October 11, 2023

My buddy Josh reposted
Everyone thinks that hate and love are somehow opposite forces. They are not. They are the same force, facing opposite directions...Love turned the wrong way has killed as many as hate. *Reason*, young wizard, is the opposite of hate, not love.
Jim Butcher, Battle Ground (Dresden Files)
And you see this turned-around-ness when you talk about what we're seeing in the Middle East right now - when because of historical animosity and conflict, love of one's group seems to demand hatred of another.

Another commenter referenced this quote:
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
Elie Wiesel
I had forgotten it went past the first sentence, but I tried to wrestle that into my own smaller set of problems.. my ability to let emotions that I don't think will serve me wither on the vine and not giving them water... all as opposed to the recognition that emotions are kind of the point of it all, and there can be no human motion without emotion.
It took me a few tries to label the horizontal axis; at first I thought it went from "logic to emotion" (which is kind of the point of the Butcher quote) and then "objective to subjective". (but that's not quite fair...many things people Hate are very hateable for objective reasons.) So I realized that really it's that sense of Connection that makes it...

I live a lot in the top left corner. Some of that comes from a life that has been relatively easy, some of it comes from appreciating hardly anyone is bad on purpose, they're just serving goods that may or may not be objectively worthy, some of it comes from my intense discomfort from being confidently incorrect, from making a strong judgement that later turns out to be wrong, and so I give everything (maybe too much of) the benefit of the doubt.

I think some interpretations of Buddhism and Non-attachment are on that left side, which seems to put it at odds with my interpretation of Wiesel's admonitions. Maybe that's where loving-kindness meditation is trying to work from, and get back to the love without losing some of the benefits of the left side.

Just like the snacker, a snack contains multitudes, belying the monosyllabic limitations of the word itself. It's like that old proverb: *Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are.* Show me what you reach for when you're hungry, or procrastinating, or bored, or trying desperately to sublimate your emotions, and, well.
I've been thinking about even the slightest technical challenge gets me up out of my office chair, and that often gets me to the kitchen, though usually a bite of something will suffice. I think back in the office days I was better able to turn to my big water glass...