people.

    If people had not fought back then the death toll would have been far higher, and I struggle to see how not fighting back would have benefited all those who died, all those who suffered in other ways, and all those who generated negative karma through their bad actions.

    As @lobster rightly points out, this IS beyond my capacity. I do agree with that, but from an investigative point of view I feel it is important that I try to truly understand that verse, and not just accept it with blind faith.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Yorkshireman said:
    But if there was no hatred towards Hitler then we would not have fought back and we would not have defeated Nazism.

    What use is hatred for him, right now in 2019?

  • @seeker242 said:

    @Yorkshireman said:
    But if there was no hatred towards Hitler then we would not have fought back and we would not have defeated Nazism.

    What use is hatred for him, right now in 2019?

    Sorry. I don't understand what you mean.

    The point I was making was that we would not have fought back in the 1940s had we not disliked (hated) what Hitler was doing to people. Apologies if that wasn't clear.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Yorkshireman said:
    Sorry. I don't understand what you mean.

    I thought you were asking us, the people of this forum, how do we not hate Hitler. Because I do not hate Hitler, even though he did such bad things. =)

    The point I was making was that we would not have fought back in the 1940s had we not disliked (hated) what Hitler was doing to people. Apologies if that wasn't clear.

    As for that, you don't need to hate the actual person doing an action, in order to try and stop that action because it's a bad action. Hating the person themselves and hating the action they are doing, can be two different things. A wise person does not hate people themselves, but that does not mean they just sit back and let them do bad actions.

    adamcrossleypersonShoshinFoibleFull
  • Hi, @Yorkshireman, I don’t think we’ve met before. I’m from Yorkshire too, from the southern Dales.

    This is a really interesting question for me too. I think @lobster’s point about capacity was really important. The metta meditation typically begins with easier subjects and progresses through harder and harder ones. This process is often compressed into a single session, but I think traditionally it spans weeks and months.

    Maybe your deeper question, though, is if it’s ever right to hold figures like Hitler in our loving-kindness. It sounds like you’ve got a feeling the Buddha was right, but can’t see how it could practically lead to fighting and stopping things like Nazism. And I think @seeker242’s response is along the right lines. I think, to produce the best results, action has to spring from clarity and compassion. Hatred can seem to produce good results in the short term, but perhaps the effects of Europe’s hatred are still being felt. Perhaps karmically, our current environment of intolerance and xenophobia partly stems from the divisions we felt in the 20th century. It’s just a thought. What do you think about that?

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    edited June 17

    Others have made good points. That letting go is a skill and some things are easier to let go of than others. Also, we don't need to hate to act, we can act out of care and concern for others or other justifiable reasons. Even care for those who harm, preventing them from doing harm.

  • @seeker242 said:
    you don't need to hate the actual person doing an action, in order to try and stop that action because it's a bad action. Hating the person themselves and hating the action they are doing, can be two different things. A wise person does not hate people themselves, but that does not mean they just sit back and let them do bad actions.

    I get the impression from that verse that it isn't just the hating of people that needs to be ceased, it is all forms of hate.

    I do agree with the sentiment, I am just struggling to intellectually process it in all situations, even extreme ones. But thanks to everyone one here - wonderful people - I am slowly getting there =)

    Bunks
  • @federica said:

    Hatred is a heavy burden to bear, like a mill-wheel around your neck, you carry voluntarily. It slows and impedes your progress, and the only one struggling to bear it, is you.

    So when and if you find hatred in your heart, and retribution in your mind, understand that you harbour a seed of destruction, and if you let it take root, it will wreak havoc in your mind.

    An excellent book precisely on this matter, is Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning".

    “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

    Excellent! That has been a massive help.

    So you can fight for what you believe to be right and good, but you should do this without hatred or animosity.

    I do need to read Frankl's book. I have thought about reading it many times, but always seem to get sidetracked.

    I must say, it has really helped reading the answers on here. I've read the Dhammapada many times, but I'm going through it again and really digging into each verse for the truth and I've been turning over this verse all day. I get the sentiment, but I need to go deeper, so thanks for helping me to do that.

    BunkspersonFoibleFullrocala
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Fear is not the enemy—it is nature’s protector; it only becomes troublesome when it oversteps its bounds. In order to deal with fear we must take a fundamentally noncontentious attitude toward it, so it’s not held as “My big fear problem” but rather “Here is fear that has come to visit.” Once we take this attitude, we can begin to work with fear.

    —Amaro Bhikkhu, “Inviting Fear”

    Maybe in the above replace 'fear' with 'hate'?

    lobsterFoibleFullZenshin
  • @Jeffrey said:

    Fear is not the enemy—it is nature’s protector; it only becomes troublesome when it oversteps its bounds. In order to deal with fear we must take a fundamentally noncontentious attitude toward it, so it’s not held as “My big fear problem” but rather “Here is fear that has come to visit.” Once we take this attitude, we can begin to work with fear.

    —Amaro Bhikkhu, “Inviting Fear”

    Maybe in the above replace 'fear' with 'hate'?

    Very good point. Works perfectly replacing the word 'fear' with 'hate'. And that would help focus the mind as to recognising that the possibility of 'hate' is there so that one can then process and deal with that in a non-hateful way as suggested by some of the answers above.

    Thank you

    Bunks
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    I think it is useful to try and make a distinction between hate and anger. Simply put I see anger as an emotion that comes and goes depending on circumstance. I see hate as a more sustained attitude of anger that needs an ideology or some sort of belief structure to perpetuate it.

    ShoshinFoibleFull
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    As a Jew who spent yesterday gathering familial information from the Holocaust databases, I'll try to be neutral and civil in my reply......

    @seeker242 said:
    I thought you were asking us, the people of this forum, how do we not hate Hitler. Because I do not hate Hitler, even though he did such bad things. =)

    I suggest you try to read Mein Kampf I say try because it's confronting and vile. If you can still offer a smiley emoji after that....well.... The man Hitler was a hateful person. He was just as bad as his actions. Period.

    @Yorkshireman said:
    The point I was making was that we would not have fought back in the 1940s had we not disliked (hated) what Hitler was doing to people. Apologies if that wasn't clear.

    Please don't think for a minute the fighting against Hitler was because of what he did to the Jews. It was over land and Hitler's insane desire to be a modern day Caesar. Liberation of Jews was a happy side effect. After all, even England had forcibly expelled Jews in 1290 (King Edward I). Oliver Cromwell tolerated Jewish presence - after discovering a small group practising in secret. But it wasn't till 1753 that the Naturalisation Act for Jews made it safe to be a visible Jew in England. And Jews had been in England since William the Conqueror's time. The first written records of Jews however did not appear till 1070

    Many other countries throughout history have done the same. Hitler did not invent antisemitism, he just perfected it into a killing machine. And because of this, WWII was not focused on liberating the Jews, it was focused, as all wars are, on land and power.

    I'm assuming it's because of my last statement that seeker242 can say he doesn't hate Hitler for what he did. In fact, most non-Jews can comfortably say that. And I'm not having a dig, it's just a fact that it's easier for people to make such statements if they are not personally affected by something like that. I get it.

    So, in summary - yes, people hated they tyranny of Hitler's actions as a warlord. The jury is still out over what he did to the Jews (just look at the surge of neo-Nazis in a lot of countries). As a Jew who lost family in the Holocaust, I'll never even consider forgiving Hitler and any neo-Nazi.

    Just my 0.02

    FoibleFull
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I'll never even consider forgiving Hitler and any neo-Nazi.

    Just my 0.02

    Are we we allowed to kill them? Or do we just fume?
    This must be neo-Buddhism, hate reserved for the deserving?

    I hated your self indulgent post! o:) ... think I am getting the hang of it. (Also note my lack of compassion ...) >:) o:) <3

    Who else do we get to hate? Ex partners? The criminally insane? Trump? Surely we get Trump? Fanatics ... oh yes please ... :p

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited June 18

    🙄🙄🙄

    you know crusty one, I usually appreciate your humour, but I was trying to make a legitimate point...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I feel that verse 5 is right, but struggling to fully rationalise and comprehend it in all situations.

    Let us imagine our life has been effected by child rape. Every day reeling, fuming and being effected. Try as we might we hate:

    • ourselves
    • rapists
    • the world

    Our fists are clenched. We learn to relax them. Open them ...
    We benefit. Iz plan.

    FoibleFullpersonZenshin
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited June 18

    For me Hitler and unknown rapists are quite remote from me. I suppose I would hate them if they are still alive and/or I knew about them. But I don't think about them. Of course if I were raped or someone I knew or if I thought about them daily it would be hard to handle that emotion. I think in this discussion they serve a role as someone completely irredeemable or otherwise a justifiable reason to have the feeling/experience of hating. It's a logical analysis or puzzle.

    Ok but for me it's much difficult dealing with the hate that I do experience and that probably isn't justified and that I have anyways despite trying to take care of it reflectively and bring it to meditation. That hate (in case you were wondering) is the probably otherwise lovely secretary of my psychiatrist who often does not file the blood tests that I need for my medicine with the program. Now I don't think about her often either because why would I want to be focused on hate? But for that time when the pharmacist says I can't get my medicine and I have to drive out to her office and ask her what happened and then drive to the blood lab when I know which month is missing and have them fax her stuff. So although she is far from Hitler or a rapist I still experience hate with her whereas Hitler for me is in the realm of logical "justified hate". So just saying for me I rarely experience hate and when I do it's usually against a much better and more harmless or well meaning person. And yet I still have that damned emotion! So how do I not hate the secretary who does not file my blood lab results with the program?

    FoibleFulllobsterShoshinKerome
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    It's a good point @Jeffrey makes above.

    I'm far more likely to feel "hatred" toward the next door neighbour who keeps me awake with loud music or cuts me off in traffic than I am against someone who hasn't directly affected me i.e. Hitler or a child rapist.

    Selfish?

    FoibleFulllobster
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran
    edited June 18

    As the Dalai Lama says, "From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering."

    The difference between the Dalai Lama and Hitler is that the Dalai Lama KNOWS how to be happy. What actions produce happiness and which ones don't.
    We call people like Hitler "unskillful" because they are looking for happiness in the wrong places, in the wrong way.

    And the worse someone is, the more tormented they are inside.
    So just as we develop compassion and tolerance for our own unskillful views that create our unhappiness, we also remember that others (yes, even Hitler and Trump) have the same difficult and challenges that WE face. Without having any dharma training to guide them.

    Remember that until we achieve enlightenment, we are ignorant. All of us. Have compassion for yourself, for me, for others.

    And remember, too, the FIRST Noble Truth. The very foundation of Buddhism. That suffering is inevitably a part of samsara. We practice to extricate ourselves from suffering. And if we take the Bodhisattva Vow, we are vowing to continue to return, even after we are no longer compelled, in order to help all others achieve their freedom .. until every sentient being has achieved total enlightenment.
    Of course .. first we have to become enlightened. No small task, that.

    lobsterperson
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited June 18

    @Lee82 said:
    Who is affected by the negativity you feel towards someone or something else? The answer is only you. Look after yourself by not letting these things occupy your mind. Hitler doesn’t care if you hate him, the morning rush hour doesn’t care if you hate it.

    You overcome these things by taking an altruistic view of the world. If you can do something to make a difference then do it with effort but not attachment, and if you can’t make a difference then take a neutral viewpoint.

    So true @Lee82
    Anger & hatred are old habit mind traps often revisited, especially if one's mind is allowed to become charmed by its own thoughts...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kundo said: .. So, in summary - yes, people hated they tyranny of Hitler's actions as a warlord. The jury is still out over what he did to the Jews (just look at the surge of neo-Nazis in a lot of countries). As a Jew who lost family in the Holocaust, I'll never even consider forgiving Hitler and any neo-Nazi.

    Ok, well... I omitted to quote your whole post, because, obviously, everyone here can read the original, and I will totally agree that History shows many nations should hang their heads in shame with regard to international treatment of the Jewish nation (Past AND present), but I have to have a hands-up here and join in your testimony that I too, have Jewish blood coursing through my veins, and I too, know that I lost relatives (5 I am given to understand, one of them 17 years of age) in WWII because of the Nazi ethnic cleansing program that had a 6 million+ victim count.

    But - and I want you to imagine I'm in the room, now, sitting with you, saying this to you face to face, because I sincerely wish I was - I'm puzzled that the relatives I still have or had (three of them have died now) who were absolutely directly connected with the deceased, hold no resentment anger or hatred, and Viktor Frankl, whose wife was murdered during their joint imprisonment, and whose family was decimated by the actions of Nazi Germans, are able to detach, distance and disassociate themselves from harbouring feelings within themselves which only serve to destroy the Inner peace, serenity and contentment you could have. I mean, Frankl wrote the book, right?
    And you love the book, and Frankl, right?

    HHDL does not hate the Chinese, and we know that his country was invaded and decimated, and is still under Chinese rule, and is being mined, exploited and controlled yet, as we speak. And let us not omit adding the crimes against the Tibetan people themselves, too numerous and appalling to mention in detail.

    There is much in this world that could provoke hatred, in anyone's heart, round every corner that we look; from the incompetent lowly receptionist who seems incapable of accomplishing the simplest, most basic task, right across the huge and varied board, upto the suited bureaucrats sitting behind expensive desks, signing edicts that would make Gandhi, Luther King and Frankl all spin in their graves.

    Nobody is telling you that you have no right to keep fighting for Human Rights, or being passionate, or being active, or being insistent. But not harbouring Hatred, and being able to let go, are recommendations in ALL Religions. Not only Buddhism.

    Jim Pym pointed out in his book ("You don't have to sit on the Floor") That to harbour hatred and resentment in your heart for someone, is just as effective in holding them close in your life, as if you loved and yearned for them.

    But it just doesn't feel as good.

    And maybe having that pointed out to you is already getting your indignation rising, and your anger bubbling. Maybe it's developing a desire in you to find an answer that can justify your feelings, and respond with a sense of Justice and a deep-felt passion. Oh, I get that too.

    But observe what is fuelling that. Sense it to its core.

    There are many people who played out in my past life who I would be totally justified in resenting or hating. You have no idea. But the moment I begin to think that way, I also feel how much it hurts me to do so. I actually feel it as a sensation near my diaphragm, a dull, hunching debilitating sensation, and I don't want it.

    The secret is not to Hate, or not forgive.
    The secret is to be vigilant, active, passionate and determined, from a calm and loving internal base.
    And when you learn how to do that, let me know.
    Still a learning curve here.... Still much to overcome and lay away...

    lobsterpersonBunksQuidditch
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I certainly don’t hate Hitler, I think he was wrong and misguided and did much harm but it’s so far removed from me. Similarly with child rapists. I think @Jeffrey made a good point bringing up that it’s the people who injure us personally in some way who we tend to hate. But I think also that every time that the feeling of hate arises in us is an opportunity to practice, to try to see deeply and with compassion why we feel this feeling, what is at the root of it. And also to see who it is who is causing this in us, and why they are acting this way.

    Compassion for the other person is often what brings us to our true feelings. After all they too are potentially a Buddha. So that puts us on the path to non-hatred. But then to take the right action regardless, without getting lost in either hatred or non-hatred, that is advanced practice.

    federicapersonJeffrey
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Great insight from @federica B)

    Nobody said it would be easy AND for some of us it is not always possible ...
    I am one of those compassionate people who would piss on Trumpé if he was on fire ... o:)

    And now back to loving grapists, ku kluxians, communists, polluters, spiders and [insert justified hate of choice]

    FoibleFull
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited June 18

    @Yorkshireman said:
    I get the impression from that verse that it isn't just the hating of people that needs to be ceased, it is all forms of hate.

    I would agree! Although, the ridding of hate is really a progressive step by step practice, impossible to fully achieve without a high level of enlightenment. Only a non-returner, who is a highly enlightened person, is completely rid of all forms of hate. The Buddha often speak from the perspective of a fully enlightened person, because that's what he was. However, one can still take action to stop that behavior, it's just not motivated by hate or ill-will, but by compassion for the victim and the person themselves.

    @Kundo said:
    I suggest you try to read Mein Kampf I say try because it's confronting and vile. If you can still offer a smiley emoji after that....well.... The man Hitler was a hateful person. He was just as bad as his actions. Period.

    The question now is why?

    "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements."~AN 1.49

    And the Mahayana version:

    "All beings have Buddha Nature"

    That would include mass murderers, rapists, jihadi terrorists, even Hitler and Genghis Khan. Those people are heavily defiled people and will suffer inconceivable suffering because of their actions. Putting the mind's attention on that, instead of the harm they caused, is how one cultivates compassion and removes hate for them.

    "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred. Dhammapada 4

    Directing one's attention appropriately, hate for even the most evil people can be let go of. It's just a matter of practicing what the Buddha taught.

    And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen? There is awareness-release. (through good will, compassion, appreciation, or equanimity) To foster appropriate attention to that: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen. ~SN 46.51

    Hate cannot persist without the fuel to feed it. We often unknowingly feed it by directing our attention inappropriately. With right mindfulness and right effort, etc. one can stop feeding it. It certainly takes practice to stop doing that. Which is why Buddhism and the 8 Fold path, is really a practice that one actually does, rather than a set of mere beliefs that one believes.

    How do you not hate a Hitler or people who rape young children

    By directing one's attention appropriately. Of course, this requires some skill in the ability to direct one's attention to begin with. Most people don't have any such skill. The skill to do that can be obtained and improved with practice, just like the Buddha taught.

    Yorkshireman
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @seeker242 said:

    The question now is why?

    To mainly understand where I am coming from. But if you don't want to understand me that's your choice. shrugs

    @federica said:
    And maybe having that pointed out to you is already getting your indignation rising, and your anger bubbling. Maybe it's developing a desire in you to find an answer that can justify your feelings, and respond with a sense of Justice and a deep-felt passion. Oh, I get that too.

    Actually it doesn't get my indignation or anger rising. I've long ago learned it's of no use as most people just don't care when it comes to Jews or antisemitism.

    But observe what is fuelling that. Sense it to its core.

    What fuels any anger or ill will in me re antisemitism and the cavalier attitudes to Hitler? People's apathy and not giving a shit about it - blunt but honest.

    There are many people who played out in my past life who I would be totally justified in resenting or hating. You have no idea. But the moment I begin to think that way, I also feel how much it hurts me to do so. I actually feel it as a sensation near my diaphragm, a dull, hunching debilitating sensation, and I don't want it.

    I get what you're saying. But it's my choice to forgive or not, and in this case, I chose not to forgive.

    The secret is not to Hate, or not forgive.
    The secret is to be vigilant, active, passionate and determined, from a calm and loving internal base.
    And when you learn how to do that, let me know.
    Still a learning curve here.... Still much to overcome and lay away...

    I don't get why everyone is so insistent I forgive my family's killers (cause that's what they are) and be all peace, happiness and mung beans about it. I don't have to do that to be a Buddhist. And if I do have to to be a Buddhist.... well I can walk away from Buddhism too. (Albeit with sorrow)

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited June 19

    @Kundo said:

    @seeker242 said:

    To mainly understand where I am coming from. But if you don't want to understand me that's your choice. shrugs

    Why was with regards to why he was the way he was. He was the way he was because "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements."

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Kundo said:

    I don't get why everyone is so insistent I forgive my family's killers (cause that's what they are) and be all peace, happiness and mung beans about it. I don't have to do that to be a Buddhist. And if I do have to to be a Buddhist.... well I can walk away from Buddhism too. (Albeit with sorrow)

    Indeed! We are all free to do, think and say as we please and live with the consequences.

    'I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir'

    AN 5.57

    Kundo
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    Indeed! We are all free to do, think and say as we please and live with the consequences.

    👌👌👌

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 19

    I think it's just confusing to try to understand why, out of choosing what hurts, and what heals, someone would choose the former, in favour of the latter. Using that analogy, it's almost like an addiction, perhaps... it's easier to give in to it, rather than overcome it.

    Bear this in mind:
    Hatred and mercilessness - which is the opposite to forgiveness - do not make one righteous or strengthen one's resolve. They actually make you weaker and liken what is in your heart and mind, to that which was in the heart and mind of the very thing you oppose. "What you think, you become" as the misquote says...

    THIS is what the Buddha taught. And so did Christ. This isn't me, telling you this. I am merely putting what is taught, into plain English.

    The less one can grasp the truth of what the Buddha taught, what Christ taught, and what good people embodied, the more you move away from what you purport to represent. And walking away from Buddhism too - albeit with sorrow - will only leave you bereft of a shelter and refuge from the pain you experience. It won't improve. It will get worse and ultimately consume you.

    And please believe me when I tell you. Nobody wants that, and nobody wants you to go.

    lobsterBunksperson
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    How do you not hate a Hitler or people who rape young children

    Jack Kornfield

    It comes down to a matter of choice....
    It's an individual's choice as to whether or not the cycle of hatred continues in their lives...

    Candy coated or not....Hate is hate...

    lobsterBigsby123
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I just happened to see this in an e-mail I receive each week roughly that has a paragraph of a teaching.

    Asking “Who is the villain?” is the prologue to asking who should be punished. But asking “What are the conditions that led to this?” leads us to consider how to change those conditions so that the situation is less likely to happen again.

    —Matthew Gindin, “The Red Hat Rorschach Test”

    Zenshinlobsterperson
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I'm sure there's a chance @Kundo feels she's being 'got at'. That's not my intention. She has already experienced, I know, an excessive amount of harassment at the hands of those she once considered friends, and I'm reluctant to make any further comment because that's not a feeling I would want her to have. Not here, not on my watch, and so I unreservedly apologise if that's what happened, or was in danger of happening. I hope she can forgive any slight I might have caused.

    I think everyone, pushed to admit such a thing, may well admit to an passion they feel utterly and completely strong about. Right now, for me, it's the sheer and utter wanton destruction of this planet through society's cavalier attitude to rubbish, recycling and the decimation of wildlife, both on land and in sea.
    I have also been fairly vocal about the still-current and prevalent attitude of sexism and Misogyny that is rife both socially and commercially...
    A friend of mine is tirelessly campaigning for the total ban on Chinese so-called 'Festivals' where unspeakable and indescribable cruelty is meted out on dogs, in public, every year...
    I know a woman in our town who would happily chain herself to every tree destined for the chop, so concerned is she about the ever-decreasing and wanton erosion of Green spaces.
    And one of my colleagues is fighting tooth and nail to prevent girls from going through forced marriages against their will, being sold by their families as a commodity...

    We all have something we feel so strongly about, that we might even lay our reputation on the line for our principles.
    We can't all necessarily be passionate about the same thing.
    But we can all be passionate about something.

    And that passion should be respected for the strength of feeling it engenders.

    I must be personally cautious though, to not criminalise or condemn those who choose to continue purchasing and using single-use plastic, for example, simply because they want to, or do not care as much as I do about what such material is doing to the environment.

    Because I don't know what that person's passion is. And I might not feel as strongly as they do about it... As I said, we can't all wave every banner going. It would just be too exhausting. But we can share the path all waving our own. There's plenty of room for everyone. And Passion can be invigorating. It is a sign we still have that spark, that incentive, to be bold, to be vocal and to act.

    Bunkslobster
  • ZenshinZenshin East Midlands UK Veteran

    Given my childhood, I have a lot of reasons to hate, so does my girlfriend - we both have mental health problems due to childhood abuse, it led me into drug abuse which caused my schizophrenia. She still holds on to her anger, I don't I have forgiven the people who hurt me, as the Buddha said holding on to anger and hatred is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.

    It helps if you have the insight that karma really does operate - at least in the sense that there is very little in the way of free will unless one has mindful non-attachment to one's thoughts and feelings - hatred like anything else is a conditioned response - the rsult of the thousands of skillful and unskillful decisions one has made in ones life, as well as the responses made by ones parents, teachers, siblings, their society and the thousands of responses made by their ancestors and down all their previous lives if your into the whole rebirth thing. Just be thankful that your conditioning and responses have led you to the Dharma - you must have done something right.

    Kill 'em all and let god sort it out? No thanks. As a guy said to me once in a mental hospital many years ago when I was a comitted anti-fascist - death to all fanatics - it made me think.

    lobsterperson
  • ZenshinZenshin East Midlands UK Veteran
    edited June 20

    Its not the hatred or anger and desire that is the problem, if they are present in the sakkaya-ditthi then they are there its attaching to them and believing they belong to you that is, let them be and let go of them, both anger and desire are mainifestations of the same force within your mind - desire for something to be and desire for something not to be.

    Metta isn't some soppy, think pink all encompassing gooiness wher e you love your enemies its more an attitude of radical non-judgemental acceptance of the world and its faults.

    Someone once said to Ajahn Sumedho that they hated someone and really felt like doing them some serious harm, Luang Por Sumedho's reply was that "You haven't though have you?" when they replied in the negative he told them "Well then your practicing metta!"

    Thanks for this thread @Yorkshireman, I had a decison to make tomorrow that might have made me violate Buddhist ethics, you have helped me decide to do the right thing.

    lobsterpersonShoshin
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @federica said:
    I'm sure there's a chance @Kundo feels she's being 'got at'. That's not my intention. She has already experienced, I know, an excessive amount of harassment at the hands of those she once considered friends, and I'm reluctant to make any further comment because that's not a feeling I would want her to have. Not here, not on my watch, and so I unreservedly apologise if that's what happened, or was in danger of happening. I hope she can forgive any slight I might have caused.

    I think everyone, pushed to admit such a thing, may well admit to an passion they feel utterly and completely strong about. Right now, for me, it's the sheer and utter wanton destruction of this planet through society's cavalier attitude to rubbish, recycling and the decimation of wildlife, both on land and in sea.
    I have also been fairly vocal about the still-current and prevalent attitude of sexism and Misogyny that is rife both socially and commercially...
    A friend of mine is tirelessly campaigning for the total ban on Chinese so-called 'Festivals' where unspeakable and indescribable cruelty is meted out on dogs, in public, every year...
    I know a woman in our town who would happily chain herself to every tree destined for the chop, so concerned is she about the ever-decreasing and wanton erosion of Green spaces.
    And one of my colleagues is fighting tooth and nail to prevent girls from going through forced marriages against their will, being sold by their families as a commodity...

    We all have something we feel so strongly about, that we might even lay our reputation on the line for our principles.
    We can't all necessarily be passionate about the same thing.
    But we can all be passionate about something.

    And that passion should be respected for the strength of feeling it engenders.

    I must be personally cautious though, to not criminalise or condemn those who choose to continue purchasing and using single-use plastic, for example, simply because they want to, or do not care as much as I do about what such material is doing to the environment.

    Because I don't know what that person's passion is. And I might not feel as strongly as they do about it... As I said, we can't all wave every banner going. It would just be too exhausting. But we can share the path all waving our own. There's plenty of room for everyone. And Passion can be invigorating. It is a sign we still have that spark, that incentive, to be bold, to be vocal and to act.

    I don't feel got at so much because to be honest, this is a regular occurrence. Actually what I can't understand is why I'M the bad Buddhist because I choose not to forgive what happened, according to various posts. I don't dwell on it, live my life for it etc. I'm also somewhat bemused that if this was about any other "social issue" no one would tell me what I should be feeling.

    My experiences are just that - mine. No one has the right to tell me how I should interpret my experience, just as I have no right to tell an intersex, trans, or other person subject to experiences outside the norm how to feel shrugs

    Now, some of you may think I'm being a snowflake or whatever. That's not on me either.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    why I'M the bad Buddhist

    The only person who expressed that is you.
    You are not all good or all bad, you are not all forgiving and light, you are not all fanatic and uber-Buddhist. In short you are capable of hate. I hate that. I'M the bad Buddhist ... :3

    Here to be helpless O.o

    seeker242
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited June 20

    @Kundo said:
    I don't feel got at so much because to be honest, this is a regular occurrence. Actually what I can't understand is why I'M the bad Buddhist

    I don't see anyone saying that. All I see is people answering the question posed in the post. Which is quite reasonable given that this is a Buddhist forum and there are extensive Buddhist teaching on that topic.

    lobsterShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I don’t think @kundo is being a bad Buddhist? She can have her views on this, and they seem to be a lot more personal than mine. Not forgiving is ok too, although you may find that it eventually ends up becoming a barrier.

    My mother the other day told a story about my grandfather, that he had been part of a circle of anti-German friends here in the Netherlands when the country was occupied during the Second World War. And one day he was walking in town only to find that some of those friends had been picked up and were being lined up against the wall and shot by German troops. So he had a lucky escape, it could have been him.

    But in my family that’s rather far removed from me. My mother and father were born after the war, and went through the whole flower power movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s before I was born and during my early years. It was something that defined their generation, just as the war defined my grandfather’s generation and the internet has defined my generation.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran

    Hate the act, not the 'person'.

    The Mother

    “When your mother has grown older,
    When her dear, faithful eyes
    no longer see life as they once did,
    When her feet, grown tired,
    No longer want to carry her as she walks –

    Then lend her your arm in support,
    Escort her with happy pleasure.
    The hour will come when, weeping, you
    Must accompany her on her final walk.

    And if she asks you something,
    Then give her an answer.
    And if she asks again, then speak!
    And if she asks yet again, respond to her,
    Not impatiently, but with gentle calm.

    And if she cannot understand you properly
    Explain all to her happily.
    The hour will come, the bitter hour,
    When her mouth asks for nothing more.”

    Adolf Hitler, 1923.

    lobsterBigsby123
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited July 20

    If a man came to you on fire and you had a water bucket, however small, perhaps it was only a cup of water, even if your water cup could never dose the extent of the flames covering his body, would you try your best to dose the fire as quickly as possible even if you could not get all of it? Or would you waste time on having the man-on-fire reflect about what happened in his life that caused him to be in this condition and then offer remedial assistance? Would you stop ask question if he had, if fact, set himself fire and withhold your sprinkling if he had?

    Kindness is a cup of water. It might not be enough to save a burning man, but it can help. You can choose to drink it yourself or cast it on the man's burning flesh. Casting a cup of kindness on the flesh of the burning man does not mean saying "its okay, what you did wasn't so bad." It does not require you to embrace the burning man and join him in the fire of his particular sin, setting both of you uselessly ablaze so you can both die in the consuming fires.

    This bhikṣu, to all there were to see, whether bhikṣu, bhikṣuṇī, upāsaka, upāsikā, to all obediently bowed in praise and said: ‘I deeply revere you all, never daring to disparage any. Why is this? You all, each and every, tread the bodhisattva path and will attain Buddhahood’

    (Sadāparibhūtanāmabhikṣuparivarta Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra T262.50c14, Division of the Monk named Never-Disparaging, Sermon on the White Lotus of the Good Law)

    person
  • cazcaz Veteran

    @Yorkshireman said:
    The 5th verse in the dhammapada says:

    For never here do hatreds cease by hatred. By freedom from hatred they cease: This is a perennial truth

    I understand the meaning, but struggle with how one can not hate someone like Hitler, or if you'd been raped as a 12 year old by a group of adult males.

    I do understand that even in those circumstances forgiveness is still an essential thing even if it is very difficult to do.

    But if there was no hatred towards Hitler then we would not have fought back and we would not have defeated Nazism.

    I feel that verse 5 is right, but struggling to fully rationalise and comprehend it in all situations.

    It is best to distinguish between the person and the delusions, everyone including Hitler and child molesters have Buddha potential (and will eventually realize it), Buddhism is not pacifist in all circumstances as this is unwise, if there is something you can do to prevent evil and suffering please act with wisdom and compassion to accomplish this.

    Bunks
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