Freedom For The Thought We Hate

posted in: Blog, channeling, inspiration | 23

Over the years I’ve been the target of occasional hate mail. That “goes with the territory” when you put yourself into the public eye. I’m sure any of you putting your work out to the world have had similar experiences.

When I was in college my major course was history, which I’ve always loved. One of my favorite historical figures was US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. He was an articulate speaker and writer. Here’s one of his quotations:

…if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought—not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.” (Emphasis added.)

That’s a pretty strong statement—freedom for the thought we hate. How many of us can fully allow those who disagree with us, even if their thoughts are deeply offensive to us? Or even if they hate us?

There’s no reason the answer or solution to a question or problem we have cannot come through someone who has a different perspective from our own.

As Spirit has said many times, answers can come from any source. But we have to be open—open even to those who may hate us because they hate our thoughts.

Copyright © 2017 by John Cali, revised 2020
Edited by Berna Copray


This short video was produced by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Northern Ireland Evangelical Alliance. They discuss freedom of religious thought. But for “religious,” you can substitute “political,” “spiritual,” etc. etc.

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


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23 Responses

  1. Jeannie

    This is brilliant and for an odd reason I feel I know Oliver Wendell Holmes, just like Emerson.

    if there is something in me you hate, that’s ok as it’s ok for me to hate something in you (not you personally John) but it gives us both something to think about, like why. How are we threatened by our thoughts, something to delve into.

    Something to think about is what we ‘hate’ is what we ‘love’ . Hate and love are the same coin. We hate because we see that something in the other person is hidden deep in us and we are terrified to allow it out.

    That is my thoughts.

    As to hate mail to you, well sweetie they are terrified to tell you they love you and love what you say 🙂

    To everyone no matter if you hate or love………..the spirit that is you, the God that is you loves you no matter what.

    love, always and forever

  2. ron or as in 2013 canron

    Thoughts are the products of the process of ¨thinking¨. Thinking is something very different from ¨believing¨. Beliefs are generally used when thinking is deemed too difficult or too time-consumming.
    Instinct is also something different. Often people confuse the three processes. We can be sure that when a society, a capitalistic society, elects a terrorist, that they are acting from fears, the fears that the terrorist is spreading or the fears that have been passed on to them by their parents and teachers. Eventually the results of negative choices get so offensive that those people either learn and change or they self-eliminate. That way evolution is guaranteed to succeed. IMO.

  3. Damian Purdy

    Greetings, I agree with everyone. Hate from someone else can be difficult to deal with, but as stated before, with age comes understanding, and easier to deal with, unless of course that person lives life that way, and I know a few. As for me personally, I have been dealing with one particular issue, my ex wife. For the last six months I have gone through all the emotions of the loss of my marriage. I enjoy being married, and although our marriage was in trouble, and there were things about her that I did not like, I was more than willing to work things out….she didn’t. Since then I have been like a yo-yo, up and down with hate and love. Yes, I have good reason for being angry with her, but I understand that anger, if held inside will just prove to be my undoing, yet it persists. I meditate, I chose to be happy, things go well for a while, then like the Loch Ness Monster, it rears its head again. Any advice would be welcome. How can I let this go when it is so persistant? I hear that voice in my head calling her names, I can feel the anger and hate well up. I change the subject, I don’t need to feel this now, put it away, let it go… goes, and then comes back. What am I doing wrong? I know what I want in life, where I want to go, be, do, and I know that this hate inside of me will keep me from what I want. I know change is here, so why am I so stubborn? Thank you for your time, be well everyone.
    One last thing, when others are acting out with hate, I see it for what it is, and I usually do not get caught up in it, and if I do, in a short time I am able to let it go and all is well, all except for my ex wife….I find it strange and frustrating.

    • John Cali

      Thank you very much, Damian, for sharing your story. I understand the turmoil and challenges you’re facing. As I’m sure many of the other folks on this forum also do. Perhaps some of them will share with you, on this forum, their experiences.

      BTW, you are not doing anything “wrong.”


      • Dan

        Damian – I agree with John about not doing anything wrong. I was married to my first wife for 15 years – she chose to end the marriage. I went through a lot of ups and downs – it is part of the process. I was lucky in that I was able to channel a lot of that emotion into my music and art but that is not the essential thought.

        I got a cold last week and on one day felt too sick to play guitar (highly unusual) so I read a book -or reread – ’cause something had made me want to reread a part and then another part and I ended up rereading the book. In it is a story of a farmer whose horse runs off – his friends upset say that is bad news – he says bad news? good news? A few days later the horse returns with 3 mares. His son breaks a leg – again he responds – bad news? good news? … a week later the army comes to conscript all the young men – but his son does not get taken away.

        I write a lot of music and lyrics – this concept turned into a song – the personal verse is … My wife left me I felt so empty / I was so lonesome I cried and cried/ But then I found such music and a love beyond my dreams/ Bad news or good news who knows.

        You would be denying yourself the genuine experience of the feelings you are going through if you pretend you don’t feel them – but you can’t possibly see the whole picture when stuck inside a rut.

        As it turns out my ex-wife did me a favor by leaving – I am in an even better marriage and I am doing more of the things I love in life. Trust yourself and your path – and don’t be hard on yourself if you feel angry or hurt. I think the phrase is “let it out and let it go”. Good luck and enjoy the ride.

        • Damian Purdy

          Thank you Dan,

          I don’t know how to say this, so bear with me. I know, deep inside of me, that her leaving is the best thing for both of us. It is the way she did it. I could go on and on about how, but it would only fuel my anger, so I do my best not to. I have to let her go, and I don’t want to hate her to do it. Hope that make sense. I believe that I knew she was leaving, but I didn’t want to admit it. I also know that there is another woman out there for me, who actually gets me. I have two ex-wives now, not something I had planned, but…the first one led me to the second one, and I know, without a doubt, that my second has given me the best gift anyone could ask for…a clearer picture of what I want not only in a partner, but in life, all of it. I can see a big picture, I really can, my…oh, for the lack of a better word, problem is this. This hate, anger I have inside of me will keep me from manifesting what I want. I desperately want to clear my resistance, raise my vibration…maybe thats my problem, heh, I’m desperate. I need to relax, breathe…breathe Damian, breathe. My first was a very horrible experience, that led me to her, and I do love her, with all my heart. I never wanted to let that go, and now, its gone.
          Wow, thanks, I needed that. No, really, I needed that. I seem to think better when I write. Interesting.

    • Barbara

      Hi Damian,

      I understand your situation only too well!

      Have you heard of Emotional Freedom Technique? I trained in it, have taught it and used it with clients on all kinds of different issues. I don’t know where I’d be without it, and no, I am not being paid to say this, it is a truly amazing technique. You might like to give it a try. This looks like a good, comprehensive site to give you a start.

      I’d love to hear how you get on if you decide to try it.

      • Damian Purdy

        Thank you Barbara,

        I have heard of it, and I will look into it. Thank you, thank you very much. I must say this. It is interesting to note how a person finds things. If one pays attention, you will find what you need, when you need it. The more I learn, the more I seem to find. I hope that I can be of help to someone. I can’t say it enough, Thank you! And I will let you know how it goes.

        • Barbara

          Hi Damian,

          You are very welcome.

          I agree with you we find what we need, especially when we pay attention. I also find the support of like minded people, or kindred spirits as Chief Joseph often says, to be a huge help.

          For me, EFT was a huge journey of self discovery and healing.

          I wish you the very best on your journey deeper in to you.

          With love,

  4. Ed Peterson

    Good point John and one of the 5 areas of my life I have chosen to deal with this year.

    Reaction to what someone says is a difficult habit to overcome, yet if we can keep 2 points in mind, it should be easier:

    1. They are simply voicing their opinion, which in no way has anything to do with you, regardless of how strongly they present it. If you feel good about the the issue from your perspective, then it is right for you..

    2. What someone is seeing and reacting to, is not an issue that you have, it is an issue that they have. They are seeing it reflected in you, something that is out of balance within themselves. Because they are out of balance, their internal guidance system is producing negative energy, and because they are focusing on it, it is growing within them and around them.

    Finally, when someone expresses their opinion or feelings aggressively, abusively and with the intent to hurt, when we can look at them and see the God inside and only react with the thought that “we are sorry that they are having a bad day”, we will be further along the road to mastery and peace on earth.

  5. Sarah Drury

    Hi John and spirit, hope you’re having a great weekend.
    Its so easy to think that we would be impervious to hate and disagreement until we find ourselves on the receiving end. As a sentient human being it is only natural to have some sort of reaction at an emotional and perhaps physical level. For me, I feel like I’ve been punched in the solar plexus and I feel the defensiveness creeping in. But everyone is entitled to free speech and to their own opinion, even if it is totally out of alignment with our own.
    I think if we go on the defensive then there is a chance we may switch to attack mode. Maybe the key is to allow others their opinions and to stay detached yet open to what they are saying. I suppose there are different ways of doing this – being the ‘silent watcher’ for example or even sending out love and compassion to the other. Sometimes its possible to listen and find some common ground.
    Hate can not flourish for very long where there is genuine compassion and love.

  6. Rene

    Hi John and Spirit!!! I use to be one of those that felt defensive and got upset when someone else disagree with me. As I got older and more open to accepting things the way they are. Disagreements no longer has any power to control me or my feelings. Such a relief!!

    Love and Peace!!


  7. Jeannie

    Everyone has a right to their opinion. Even a hateful opinion is valid for in that opinion we may find something we didn’t think of before. Everything depends upon how we perceive and react. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes we need to shake ourselves out of a pattern of thought we misplaced. All hate is, is fear that what you hate is valid somewhere in your consciousness. As long as you don’t accept the hateful opinion of you as a valid reality and let it go you don’t feed the emotion . Even the person who hates what you do and who you are will find the hateful thoughts lessening, again, because you are not adding fuel to it.

    You hate what I think, what I do, who I am……that is all well and good. I love and respect you anyway.

    love and hugs

  8. Chuck

    Resistance is futile! Then I say to myself
    Yes indeed it is! So why resist this moment?
    For it is only a perception, a definition of belief
    that person holds which is valid because that is
    what they choose and is of free will, although
    not entirely since the amount of free will one
    enjoys is relative to the amount of conscious
    awareness one has to see oneself objectively.

    The more you can see things objectively the
    more free will you will experience. Being free
    to do your will is what being is all about! You
    are infinite possibility in the eternal moment!

    So we must allow others have there perceptions
    and we can a reflect back like a mirror what they
    are putting out if we don’t react in ego but listen
    and pleasantly disagree.

  9. Sarah

    How anyone could send you hate mail is beyond me! This rings true for me, totally.

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