As you might know, the writings I post seek to “fill-in” the gaps that I have encountered in other writings that we might characterize by the unfortunate term “spiritual”. I say unfortunate because the word “spiritual” conjures up a world of belief and for me belief has no relevance whatsoever. In fact, the purpose of this blog is to reveal the emptiness of belief.
It is also an unfortunate aspect of our Indo-European language, in this case English, which separates nouns from their contextual actions. In this case I refer to the noun “anger”. Anger does not occur in a vacuum. Nor does it arise independently from our psyche or from a presenting situation. Having an understanding of how emotion arises in our life will give us a direct view of the life that is not dominated by lack or fear. Let’s first deal with the issue of psyche.
As anyone who has had followed this blog already knows, the primary theme that I have discussed in a hundred different ways is the burden of the self-deficiency/lack belief that undergirds all suffering and seeking We bring healing to this self of fear and pain through seeing and understanding. This pathway requires us to see the falseness of the very self with which we are most attached. That is why it is truly a heroic and difficult path.
How our body/mind expresses feelings and emotions has everything to do with the prominence of the deficiency belief in our personal psyches. When I am strongly identified with deficiency, my emotions will often be dominated by anger. I will use anger to coerce and attack. I will use anger to bring attention to my “specialness”. My compulsion to control will manifest through anger. I’m sure you get the idea, because when I am personally identified with lack, my behaviors and actions will be primarily motivated to “get” something for “me”. I am driven to use my environment for my own ends. I will need power to obtain whatever I believe I need. I will need attention, love, and control. I might be devious about how I go about getting what I believe I must have, but we can fairly safely assume that anger will be one of our principal tools. We might also seek to please and manipulate using other tools.
Identified with deficiency, anger becomes a dominant emotion. It simmers just beneath the surface waiting for stimulation. As we observe how self-deficiency expresses itself in our actual lives, we begin to see that the whole self as really nothing but anger and its related emotions like jealousy, frustration, and envy. This ever-needing fear-based self is realized to be who we believe ourselves to be. The personal self is lack identified and the persistent energy organized to fill this bottomless pit of need.
From this pain and suffering the seeking self is born. We might be attracted to the teachings of Jesus, Buddha, or Ayn Rand, but we will seek pathways that bring order to our disordered lives. In this phase we become “achievers” of one sort or another. We come to believe that achieving things will be the balm that will silence our pain and need. In this way anger and seeking are linked in a chain of being that, hopefully, arrives one day at self-realization.
Only for the very few of us does identification with self-deficiency goad us on to paths that lead to the dissolution of the false – fear-based – deficient self. For most people, anger and fear continue to being the bedrock of their emotional existence. With age, the emotions tend to soften and mellow, but the underlying presence of “lack” will typically dominate one’s psychological world. It manifests in the smallest of ways, but its there – but that is a subject for another post.
We can see how anger and the pain and suffering that it engenders can be a potent signpost that leads to the direction of wisdom and dissolution of the lack-based self. We might want to appreciate anger a little more with this understanding.
With profound understanding, some of us are able to see the innately false nature of the seeking self. Once this happens, anger occupies a much less active role in our lives. With self-realization, the dominant emotion is one of love and caring and when anger manifests in our lives, it invariably is linked to love – love of the earth – love for the web of connections that includes everything in the universe both as object and as its position in time. We see ourselves in everything. Once we arrive to this place, then anger is only a spark that stimulates a separate chain of actions and events. It is no longer “my” anger but just a moment of recognition of harm. It is a direct emanation from the very web of connections that is the basis of all reality and truth. This is the “beauty of anger” that I discussed in my last post.
Prior to realization, anger is all about me and my needs, but after realization, anger is about recognition of harm with the understanding that such harms are real and have their own distinct call. Understanding this post can only really happen when the force of lack is all but absent from our lives.
And how do we find realization? The most direct path is this: SEE and FEEL the pain that will always accompany trying to be something – trying to get something – and trying to have something. As you SEE and FEEL that pian, let the seeking and struggling do as they wish. Don’t ever try to stop this psychological process. It will fade away and finally drop as a consequence of your persistent willingness to SEE and FEEL it all. By SEEING and FEELING you are, in effect, disengaging with the psychology of the separate self. See that all such seeking only leads to the same pain time and time again. That’s all!
But even this is just a stage on the pathway of unknowing.