When you’re happy you don’t always have to be laughing, and when you’re sad you don’t have to be crying; sometimes it’s the opposite. You laugh when you’re the most upset.
– Freddie Highmore
To Enemy With Love
But in ordinary life you are aware that opposites are always joined together, that they are not opposites but complementaries. You know perfectly well, your love can at any moment become hate, and your hate can at any moment become love. In fact if you hate too much, intensely and totally, it is bound to become love.
That’s what happened to the person called Saul who later on became Paul and founded this ugly phenomenon, the Christian church. Jesus is not the founder of the Christian church, the founder of the Christian church is Saint Paul. And the story is worth remembering.
When he was born, his name was Saul. And he was so anti Christ that his whole life was devoted to destroying Christians and Christianity. His whole dedication was to persecute Christians, destroying any possibility of Christianity for the future, and effacing the name of Christ. He must have hated tremendously, his hate cannot be ordinary. When you devote your whole life to the object of your hatred, it is bound to be really total. Otherwise who cares? If you hate something you don’t devote your whole life to it. But if you hate totally, then it becomes a life-and-death problem.
Persecuting Christians, destroying Christians, destroying their power-holds, arguing with Christians, convincing them that this was nonsense, that this man Jesus was mad, a neurotic, a pretender, a hypocrite, one day it happened, the miracle happened. He was going to persecute more Christians in another town. On the way he was alone, and suddenly he saw Jesus appearing out of nowhere and asking him, “Why do you persecute me?”
Out of shock, terror, he fell on the ground, apologizing, crying great tears of repentance. The vision disappeared, and with the disappearance of the vision the old Saul disappeared. To remember this point he changed his name to Paul; the old man was dead, a new man had arrived. And he became the founder of the Christian church. He became a great lover of Jesus — the greatest lover the world has ever known.
Hate can become love. Jesus did not appear; it was just the intensity of his hate that projected Jesus. It was not Jesus who asked him, “Why do you persecute me?” It was his own unconscious which was suffering so much because of this hatred for Jesus. It was his own unconscious that asked him, “Why do you persecute me?” It was his own unconscious that became personified in the vision of Jesus. The miracle happened because the hate was total.
Whenever anything is total it turns into its opposite. This is a great secret to be remembered. Whenever something is total it changes into its opposite, because there is no way to go any further; the cul-de-sac has arrived.
Watch an old clock with a pendulum. It goes on and on: the pendulum goes to the left, to the extreme left, and then there is a point beyond which it cannot go, then it starts moving towards the right.
Opposites are complementaries. If you can suffer your suffering in totality, in great intensity, you will be surprised: Saul becomes Paul. You will not be able to believe it when it happens for the first time, that your own suffering absorbed willingly, welcomingly, becomes a great blessing. The same energy that becomes hate becomes love, the same energy that becomes pain becomes pleasure, the same energy that becomes suffering becomes bliss.
A sister is both your mirror – and your opposite.
– Elizabeth Fishel