From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate. – Socrates
What does that mean?
Sometimes seen as “Hatred arrives from deepest desires.” this quote, while not definitely sourced, is still quite interesting to me, and still applicable today.
This quote is about very strong emotions. Deep desire is a powerful motivator, especially when thwarted. And deep desire often goes unfulfilled.
These very strong emotions, being less than fulfilled, can lead to other equally strong emotions. Usually that shows up as a great hatred or rage.
That alone should be a strong argument against living in a strong emotional state for any length of time. Emotions are good, but they still need bounds.
Why is being careful about our desires important?
As the quote says, left unchecked and unfulfilled, these emotions can swing us from one extreme to the other, and with terrible consequences. From hatred springs many terrible thoughts and if acted on, terrible results. From kidnapping to murder, the deadliest hate spring from the deepest desires.
This quote is specific of desire turning to hate, which is usually a covetous love or a desirous wanting, but a similar problem can occur when one desires things and then turns to theft or destruction. Other parallel examples can be found throughout the emotional range of a human, and most end poorly.
The central idea is that we can only maintain a high level of emotion for a certain period of time. If we don’t get the reward we believe we should, that same level of energy can no longer be maintained in that direction, and it often turns in the exact opposite direction. The hating of one once desired and even loved, is a prime example.
The cure for it isn’t to have no emotions, but to keep them in some level of check. Being aware is key to this, and (unfortunately) the people who most need this skill tend to be those who have the least skill or ability. While some are beyond the help of a humble layperson, some may respond to a friend.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Anyone who has ever been stalked understands, both the deep desire portion of the experience and the hatred portion are terrible times to have to live through. Those are very trying times and can leave quite a scar emotionally even if no physical scars are incurred. And they can last a lifetime.
So, obviously if you are stalking someone or obsessed with someone to the point of being deeply desirous, please take a moment and reexamine your thoughts and feelings. That said, most of us are nowhere near that extreme of a position in our emotions, although sometimes we may edge towards the danger zone.
What is the danger zone? That will vary from person to person, but it would be somewhere just on the far side of control. When any emotion gets beyond control, we have entered a dangerous zone. Such a place is not a good place for us or for those around us. Being able to clearly see that we have gone beyond control is both important and difficult.
Often strong emotions cloud the judgement as well as our ability to observe, both ourselves and others. That is just one of the many reasons not to let our emotions get out that far ahead of us. And mind altering substances only make our ability to monitor and keep our emotions under control that much more difficult.
But I’m sure we’re all doing fine, it’s that person over there, a friend or a new acquaintance, who is really out of control. Ok, so what can you do, what are you willing to do, to help? And please notice that those are two very different questions. Your answers might save them from embarrassment, regret or something far worse.
If they’re just overacting due to a temporary condition, a bad state of mind due to recent events or something mood altering which they have taken, just getting them to calm down or move away from the thing on which they are focused may be sufficient. Then again, it might not.
You aren’t required to try, but it would be the kind thing to do, both for them and for the object of their inappropriate desire. And in moments such as these, without help, someone can easily make the transition from deep desire to deadly hate.
While as individuals we are responsible for our own actions, helping others is a noble calling. What can you do, what are you willing to do?
From: Twitter, @Sports_HQ
confirmed at : Widely cited but not directly attributed, it is still an interesting topic.
photo by Patrik Nygren