From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.

From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.Socrates

stalking desire

Strong desires are dangerous emotions. Stalking someone is just one sign that you’ve gone too far.

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

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6 Responses to From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.

  1. roberthambly 1 October 2016 at 1:05 am #

    From our current (US Presidential) election, I am learning to hate. It is fun (feels good that I am superior to you) and very easy (just reduce you or “that thing” to a very simple label and I can hate you (or it).

    I come from a framework of love, which requires a great deal of thought and work if I am doing it right. Hate is so much simpler which is why it is so popular with some politicians. It is very dangerous, because it can prompt the actions referred to and discussed above. Hitler took it to the extreme, and so deserves his place in infamy.

    But emotions and action are very different. I can hate you if you are damaging children, or our planet, or our democracy – all things that I love, but I am very, very cautious about hateful action.

    I think this discussion deserves more depth. Liars, cheaters, haters seem simple or superficial to me. There is simple, easy, short term gain from these activities perhaps by “unprincipled people” focused on money, not philosophy.

    “From kidnapping to murder, the deadliest hate spring from the deepest desires.” <- Even these simple sentences (from above) deserve quite a bit more thought.

    • philosiblog 25 December 2016 at 7:05 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, and sorry to be so long in responding.

      I follow most of your comment, but would challenge your assertion that you can hate (emotion) without hate (action). I believe they are one and the same. The general pattern is creation in the mind, followed by creation in reality. Holding hateful emotion is (to me) the same as pulling the trigger half way back, and claiming that you’re not doing anything dangerous.

      The follow-up to this is the following question: Without acting out in hate, what does the hateful emotion within you do to you? How does it change your attitudes, your willingness to engage, your ability to feel love and compassion in other parts of your life? I consider hateful emotions to be a slow poison, which has tangible consequences, even if you never act on them.

      I’d love to hear your response, and look forward to your thoughts on hateful emotions and their consequences.

  2. Xavier Van de Lanotte 20 August 2016 at 10:09 pm #

    Another obvious example is what we sometimes observe at sporting events…
    It’s unbelievable the lows people in groups (herds) can achieve just because they wanted their teams to win (or the damage they’ll do to their TV or living room for that matter-LOL)

    • philosiblog 10 October 2016 at 5:04 am #

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving such an interesting comment.

      I hadn’t really thought about it from a sports perspective. That is quite nice as an example. Politics could also be used as well. I love the interaction for this reason, to get a fresh view and more ideas.

  3. drewdog2060drewdog2060 21 April 2016 at 5:44 am #

    The deep desire for excitement can lead to many destructive behaviours. The problem gambler desires the thrill produced by staking what are (often) large sums of money and convinces himself that he can beat the odds, “I will win next time and recoup all my loses” etc. The logical part of his mind may be screaming “stop”! but the rush (his addictive personality) prevents him from ceasing to gamble. There are many examples of gamblers who have lost their homes and families due to an inability to control their desire to gamble. Kevin

    • philosiblog 2 May 2016 at 12:24 am #

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving such an enlightening comment.

      Indeed, humans have so many creative ways to destroy themselves through excess. Your example is yet another one. Some day we humans will find better ways to live and to deal with our own inner demons. Until then, an abundance of caution within ourselves and a willingness to intervene in the lives of our friends is all we can do.

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