The worst outbreaks of the lust for the pleasure of seeing another suffer appear in groups. It is the fundamental cause of bullying, both in schools as well as in the adult world, of horrible atrocities by a mob, and the reason why people in the old days went to the market to spit, throw stones, hit and torture someone who had been condemned for a crime. It is as if this tiny malicious seed of lust bursts open and grows exponentially in a group of people. Therefore, it is very dangerous.
It is kind of logic, that it never comes to our mind, how to deal with this lust on the individual level. The majority of us is convinced, we ourselves do not take pleasure in seeing another suffer, so then we don’t have to be aware of it; and those who do will not readily admit it. Therefore we do not address it, like we address for example jealousy and pride. Still it should be addressed, and explained in education. As it can be triggered by a group, anyone might have to conclude, that yes, in a group we actually did act upon it under influence of what the group thought was justifiable, harmed another and even felt good doing so.
On the level of the primary instincts we could say that as we associate sexual desire with the impuls to create, to (re)produce, this other lust can be associated with the impuls to destroy. In Buddhistic philosophy, the energy of this first impuls can be used to generate the wish to relieve suffering, Boddhichitta. It is different from altruism and empathy; Boddhichitta is that which causes altruism and empathy. So it is the antidote to the destructive lust for the pleasure to see another suffer. How strange that we do not have a word for this lust! We cannot call it ‘sadism’ as this refers to extreme pervers behaviour, as a result of this lust. So how should we call it? It needs to have a name, because we can never find the true wish to relieve others suffering without acknowledging its opposite.