I am a computer programmer by day and philosopher by night. I post once or twice a week. I aim to prevent blogging from taking to much time, while allowing time to develop each idea before posting it. Each has some reference to human, universal, or societal truths, while presented in an organized, understandable & consise way -- this is the plan anyway. Results may very as what rings true for one may seem false to another. Also becuase sometimes I get things wrong.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Listening to Anger

Anger can be a big trouble maker in your life if you do not know how to handle it. However, it is also possible to learn from our anger if we pay attention to it. Anger is often a very strong emotion so it will definitely get your attention and bring it to the present moment. Once this happens I have the opportunity to ask myself what is it that is making me angry and why. The answers help me to listen to my own thinking in a way that I don't usually do.

Am I being asked to do something I don't want to do? Am I being faced with a reality that flies in the face of what I had thought before. (See my post "the word 'should'"). Once I have identified the source of my anger I can reverse engineer it and decide if these thoughts make sense and if this is really a situation where anger would helpful. After this often the anger no longer makes sense and I can drop it surprisingly easily.

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The word 'Should'

When we use the word 'should' it generally means that reality differs from our preconceived notion of it or what we want it to be. It means that we value our preconception or vision of an ideal world more highly then reality. We thus do not fully accept the facts before us.

When we reach a should situation (where our reality and our beliefs about reality clash) we have 3 options:

First, we can give up on reality completely by accepting instead our own fantasies. In this case we lose all connection with reality. It seems absurd, but many people do really do this. The problem with this method is that reality is still there and it will always come creeping back in. The creeping back in is very painful. Because of this pain, the choice is not a favorable one.

Second, we may choose to live with the duality of the two 'worlds'. We half-heartedly accept the world we have, but all of the time thinking things should be different. By keeping reality close we can usually avoid the difficulty of being hit over the head with it all at once. (As is the case when we make the first choice.) However, it sets up a constant battle between the two and creates a level of uncertainty and discomfort.

Third, we could give up on our view of things. Instead of embracing a view of reality, we can accept what actually is. Whenever our view of the world is wrong we throw it out and begin again. It may sound easy and obvious. To the contrary, most people, without realizing it, continue to hang on to their views of what should be as if they depended upon it, or as if believing could bring it about. (There are ways that thinking or visioning can bring about real change, but this comes from a different mind set and a different part of us.) When we make the third choice we choose to take on life as it really is. A sense of peace is the immediate result.

More reading/listening:

This was largely inspired by a Zencast I was listening to yesterday:
Zencast 5 - Introduction to Concentration

I was also thinking of a quote I read a while ago from Byron Katie's web site:
"When you argue with reality you lose - but only 100 percent of the time."
(I am not advocating her site, I just liked the quote. I am not familiar with her or her web site.)

"Rebellion Against Reality"

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