Yesterday in meditation I came across something unusual, the urge to kill things (bugs in this case). And in examining this, I found a variety of other things, ruthlessness, casualness about life, the desire to damage things, hurrying on to victory. It seems to me a complex of urges that is difficult to eradicate, which are fed by a kind of righteous anger.
I recognise this from my game playing days, it would often come up during a drive to victory in some strategy or fighting game. In those days I didn’t think much of it, just something that passed. But now I see a danger in that series of urges, it is opposed to compassion and the other Brahma Viharas, to a way of living which respects all life and even the representation of life.
It is important to acknowledge that although they may make you an effective fighter on the battlefield, these urges run counter to a healthy spiritual life. This allows you to distance yourself from them. Besides not feeding these urges I’ve found it difficult to fight them, although I will try adopting a set of opposite motivations.
Ruthlessness is opposed by compassion.
Casualness about life is opposed by respect for all life.
The desire to damage is opposed by wanting to heal and nurture.