Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Things are not what they seem; Nor are they otherwise."

Things are not what they seem;
Nor are they otherwise.

-   Lankavatara Sutra

      Buried beneath grim shadows, drowned in fear, burns an intense heat of power hungry rage, human history punctuated by hatred . Fury is uncontrolled anger. Rage is destructive.
Anger is not always so. But how much anger is too much anger? 
When does anger begin to destroy you, hurt those
 around you- every breath a contagious disease? 

     Some anger is healthy. Anger can be a healthy emotion. If we feel threatened anger will motivate us to take action. Anger transformed with passion will foster positive change. Instinctively, the natural way for human beings to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is an adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful feelings and behaviors allowing us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked.
 A certain amount of anger is necessary for our survival.           
Healthy anger allows us to protect our boundaries from invasion.

      But too much anger distorts our reality. It makes our blood boil.  Our temperatures rise. We may want to scream, slam a door or smash something or much much worse, we may choose to harm, acting  out our violent impulses on other living beings. We are seeing so much anger in the world right now. But anger and right action are complicated. Contemplation on serious, effective resolution is more lasting, creative and productive with a clear, calm mind versus negative raging thought waves.

“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.” ― Aristotle 

          Anger - " is an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage," according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist specializing in anger studies.
 Anger, like other emotions is accompanied by measurable physiological and biological changes. Anger causes your heart rate and blood pressure to rise and increases levels of energy hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. An adult or child's temporary temper tantrum may be viewed as healthy. Constant anger or rage is not. Uncontrollable angry outbursts can lead to serious quality of life issues from individual fighting to nations at war. Study after study supports that being angry all the time leads to high blood pressure and heart disease. We are not rational in a fit of rage. We will not be constructive- only destructive as we have seen time and time again throughout civilization. Unreleased or repressed anger may cause a number of serious physical and mental problems as well, including many forms of cancer and serious depression. Flaring up quickly, "angry" is never a natural state of mind. Anger is a disturbance of mind. But what often begins as a ripple on the pond, ends in a dangerous tsunami.

     At home or on the global stage, we must eventually let go of anger and frustration in order to move forward. Anger itself is not the problem, our problems arise from the direction of our own energy. We need to use our anger to motivate, to resolve conflict and search for real meaningful answers. Anger can no longer be used as an excuse to tear apart, place blame and accuse, destroying our lives and others lives in the process. All of us must carefully examine the true origins of our own anger.