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On Anger

Anger is not really an emotion. I know that runs contrary to popular opinion but bear with me a second. I contend that anger is a reaction to an emotion which is creating expectations that are being thwarted. The energy of this emotion is being blocked in the system and causing the flare up in the emotional body. That is the technical description. Let's see how it might play out. Suppose a family member has taken it upon themselves to clean a kitchen and likes to keep it that way. Another member of the family has messed up the place and left it that way. When the first person enters the room and sees this state of affairs, they may feel unappreciated or unloved because their hard work is all for naught. They feel a statement has been made that concerns them. Their desire to be loved and supported has been thwarted. Their expectations, "If you loved me you'd..." has not been realized. Their reaction to this is anger. "You did this to hurt me!" The real emotion, "I'm afraid! You don't love me!" now lies beneath the response to their own emotion - anger.

Each instance of anger stems from just such a gestalt of feeling and reaction. Each occurrence creates for us a choice. We can batter away at the circumstances, holding our energies to the action or goal created by the original feeling (a very normal response), or we can accept what we find before us and release our energies to a higher will. OK, that second option sounds a little airy fairy, but we'll get back to it in a bit.

We are trained to view this world as hostile territory, beyond the control of our being. Since birth, we realize that our very survival is in the hands of circumstances beyond our own wills. We feel pressure to surround ourselves with an environment under our control in order to be secure and to continue living. From ensuring that we get fed and cleaned and rested in infancy to more sophisticated needs like financial security and relationships which fill our needs, we manipulate our reality to create security. This security is the stuff of stability in an incomprehensible universe.

All this activity is blindly pursued by most of us. We are trained for it from the cradle. Indeed, it is the predominant message of our human societies, reflected in our science, religions and popular culture. So when this hostile "reality" presents us with conditions which threaten our security, directly or indirectly, we unconsciously respond with fear - a big energy surge. Being unloved or unsupported or incompetent to deal with life threaten our survival in emotional terms and Kablaam!

This disruption in our view of the world requires us to change. To refuse this change (as opposed to fleeing hysterically), holds this surge of energy in our biofield (or whatever term you wish to use for the energy gestalt which forms us as beings). Our response to this blocked flow of energy, if it is a strong enough surge, is anger. Our bodies change accordingly, temperatures rise, metabolism increases, muscles (both voluntary and involuntary as any Krones sufferer will attest) tense. YeeHaw! Even our intellects feel the effects as we tense and paralyze this faculty as well. Through all levels of our awareness the resistance is felt.

Can we hope to fix this powerful and immediate disruption by an act of will? Seems unlikely! It takes planning and practice and forethought aplenty. We need alternatives to this obstinate clinging to our view of the world, this fear which unforeseen change evokes. The consequences otherwise can be dire. Acting on the fear and the anger we use to cover it can cause a whole host of troubles in our physical selves as well as in our relationships. Letting the fear create the anger and then holding back that anger does much the same but the symptoms may differ. If we don't hurt others with our anger, we hurt ourselves by holding our anger inside. Neither option provides much chance for a healthy response to a situation. How can we cope with these circumstances of forced change in our view of the world in healthy ways?

Well, that brings us back to the alternative doesn't it? Trust, release, letting go! If we recognize that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience and not the other way around, we have the first step in this processed covered. We then have the possibility of creating new habits which allow us to deal with change in a healthy, giving manner. We can then learn new patterns of response which lend greater awareness of thought and feeling. Then we find a more genuine control of the unfolding of life.

That's right. I said control! I admit it, I am a control freak. With all my heart I want to be a willing and active participant in the creation of my life. Doesn't sound so neurotic when it's said that way does it? For me, responding to life in a knee-jerk pattern of behavior would be the real loss of control. Such blind reactive responses are expressions of fear. They are our deeply ingrained habitual efforts to stop the flow of universal life energy. Why would anyone choose to stop that pure loving energy? When it comes right down to it, there is no good reason. Still, that is precisely what we repeatedly do as we go through our days. The list of reasons is seemingly endless. Most of its inventory boils down to our thoroughly trained resistance to accepting our own divinity and the complete perfection that that implies. We are taught to believe that we are less than perfect (Original Sin?) and that we will surely pay dearly for that state of being. This is the primal fear (separation from God) that blocks our awareness of the loving sustenance of life. Our universe becomes predatory instead of benevolent.

So here is our starting point for rebuilding the foundations of our lives. This is the point of attack for a new cosmology which can free us from anger and the fear which drives it. As we investigate the nature of God and face the question of what place we occupy in the universe, our trust in the rightness of our existence grows. By opening ourselves to the complete and unconditional lovingness of which the whole of creation is made, a sense of the perfection of all things develops. More and more we can accept this belief and perceive it being reinforced as we peer at life around us. More and more we can trust that each moment in our lives unfolds just as it should. If we approach life from the perspective that all creation is made entirely of God stuff and all is equal in that regard, we can trust in the integrity of our being. Then releasing our "fates" and our wills into the hands of the higher awareness to which we are all connected becomes possible.

Yeah, this is all pretty high minded, I know. Think of it as a working hypothesis. Suspend judgment (reasonably sound advice for all occasions) and release the fear which fuels the emotions. Assume that each happenstance is perfection in motion even when it defies understanding. Cease to try and thereby allow life to unfold as it will. Hold firm in the belief that then, unimpeded by human interference, God will meet His/Her own needs and ours, by inference, as well. We make an awful mess by standing in the way of life unfolding on its own. Don't we?

So, there it is in a nutshell (though a rather large nut to crack!). We can indeed change a lifetime of habitual response, be it anger, sadness or striving, with a simple leap of faith in each moment. Each time some long-standing pattern of behavior rears up within us, look at it honestly from this fresh perspective. Remember our belief that All That Is, is good. We CAN release ourselves and our pain and feel the joy of living again.

Developing this skill - and it is a skill - is a process. It takes practice, to be sure. Each effort, though, makes the next attempt easier. The innocence that this attitude implies is our ticket back to Eden.

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