Hatred as a Conditioned Reaction

The title of this post itself might come off as rather strange given the nature of the class and the content of the curriculum and the readings thus far. I thought, however, it would be interesting to really examine in myself why hatred arises, and what was the central cause of that.

There are a few interesting quotes which frame this section and analysis which I would like to lay out below.

“If there is a solution, then what is the point of dejection? What is the point of dejection if there is no solution? (50)

“There is nothing which remains difficult if it is practised. So, through practice with minor discomforts, even major discomforts become bearable” (51)

“Therefore, even if one sees an enemy or a friend behaving badly, one can reflect that there are specific conditioning factors that determine this, and thereby remain happy” (53)

I think this can act as a good starting point for my reflection, and it can provide an interesting frame of reference for truly understanding hatred. One of the arguments which is made in the reading appears to be this notion of control in the sense of understanding what you have control over and what you don’t. If there is something which you have control over, you can change it, and if you don’t then there is simply no use in worrying about it. This idea makes a lot of intuitive sense, but, for me, it does not seem to strike at or really seek to unveil the root of the problem.

The quote on pg. 53 and the analysis on the fact that there are different conditioning factors which leads someone to behave angry appears to act as a refutation to the above that there are things which one can have control over. This analysis almost seems to suggest that the way we act is predetermined because of the fact that there is No Self, and we are a part of a causal stream. What confuses me is that if we can justify the actions of an enemy or a friend through this, then why can’t we justify the actions of ourself.

In a way, that’s where the last quote on page 51 comes in. There does seem to be a path of training, but because everything is dependent on everything else, it seems to be confusing what can make one participate in this practice in the first place. Does it not seem fated that either one will train or not train as that is how the interconnectedness of the universe finds itself to be?

Thus, it seems that hatred is an inevitable result of other dependent factors, and in a way it removes the responsibility and onus from individuals for their feelings and actions as the causes of it were inevitable. I might be misunderstanding this, but as of what I do understand, this seems to be extremely hard to reconcile with the fact that one can have the ability to choose to strive to remove these conditions.

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