There is no such thing as darkness. That is to say that darkness is not something, but rather the absence of something; something we call light. Darkness is only a term that we use to describe a space in which light is not present, but darkness itself has no substance, no independent reality of it’s own.
There is no such thing as cold. Cold is merely the absence of heat. Heat is energy. Cold is the lack of energy. It is the space in which that energy is not present. It is empty of itself. But when heat enters into that space it fills it.
The same is true of hatred. Hatred is merely the absence of love. It is the empty space where love is not present, but has no reality of it’s own. Love is energy. Hatred is the absence of that energy. When light enters a room, darkness does not dissolve. It doesn’t leave the room and go someplace else, because darkness is not something. It’s an empty space. So hatred is only an empty space.
Those who are hateful are starved of love. Without love, one becomes fearful. One becomes disconnected from others. Fear becomes anger, and anger becomes hatred. We’ve all experienced these feelings. Recall a time when you were hateful. Was there anger in you? Was there fear? And where was love? Where was joy?
Hatred is suffering, is it not? Is there any joy in hatred? When one is hateful, is there any peace? Is there any happiness? The hateful person is a deeply unhappy person. But every person wishes to be happy. The hateful person is deficient of happiness, and is withdrawn from love. That’s why they appear hateful. That person is actually craving to be happy, to be loved. It isn’t that they’re simply evil. They yearn for happiness, and this yearning itself is maddening. Hatred is the withdrawal pain, like the pain an addict experiences without his drug, and that pain causes one to behave in ways which are destructive both to oneself and to others. Not to say that love is a drug, but without love there is deep suffering, and suffering is what lies behind all the destruction in the world.
So how can we bring love into that space? That’s the real question. Understanding that hatred is the absence of love, we should meet hatred with love, just as we might bring a candle into a darkened room. Loving someone who is hateful won’t necessarily rid them of hatred. This is because one may be resistant to love. That space in them which is dark may be boarded up so that no light can enter from outside. In order for light to enter it must come from within. It’s difficult to accept love from others unless you believe you are worthy of love. But when we show love to someone who is absent of it, it shows them that they are worthy of love, and it may awaken the love that lies dormant within them. Often a person who is hateful has never truly experienced love, and it may be just the medicine they need.
But what about your own hatred? We all experience moments where love is absent. But what we can do is simply be aware of these moments. We can bring awareness to our own sense of hatred, to better understand it, to see what is at the root of it. If we can understand how it arises in the mind, we can learn to shift our thoughts from fear to love. And when love enters into that space, there is no darkness.