There is a common misconception that the opposite of love is hatred. It is not so.
First, I’d like to point out that there are two types of love. The first type is that which almost every human being experiences. It is the love between people or positive connection with others. There are variations of this type of love, i.e. the love you have for your spouse differs from that for your parents, your siblings, your friends, etc. But it is all in the first category.
Then, there is Love. This is Love beyond love. It is unconditional. It is peace. It has no opposite. When we experience this love, it is not in any sort of clingy, or even excited way. It is boundless calm. It is bliss. Some of us catch glimpses of this type of love in moments of extreme pain or joy, or perhaps during our meditation, but it is not a sustainable state of being for most.
Familiar love, as I like to call the first type, is a facet of the second type of love. So too, is it’s opposite, which is not hatred, but fear. This is a confusing, seemingly paradoxical notion, which I will delve into further anon. Just know that it has to do with dualism. If Love (the second type) has no opposite, then it is beyond dualism. It simply is. As such it is all-encompassing. Familiar love and fear are just two sides of the same coin (Love). For now, let’s leave the second type alone and focus on the first type.
So what does that mean that fear is the opposite of love? Why not hate? Love (we’re talking about the first type exclusively now) is open. It is an attractive and expansive force. It encompasses all of the positive feelings—joy, excitement, compassion, audacity. Fear is an attractive and restrictive force. It encompasses all of the negative emotions—hatred, doubt, insecurity, anger. Hatred is simply a facet of fear. Think about this. When you hate someone or something, is there not some aspect of that person or thing that is threatening to you—possibly because you see it in yourself? At its core, hatred is born of insecurity and thus, of fear.
Finally, notice that both forces are attractive. Let’s be clear, these are two sides of the meta-physical coin and as such they are both in every one of us. However, some people lean more toward one side. As such, the more you lean toward love, the more likely you are to gain love momentum in your life. The same is true for fear. If your existence is defined by your fear, you probably cope with overwhelming feelings of anger, hatred (both toward yourself and others) and anxiety on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean that you are a bad person or that you don’t experience moments of loving emotion, but the primary mode of life is fear. The opposite goes for love.
So what to do? These two facets of life are inseparable. For most people, it is enough to find a way to lean further in the direction of love. But if you’re like me, you believe that there must be something beyond this inevitable dualism. And that is where Love (the second type) comes in.
Stay tuned for Part 2! Wishing you peace and love this Wednesday.
By Terence Stone
Chief Editor and Founder of Urban Spiritual, I’m a classically trained singer and actor living in New York City, who has performed in the U.S. and Europe. I’m also a writer, traveller, meditator, arts-lover, and well-being enthusiast.