For those of you who think that anger is normal and no big deal, this is not for you. For the few of you who realize that anger is a destructive force that is the opposite of peace, you might want to read on.
Peace is not the result of positive thinking. Peace can only come with the absence of negative thinking. True Peace requires the absence of anger.
All day, everyday, most people react to each other with resentment or other forms of subtle anger. This is done automatically, and often, unconsciously. It is so common, it is as nothing to most people. In most societies, anger is considered normal. Everybody does it. Still, most people don't want to talk about it, much less think about it. People either express their anger and make other people sick or they repress their anger and make themselves sick. The possibility of eliminating anger is not even considered. Yet, anger can be seen to be the root cause of depression, rape, racism, insanity, murder, and war. You don't believe it? Read on.
Step 1: Materials
Needed: one honest person
Step 2: Total Honesty
In order to become someone better and find true Peace, you have to be able to admit what you are doing wrong. It does little good to see what everyone else is doing wrong. That's easy. Whatever they may be doing wrong, you can't change them. You will have your hands full trying to change yourself into something better.
You will have to be able to do what most people are not willing to do, admit it when you are wrong. You have to be willing to be totally honest--at least with yourself. You must abandon your clever excuses and self-justifications and lies. There is no other way.
When you have reached a certain level of honesty about your own faults, only then will you have the opportunity to see clearly how destructive anger can be.
Step 3: Watching What Anger Does
Don't take my word for it, look for yourself. Look all around you, in your everyday life, and see exactly what anger does.
When we expect more than we are getting, when our life is not living up to our dreams, things begin to look hopeless. When we do not appreciate what we have and can only dwell on what we donât have, we begin to resent our situation or even our life. We start to turn our anger inward. We get angry at ourselves for not being smart enough or good enough to get what we wantâwhat we expected. This resentment and the unwillingness to accept our situation is the beginning of depression. It is this increasingly common depression, coupled with a deep selfishness, that can lead to suicide.
Every time there is a murder, anger is involved. Resentments accumulate over time until some last intolerable slight sets someone off. Every murderer is a person that is temporarily or permanently consumed by hate. When people go into a rage, they lose their normal restraints. They lose their self control. If you could eliminate anger from the situation, most murders would not occur.
Studies have shown that rape is more about anger than it is about sex. Rape is a form of retribution. The rapist is trying to get even with those who were unjust to him. He is venting his anger in a way that will hurt and humiliate. The violence of the act is fueled by anger.
The racist or bigot has seen injustice or had injustice done to him. He needs someone to blame and the one who gets blamed is determined not by who deserves blame, but by who is a convenient target. One problem with anger is that its direction cannot be controlled. When the pressure of resentment builds to a sufficient degree, anger lashes out to the nearest person, even if that person is not the cause of the original resentment. The boss takes it out on the husband who takes it out on the wife who takes it out on the kids who end up kicking the cat. Those who cannot take it out on those close to them, end up finding another race, culture, or religion to blame for their problems.
When a person suppresses their anger for years at a time, they can implode mentally. They can get lost in endless loops of frustration and helplessness. Frustration is just another form of anger and unrelenting frustration is the beginning of mental imbalance. For such people, dreams become their only escape from the hostility around them and their own inner ugly rage. They retreat into their own mind-world which is seething with disgust and hatred. When taken as far as it can go, they can end up paranoid or schizophrenic or pathological. Most insanity comes from this kind of inner rage.
Step 4: Watching Your Own Anger
Next to being honest, this is the hardest step. It is easy to see how unreasonable other people can be when they are angry. Much harder is to see how unfair and unreasonable you can be when you are resentful or angry.
In order to do this, you have to learn how to step back and watch yourself. The watcher is the watched. It is as if you were watching a drowning person being swept away by the currents as you watch calmly from the shore. Yet, you are that drowning person being swept away by your frustrations and resentments.
If you learn to create this separation, you will begin to see clearly your own anger and the very act of objectively watching it will eventually start to dissolve it. You can actually learn to dissolve anger while it is small and weak--before it grows into something larger and more destructive.
Anger is a reaction to perceived or imagined injustice. But it is an overreaction. Anger is not something you can control, it is something that controls you. It is not something that can be channeled into a positive direction. It is anger that murders innocence and it is anger that leaves suffering in its wake. Once you have seen for yourself that there is something wrong with anger, you can begin to learn how it works. For those of you who are willing to look into it, you may discover that there is a way out of this perpetual misery.
If you suppress your anger, it will make you sick. Studies have shown that anger releases chemicals in the blood which can weaken the immune system. This can lead to cancer and other diseases. If you express your anger, it will make others sick. You will create an angry response in them which can damage their health. The only real and permanent solution to the never-ending problems of this world and the beginning of real Peace, is the actual elimination of angerâ€”the anger in you.
As long as there is anger, there will be wars.
Here is a link to a book that explains better than I can, how to see yourself objectively and eventually eliminate your own anger: