Aggression and Its Healing


A Key Post

People believe that they need to get somewhere, to become something. Realization means to allow what has been hidden to come to light. As long as our anger is hidden, as long as our fear is hidden, we will be driven to be positive and falsely loving. The only issue is the light, the light of clarity, of truth, of seeing.

My friends please believe when I say that you will rely on some expression of force to “get” what you believe you need until the day when you’re just plain exhausted by the constant need to “get”. On that day, when all the interest in force finally dissipates, if from nothing else than lack of interest, you will discover your Authentic Being.

Please notice how we use force to fill the vacuum caused by our inner sense of insufficiency. We need to get it, we need to be loved, we need to correct others of their ignorance, we need to show that we’re in control

We need to show the world how good we areWe need to show that are better because we love more – we care more.

We attack things because we are motivated by the need “to get” – to get even knowledge for the promise of knowledge is control. How I fell for this one!!! I plunged into every problem I could my mental hands on. I need to understand things – to get them, because in “getting them” I could be free of their weight on my false, fear-based self. This has been the journey that I needed to take in order to see the false as the false.

This is just how an identification with our own insufficiency manifests in the world. We need to show others just how great we are, because, down deep, we are convinced that we’re damaged goods.

As very young children we see, first-hand, how our parents got their way through some expression of force, whether it came in the form of promised rewards, manipulation, or just naked bullying, we learned the lesson of force and we learned it well.

Recently, I became involved in an acrimonious argument with my daughter. She accused me that down deep I believed she was a “fuck-up”. I denied her charge with passion. I told her how much I loved and believed in her. I begged her to check to see if this wasn’t true with several relatives – I asked her to see how I spoke about her ‘behind her back’.

But she is a clever person. In part, I was lying. For on one level I did believe she has been a fuck-up. On so many other ways, I profoundly admire her, I often quote her to friends and family in ways that express her acute insight, her uncanny ability to sniff out bullshit (especially my own!) – and, at least in this conversation, she failed to credit me with any of that. Instead she latched on only to her own self-invalidation and she experienced the same from me.

On one, decisive level, she touched on a profoundly disquieting truth.

Thus, on this level, I quietly expressed the “force” of my own unsaid judgment. She played out the toxicity in her own way and it made me terribly angry, frustrated, and more than anything else sad. This is real life.

But, in the last several days, a powerful revelation has come to me. I have seen the truth of my own insufficient self flail its way in the world, using my own eloquence to escape responsibility and my self-serving absence of full honesty to play the role of the superior person. God, it’s hard to be a parent.

Yesterday I complained to my wife about how some of the people I’m closest with treat me with such anger and dis-respect, even though I tend to be the person who can be depended to do the crap work that these same people depend on. My wife replied that I was an easy target and it was this statement that prompted a great soul searching.

I have come to realize that I have clung onto my own anger with these people, while playing the one-upmanship role as hard-working, if somewhat gruff, victim. I denied my own anger.

This is the great challenge of our individual and collective journey. Allow me to repeat it: As long as our anger is hidden, as long as our fear is hidden, we will be driven to be positive and falsely loving. The only issue is the light, the light of clarity, of truth, of seeing.

Life truly is beautiful. Life truly is generous. It will give us a million chances to see the truth. Life thrusts a mirror into our faces and nearly all of us look away, too scared to look into its depths (or as Herman Melville might have said, “into its deeps” (Moby Dick). Yesterday I looked. Understanding that I cannot control the behavior of others, I can see that my inadequate self clung onto its anger as an expression of intense self-righteousness. It needed the anger. The unfairness and anger I experienced from others has been, in large part, an expression of my own identification with insufficiency. And where there is identification with insufficiency, there will be force used as a psychological weapon. Their anger was my anger.

Last night I saw the anger and fear naked in the stories I have created. I present this rigorous self-honesty to you dear reader so that it may become your own mirror. Until you bring all of the fear and anger to the pure light of life and love, you will be compelled to live a life of false grandeur, of false love, of false caring. For we use what others admire to build our own edifice of the self. This is the great tragedy of the psychological construct we call you and me.

Thus, we are called to find our light and live in its radiance, unborn, vulnerable, open handed, empty handed. For the light shines on all with equal of care and compassion.

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