Love Thine Enemy

I hated my parents. I hated my school. I hated the cops. I hated all authority. 

I hate anything that imposes limits on me, that gets in my way.

I hate disease, I hate that death is inevitable, I hate the laws of Nature. We all do. We all hate our parents, we all hate our Mother.

What goes up must come down. Hate that!

I hate that people form mobs and go after scapegoats. I hate that I have been a scapegoat, and may be again.

Hell is other people. I hate ‘em.

I hate suffering. Life is suffering.

And yet. See what happens when we overcome our limits?

See what happened when humans developed antibiotics, thereby evading a longstanding limit of Nature? Now humans overpopulate a still-limited planet, destroying vast swathes of wild habitat and species.

We developed industrial machinery, freeing ourselves from the limits of manual drudgery. Now we are captives of our own technology.

We domesticated animals and plants, freeing us from the vagaries of hunting and gathering. Now we lack purpose and meaning, as our animal instincts are continually frustrated.

We created writing systems, evading the limits of our very limited memories. Take that, Nature! Now we live in a mediated cultural hallucination.

Without limits, we create hell on earth.

We need everything we hate, to push against. We need gravity, to push against this Earth even though we want to fly. Imagine if we conquered gravity. Our muscles would turn to jello, our bones would weaken, we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves as we floated about. Pushing, tension, resistance, opposition: we are built for this. We are built for limits. We are made for enemies.

Without enemies, who are we?

Children of parents who fail to set limits, who can’t tolerate their children’s hatred, become narcissistic monsters. 

Atheists wonder, if God is such an asshole in the holy scriptures, why do the religious praise and worship Him? God certainly behaves like an Enemy, what with the plagues and commands to violence and contradictory imperatives and impossibly confusing directives and nonsensical rules and vindictiveness and punishments. Thus, to love God is to love thy Enemy. To love thy Enemy is to love God. If God is all, He is evil as well as good, limits along with freedom, hate along with love. To know Him is to love Him, and hate and fear Him too.

I love mine enemies, for giving me something to hate. Without enemies, whom would I hate? Myself? That would be much worse. I’m built to hate something, better it not be me.

Children hate their parents, especially their Mothers. It is a natural phase. As I become more like the Mother myself, I am more able to love my hating self, and the hating others, all we hateful children, mine enemies. Love thy enemy as thyself: we, who know what hate is, already do. 


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

8 thoughts on “Love Thine Enemy”

  1. Everyone has a Dark Side, even God. You can acknowledge and accept it, or you can deny it and project it. How could there be a painting with only white? This world is every colour; it has to be, to be a world. This existence is every feeling and experience – all the light and all the dark. Maya, illusion, Shiva’s dance, the ever-changing play of Krishna, the passing show. Laugh at it – it doesn’t last.

  2. wish nina u wd expand th issue into rebirths coz hatred +love r th same in that context… all emotions r bondings +theyre experienced as bondage…please make a small series fr rebirthing of desire

  3. As someone who uses the words “boundaries” in my work around 15 to 20 times a week, I couldn’t agree more.

    Love is not always kind. Kindness is not always love.

    And, very often, boundaries are exactly what we need to stop us falling or jumping over the edge.

  4. Give ’em Hell, Nina! _He/She/It/They_ ought to be familiar with it.

    Some time ago I figured the one thing that would surely stick in the craw of God, King, Country, and Capital — in short, the Demiurge — would be to practice universal benevolence. Hence Anarchist Oatmeal Cookies and giving food to people in the park. I don’t know if it works, but I had to do _something_, and it does offend a lot of people.

    See you around sometime.


  5. Accepting my Mum’s limitations and my own atm [dont ask!]… or I think I am … was angry now just wistful .. doesnt pierce my soul like it did. Is this peace or ami fooling myself again ….? wouldnt bet on it.

  6. Hard to see how not being allowed to love other males or gather kindling (or do anything else) on Saturdays or talk back to your parents — with the penalty being death in all three cases, as well as in scads of others — are useful limits to have.

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