Thought is Reaction, a Source of Enmity

Published: 05th December 2015 05:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th December 2015 05:24 AM   |  A+A-

Thought is

She was a teacher, or rather had been one. She was affectionate and kind and this had almost become a routine. She said she taught for over twenty-five years and had been happy in it; and although towards the end, she had wanted to get away from the whole thing, she had stuck to it. Recently, she had begun to realize what was deeply buried in her nature. It was there, and it wasn’t a mere self-accusation; and as she looked back through the years she could now see that it had always been there. She really hated.

It was not hatred of anyone in particular, but a feeling of general hate, a suppressed antagonism towards everyone and everything. When she first discovered it, she thought it was something very superficial which she could easily throw off; but as the days went by she found that it wasn’t just a mild affair, but a deep-rooted hatred which had been going on all her life. What shocked her was that she had always thought she was affectionate and kind. Love is a strange thing; as long as thought is woven through it, it is not love. When you think of someone you love, that person becomes the symbol of pleasant sensations, memories, images; but that is not love.

Thought is sensation, and sensation is not love. The very process of thinking is the denial of love. Love is the flame without the smoke of thought, of jealousy, of antagonism, of usage, which are things of the mind. As long as the heart is burdened with the things of the mind, there must be hate; for the mind is the seat of hate, of antagonism, of opposition, of conflict. Thought is reaction, and reaction is always, in one way or another, the source of enmity.

Thought is opposition, hate; thought is always in competition, always seeking an end, success; its fulfilment is pleasure and its frustration is hate. Conflict is thought caught in the opposites; and the synthesis of the opposites is still hate, antagonism.

‘You see, I always thought I loved the children, and even when they grew up they used to come to me for comfort when they were in trouble. I took it for granted that I loved them; but now I see there has always been an undercurrent of hate, of deep-rooted antagonism.

Have you also discovered the process of hate? Let us do so now and see what happens; let us be passively watchful of hate as it unrolls itself. Don’t be shocked, don’t condemn or find excuses; just passively watch it. Hate is a form of frustration, is it not? Fulfilment and frustration always go together. What are you interested in, not professionally, but deep down? ‘I always wanted to paint.’

‘My father used to insist that I should not do anything that didn’t bring in money. He was a very aggressive man, and money was to him the end of all things.

This idea of the importance of money was deeply embedded in me; and I liked teaching, probably because it offered me an opportunity to be the boss. On my holidays I used to paint, but it was most unsatisfactory; I wanted to give my life to it, and I actually gave only a couple of months a year. Finally I stopped painting, but it was burning inwardly. I see now how it was breeding antagonism.’

Were you ever married? I fell in love with a married man, and we lived together secretly. I was furiously jealous of his wife and children, and I was scared to have babies, though I longed for them. All the natural things, the everyday companionship, and so on, were denied to me, and jealousy was a consuming fury. He had to move to another town, and my jealousy never abated. It was an unbearable thing. To forget it all, I took to teaching more intensely. But now I see I am still jealous, not of him, for he is dead, but of happy people, of married people, of the successful, of almost anyone. What we could have been together was denied to us!’

Jealousy is hate, is it not? If one loves, there is no room for anything else. But we do not love; the smoke chokes our life, and the flame dies.

‘I can see now that in school, with my married sisters, and in almost all my relationships, there was war going on, only it was covered up. As jealousy, though painful, gave a pleasurable sensation, so now the knowledge of your past gives you a sense of mastery which is also pleasurable. You have now found a new term for jealousy, for frustration, for being left: it is hate and the knowledge of it. There is pride in knowing, which is another form of antagonism. So you are caught in the net of your own thought, are you not?

‘Yes, but what else can one do?’ Watch the process of your own thinking. How cunning and deceptive it is! It promises release, but only produces another crisis, another antagonism.

When you are hoping for something, positive or negative, you are projecting your own desire; you will succeed in your desire, but that is only another substitution, and so the battle is on again.

What you seek you will find, but it will not be truth. It is like a suspicious man finding what he suspects, which is comparatively easy and stupid. Just be passively aware of this total thought process, and also of the desire to be free of it. ‘All this has been an extraordinary discovery for me, and I am beginning to see the truth of what you are saying. I hope it won’t take more years to go beyond this conflict. There I am hoping again! I shall silently watch and see what happens.’

— Excerpts from Commentaries on living Vol 2


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp