Attorney Steve Grow
October 21, 2012
If you resent anything, about yourself, other people, or the world, you are setting yourself up for tyranny—hard or soft, large or small, local or global. And the master tyrant will be your own inner resentment, which you support by either siding with it or by trying to resist it resentfully. (You can see, can’t you, that either way, a level of resentment has you in its grip. You can’t escape resentment by resenting resentment itself. Hating hate feeds it, both in yourself and in others. It keeps you locked in hell.) Resentment is your tyrant, not your friend.
Once you are free from this inner tyrant, your own resentment, you have found the first essential freedom—the one that leads to all other healthy freedoms, those that enable you to live in the world, but not be of the world, as Jesus admonished. So long as you are resentful, you are a slave, both to the resentment, and to anyone who can tap into it—and believe me they can. People who want to influence you in ways not in your best interest go to great lengths to keep you stirred up--resenting them, resenting others, resenting yourself. All too many people have made it their business in life to stir up hatred, resentment in the myriad ways it can be done, and keep it alive.
In fact, evil’s master trick is getting you to resent evil. Resentment is the master and core evil—the very heart of the Devil himself and of all who are entangled in his evil empire. So if evil can trick you into resenting evil (or anything else), it has you at least partially in its grip and can draw you deeper into hell, step-by-step. Now, at first resenting evil seems like such a good thing to do. (That’s why the trick is so appealing.) However, the reality is that if you resent it, you can’t but respond to it, either by siding with it or opposing it in a way that supports it. You cannot overcome it. In fact, you are escaping into another level of resentment yourself.
Now, by urging you not to resent evil, I am not advising that you not oppose evil. Jesus said resent not evil, but overcome it with good. When many people hear that one should not resent evil, they assume a passive submission to evil is being advised. Not at all!!! One must, as Jesus said, overcome evil—not submit to it. But effective overcoming cannot be built upon the shifting sands of resentment—because resentment is itself a submission to the evil. Instead, effective overcoming must be built on the bedrock of non-resentment of evil or anything else, which allows us to become re-anchored to the Father within ourselves, and part of the Kingdom of God within us. Moreover, you cannot see clearly when in a blind rage, though the rage creates not only an intense blindness but also a strong illusion that you see better than anyone else. Surely, you have noticed this from time to time.
Until you realize that your own willingness to resent is the core of all your problems in life (and yearn to give that up rather than continue to wallow in it), your life will be a progression from one resentment to another and another—the Devil’s stepping stones and breadcrumb trail into even deeper circles of hell on earth. And the worse your life becomes, the more you resent both your life, and also your awareness that something is deeply wrong—and that further binds you to your miserable state. Are you willing to give up resentment?
If, when in a resentful state, you try to help another person out of his hate or resentment, he will only see the hate in you and will understandably disregard your correction. (“This person is telling me not to be hateful, but is obviously hateful herself—what a hypocrite.”) Your hate has created more hate. Before you can remove the splinter from your neighbor’s eye, you must remove the log from your own--and before you can do that you need to at least realize it is there. Of course, if the other person has overcome his tendency to meet every resentment with more resentment, he may be able to hear the truth and take the correction from you despite your imperfections. Much (actually, almost all) of our best advice and information will come to us from other imperfect people—even those who hate us and are trying to point out a real weakness with the aim of hurting us and without any intention of our really getting better. It is wonderful to be blessed with the grace to see the gem of good advice and information even when it is wrapped in or mingled with something quite malodorous and awful. The better you get, the less you are influenced by the odor or by the wrapping paper and ribbon.
People’s resentment, and its consequences, have caused the words “good” and “evil” to be charged with a poison. Please consider this. Traditionally, “good” usually referred to something you should properly have an attraction to or liking for or strive to achieve, and “evil” to something you should properly have an aversion to, a disliking for and strive to avoid. When people have an aversion to and try to induce others to have an aversion to using the word “evil” or the word “good,” or talking about good and evil as realities in this world, they themselves are then and there evincing a strong belief in good and evil (in the core sense I just explained), as well as a sort of insanity in not realizing it. Caught up in words, I guess, rather than in meaning—and confusing themselves and everyone else. Just as if someone said it is wrong for you to use the term “wrong.”
We should have an aversion to resentment, but not a resentful aversion to it.
Be aware: it is not my intent by using the word “evil” to give you permission to resent evil, nor by using the word “good” to give you permission to resent good—in yourself or anyone else. If you have been taught to resent even the use of those words, or of “good,” “bad,” “right,” “wrong,” “virtue,” “vice,” “true” or “false”—you may notice a particular twinge when they are used. If you notice a particular susceptibility to some words or phrases, it is worth noting and wondering about it. The root of the secret power of words over you is usually your own resentment—though this may be at a very deep level that you are not aware of. Also, you may have become so thoroughly separated from the inner ground of your true being that the only world you know is thoughts, feelings, words, etc.—which in your world therefore take on an inordinate importance. If these remarks about words interest you, consider reading Roy Master’s book, The Secret Power of Words.
Hating something bad feeds your energy to it and makes you unable to oppose it in an effectual way. (Hating what is true, or good or right is even worse, because you then tend to go anywhere but in the right direction.) Hating hate itself just adds more hate, and another hate-multiplier, to the world. That is why Jesus said resent not evil, overcome it with good. It is also why Martin Luther King, Jr., counseling the same thing, enabled his followers to confront the worst injustice in America in a way that made America see itself, and change. Gandhi did likewise with the Indian people to help them make the British very willing, in the end, to release their grip. So the master freedom, the key to all others, is freedom from resenting, even the smallest things. (Some successors and purported followers of Jesus, Dr. King and Mr. Gandhi utterly miss that core point, and thus are most unworthy of the masters they purport to be following or carrying on for.)
Particularly important among the things you could resent are:
your inner sense that you don’t understand something,
• your inner misgivings and conflict about how you are living,
• your seeing or realizing what you would rather not see or realize,
• the inner light that is showing it to you,
• what you or other people think, feel, do or are,
• that other people seem to be living a better, or worse, life than you,
• that other people have gifts and talents and things which you lack, or lack gifts and talents and things that you have,
• that people, including your own parents, family and friends, have hurt you or led you astray by teaching or example, ,
• your ability to remember, see or realize any of this, or
• your realization that you are resenting.
You can begin your journey to that free inner state by beginning to notice and watch your resentments of even the smallest things in your present life. Roy Masters’ Be Still and Know and other audio exercises will show you how and give you practice in not falling into the resentment trap by enabling you to realize when you are. A copy of the exercise is available at fhu.com or by calling 800-877-3227 during West Coast business hours, M-F.
Subscribe to the NewsWithViews Daily News Alerts!
Once resentment has left you, the power of God can influence you, and the world around you, without effort on your part. In a manner of speaking, the Key to the Kingdom is not something you have, but something you yearn to give up. Resenting, the central core of the Devil himself, gets between you and God. It may even paint for you a grossly distorted picture and image of "God" for you that you can, understandably but tragically resent, making it even less likely that you will give up your resentment. (You think you only have a choice between a resentful and resentable "God", and other cherished resentments. And you don't realize that by letting go of all resentments, you free yourself from all ungodly entanglements, including the "God" who bears no resemblance to the real thing.) When you let go of resentment (and all its variations and anchors), it will leave, and, you’ll find God and his Truth welling up inside you—a far better companion and guide in life than any other.
© 2012 Steve Grow - All Rights Reserved
Steve Grow holds degrees in physics, law and philosophy. He is a retired lawyer who practiced business law for many years. He studied philosophy and cognitive psychology at the graduate level, including working with one of the world’s leading scholars on the work of Aristotle. He was co-editor in chief of his college newspaper. He has observed and wondered about history, psychology, religion, politics, journalism and good (and bad) government since childhood.
He believes that, now and always, the central problem in politics is monitoring and governing those in political positions—so that ordinary people are the ultimate governors and can hold those in office fully accountable. Ordinary people deserve, and need, full legal protection of their privacy. In contrast, all activities of those in government should be open to full scrutiny at all times. In a certain sense, ordinary people should be “ungovernable” and accorded a broad measure of privacy – on the other hand, politicians and their actions should be open to monitoring, closely watched and constrained. Anyone with a contrary view, he believes, is an enemy of freedom—wittingly or unwittingly.