Revenge & Hatred

Here are some ideas of mine on the two IF Blog articles by Klaus Hnilica: ”Only Forgiving Will Set You Free“ and ”Revenge Will Make You Strong“ (Nur Verzeihen befreit“ und „Rache gibt Kraft).

Schwarz Hass RacheHatred is the most hideous brother of revenge. Because hatred and revenge are an obscure pair of siblings who will delight in their negative activities and feed off each other.

They belong together – revenge will cause hatred and hatred will call for revenge.

It will easily turn into: “As long as … , hatred will be my office and revenge will be my virtue!“ – just like Kleist said it in his Hermannsschlacht.

As a pair, this black couple will generate an eternal circle of misery that will often self-reproduce – more often than not in the disguise of grotesque morals.

The wish for revenge might well be something we can easily understand. After all, you hope to find a release for your own pain by causing similar or even worse pain for the person you hate.

Hatred as such, however, is a true paradox. If I hate someone, then I would wish to harm him. Except that the effect of my hatred is totally different. Because the person I hate will feel just as comfortable as if I did not hate him or her. Hatred directed against a third party will damage me. It will turn against myself and make me feel even worse. The person I hate might even delight in my hatred, because I am ruining myself in the process.

Hatred is especially absurd if directed towards the past. That is, if hatred is directed against a person I cannot reach in space and time. A person who might not even know of my existence. For instance if said person is already dead. Then my hatred will be nothing but self-destruction. And in this case, it would be a good idea for us to be beyond the phase of blood-revenge.

There is an easy conclusion to be drawn from this:    
It would be best if I did not let hatred find the way into my heart and life – then I will not need revenge, either. And then I can also safe the energy it takes to practice forgiveness.  After all, I no longer need forgiveness in order to beat my hatred.

The other side of forgiveness, i.e. helping the “enemy” to get rid of his guilt feeling – if such feelings are present – can then be used very deliberately.

And once in a while, not without inwardly smiling, I will refrain from externally forgiving. Why should I forgive someone I do not like – if I am at peace with myself and do not let myself be concerned with the injuries I suffered? Some of them will only have taken place in my head, anyway! Inside, I already forgave, because I no longer hate.

If you look at it with this in mind, not hating is a rather desirable goal. It should be learned and practiced and probably only “the wise ones” and “the best” will ever achieve it. It has a lot to do with sovereignty. Which is not something you come by easily.
Many thanks to Klaus for both his nice articles.

(Translated by EG)

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