Anger Can Be A Dangerous Emotion, Like Raging Flames That Can Burn One To The Core

By Zile Singh


“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”- Mark Twain

Let us understand Anger in its right perspective. Anger is a basic human emotion that is experienced by all people at different times and  in different situations.  The intensity of anger also differs from person to person.   The duration of angry mood depends upon several factors and an individual’s mental make-up.  Anger occurs when one feels injured, mistreated, oppressed,  opposed in one’s long held views and beliefs or when one is not able to achieve certain goals in life.  Some  synonyms of it are: rage, wrath, irritation, displeasure, annoyance, ill-feeling , resentment, exasperation , provocation, em-purple, nettle etc.  Anger doesn’t solve anything.  It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.  A human being is a bundle of emotions. Of all emotions, anger is the most destructive.  In the state of anger you feel hot, your nervous system shakes and a tremor is felt  all over the body.  It is a short spell of madness. It is interesting to note that sometimes, you become angry by your own bad performance and  behaviour.  I have seen some of my colleagues who broke their club when they  hit a very bad shot in the game of golf. We have seen  good players having  thrashed and thrown their rackets after bad shots in Tennis and Badminton games.   Not only with others, but sometimes one becomes angry with one’s own self.

In biological terms, anger  is an essential element of life  under certain circumstances only.  If a person does not  express his anger in any grave situation when it is required in right proportion, then it is considered that something is missing.    As per Goodreads, “ 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.”  At right time and in right proportion it enhances life.   Now the prime issue is how to handle the emotion of anger and  convert it into a beneficial  productive energy.      Knowing that anger is so harmful for humanity, the sages and saints meditated  and came to the conclusion that through awareness and witnessing it neutrally without any judgment,  anger can be transformed into a positive energy.  If you become aware of your anger, understanding penetrates and anger disappears. Unfortunately, we are told to control and suppress the anger.  The suppression of anger without a proper understanding  is dangerous.  Because at that particular time you will be able to control it out of the fear of its consequences,  but by suppressing  it has gone deep into your unconscious mind and it will emerge again in two-fold when it finds the right atmosphere.  The solution is: you have to  go to the root cause of anger.   The root is always a desire which has been blocked and that  frustration has created anger.  Analyze that desire.  It might be a futile and unworthy desire.  Control the desire and try to be non-serious and playful.

Gurdjieff, a well known Swiss  psychologist said that a small thing transformed his life completely.  He  explains that his father was dying and he called him and advised that , “Whenever you feel angry, wait for twenty four hours and then do whatever you want to do.  Anger is either instant or it is not.  Anger functions when you are unconscious.”  If you are conscious for twenty four seconds only,  then you cannot be angry.  One must be aware  of the following dictum:   “He who angers you, conquers you and  if a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?”

The need of the day is  to understand  anger in its right perspective.  The world often continues to allow evil because it is not angry enough.  It allowed the unprofessional religious  priests who have been  exploiting the innocent and ignorant masses in the names of the Rama, the Krishna,  the Buddhas, the Christs and the Prophets for centuries.  They preached  to suppress the  most basic emotions and instincts of human being  like hunger, anger, inquiry and sex.   It was a deliberate attempt to make human beings weak so that nobody can question their false authority and put up a logical  point of view for fear of so many  illogical assumptions.   The suppression of the above mentioned emotions and instincts gave birth to some other harmful situations.  The result is quite clear that today the so-called preachers, the Babas  and maniacs are having a crave for  food (material),  violence (anger),  false propaganda (non-inquiry)  and  physical abuse (sex).  The world is not angry enough even today to teach good  lessons to  such corrupt elements in the society who instead of making people to understand the  instincts like anger, among others,  are advocating to suppress it or put  aside temporarily.  Instead, they are stealing the innocent masses of their wealth, health and character and finally their lives.  Anger will not vanish unless love and right understanding arise. It needs transformation and not annihilation.

Anger is something that we all deal with. It can take control if not addressed.  For every second we remain angry we damage our peace of mind.

“You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger”   — Buddha

Zile Singh is a former Ambassador(Retd.) of India and a Vipassana Meditator. He can be reached at zsnirwal@yahoo.ca .

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