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our anger is really wisdom?

lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

There I was fuming over nothing when ...

We all experience the wisdom of anger when we see how society mistreats people. When we have an honest insight into our own neuroses and vow to change. When we are inspired to say no to injustice and fight for something better. This wisdom is a source of strength, fearlessness, and solidarity. It can drive positive change.
https://www.lionsroar.com/the-wisdom-of-anger/

Iz I wise enough to slap a Nazi or protect people from themselves?
Be kind. Wisdom comes and if we are really angry we can do Chod practice and feed our anger/wisdom ...

Who is ready for the hard stuff?

Kerome

Comments

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    I've never heard the distinction of anger and aggression before in Buddhism, so I'm a little skeptical on that premise.

    I agree that anger gives us energy to act. I also think it blinds us to nuance and broader context. Compassion also gives us energy to act and we don't need to be angry to say no. I've mentioned before about noticing a tendency in people who have previously been pushed around in life learning to stand up for themselves, they tend to get angry and lash out when doing so. In my experience it isn't necessary, we can defend ourselves and others out of a sense of dignity and self respect rather than a sense of opposing or defeating a perceived wrong from outside.

    Imagine two different people come across someone kicking a dog. One gets angry at the person kicking the dog and acts to stop him, the other feels compassion for the dog and acts to stop him. I'm not convinced, despite the arguments, that anger can be a skillful emotion. Especially for us unenlightened plebs, I think we almost always get caught up by it.

    I don't think punching Nazis or roundhouse kicking pro-life demonstrators is a skillful road to go down. And I'm generally against the idea of protecting people from themselves. One, who are we to decide for someone else what's in their best interest, and two, people generally have to want to do the work themselves, we can't do it for them and expect it to stick. I'm a believer that we are all on our own paths and need to find our own way in our own time. The best we can usually do for others is show them another way, open the door and invite them in, they have to make the decision to enter. Protecting people from their own unskillful choices usually only enables that behavior.

    Anyway, I'm skeptical on anger as wisdom. I think we can be forceful or strong without anger.

    BunksShoshinlobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited December 2019

    I liked this bit of the article:

    When the energy of anger serves ego, it is aggression. When it serves to ease others’ suffering and make the world a better place, it is wisdom. We have the freedom to choose which. We have the power to transform aggression into the wisdom of anger. There is no greater victory, for us and for the world.

    It sounds to me as if there is some truth to it, although I haven’t often noticed it within myself. But anger always carries with it the fact that it blinds you to other things that are going on, and that makes it difficult to act skilfully with it.

    BunksShoshinlobster
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Who is ready for the hard stuff?

    Not me, I fear. The only anger I have ever been able to harness to positive effect is the anger I have sometimes felt at my own weakness - and even then, the harnessing involves changing the anger into something else, something more like a firm, unyielding determination, and then into something more akin to the steady patient force of water.

    Perhaps this is also applicable to anger at societal injustice, since that anger is also anger at ourselves, but I'm not convinced that it can remain as anger in order to be useful.

    Emotions come and go, conditioned phenomena, and their energy is also fleeting. Use it while you've got it, if you can do so wisely, but don't think it's going to stick around for very long. If it can't be used wisely, then put it aside quickly.

    Shoshinlobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The interesting thing about modern technology (which was not available at the time of the Buddha) it allows us to know what is going on around the world as it happens....it points out that there's so much injustice and suffering taking place...

    It's surprising that we don't all walk around in perpetual states of anger, day after day witnessing the injustice and suffering ... which can make one feel hopeless, frustrated, angry...

    Anger is like any other generated energy and putting this anger energy to good/wholesome use requires 'skill' and this skill (according to Buddhism) can only come from a calm mind...

    I guess it's a case of developing an awareness which in turn helps to identify the emotional energy of anger as it arises, then dissipate the negative thought patterns normally associated with (and normally feeds) the emotion...then having the skill to channel this energy into something that will lead to a wholesome/positive outcome...well this is the plan...

    But in the long run it might pay to develop the energy that is generated by thoughts of compassion and do away with anger all together...after all... anger energy (with its accompanying negative thoughts) just puts more stress on one's body which can lead to all kinds of unwholesome ailments...

    Hmm

    Mind precedes all knowables,
    mind's their chief, mind-made are they.
    If with a corrupted mind
    one should either speak or act
    dukkha follows caused by that,
    as does the wheel the ox's hoof.

    Explanation: All that we experience begins with thought. Our words and deeds spring from thought. If we speak or act with evil thoughts, unpleasant circumstances and experiences inevitably result. Wherever we go, we create bad circumstances because we carry bad thoughts. This is very much like the wheel of a cart following the hoofs of the ox yoked to the cart. The cart-wheel, along with the heavy load of the cart, keeps following the draught oxen. The animal is bound to this heavy load and cannot leave it

    Mind precedes all knowables,
    mind's their chief, mind-made are they.
    If with a clear, and confident mind
    one should speak and act
    as one's shadow ne'er departing.

    Explanation: All that man experiences springs out of his thoughts. If his thoughts are good, the words and the deeds will also be good. The result of good thoughts , words and deeds will be happiness. This happiness will never leave the person whose thoughts are good. Happiness will always follow him like his shadow that never leaves him.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    It's surprising that we don't all walk around in perpetual states of anger, day after day witnessing the injustice and suffering ... which can make one feel hopeless, frustrated, angry...

    Anger is like any other generated energy and putting this anger energy to good/wholesome use requires 'skill' and this skill (according to Buddhism) can only come from a calm mind...

    Calm emotional mind/being is an idealisation we move towards. Take another emotion if unfamiliar with anger ... 🤬😱🤯

    Worry/anxiety/fear which is often a root of anger. 🙀😿😣

    Or according to positive psychology a positive emotion. Empathy. Empathy is often a form of liberal inaction/indulgence ... 💋🙈🙉🙊🐒
    Worry for others/the future of life the universe and everything, just another form of inactive indulgence ... 🙃🤐🤗

    Too harsh? 💗😌🦞

    🐲💪🏽🦹🏽‍♀️👍🏿

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2019

    Fear and anger are rooted in delusion. A need to protect or fight for something "worthy". On some level, there is nobility in taking action.

    Do they lead to ultimate liberation? I think not.!

    "It isn't right, monks, that sons of good families, on having gone forth out of faith from home to the homeless life, should get engaged in such topics of conversation, i.e., conversation about kings, robbers, & ministers of state... talk of whether things exist or not.

    "It isn't proper, monks, that sons of good families, on having gone forth out of faith from home to the homeless life, should talk on such a topic. When you have gathered you have two duties: either Dhamma-talk or noble silence.

    From the Diamond Sutra

    “All living beings, whether born from eggs, from the womb, from moisture, or spontaneously; whether they have form or do not have form; whether they are aware or unaware, whether they are not aware or not unaware, all living beings will eventually be led by me to the final Nirvana, the final ending of the cycle of birth and death. And when this unfathomable, infinite number of living beings have all been liberated, in truth not even a single being has actually been liberated.”

    “Why Subhuti? Because if a disciple still clings to the arbitrary illusions of form or phenomena such as an ego, a personality, a self, a separate person, or a universal self existing eternally, then that person is not an authentic disciple.”

    lobster
  • ShimShim Veteran Veteran

    Anger seems to be a primary means of activism right now. Even if it's just being angry on twitter. I can't say understand it fully but people get praised for it. Some say it brings about change. Some say it's skillful. Some probably are just in it for the drama, who knows. It's hard to understand for me but also sometimes it seems to lead to positive solutions. After all there are those wrathful deities in Buddhism as well.

    I'm someone with a strong tendency to avoid any kind of confrontation, angry or not but I do get very angry especially by myself. I'm often sizzling with anger when I walk from one place to another. I recently got angry while doing yoga. There's no wisdom that I'm able to discern in cooking myself up in anger that just kinda is there. Just looking at anger without, as the article says, suppressing or acting out, takes a lot of practice. Can't say I'm up on that level but it's a good reminder.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    If we are homeless ideal Nones//nuns or monk key dharmaists, we keep the same sutures that do not work for the conflicted ...

    Or we heal fire with fire
    Tantra baby! :)

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Veteran Canada Veteran
    edited December 2019

    Mr. McLeod starts out his article, first sentence, with "If you know how to use it". That is a pretty big "if" and it would apply to someone who is total in mastery over their emotion, attachments and aversions.

    Talk with any actual Lama, and they will say that YOUR best effort is to take the Bodhisattva Vow and then totally devote yourself to attaining enlightenment, so that you can help others reach enlightenment too. They do not advise us to pursue social change. There will ALWAYS be suffering until a being attains enlightenment (much like Jesus said, "The poor we will have always with us").

    On the contrary, anger is right up there with ignorance and attachment as one of the three things we most need to conquer. Of them all (and this was repeated just last Sunday at a Yamantaka purification ritual), anger is the worst, and the most harmful thing we can do to ourselves.

    This is not at all saying that we have to become cold and uncaring. Compassion WITH wisdom is the road to enlightenment and without genuine compassion, and a desire to help all others, we can never attain enlightenment. We just have to do it WITHOUT anger. And while the best way is to work harder to attain enlightenment, the second-best way is to directly do whatever you can to help those you are in daily contact with, even if they are strangers. Rather than railing at some corrupt government.

    lobsterperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    We just have to do it WITHOUT anger.

    That is fine if you are not angry.
    Who else do we exclude from Buddhist practice? :p

    I take the ideal spirit of your intent and suggest the Bodhisattvas use the hand/karma they are dealt ...

    Ideally calm/sanity/balance first ... 💗🙏🏽😌🕊🦞

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited December 2019

    In my personal experience, the finest and best use of anger has been to direct its force into cursing (best if one sneaks off into the closet to do this).

    Blasphemy -

    hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks or bend a knotted oak.

    Emerging from the darkness, one's anger is softened, ready to be shaped into something useful.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Seems like a plan @Fosdick <3

    I tend to swear at myself, inanimate objects and the wrathful Bodhisattva in the hell realms (on mercy missions - saving repentant demons/trolls and other devas) ...

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    I've rarely if ever made a wise decision while angry.

    However, I do think it's possible to physically defend ourself or others without anger. Indeed we can strike down a wrong doer with our metta mar free as long as we serve the path of least harm.

    Anger can trigger compassion but it's subjective and blinds us to the bigger picture. It is the antithesis to calm.

    lobsterKerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Anger is like any other generated energy and putting this anger energy to good/wholesome use requires 'skill' and this skill (according to Buddhism) can only come from a calm mind...

    Exactly.
    Wrathful enactment is not the same as unbridled lashing out, angry toddler trump type tantrums. Wrathful practice uses a mature understanding of emotional force.

    Those practicing martial arts know that an angry or fearful fighter is easily defeated by the seasoned and trained/controlled response.

    https://buddhaweekly.com/tantric-wrathful-deities-the-psychology-and-extraordinary-power-of-enlightened-beings-in-their-fearsome-form/

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited December 2019

    Wrathful responses certainly carry the energy of action. But like @david, I’ve rarely if ever made a wise decision while angry.

    I found that anger often comes with an impulsiveness, it is like a gut response. That can be a good thing to give vent to, to just let it fly, which would be cleansing within, but at the same time you might end up finding you say things that you regret.

    lobster
  • paulysopaulyso Veteran usa Veteran

    pre dharma,i was an angry suffering person.post dharma less angry,sometimes angry, but in better shape pre dharma.yay dharma for making us cool with heart.

    lobster
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