Anger and Rage as a Path to Enlightenment

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Sky Dancer, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Sky Dancer
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    The title may have caught your attention. In Tibetan Buddhism, all the poisons of the mind, including anger and rage, become wisdom.

    Anger and rage are different. Anger is worthwhile to express. It has clarity. It can help clear things up. Rage hides hurt. If the hurt, the original vulnerable feeling can be met and taken care of, rage dissolves.

    Buddhism teaches that all the emotions are just energy--and they are neither bad nor good. At the same time, some Buddhist practices are designed to get rid of anger. Is it necessary to get rid of anger? I say no. If it's possible to just sit with the anger or rage, to just be present with it, it subsides on it's own without any manipulation.

    Judgment doesn't help anger. It doesn't help to say, "don't be angry" or you shouldn't be angry.

    What is your experience? All comments welcome.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  2. Sky Dancer
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    Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. - Buddha ...
     
  3. Sky Dancer
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    Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we're holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we'd rather collapse and back away. They're like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we're stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it's with us wherever we are.

    - Pema Chodron
     
  4. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    It's my experience that anger resolves with understanding and acceptance. This requires the ability to judge without doing so emotionally, which requires comfort with oneself regardless of the actions of others.
     
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  5. Sky Dancer
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    I question the part of your post about judging, Lizzie. Perhaps, I don't understand it.

    "this requires the ability to judge without doing so emotionally"

    Are you talking about discernment? Discernment is being clear about what's going on, without judging it as bad or good.
     
  6. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    You stated that judgement doesn't help anger. I was tying in my take on the relationship between judgement and anger. Anger requires that judgement has occured. If we didn't have the ability to judge, we wouldn't be angry in the first place. Judging is merely the act of assigning rightness or wrongness to an action or a form/ type of existence. We always judge if we have any type of moral compass. Judgement isn't the result of anger, but anger can be the result of judgement if we don't learn to separate and disengage taking things in a personal manner.
     
  7. Sky Dancer
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    Hmm. I see it differently. Discernment is knowing what is happening. Example, something hurts. Judgment is assigning a value to it, such as, I shouldn't be hurting, that person, situation etc hurt me and shouldn't have.

    A lot of people don't know they're angry, but they go into judgment. They make the other person, "bad".

    Judgment is not helpful to dealing with anger. IMO, it exacerbates anger and rage.

    Some people say they never get angry. I suspect that's not true. I suspect they place a value judgment on NEVER getting angry, and judge others instead.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  8. lizzie
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    I didn't say it's helpful in dealing with anger. I said it is a given and impossible to avoid. The resolution to the anger is in accepting things the way they are in spite of judging them.
     
  9. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    I was on the losing end of 13 years of anger.
    No thanks.
     
  10. Sky Dancer
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    Hmm, to my mind, the resolution to anger is learning to be WITH it. I enjoy discussing this topic with you.
     

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