Mind WorX – Anger
ANGER (Wrath) is the nasty pastie of the seven deadly sins. It can be likened to a protective viper that coils its way around the egos idiosyncrasies – like the self images of pompous pride, the belief that it is special and consequently, the assumed right to have all its needs and greed’s fulfilled, post haste.
When any of these demands are not forthcoming, the ego often angrily retaliates. This can vary in intensity from mild impatience to frustration, to angry outbursts, and finally, explosive tirades, the sole objective then being to hurt, humiliate or possibly even kill the person who has affronted the touchy ego.
Apart from the individual ego, this can also be the case for the collective ego of governments and institutions – religious institutions especially – who believe they have been wronged. Look at the violence that can happen when some religious doctrine or ideology or leader is ridiculed or blasphemed.
Also known as rage, it is described as uncompromising, uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. In its purest form, it exudes feelings of self-destructiveness, violence and hate that may provoke feuds that can go on for centuries. Wrath may persist long after the person who did another a grievous wrong is dead.
Any provocation can ignite the fire of anger. For instance, it can be manifested simply by an individual insinuating blame on another, whether it is warranted or not, or who belittles or spurns their love. The individual may also spurn love themselves when the opportunity arises if they are incapable of receiving it.
The reason for this is their lack of self love – they detest themselves so much so, that they find it impossible to accept love from others. ‘I am not worthy of being loved,’ ‘I am not good enough,’ are some of the thoughts that arise when an intimate event threatens those ingrained beliefs.
The ego buries these images of self dislike deep within. They are very private, thus they are secretly shielded from discovery by others. They have been built up from all the images collected since childhood, where they may have been abused, sexually molested or their offers of affection towards others, their parents especially, have been ignored or spurned.
The same goes for every other threat to the egos self image. If those images are deemed offensive, it will try and defend its position with a tirade of angry objections. Even though they may hold some truth, the ego can never accept that fact openly and will viciously defend the image it shows of itself to the world.
The ego reacts to any situation, pleasant or unpleasant, from past memories of what happened before, not from what is happening now. When provoked, people who are victims of their ego, will [before they realize it] say or do something that they will later regret – or will continue to stew over it – whichever way, the damage has been done.
The only recourse that the individual has after the fact is to learn the lesson the incident provided so as not to make the same mistake again, but that rarely occurs. When a similar situation crops up again, in an instant, the anger and frustration flares up and the proverbial foot is placed firmly in the mouth once more.
Recently I was rummaging about in my reference files and came across this story that explains such an instance. It relates the tale of an American who wished to get home and his erupting anger when things didn’t go the way he wanted. I’m sure you have many similar stories to tell. I know I have.
“One day, it became rather important that I get from Washington D.C. to Miami, where a friend was experiencing a certain crisis. Airfares were prohibitively expensive, so I decided to go by train and called our friends at Amtrak to see if they could help me out.
They couldn’t. In fact, when I was finally allowed to talk to a human being after a wait of over twenty minutes, I was put on hold a few more times while the customer service agent got some coffee, rearranged her closet, re-grouted her aquarium, and took a Calculus class.
Understand that I really, really wanted to get out of Washington D.C. at this point – that night, even – and that each passing minute might have made the difference between catching the night train, or not.
No one wants to read someone else’s customer service complaint; suffice it to say that Amtrak treated me with the care you would expect them to extend to any convicted serial killer.
I was a bit peeved. I hung up. I didn’t go to Florida, which turned out to be perfectly fine. But the damage was done – my sales agent was only guilty of a little rudeness, but I was guilty of the Sin of Anger.
And while she may eventually get fired, I will baste in the fires of eternal damnation. Thanks Amtrak.”
These examples of anger have been exaggerated as an illustration of how destructive it can be to our advancement spiritually – and also physically, as it is reported that anger, if prolonged, creates a hardness in the heart and stomach that can result in cancerous growths. Most of us are not as volatile as that – more average – middle of the road.
If you look honestly at yourself, you may see a connection between what you feel when you deem you have been unjustly accused or things don’t go the way you think they should and the bubbling of anger that subsequently arises from within, creating the spontaneous urge to react with irritation or anger.
Every one of us commits this sin of anger to some degree most days of our lives. There is nothing wrong with that, for it has a purpose. It is one of the many lessons presented to us that we need to learn in our class room of life. All we need do is to become aware of our anger before it erupts. Awareness puts a damper on its fires.
As with all of the other ego beliefs and vices, anger lives in the past – it relies entirely on presumptions of what the ego believes should and should not be, gathered from its library of images of past events, not from what is happening now.
In the present moment, there is simply nothing to be angry about. It just is – OK – whatever happens.
Dan’s Quote: “’Tis said that wrath is the last thing in a man to grow old.”– Alcaeus