Specialness comes in two flavours: special love, and special hate.

special hate

While we might want peace and happiness for the world in general, there will be those we make an exception for. Those for whom we, perhaps secretly, hope there is a hell, for them to go to. A murderer perhaps, a politician, a CEO, your ex, or perhaps it is yourself you would exclude from Heaven.

It doesn’t really matter. The slightest exception keeps you here, in hell.

Special hate is repulsion. Any person, object or situation you feel a need to be rid of or even just to avoid is a special hate relationship. The intensity does not matter.

It is possible to have a special hate relationship with yourself.

special love

Many a Course student has undone a layer of special hate, only to fall headlong into the trap of special love, in one form or another. This error is so common that there’s a whole ‘class’ of Course students that Ken affectionately calls “bliss ninnies”.

What the world generally calls love is special love. Special love excludes.

Just as with special hate, we can have a special love relationship with a person, with an object1 2 or situation, or with ourself (the body with which we identify, rather).

To love specially is to see salvation in specifics. To think this person/object/situation is the answer to my problems, this person is a suitable replacement for Truth, they will save me, they are my salvation, they are worth clinging to.

Think of Gollum and the One Ring, saying “my precious” – that’s special love. But it takes many subtle forms. And unlike special hate, the error of which is obvious to most westerners, the rosey glow of special love still seems to hold great appeal. Do not be delayed by seemingly ‘good’ circumstances.

Any person, object or situation you feel a need to keep or would feel ‘less’ without is a special love relationship. The intensity does not matter.

meta comment

I’m not satisfied with the special love section. There’s a lot more to say on this subject.

  1. “idol” is the term that the Course generally uses for special love objects 

  2. there’s no difference here between a physical object and a mental object