In February I wrote a blog about the positives and negatives of anger. I did so in response to a chapter in a book I was reading by the Dalai Lama. Today I write a follow-up as part of this month’s Synchroblog topic.
Right now I’m reading a book that guides people of the Hindu tradition toward spiritual maturity – the Bhagavad Gita. I’m finding it quite fascinating. The Christian teaching I received in my youth steered me away from such readings for fear that they would pollute my understanding of God and the Christian faith. Now I’m seeing how much I missed as a result of the isolating tactics of my faith tradition. But that’s another topic.
Like I said in an earlier post on anger, emotions are immediate reactions that can help you to assess what you value most. Anger arises because of a fear that you might lose something that is important to you. Your life. Your partner. Your child. Your honor. Your reputation. Your self-esteem. Your foundational beliefs that help you define who you are.
When fear of loss enters your mind, your inner harmony disappears. Your blood pressure rises. That peaceful aura around you that helps you see clearly gets muddy. It blinds you to reality. You imagine that it must be cleared away immediately. It’s like seeing a bull walking into your china shop. Except that the first reaction to fear of loss is rarely the best when trying to restore harmony.
Religious people (of every faith tradition) get angry when someone threatens to shake the ground on which they stand, even though much of that ground needs to be ploughed under. Some think they have to defend God. Others think they have to defend heaven. Some think they have to defend tradition or their ancestry.
What anger does is point out the things we are attached to in this world. And that’s why ancient wisdom of most religious traditions (which comes from their mystics and not from their theologians who are attached to theories) points to detachment from the things of this world as an important step in the process of spiritual maturation.
Detachment. Think about it. If you weren’t so attached to your house, car, bank account, your dream of what a family should look like and do, the things your Sunday school teacher told you that you had to believe in order to go to heaven, etc. – if you weren’t so attached to the taste of sugar, you wouldn’t get so angry at yourself that you can’t lose weight.
The mystics promoted detachment (not complete abstinence from pleasures) in order to teach people to place seeking God within as most important. This is what can satisfy in ways that nothing earthly can satisfy. When you place as your highest desire communion with the Unknown Source of Goodness within, then the things of this earth will take their rightful place. The things of earth are all temporary. They all will be lost. And fear of their loss is pointless.
Without fear of loss, that red flag (or emotion) of anger will rarely wave and harmony in your inner being will prevail.
To add a practical note to this, that’s why I’m starting to avoid the national news. I don’t click on sensational headlines on the internet. The design of media today is to rouse fear. (Even some in all religions think it’s their duty to arouse fear.) It’s an acceptable form of terrorism. They do it to raise ratings and earn higher profits, not to improve the world and the lives of the viewers. It’s no longer important to me to think I must know what someone else thinks will be lost if the worst happens.
I’m much more at peace as a result. I’m even loosening my attachment to who will win the presidential campaign in 2016. I’ll vote as usual. But I’ll vote for the person I think can bring peace, hope, and harmony into our country and world. I won’t vote for the person who uses fear as their foundation. That just makes me angry. 🙂 Once I vote, I’ll live with the result.
All this is to say that Divine Wisdom has blessed you and me with emotions like anger to help us reassess what is most important to us and what makes us most secure…and to call us on a journey inward to find true peace.
Other bloggers commenting on the topic of ANGER:
- Mark Votava – Becoming Dreamers Again
- Carol Kuniholm – God’s Economy: Managing Anger Assets
- Clara Ogwuazor Mbamalu – The Easiest Way to Control and Manage Anger
- K.W. Leslie – Anger
- Glenn Hager – The Many Faces of Anger
- Pastor Fedex – Chain Reaction
- Jeremy Myers – You Sound Angry, Bitter, and Critical
- Michael Boden – Anger is Not a Godly Emotion
- Kathy Escobar – underneath anger.