Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Despise the Sinner?

Gagdad Bob says that a big part of what it means to be spiritual is to be keen on distinguishing between good and evil and resolute at despising the evildoer as well as the evil that he does. He says that anyone who counsels loving the evildoer is naive at best, and he seems to imply that any allegedly great spiritual figure who counsels this is a phony.

But when someone asks him which truly great spiritual figures exhort us to despise anyone for any reason, he falls silent. He does the same when he's asked about the biblical injunction to "hate the sin but love the sinner." A commentator quotes
Frithjof Schuon to the effect that it's OK to love the sinner but not the evildoer. But when he's asked to explain the difference between evildoing and sin, he too has nothing more to say.

Is it ever spiritually desirable to hate or despise someone? Does any great spiritual figure or document tell us to do this? Does anyone's spiritual heart of hearts tell him or her to do this?

Mine certainly doesn't. Does Gagdad Bob's?

4 comments:

WH said...

In Buddhism, we are taught to hate no one. One of the meditations for this focuses on the realization that any being could once have been your mother in another life.

Another element of this is that all sentient beings contain Buddhanature whether they manifest it or not.

A final element is that at the absolute level, we are all one. To hate another is to hate oneself.

Bob is a Blue/Orange person with a very narrow worldview. He might be kind of smart, but he isn't very compassionate.

Peace,
Bill

Nagarjuna said...

Bill, I find Buddhism's latter two reasons compelling ones for not hating anyone. A Chrisitian parallel to the second reason is that we are all created in the image of God and with the God-given capacity for free will and redemption. Be our nature Buddhanature or God-given, it seems to me that the best way to foster it in others and ourselves is not through hatred but through love. However, I wonder if it isn't difficult to try to love those we're inclined to hate without repressing the hate in an unwholesome way.

I agree that if we ARE all one, then to hate others is ultimately to hate oneself. Why would any spiritually advanced person do that, and why would anyone who aspires to become spiritually advanced want to?

One thing I find interesting about Bob is that he DOES appear to be, as you say, a "Blue/Orange person." But where in even in his own blue-orange value system does he find justification for hating people as opposed to hating only their sins?

Namaste,
Steve

Jess said...

Me, myself and I don't think there is ever a time for hating anyone as you know. You can hate the behaviors and actions but not the person. We don't know why the person acts the way they do. What life circumstance they have had and so on. It just makes for a more pleasing time here on this rock we all share, to get along and sing Kumbaya in parking lots at sunset. Ok, the Kumbaya part took it too far. But that is a joke, intended for the benefit of the lurkers here. My own opinion on it, is life is too short to go around with such negative feelings towards someone else. The energy it takes for hate is just way too much a drain on your own energy.

dr.alistair said...

absolute love for the self allows you to let the entanglement of hate pass by. there are too many important moments to witness to be held in anger over the actions of others.