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Saying "NO" to Hate: Why Hating Putin is not a good idea

March 22, 2022



Everyday I visit moments of rage, outrage and deep sorrow about the heartless destruction we are witnessing in Ukraine. In an unexpected way, rage and sorrow connect me to the suffering of all human beings, from the Ukrainians to the ordinary Russians to the Afghani's, Rohingya's, on and on and on. How much can our hearts bear?

As my heart seeks protection I notice another neighboring feeling that has a different, more alienating effect - I find myself hating Vladimir Putin. This shift from rage to hate is terribly important and dangerous for human beings.


Hating this man darkens my heart. There is a huge difference between hating the person and hating his actions. When I hate his actions and decisions, my heart stays open to the suffering, not constricted, with no inner calls for vengeance. In fact, I feel mobilized to help in any way I can. As soon as I hate any human being, my heart closes, darkens and images of revenge emerge. Can you sense this critical distinction? It is not just words; I believe this is of great importance to our evolving humanity.

Casting Out


"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Casting anyone out of your heart wounds your heart. The highest form of love to which we can aspire, sometimes called agape, is unconditional. This is our Omega, our direction, our future, if we are to survive as a species. When love becomes conditional, it soon becomes transactional - "I will love you, if you do this, if you please me, if you live up to my expectations but I will withdraw that love if you don't meet my conditions". In the extreme, this is weaponizing love. Parents and lovers do this, usually in unconscious ways. This conditional or transactional love is actually most common. Unconditional love is much more rare, demanding, yet also radically freeing and fulfilling.


Can we have unconditional love toward some and not others? It seems so but I am not sure if this is really possible. When the heart develops the habit of excluding some, it easily falls into calibrating it's love, closing and opening a little here, a lot there, often unbeknownst to itself. With love, we need to be either ALL IN or we will live in the unreliable, modulating, calculating world of transactional love.

Human Beings need to choose - either to fully love all living beings, including the earth or withhold love and give it out only as it is deserved, as it meets one's judgments and criteria. This is not sustainable.


The hating of certain behaviors activates life energy that can have a healthy place, if one is conscious of the effects. As soon as that migrates into hating a human being, we have surrendered our hearts to dark forces. Like a virus, these forces mutate in us until we are incapable of choosing love.

A Story:

(Some would say that the following idea is actually occurring in the world today. I do not know if that is true. I know that the story and the metaphor are poignant for me and offer a very helpful perspective).

The ancients, including early alchemists, spoke of the great law: "as above so below". At every level life duplicates or resembles or reassembles itself. For example, they might suggest that the actions in the Ukraine have a connection to the pandemic. These two pernicious viruses are manifesting in the world simultaneously, perhaps from one cause. I wonder??

From an even larger view, there is this story:

Right now, there is a war occurring in heaven between good and evil that is manifesting on earth. Forces of darkness seek to inhabit and take over the human soul. As heart forces become overwhelmed by negativity and suffering, they begin to close. Darkness seeks to extinguish the light of love. This is a sign that a force called "evil" (notice this word is "live" spelled backwards) is manifesting in the human being.

Many spiritual teachings speak of the earth as a school, a training ground for humanity to learn how to live in harmonious relationship with all living beings, including the earth itself. The key to this "heaven on earth" or "Shambala" is to grow the capacity for unconditional love. This means that we learn to love all beings while we also protect life. Sometimes this might ask us to preform painful deeds, perhaps even killing, to stop greater destruction. It will require us to learn how to hate the actions without hating the actors. No one is cast out of our collective heart. This is very, very hard work. We will likely fall down every day and then, with our growing awareness and love, stand up again, over and over, until we learn the lesson of unconditional love.

May we all continue to learn this giant step....Russell



P.S. How can you work with yourself, when the feeling of hating someone is true? Denying or judging any feeling is not helpful. Feelings are life energy that need our care and attention. Perhaps you find yourself hating Putin (or you can substitute anyone else). There are a few healthy steps, I would suggest:

-Acknowledge the truth;

_From awareness (the True "I" of awareness is always larger than any temporary feeling state) say "hello" to the feeling and sense it in your body;

-You have two locations - The "I" is a presence, a witness, a friend and the place inside that is carrying the feelings. In this scenario the part of you that hates;

-Invite the "feeling place" to speak to the larger awareness we call "I". The key is to have the physiological, bodily sensations and the words connected, the words re congruent with the feeling. The "I" or True Self, just listens with caring attention to the fears, rage, hate, as it is living in the body;

-- This listening often leads to a softening. Under the hate is often hurt/fear, the tenderness that lives beneath those more powerful feelings. It is healing to connect feelings, sensations, and word/symbols in the field of caring attention.


Hate masks the more tender places and when we allow the somatic reality to have its right words, it tends to yield to love. Try it, take your time and allow the healing to occur.

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