Anger

March 18, 2014

Giving me pause this week is a recent teaching that asks us to reconsider all our assumptions about anger, plainly asserting that there is no relationship between “the things that happen to us and our anger at them”.  Rather, anger amounts to a mistaken paradigm, a faulty way of seeing things:

“…Anger is fueled by a great many things, but injustice is not one of them.  Disrespect is not one of them.  Neglect, abandonment, insult—these things, too, do not fuel anger.  Anger comes about because an expectation which was always unrealistic is not met; it comes about because that expectation is insisted upon though it was manufactured out of nothing to begin with.  It comes about when one’s basic attitude towards life is that things will be as I wish them to be, things will be as I decide, and not as they are.  When someone seems to make you angry, you were already so, and you were already that angry, your fury already that hot, that intense, that caustic, that pointed.  You are often angry.  It is like a fist in your gut or a clenching in your jaw.  It may not be in what you say but it is in how you see things; it paints a bleak picture which you believe with all your heart.  Anger is part of a paradigm that says, ‘things happen to me, I am their victim and never their architect’.  It is part and parcel of ignorance and no amount of controlling the tone of your voice, no amount of measuring your words diminishes that anger when you’ve got it.  It is not an issue of behavior, it is an issue of perspective….”

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