Author Topic: Seth on Hatred, Powerlessness and Violence  (Read 281 times)

Offline jbseth

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Hi All,

This morning, I came across Session 673, in Chapter 21, of “The Nature of Personal Reality” and it really spoke to me. In this session Seth talks about hatred, powerlessness and violence. This particular information on powerlessness and violence made me think of the recent bombings in Sri Lanka. The information on those who commit great crimes made me think of the man in Las Vegas who armed himself with many guns and fired out his window at people attending a concert. It also made me think of the Columbine killings many years ago. The last paragraph on countries going to war, made wonder if this is what’s going on with the leader of North Korea and why he’s doing what he’s doing.

Seth’s comments and wisdom is priceless and it seems to be just as applicable today, as it was 46 years ago when he spoke these words through Jane. Check it out.
 

The following is the first few paragraphs of “The Nature of Personal Reality”, Chapter 21, Session 673.

Now: Dictation. (Slowly, to begin:) Left alone, hate does not last.

Often it is akin to love, for the hater is attracted to the object of his hatred by deep bonds. It can also be a method of communication, but it is never a steady constant state, and will automatically change if not tampered with.

If you believe that hate is wrong and evil, and then find yourself hating someone, you may try to inhibit the emotion or turn it against yourself — raging against yourself rather than another. On the other hand you may try to pretend the feeling out of existence, in which case you dam up that massive energy and cannot use it for other purposes.

In its natural state, hatred has a powerful rousing characteristic that initiates change and action. Regardless of what you have been told, hatred does not initiate strong violence. As covered earlier in this book, the outbreak of violence is often the result of a built-in sense of powerlessness. Period. (See sessions 662–63 in Chapter Seventeen.)

Many who unexpectedly commit great crimes, sudden murders, even bringing about mass death, have a history of docility and conventional attitudes, and were considered models, in fact, of deportment. All natural aggressive elements were denied in their natures, and any evidence of momentary hatred was considered evil and wrong. As a result such individuals find it difficult, finally, to express the most normal denial, or to go against their given code of conventionality and respect. They cannot communicate as, say, even animals can, with their fellow men as far as the expression of a disagreement is concerned.

(9:50.) Psychologically, only a massive explosion can free them. They feel so powerless that this adds to their difficulties — so they try to liberate themselves by showing great power in terms of violence. Some such individuals, model sons, for example, who seldom even spoke back to their parents, were suddenly sent to war and given carte blanche to release all such feelings in combat; and I am referring particularly to the last two wars (the war in Korea, 1950–53, and the war in Vietnam, 1964–73), not the Second World War.

In these wars aggressions could be released and codes still followed. The individuals were faced, however, with the horror of their violently released, pent-up hatreds and aggressions. Seeing these bloody results, they became even more frightened, more awed by what they thought of as this terrible energy that sometimes seemed to drive them to kill.

On their return home the code of behavior changed back to one suited to civilian life, and they clamped down upon themselves again as hard as they could. Many would appear as superconventional. The “luxury” of expressing emotion even in exaggerated form was suddenly denied them, and the sense of powerlessness grew by contrast.

(Pause at 9:59.) Give us a moment … This is not to be a chapter devoted to war. However, there are a few points that I do want to make. It is a sense of powerlessness that also causes nations to initiate wars. This has little to do with their “actual” world situation or with the power that others might assign to them, but to an overall sense of powerlessness — even, sometimes, regardless of world dominance.


-jbseth







Offline Deb

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Feelings of powerlessness (and also insecurity) sure can do a lot of damage.

I can see how a sense of powerlessness could cause someone to commit violence, especially if they're inclined in that direction to begin with. The Columbine shooters said they were bullied in school. Lots of kids are bullied in school, the majority of them don't think about doing something that extreme, but like Seth says in the quote "only a massive explosion can free them." That whole paragraph is very informative and feels right.

Excessive press coverage of events like this give notoriety to the killers -- such as that young girl that came here from Florida specifically for the Columbine anniversary. She had romanticized the massacre and appeared to be planning to do something on 4/20 but ended up killing herself instead. The guy in Vegas -- the FBI concluded he did it for the infamy. Things in his life were spiraling down and he was feeling like a loser. It was well planned, not a spur of the moment thing, but  can see that his frustration with his own life would make him feel powerless, and in his mind shooting a bunch of innocent people would feel like "taking charge" to him.

Seth also explains very well situations where violence is based in human differences in race, religion, you name it, in that the killers are fanatics and idealists and in a twisted way acting in the interest of 'good.' And I see here again Seth attributes it too to a sense of powerlessness!

• "Fanatics exist because of the great gap between an idealized good and an exaggerated version of its opposite. The idealized good is projected into the future, while its exaggerated opposite is seen to pervade the present. The individual is seen as powerless to work alone toward that ideal with any sureness of success. Because of his belief in his powerlessness [the fanatic] feels that any means to an end is justified. Behind all this is the belief that spontaneously the ideal will never be achieved, and that, indeed, on his own man is getting worse and worse in every aspect: How can flawed selves ever hope to spontaneously achieve any good?"

• "Dictation. Basically (pause), a fanatic believes that he is powerless."

—NoME Chapter 7: Session 854, May 16, 1979

So that leaves us with wars and killing motivated by taking over land and property, valuables, women, people to use as slaves. I'm not sure how to tie that to feeling powerless. On the other hand, I can see the pillaging of all of the above, overcoming a perceived 'enemy' would make a nation or group of people feel powerful.


Offline jbseth

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Hi All,

Almost as if on cue, yesterday, we had another shooting; this one on the UNC (University of North Carolina) campus.

The suspects grandfather says his grandson had no interest in guns.


https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/unc-charlotte-shooting-suspect-trystan-terrell-had-no-interest-guns-n1000536

-jbseth

Offline Deb

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Shocking. And more shocking—while I keep my eyes on the news, I didn't see anything about this latest incident in the news until you posted the link.

I don't understand the "why" behind school shootings at all, why schools? And yet there is a long history of school shootings in the US with records going back to the 1840s. 

Maybe it has to do with puberty, hormones, a lot of emotions involved with school, being teens and growing up. Teenage angst.

It's distressing. Depressing.

Offline Deb

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Offline jbseth

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Yes, and sadly this occurs too often in the US today.

-jbseth

Offline Deb

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Just an update to the Highlands Ranch shooting: while there are no details yet as to the "why" behind this, it was a little different than usual. The shooters were an 18 year old male student and apparently his accomplice was a minor female. That is not typical.

Also, several male students jumped right in and subdued the male shooter. One lost his life. This tells me that these kids are tired of putting up with this violence and are willing to risk their own lives to stop it. That gives me some hope that things will change.

Life for young kids growing up in these times is very different than in the past. When I was a kid I was aware of stranger danger but I never had to worry about such violence in a place that should be considered safe, and never had to worry about someone I know doing something like this. Sure we had our bullies and kids that were "different"—but school shootings were unheard of.

I hope someone is trying to profile school shooters so teachers, parents and students can be educated on what to look for as red flags. I realize people can be very good at hiding their feelings and intentions, but there has to be something...


Offline jbseth

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Hi Deb,

Did I understand you correctly. This occurred within a 10 minute drive from your place?

-jbseth

Offline Deb

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Quote from: jbseth
Did I understand you correctly. This occurred within a 10 minute drive from your place?


Yes.
They mentioned on the news today another nearby school shooting, in 2013, that I completely forgot about. I don't live in a bad area, just the opposite. Bedroom community, nice homes, good schools, an impressive number of churches.

 

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