A weekly dose of dauntlessly dealt reality from the What It Is Wednesday Blog Carnival…
In the last week media coverage has seized upon the Standford rape case, the culprit’s father’s reaction to his sentencing, and the Orlando shooting. In the reporting of each of these stories media radically biased the shit out of the reporting, because for some reason, the events, themselves, weren’t awful enough. I like to think that we know what hate is, and that when we see it manifest in violence, we all stand united on the basis that it’s wrong and in compassion for those personally affected by it. The sad reality is I’m wrong.
There’s a lot of deliberation these days about whether hate is a mental illness, if we can chalk up someone’s hatred of a person or group to something gone wrong in the psyche. I’m not the person to gauge that, though I do see hate as layers of many experiences twisted by passionate direct revelation. I’ve long studied the Jungian journey of the hero, which in essence is the path of initiation. This path begins with the revelation of a dynamic that has become problematic and can’t stay the same for the individual to feel well. So begins the methodical stripping of the familiar, inlaid with crisis and elements of aid that generate a radically changed perception of self and the initial dynamic, which result in victorious mastery of the crisis and creation of a new norm.
In the shamanic perspective of this progression, the result is also acclaimed by a community, which then views the individual as triumphant, a hero, and/or wise in the life areas impacted by the journey. The process has shaped the individual as fit to be a leader. This entire process can be summed up in the animistic viewpoint as coming into direct revelation with the initial dynamic. The projected sociopsychological wrappings of the dynamic were stripped away, so that direct contact and interaction could shape passionate personal perspective. In short, initiation is a mystical experience of compounded passion and inspiration. It’s heady stuff. When we talk about the path of initiation, we assume it’s for positive outcome, for growth. Those things, of course, are all in the eye of the beholder.
I lay this process out carefully, because none of us are born hating. We learn to hate. Whether we’re discussing an individual electing to rape someone, or a group or individual carrying out a terrorist act, pre-dating that conclusion was an initiation that ignited passion to carry out the act. This is the truth of hate crimes that I have only recently begun to understand. Standing on the sideline and stating how horrible something is doesn’t account for the perps who didn’t who didn’t think it was horrible, or other onlookers who don’t think it was.
In understanding why a person carries out a hate crime, it isn’t about why they hate, so much as understanding what twisted inside them during that passionate initiation to result in a drive to harm. And we can never understand that.
We are being confronted with this reality all too often. My only recourse for it is to be informed, to speak out, and to act on behalf of those most often targeted with hate.
And to not hate back.
What about you?
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