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  • Writer's pictureBarry Shirley


Hi Guys. In this November 2022 blog (Issue 34), I contemplate the question of; ‘Why Do We Hate?’.

As in my previous blogs, I will draw on the views and opinions of past and current masters, sages, mystics, gurus, philosophers and generally wise people. I also tap into worldly belief systems, religions and philosophies to draw on ancient knowledge and wisdom. So, if you are beginning to realise there is more to this life than you think, and you have the merest hint of something happening in yourself – read on.

These monthly blog posts are designed for those interested in mindfulness/spirituality/philosophy and will only give you a taste of the information, knowledge and wisdom that is out there (and all points raised can easily be further researched). I must emphasise that I am simply coordinating the knowledge and information that I am able to access, gather and present with lots of excerpts. I will also include text from my previous blogs as appropriate.

There are numerous factors contributing to hate. I have already covered the so called ‘tribal trap’ in my September blog (issue 32) which I consider a major factor to the development of hate. A number of my previous blogs provide some knowledge and reasoning to resist the relentless propaganda stream from extremists propounding anti- humanist views as to how they think people should function!

When hate and fear arises, wars and other conflicts happen all too often, allowing death, destruction, violence and chaos to be the norm.

According to the United Nations and the Council on Foreign Relations ‘Global Conflict Tracker’, conflict and violence are on the rise and globally there are currently 27 ongoing conflicts (wars) worldwide.,currently%2027%20ongoing%20conflicts%20worldwide

We are now living in a post truth period of fake news, misinformation and disinformation and social media has been weaponised with bots and trolls pedalling hate. It would seem there is very little privacy regarding our personal data. This data is routinely onsold and algorithms are then turned back on us through all media to post conspiracies, hysteria and propaganda (the question could be debated that all social media platforms have completely hijacked the truth and in general, corruption, fraud, waste and abuse usually follows.). It also seems obvious that fake stories get more traction than real stories!

It would also appear that all populist leaders use this facility to aid their own propaganda machines to convince people, using lies and hate, to influence human behaviour for their own means. For instance, where governments are, in effect, one party states with a single state-controlled, censored multimedia source, once they convince the populace that whatever they are doing is for the safety of the population, they can and do, generally what they want.

This concept is straight from the recent history of the world. On July 12, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined the historical basis for his claims against Ukraine in an essay. He ends his essay declaring, “I am confident that the true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia.”

This publicly declared rationale for the invasion of Ukraine is starkly reflected in Jason Stanley’s book, How Fascism Works (2020). He states; “Fascist politics, by contrast, characteristically contains within it a demand to mythologize the past, creating a version of national heritage that is a weapon for political gain.”

I have previously covered the aspects of modern propaganda (misinformation, censorship, disinformation and lies intended to deceive) and the so called ‘fake news’ phenomenon in the context of internet-based media platforms. Please check out my previous blog posts on ‘Deep Fake Humanity’ (issue 26) – ‘How False and Misleading Information Can Affect Our Human And Spiritual Experience’ (issue 23) – ‘Resisting Fake News’ (issue 15) and, ‘Using Hindu Philosophy To Understand The Concept of Fake News’ (issue 11).

There are, in fact, a great number of other factors that lead into this contemplation of hate, including but not limited to, human activity in regard to deforestation, famine, our insatiable demand for earth’s resources, population growth and refugee movement, land grabs by nation states and climate change etc.

Interestingly, in the UK there is an institute studying hate called the HateLab providing the latest news and research worldwide. Its supporting organisations include the Cardiff University UK and the UK Economic and Social Research Council. Its own blurb states; ‘HateLab is a global hub for data and insight into hate speech and crime. We use data science methods, including ethical forms of AI, to measure and counter the problem of hate both online and offline.’

Similarly, in the USA the Gonzaga University at Spokane in the state of Washington houses the Gonzaga Center for the Study of Hate. Its blurb states; ‘This is our magis (NB Latin for more, better) – to work against hate and in solidarity for a world with greater justice.’

Further online research shows numerous organisations endeavouring to counter and understand hate – which is somewhat heartening. See the following websites which are a small representation:

Also, in the US, we recently saw the plaintiffs win the civil trial of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who has been ordered to pay $965m USD in damages after falsely claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax. Mr Jones pedalled pure hate and disinformation and has long claimed on his radio show and InfoWars website that the Sandy Hook Elementary school attack was "completely fake" and a "giant hoax". Twenty children - all under the age of seven - and six adults were killed. Mr Jones had implied that the parents are actors seeking to undermine laws allowing private gun ownership. The parents were harassed and some even received death threats from Mr Jones’ followers.

Some of us are aware of the digital social credit law which applies to every citizen (social contract with the government) in China and relates to your ‘behaviour’, restricting movement and benefits if any so-called infringement occurs.

In countries such as Bangladesh you cannot criticize the government in any way – even if you use the ‘Like’ button on Facebook, for instance, regarding some dissent you are open to arrest under the Digital Security Act.

The Human Rights Watch organisation in their 2022 report regarding Bangladesh indicates; Authorities use the Digital Security Act (DSA) to harass and indefinitely detain journalists, activists, and others critical of the government, resulting in a chilling effect on expression of dissent. In March, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for an overhaul of the DSA. Instead, the Law Ministry approved a proposal to expand the number of special tribunals specifically for these types of ‘cyber-crimes.’

Are we currently in an era when it appears that the futuristic dystopian novels of George Orwell (‘1984’) and Margaret Attwood (‘The Handmaid’s tale’) are turning into reality?

Even if this is not actually the case, in general, there is some reassurance to be had from the ancient wisdom of eastern philosophy and related belief systems.

Many have used the principles and values of this wisdom to seek justice and a fairer world, including Mahatma Gandhi (1869/1948) who used a non-violent tactic called satyagraha (Sanskrit word meaning ‘truth force’), to galvanise Indian independence from the British Empire. Gandhi was prominent as an Indian lawyer who, in India and South Africa, during the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights. He was considered the Father of the Indian Nation for leading successful nonviolent campaigns for India’s independence from the British Raj. He was imprisoned many times in India and South Africa.

As well as the concept of satyagraha, he employed the ancient Indian Vedic concept of Ahimsa in his campaigns (the Vedas date back 4,000 + years). Ahimsa is also a Sanskrit word meaning ‘absence of injury’ or ‘non harm’. The sage Patanjali compiled the ‘8 limbed Yoga sutras’ sometime around 350 CE which included Ahimsa in its ethical, moral and societal guidelines.

These guidelines are an important spiritual doctrine shared by Hindu, Buddhism and Jainism followers where kindness and compassion were a given. Yoga is a Sanskrit word means ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’ and leads to the union of individual consciousness to that of the Universal Consciousness. Thus, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, Man and Nature. Patanjali, some two centuries after Jesus, indicates that failure to follow the guidelines will result in much suffering for an individual.

Eastern philosophy and Vedanta (i.e. the most ancient scriptures of India whose basic teaching is, that our real nature is divine) in particular, can provide guidelines for humanity. The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Sanskrit Hindu teaching at least 3-5 thousand plus years old.

The Gita basically describes an allegorical battle between the forces of ego and the higher Self, it does this with dialogue between Krishna, as the Supreme Soul teaching the warrior Arjuna (representing the best but flawed aspects of humanity) how to defeat the ego forces and discover the higher Self, (The Gita is considered a mostly secular practical guide on living a spiritual life).

The entire text is a representation of the battle that goes on in our minds and represents a blueprint for solving the ethical and moral struggles of human life. In the text, Krishna also explains to Arjuna his duty to himself and others and the ultimate meaning and order of existence. Krishna reminds Arjuna that the Self is the ultimate goal of human experience.

At Chapter 12 Sloka (verse) 13 Krishna indicates “Not hating any being, friendly and compassionate, free from attachment and egoism, balanced in pain and forgiving.”

In Swami A. Parthasarathy’s translation and interpretation of this verse and similar others, he states; “You are constituted of the supreme Self and the body, mind and intellect. When you identify with these material equipments (i.e. the senses and the ego) you see other beings different from you. You develop a sense of otherness towards beings. You compete, quarrel with and hate them. But when you shift your focus of attention to the Self within, when you identify with the Self, you realise the oneness of beings. You see other beings as your own Self. Just as you see different parts of your body as yourself. Hatred thus yields to harmony, love and devotion.”

The ego (ahankara in Sanskrit) is not only a saboteur of your own interactions with others but is a driving force of hate, once coupled with misinformation, disinformation and conspiracy theories. Only an awareness of your emotions from both a psychological perspective and a spiritual Self-awareness (i.e. understanding of consciousness) can combat or reduce the ego agitation.

The following table is useful to help in understanding how ego and awareness of the Self are separately manifest.

“Becoming Self-Aware requires that you master recognizing your ego and that you understand ego is a functional part of your mind, instead of the essence of who you are. The challenge of being aware of your ego is that your mind has been programmed to believe it (ego) is you.” -


  • “There is only one war, the war within ourselves, which produces external wars.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti - 1895/1986 - (California 1st public talk 26 May 1940) - Indian philosopher, author, public speaker.

  • “Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it’s dark.” – Zen proverb – i.e. Zen is a Japanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism that aims at enlightenment by direct intuition through meditation.

  • “I used to think that you could defeat hate…. What I realised is hate just hides under rocks, and what happens is when people come along and breathe oxygen into it, it comes roaring back out.” – Joe Biden, 46th US President (on 20/5/21 at the signing of the COVID Hate Crimes Act ).

  • “We men and women are all in the same boat, upon a stormy sea. We owe each other a terrible and tragic loyalty.” – G.K.Chesterton 1874/1936 – English writer and philosopher.

  • “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Martin Luther King Jr – 1929/1968 – American Baptist Minister and civil rights activist (assassinated 1968)

  • ….” Democracy cannot survive contempt. Democracy is about cultivating a common life even in the presence of serious disagreement. Contempt is about having no life in common at all.” – Waleed Aly – Australian broadcaster, author and academic.

  • Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own and no other culture but its own. Pity the nation whose breath is money and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed. Pity the nation – oh pity the people who allow their rights to erode and their freedoms to be washed away.” – Lawrence Ferlinghetti - 1919/1921 – American poet, painter and social activist.

Take away

  • All humans have the capacity to hate – we are bombarded by the internet/media with hate, intolerance, unfairness and violence. Remember, the internet is an advertising platform not a library – be cautious and use reasoning, logic and intuition for all information on there.

  • There is a peaceful future – we don’t want to go backwards – use humility, kindness, compassion, eastern philosophy, inner knowledge/intuition – seek the truth – we can easily unlearn to hate – seek equanimity.

  • Physical community is also part of the answer – COVID showed that we can come together and care for each other – we are all the same with the same wants, needs, and fears.

  • Embrace ahimsa and equanimity to counter any aspects of hate – don’t judge, try to understand other’s perspectives – everyone has worth.

  • Once again, Ego is shown to be the enemy of any humanistic and compassionate, kind approach to each other – make choices to better understand how to respond calmly and reasonably rather than reacting without reason.

  • Also, try yoga, along with meditation – a natural combination for achieving overall well-being. If already practicing yoga and meditation – go deeper – both higher vibration activities! Nourish your mind body and spirit! Check out Yoga at the Makai Yoga Collective, Ocean Grove, Victoria, practiced in the ‘Garden Room.’

Compiled by Baz Shirley.


*See also:

Instagram: @bazabstractart - Facebook: Barry Shirley

And all my previous posts on:

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