L´earning to Love
Gloria Ornelas Hall
HateLearning to love requires reflecting on the inner movements of the soul. We have to develop spiritual literacy to ‘read’ significance into every day. ‘Reading’ actually means ‘piecing together’ and it is the associations we make of everything that happens, that allows us to thread a single pattern of meaning for that day.
Take yesterday. A friend told me of an inexplicable atrocity: an adopted daughter stabbed her adoptive mother to death. I was horrified and shocked at the evil we are capable of, as humans, as we destroy the very love we are offered. So I chose to contemplate on the meaning of ‘hatred’, questioning my Higher Self, as I looked for answers throughout the day.
Where does evil come from? Is it a natural quality in man or is it only some men who are evil. Does evil come from an external force or ‘d’evil’? Do we learn it? Is it inherited? Is it ‘payback’ for social injustice? If God created everything, did He also create evil? Perhaps it's all the above.
Undoubtedly we need Evil to know God-ness. Neale Donald Walsch wrote a lovely parable for children in “The Little Soul and the Sun”, where two little angels decide to play out a human saga where one has to hurt the other, for them to know and experience forgiveness and love.“..But please, promise me you won’t forget who I am, when I hurt you”, pleaded the one who was to play out ‘the evil one’.
Hate is not the opposite of love. The opposite of love is fear…fear of being unloved, or worse still, unlovable. Such desolation (lat: without sun) renders us hopeless, unable to love and be loved.Hate (which etymologically came from fate) is the end by-product of a growing chain of destructive attitudes, behavior and distorted interpretations stemming from anger, rage, wrath and envy. It is the shadow side of love. Evil is born of meanness (stingy) and cruelty.
I remember bearing a deep grudge with self-piteous resentment against my life-long sworn lover, when he left me. The passion of Eros (Life) he had enkindled turned sour into Tanatos (Death). I felt dead. Life wasn´t possible, without him. My soul was amputated and my heart literally torn out; so much so, that I couldn’t feel anymore. I became hardened and insensitive clamming my soul shut from love, much as a child throwing a tantrum and saying ‘Well, if this is the way it’s going to be, I’m not playing’.
Time, with its blessed drips of eternity, heals everything. Now, I thank my lover because he added a string to my heart and the music I now play is richer and infinitely more beautiful. So what we hate passionately, may be the pain of love.
However, the evil of this child, was still inexplicable.
By night, I saw a documentary on the different cerebral wavelengths registered in Functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI). They tested someone in deep anguish and compared it to that of a Tibetan monk in contemplation. When he was asked to meditate on the word “Compassion”, the nervous itching of the spikes on the cerebral encephalogram stopped and regular long, lasting curves traced the paced register of peace. Suddenly, the answer to my plight struck me.
It’s not about extremes: Right /wrong; good/bad; evil/kindness but about the neutralizing effect of a third integrating attribute- Love. We have to recognize and dialogue with our shadow-selves to fully accept and understand our dual nature, in Love.