Me Hate You Long Time

“We have to learn to love, learn to be charitable, and this from our youth up; if education and chance offer us no opportunity to practice these sensations our soul will grow dry and even incapable of understanding them in others. Hatred likewise has to be learned and nourished if one wants to become a good hater: otherwise the germ of that too will gradually wither away.”—Friedrich Nietzsche, “Learning to Love,”
Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits (1878)

Mixbook Beautiful Possibilities A Graphic Introduction to the Examined Life by John Faithful Hamer - Google Chrome 2015-09-28 83310 AMAnger often seems to wash over us. We don’t choose to get enraged when someone cuts us off in traffic, it just happens. Likewise, we don’t choose to flush when someone insults us, nor do we choose to see red when someone screws us over. But these feelings fade with time. They have a half-life. All fires—no matter how hot—cool, and eventually die, when they’re deprived of fuel. One day you wake up and you’re just not that pissed off anymore. You haven’t forgotten what happened. And maybe you’re not quite ready to forgive. But the memory seems to have lost its sting. If you want to get over it, if you want to be free of your rage, continue along this peaceful path. Let nature take its course. You’re on the Road to Recovery. Should be as good as new in no time. But if the very idea of forgiving them for what they did makes you sick, if you’re quite sure that you don’t want to get over it, come with me. If you want to learn how to be a really good hater, let me show you the way:

STEP ONE: MEDITATE ON THE PAST

tumblr_mx6iimBUvU1slhwslo1_250Close your eyes and think about what he or she did to you. And be as specific as possible. What did the sky look like that day? What was on the radio? What were you wearing? Fill the memory up with every last detail. Then replay it in your mind again and again and again—like that song on your iPod, the one you just can’t get enough of. If you do this for a little while, the righteous indignation will well up in you. And you’ll feel the change: it’s profoundly physiological. Your breathing gets shallow. Your heartbeat quickens. Your palms get sweaty. And your face contorts. As soon as you’ve whipped yourself up into a white hot rage, move on to step two.

STEP TWO: FANTASIZE ABOUT THE FUTURE

3516858-freddy-freddy-krueger-33746737-500-614Okay, now I want you to close your eyes and imagine how you’re going to get back at this person, how you’re going to get revenge. If you’re going to tell them off in front of a room full of people, prepare the speech in your mind. What words are you going to use? Think about how good it’s going to feel to humiliate that person, to watch them suffer. It’s your revenge fantasy: fill it up with juicy details. And be as specific as possible. Then replay it in your mind again and again and again. Once again, the effects of this perverse form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are profoundly physiological: your pupils dilate, a demonic grin spreads across your face, and pleasure centers in your brain are activated. You feel energized, alive, and possessed by a passion that’s undeniably pleasant.

Presto! As if by magic, you’re in hate!

Mixbook Beautiful Possibilities A Graphic Introduction to the Examined Life by John Faithful Hamer - Google Chrome 2015-09-27 92034 PMStrange as it may sound, long-term romantic love seems to be sustained by the same willful cognitive processes. We don’t choose who we fall in love with. It just happens. That’s why the image of Cupid slinging his arrows into the backsides of hapless innocents makes so much intuitive sense to us. You meet someone, lock eyes with them, and—BANG! BOOM! CRASH!—you’re powerfully drawn to them. The psychologist Jonathan Haidt claims—in The Happiness Hypothesis (2006)—that the brain scan of someone who’s “in love” is virtually indistinguishable from the brain scan of someone who’s high on cocaine. But alas, this kind of intoxicating love fades—like rage—with time.

IMG_8645-001One day you wake up and you’re just not “in love” with your partner in that crazy way you were in the beginning. Don’t get me wrong: you still love them, you’re still attracted to them, and you still want to be with them. It’s just that you find it easier and easier to focus on other things (e.g., work, school, friends, family, yourself, etc.). To some extent this is healthy. But going with the flow on this score is risky. If you’re committed to this relationship, if you want to stay with this person, being passive about your love isn’t wise. After all, love has this funny way of slipping through your fingers if you’re careless of heart. If you want to be a serial monogamist, let your love fade and move on to the next flower. But if the very idea of breaking up with Mr. or Mrs. Right makes you sick, if you’re quite sure that you don’t want to get over this person, come with me; if you want to know how to love somebody long time, let me show you the way:

STEP ONE: MEDITATE ON THE PAST

Mixbook Beautiful Possibilities A Graphic Introduction to the Examined Life by John Faithful Hamer - Google Chrome 2015-09-27 92214 PMClose your eyes and think about all of the good times you’ve had with this person. And be as specific as possible. What did the sky look like that day? What was on the radio? What were you wearing? Fill up each one of these memories with delicious details. The more the merrier! Then replay these beautiful memories in your mind again and again and again—like that song on your iPod, the one you just can’t get enough of. If you do this for a little while, the magic of love will well up in you. And you’ll feel the change: it’s profoundly physiological. Your breathing gets deeper. Your heartbeat quickens. And a sweet smile spreads across your face. When you’ve brought yourself to the brink of your own little home-made nostalgia-gasm, it’s time to move on to step two.

STEP TWO: FANTASIZE ABOUT THE FUTURE

saraOkay, now I want you to close your eyes and imagine all of the good times you’re going to have with this person in the future: vacations, kids, grandchildren, growing old together, and all the rest. Think about how good it’s going to feel to be with this particular person for the rest of your life. It’s your future, your fantasy: so fill it up with tons of juicy details. And be as specific as possible. Then replay it in your mind again and again and again. Once again, the effects of this amorous form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are profoundly physiological: your pupils dilate, your skin tingles, and your body feels enveloped by a warm glow. You feel energized, alive, and possessed by a passion that’s undeniably pleasant.

Presto! As if by magic, you’re in love!

Love and hate are impenetrable mysteries to those who lack a strong will, a good memory, and a lively imagination. They’ll never know true love.

Or true hate.

—John Faithful Hamer, From Here (2016)

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About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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