The false self takes control of our life through the vehicle of attaching to selected thoughts. The fear-based thoughts arise in our life in ways that are obvious and ways the are extremely subtle. Since the obvious is obvious, let’s briefly talk about the subtle.
In my own experience the most subtle arousal of the Fear-Self always involves sustaining the belief in a “me”. This me has rights, entitlements, special knowledge, and essential preferences. But, and here’s the important point, it activates each of these thought based centers through its near constant assessment of its environment. Notice how this assessment manifests in your own life. It’s this delicate energy that is evaluating your moment to moment life.
Who is the person who can easily notice this cluster of me based behaviors? THIS is our essential self. It is utterly open to whatever is happening, including this assessing self, all of the time, but it is all but invisible, because on some level we are attaching to a me based thought cluster.
So, when anger happens we can see that it’s based on some thought construct. Life is unfair. I’m never the lucky one. I shouldn’t be treated this way. Everyone deserves respect. There shouldn’t be traffic on this road at this time. This is bullshit. I hate know-it-all people. I like her because she likes me. I like him because he respects me. I like him because he’s smart (his opinions agree with mine). I love my kids because they listen to me. And on and on it goes.
Anger is the conduit revealing the falseness of our me based thoughts. Our ego tells us how fantastic we are and it uses assessment to establish our greatness. When life doesn’t measure up to how we think it should be, anger or disappointment happens. There is absolutely no problem with that. It is exactly how life should be operating and, if anything, we ought to be grateful for life not to be living up to our perfectly honed expectations.
Thus, anger is a gift. Disappointment is a gift. They are gifts that push us to what is true in the moment. We refuse these gifts when we ignore their generosity. We thus resist life and even resist god (if you believe in a deity – I don’t), when you resist your own anger and disappointment.
So next time you get angry or disappointed, stop for a moment and explore what identity your ego is asserting. See what’s happening as what’s happening. See the insanity of the underlying thought pattern. See the suffering instigated by the ego’s demands. See it and the path to a happier you will have begun.
Finally, notice how this deepest, most fundamental you is affected by neither success or failure – good fortune or bad fortune. All such labels are just reference points that originate with the false me.