Why excessive hatred is a sign of weakness

Hatred weighs down many, physically and psychologically

Hassan Al Mustafa

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Nothing weighs down men more than the reaction resulting in hatred, Nietzsche once said. He said that sacrificing temptation, sensitivity, the feeling of being incapable of taking revenge, being insatiable for vengeance, and wanting to hurt others with all means are definitely the worst ways of an overstrained men’s reaction.

These ways consume a lot of nervous energy and provoke increasingly dire repercussions. This is what hatred can do to men. Hatred weighs down many, physically and psychologically, undermines their power and prevents them from behaving normally with the person he hates.

Hence, hatred for Nietzsche is a sign of weakness and not of strength. He considers that illness is intrinsically the result of hatred and should consequently be treated before treating the symptoms that are evident.

Therefore, ill people must not hate because it poses great danger to them. Eliminating hatred from our systems is the very first step toward healing.

Hatred weighs down many, physically and psychologically, undermines their power and prevents them from behaving normally with the person he hates

Hassan Al Mustafa

Hatred is like the smoke that blocks the view and the fire that burns the person who hates. In order to heal from this hatred, a man must tame himself, reject naivety, demonstrate a great sense of dignity and must not be affected by his negative surrounding.

The issue of hatred becomes deeper when it goes beyond individual behavior to a social one. This is when hatred becomes a collective force and hampers social cohesion. It elicits strong reaction from people facing adversity.

Matters related to religion, overt nationalism or predisposition to hatred are part of the discourse in the society and reflect hidden issues. This phenomenon is evident on Twitter, and other social media outlets, where many people express their hatred for others under various pretext.

They even resort to betrayal, demonstrate lack of respect and make accusations using their own faith or nationality to attack those who do not agree with them. This provokes further divisions and makes the society even more unstable.

We see that many conflicts between individuals, groups or sects are driven by this hatred. Most of these conflicts are useless arguments that lead to nothing. They don’t reveal any truth and doesn’t raise questioning of anything.

‘Low character’

Even Nietzsche used to be very wary of anything “controversial” and believed it as a sign of “low character”. He harshly criticized Socrates saying that the latter saw himself as more valuable than the ordinary people.

“I never knew the art of controversies and disputes”, Nietzsche says. This was one of the attributes that made him proud of himself. What helped him was that he withdrew form people and preferred isolation, which elevated him to a higher level where he found the source of happiness.

Having “the power”, that Nietzsche praises, can make people despise themselves for hating or arguing with others because strong persons do not fear others who differ from them but can rather make stupid people behave well.

Besides power, there is intelligence and intuition that stem from wisdom, learning and philosophical meditation. These characteristics make people have a particular awareness and prevent them from getting into trouble.

“I am aware that the herd of cows is getting closer before I can even see it with my eyes.” This is the vision of those who get away from filth, make their souls transparent and their minds a source of light.

This article was first published on Al Riyadh on April 27, 2016.

Hassan al-Mustafa is Saudi journalist with interest in Middle East and Gulf politics. His writing focuses on social media, Arab youth affairs and Middle Eastern societal matters.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.