This article follows on from Let go of anger because I realised some people may not want to let go of anger — they feel their anger is justified. I’ve heard various people (even political and religious leaders) at various times say that people have a right to be angry (or even inciting them to be angry) because of ______ (fill in the blank perhaps with injustice, cruelty, corruption, lies, oppression, discrimination, prejudice, bullying, stealing etc). They feel that anger is an energy that can be a force for good against these kinds of bad things. I say that it is passion that is needed, not anger.
Control or no control?
Observe angry people — they have no control over their words or actions, anger just bursts out of them violently, and sometimes anger leads to killing someone. But observe a passionate person — they speak from the heart, often eloquently, and their mannerisms, facial expressions and body language clearly shows their whole body is co-ordinated in expressing something that is dear to them. A passionate person is fully aware of their self whereas an angry person is unaware of self but consumed by the emotion.
Turn anger into passion
Awareness of the self brings good feelings, clarity and understanding. Anger brings distortion, irrational behaviour and it gnaws away at the soul if it become a regular thing. So how to stop it becoming a regular thing, a bad habit? Well, we have to do something about it and not let it fester. We have to learn to notice our anger and change it into passion where appropriate. This all comes with living more consciously. Please refer to Let go of worry and Let go of anger for a few thoughts on how to do this.
Thanks for reading. There is much more to anger and passion than my simple article, so I invite you to start a discussion in the comments below.
I love this! I also find that there is a clear distinction between anger and passion.
In terms of how it is felt, anger comes as a force that unconsciously drives you towards some nebulous goal which is defined by the imposition of the ego over other being. When we are driven by anger, we lose our center and get kidnapped by this force for a moment. It is often masked under seemingly good intentions, however this force is destructive and blind, as a tornado that breaks everything apart justified by some moral superiority. At such state we believe some arbitrary goal justifies the means. It is felt as domination onto others.
Passion on the other hand is a force that does not cloud our judgement, but gives us strength in those goals that we feel with our heart are the right goals. We do not get possessed, but on the contrary, we feel inspired and strengthen to keep fighting for what we believe in our inner self across all obstacles. It goes along our intuition. We do not feel driven to impose anything on others, but on the contrary, we look forward to helping in the way we feel is the right way, not as domination, but as presenting the possibility of service to others. It is an energy that is felt as love, as being part of something bigger than our ego, something we all belong to.
Today I had a rough day (not that anything especially bad happened on the outside, but my mood was extremely low for some unconscious reason) and went through a couple of situations where I let myself be driven by anger. At the moment I felt that I was right and the other person was wrong, and through this force I chose to impose myself onto others as if I HAD to dominate that other Self. There were certain hints in how I felt which said “this is not the proper way”, but anger said “ignore those, establish your moral domination”. As soon as I stepped out of this “possession”, I felt guilt and saw that it was not my heart who talked, but my reptilian mind. It was especially disappointing as I was recently reflecting on your previous post about letting go of anger, and the finger thing. It is so easy to forget about oneself!
However these mistakes are not bad by themselves as long as they are recognized and taken as lessons to more easily identify such unconscious states in the future. It does leave a bitter taste for the energy I projected on the other person. On a positive side I comfort myself thinking that the same way I managed to find compassion for my own mistakes and other’s, the other person can also reach the same conclusion based on the heart. There is no point in resentment or keeping negative energy onto others or oneself. After all, we are all learning here on this beautiful spaceship called Earth, and no matter how big the mistake one commits, we can always learn from it and take it as an opportunity to grow. It surely is logical and expected that many mistakes have to be made during this path of discovery of what is not!
Thanks for the post, it really hit the right spot.
Totally someone who errs on the side of anger rather than passion, and often for stupid reasons. Another reason people are more apt to embrace anger is because of pride and because we haven’t learned to become nothing.
Pleiades, what a beautiful, well-written comment! I totally agree, of course, and yes, it is so easy to slip into anger, but we live and learn. Thank you. I look forward to reading more of your blog posts.
Indie, another beautiful comment for different reasons. You reminded me of when I went to university and learned how horrible the world was because of power, race, gender, class and many things I hadn’t studied before. It made me very angry there could be such injustice, that people in power did nothing about it, that ordinary people like me were brainwashed and conditioned in school to fit rich powerful men’s agendas and that even the most clever people on the side of truth were being consistently marginalised.
I became arrogant and proud with my new found knowledge and am still learning to “become nothing”, as you put it. They don’t teach humility, compassion or the most heartfelt human qualities at uni, but it is those very qualities we all need to learn, not how horrible the world systems and rulers are. Just imagine — a three-year degree course in Communication and Social Studies which had a curriculum of kindness and compassion with practical coursework of going out into communities and helping those in greatest need…