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Shouldn't we love, not hate?

Updated: Jan 22

Looking at the one or other demo poster in the past few days and at some of the social media posts in recent months, I wonder whether we have all really learned the lessons of "never again" in an appropriate way and are living them today. "We hate Nazis" or "we hate the AfD" seems counterproductive to me and even an oxymoron. A contradiction in terms.

It was only last year in the racism prevention events that we held in the igdra space with Dr. Moris Samen and in numerous discussions with him (thanks again to the Carl Heinrich Esser Foundation in Mannheim, which supported us financially) that it became clear to all participants that racism is a form of hate. Racism is a doctrine of artificial separation and judgment that has long been discarded, but has been kept alive in many regions of the world in specific forms. Like a lifebuoy when people are afraid of swimming.

Everything that aims for separation instead of connection, for value instead of love, for denial instead of acceptance, is bundled together in the emotion of hate. Hate is born out of fear. Fear of feeling one's own pain, as I read again yesterday in Christian Meyer's book. Ultimately, fear of one's own death.

Many psychologists, medical experts and mystics around the world have known for thousands of years that we have to go through the pain in order to heal. We have to die the inner death in order to truly live. Trauma researchers have confirmed on a neurological and genetic level that we humans pass on our unhealed wounds to our descendants and that we can even heal the old wounds in the here and now and thus co-create a positive future.

As we convey in our art project "The Nectardoor", it is essential that we strengthen this emotional and social intelligence, this inner muscle, and develop the courage to use it. We will all make mistakes from time to time. And we can also meet these mistakes with love and practise forgiving ourselves and each other.

Follow the vivid flow

So, hate and fear. Hate as a result of refusing to feel pain out of fear of our own pain - and then projecting it onto others.

Hate kills. Hate as a reaction to fear is inner tension. Inner hardening. Anything that is hard cannot withstand pressure for long and shatters.

Emotions are movement. They flow. Panta rhei. Everything flows. Above all, life and love flow. Aliveness is change in connectedness. Panta en parsin. Everything is in everything. If we understand and allow this, we can dance together. Playing the waves together and giving away some of our abundance when there is abundance.

These days in Germany, many are taking to the streets because, like me, they want to live in love and freedom in our individual and collective diversity. Because they want to flow. Because they have recognized the truthfulness of the interconnectedness of everything and find it good and celebrate it. Because they celebrate natural change in the flow. And because they recognize that life and its ever faster and greater changes are scary. And they are existential and life-threatening fears that need to be taken seriously for all of us and for everything in us that is afraid of the pain that arises here and prefers to deny the pain instead of allowing it and moving into healing and co-creation.

So how can democracy and diversity advocates write "we hate..." on the posters? How can supporters of diversity confuse healthy demarcation of ones boundaries out of self-care with painful exclusion of others? How can they meet hate with hate when hate is exactly what we as diversity advocates do not want?

Extremists live separation instead of connection. Out of fear. They live hate. So they refuse or are afraid to face their pain and feel it in order to heal.

What is it with people who stand up for democracy and diversity and write and shout "we hate XY"? In doing so, they are feeding the very emotion that those against whose ideas they are taking to the streets are also feeding.

Let's rather write, paint, sing, dance and celebrate what we are taking to the streets for. What we want to live our lives for here and how we want to do it, instead of going into the mode of "against in the form of hate".

So again my question: "Shouldn't we love instead of hate?" Shouldn't we make everyone an offer that is more attractive than that of fear and hate and separation?

If the latter are based on pain, then we should all be honest with ourselves about the pain we have suffered, are suffering and are creating through our past and our present. Allow, acknowledge and feel them until they dissolve. Going through the "Nectardoor".

What vision do we in Europe have for ourselves and the world?

European civilizations have caused enormous pain in Europe and in the world. It takes courage to honestly acknowledge this today. Because there is a lot of shame, a lot of fear and a lot of pain hidden here. Also the fear of revenge and of loss through demands for reparation by former colonies, by descendants of slaves, Holocaust victims, by descendants of those who suffered genocide and by those who know that the global economic and world order was not fair, even after the Second World War and the independence of the colonies, and still is not fair today.

The fears of this pain are real. They cannot be talked away or pushed aside. And if we try to do so, they will create even more pain and hatred. Let us look at it and acknowledge it together. Let's recognize together what our ancestors did and what we are doing to each other and let's find new visions and new ways of living together.

Let's just look around us: so many people are setting out on this journey. And so many people have never stopped walking this path over generations of human history. Let us join them and allow our pain to become possible so that healing and love become possible. So that we can arrive in the river of life at what the writer and artist, Kahlil Gibran, called the ocean, which is love, on/in which we stand - not too close, but each as a unique being and in connection with ourselves and each other.

Nature and poetry are beauty, art and healing in themselves. But it is also the tangible actions and deeds that are needed:

Neither Germany nor Europe have yet found a satisfactory answer for dealing with old wounds in a positive, productive and healing way and co-creating a positive future(-vision), let alone a common vision for Europe as part of the changing world.

But here, too, it is worth learning from, with and for each other. There is no black or white. The world is colorful and has many shades of grey to offer. We can dance on the different dimensions of liveliness.

And so we can learn from people from African countries, who carry the wisdom of ubuntu into the world, and reflect on the fact that Europe also knows and has kept alive similar values of interconnectedness of everything with everything. We can learn that it is okay to give up our privileges and that the world will not end and we will not break up because of it. On the contrary. We can open up new spaces in the process and shape them together. We can ask ourselves what Europe has to offer the world if we consistently step off the path of instruction and exploitation.

Where and how can every single person in Europe find their place and space in society in order to develop their potential for the benefit of all? What can each and every one of us do to make our lives and the lives of everyone better?

How can we ensure that people at the bottom of the power hierarchy do not envy and fight each other, but instead help and connect with each other? Why should we accuse each other of "hatred and extremism" when we all just want to love and live without pain and fear? When we all suffer from injustices in the distribution of power and money, but live in a country that has contributed to these global imbalances? And what is really more important to us? To live in freedom, democracy, diversity and self-responsibility, at the cost of not having as much prosperity as we used to, or to live in fear, oppression and prosperity based on exploitation, not feeling the pain and thus living in hatred of everything that challenges our way of life?

Leadership needs empathy & courage

"Leadership needs empathy, collaboration, innovation, inclusion and emotional intelligence & courage" Natalie Schrogl posted on LinkedIn after her visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos 2024 as a reminder for us all. If we want to be leaders for a loving, peaceful and vibrant future in freedom and connectedness, then we should all - in the office, on the construction site, in the bakery, in the tailor shop as well as in our families, circles of friends, communities, on the street, when traveling and on social media, in our thoughts, dealing with our emotions and our daily actions - also keep in mind what is needed from leaders in the here and now for the co-creative shaping of cultural transformations: Be honest. Be truthful. Taking fear and pain seriously, recognizing and allowing them. Living connectedness and allowing freedom and learning to live. Having the courage to actively shape your own life together with others. Learning to swim and fly. And always rest in yourself and practise being present. We can all be leaders in co-creation mode. Each and every one of us. Without egoism and separation. In large industry as well as on the small stage.

Together we can do it. I am sure of that.


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