I am in a hateful mood. I am in a get-even mood. Do I need to give a reason? There are so many. Conflicts and wars around the world. Terrorism. Beheadings, kidnappings and barbarism. Poverty. Income and social inequality. The corporatacracy, the oligarchy and plutocrats. Need I go on? Pick one or pick any other of your choice, whatever makes you feel the hate welling up inside you.
But be forewarned. These emotions take a physical toll. One pays a heavy price for sustaining them. I know that when I am in a hateful mood I feel sick, I can’t sleep, and I can’t turn off my mind. I put out all this negative energy even when I rationalize that the hate is justified; that I’ve been used, that I’ve been taken advantage of, that I’ve not been allowed to lead the life I foresaw myself living, thanks to this fucked up country… fucked up because they dismissed those of us who saw all these problems just over the horizon more than 40 years ago and had the answers to many of them. But then, we were just “dirty, fucking hippies.”
When a person is full of hate, the logical recourse one jumps to is that of vengeance… getting even. And the mind begins to plot. Maybe it starts off with I’ll just key his car all over. And you visualize yourself keying the hood, the roof, the sides, zigzagging all over, up and down. And maybe it feels good visualizing doing that. But before you know it the mind escalates the vengeance to throwing a rock through a plate glass window, or looting a store. And that escalates to wanting to throttle someone’s throat or shooting someone in the shin. Kicking them in their caboose. Beating up the bums. Hammering their heads. Jackhammering their jaws. Oh, it is so easy to work yourself into frenzy! Can you tell yet that I am in one?
Then you go to bed at night and your mind runs through all these scenarios in detail. Before you know it you are devising the perfect crime, the perfect murder. And all that hate and vengeance, even if just imagined, can drive you crazy. And for some, those sleepy, semi-conscious imaginings carry over into the wakeful light of day or dark of night. Some actually do go crazy and make the headlines with their acts of crimes against people they think have disrespected them, or people they perceive as different from them, people whom they consider less than human, and crimes against humanity… torture, genocide, rape, and massacre of innocents. Whether it’s hate for a person, a people, a corporation, a religion, a country… hate is a pervasive emotion and it leads directly to vengeance, which leads to more hate and more vengeance, and so the cycle begins anew.
I have realized you can be aware you are going insane. Being aware you are losing your mind is scary. The mind is a tricky thing. We are everything. We are every emotion conceivable. The mind must choose to live and act in the positive universe, knowing that the negative universe exists alongside it. It’s the old yin yang. It’s a matter of will and you must will your mind to think positively. Like so many other facets in our lives, it needs discipline. How can we discipline our minds so we are only thinking positive thoughts and sending positive vibrations into the universe? How can we at least blockade those hateful thoughts and plots of vengeance? How can we be in control to the point where disciplined thought becomes habit?
I confess I have not been doing my share of sending positive vibrations into the universe. Yes, this unapologetic hippie is imperfect and struggles with these shades of insanity. I do not wish to come off as some kind of bliss ninny spouting lovely, but often, ineffectual advice about techniques of which you have heard before: yoga, tai chi, meditation, psychedelics, music, dance, exercise, and any other variation on the theme. Before you can curb unwanted negative thoughts, you need to be aware you have them. I am as guilty as the next person who knows what to do, but doesn’t do it often enough for it to become second nature to them… and therein lies the secret. It must become so habitual that it becomes part of your nature.
At this point, I could share with you what I do. I could give you detailed instructions on breathing or relaxation techniques. But what good would it do? If you are reading this you probably already know all the techniques I do… possibly more. What I do know is that every action has a reaction and subtle as they may be, your thoughts are actions. Whether the reaction happens immediately and in your vicinity or whether it happens a hundred years from now in a faraway place, I can’t say. But I feel strongly that the premise is true: every thought manifests itself eventually in the real world. I believe we call this “karma.” And Karma is gonna get ya! It’s going to get all of us!
Of course, it would be nice to have no thoughts at all… to achieve pure Being. It is not easy, but you can come close to emptying your mind of both good and bad thoughts at least for short periods of time. If you can achieve thoughtlessness for extended periods, then you have reached self-realization and nirvana. If you can do that, please contact me immediately!
For the rest of us, make good use of those short times when you are relatively free of thought. Use any mantra, tantra, yantra, or any other “trick” you have in your hippie arsenal to free yourself of all thought, and then, with intent, fill your mind with thoughts of love and peace and good will. I will do my best to live what I have just written. And if all else fails, you may invoke the old Hunga Dunga trick, “Punch Thyself!”
The Unapologetic Hippie