Friday, April 3, 2009

Anger Management


This week, I would like to talk about something that is to this day still a huge struggle for me. Is there really a full proof way to overcome feelings of anger, resentment, and hostility towards others? Let's face it, we all know people that really make us angry and sometimes, those feelings are well justified. We've all been manipulated by someone at some point in our lives, we've all worked with people who drive us crazy and we all know individuals with poor ethics and personality qualities that make us want to scream.

Those of us who have sat under any amount of spiritual teaching, have heard about the concept of unconditional love towards are fellow man. After all of these lectures, I'm sure some of you felt just like me, a little bit guilty about the ill feelings you harbored towards that guy that cut you off on the freeway, flipped you the bird after running a stoplight, or got away with sitting on their butt at work while you busted yours. You probably have made many commitments to never feel that way toward anyone again only to find that after the sermon, on Monday morning, the real world slaps you in the face and the cycle starts all over again.

So what is the secret to this deeply philosophical concept that when mastered, brings us closer to God and each other? Well, given my experience, I'm sorry to tell you that there isn't one. Emotions are an insanely complicated thing to master and if there is anyone out there who can back up a claim to have fully tamed theirs, please, share your thoughts with us. Now, I do believe that as time goes on and as we make a conscious effort, we can control the intensity of these negative emotions but to rid ourselves of them entirely? Not sure it's possible at this stage in our human development.

As the title of this post says, it's about management, not full control. Let's face it, we're all going to encounter negative feelings, it's part of life for anyone who lives and works in the real world. As a 9 to 5 man myself, I run into it on a daily basis and it is a huge challenge to keep those feelings at bay in the face of dealing with how our world works day in and day out. Oh, and believe me, if you bite your tongue and treat people nicely on the surface and yet still feel the enormous rage and anger in your heart, you're not doing a bit of good. All you're doing in that case is seething and aren't really exercising work towards unconditional love.

So, how do we begin to counter balance this nasty habit of ours to get upset and angry in a spiritual way that doesn't cause us to be in a constant state of repentance and anguish over failing to live up to our religious world's high moral standards of holiness? First of all, throw the standards out because they don't work for everyone just as what I'm about to suggest may not work for some of you. My beliefs have changed so much though that confronting anger and rage with my current mentality makes life a lot easier to bare.

First of all, you need to tear down a very significant wall by viewing yourself differently in order to view others, differently. For me, this began when I tossed out the idea that most modern religious organizations would have us believe. This belief is that we are products of the creator, each a unique representation of the creator's personality. This puts in the "rat in a cage" spot, driving home the idea that we are "creatures" the end result of a thought or idea the creator had. This notion also puts a division between us and the creator.

What if this is not the case at all? What if *we* are the creator? By that, I mean what if instead of being the product of a creator's thought process, we are actually and active part of that process? We then become more than separated entities brought forth by the creator and instead become a part of the creator's personality, a conscious representation *of* the creator, not something made in that creator's likeness. So, if we can imagine ourself as being a unique thought of the great consciousness that is a creator, I think it can begin to change our self opinion.

Using that idea, how then does it pertain to others? You see, I believe that the creator is expressing and experiencing himself *through* us as a conscious and independent extension of himself. Now, I realize this is a really strange thing to grasp at first and I'm working on it! I'm preparing a booklet of sorts about the subject of the creator as one vs the creator and the creation. Simply put though, we are all individual parts of one larger consciousness.

So if this is indeed the case, the argument shifts from being "God must have had a reason to create a person the way they are." to "Ah, the Creator is trying to experience himself through these various personality complexes and how they interact." which if you stop to meditate on it, really can help in relating to one another. Keep in mind though, that the ultimate goal of the creator is to have these experiences and at the same time, grow in unconditional love. This is the one facet of the creator religions have right, he is a creator that exists in love, the Agape kind.

Also, I say "he" only because it's easier for me to put a pronoun to the creator. In reality, gender is not an issue. So, what do you think? If you can wrap your mind around the concept that we are all the creator trying to experience existence in every way that he can, does it make how we view and perceive others change any? I can tell you that it has for me. I still get irritated at people and I still lose my temper on occasion (though like everyone else, I'm trying to work on it) but after I reflect, I begin to understand that our creator is giving himself the fullest extent of experience possible by manifesting each of our individual natures.

Put simply, we are an active thought process of the creator. So, while we may not understand how people can be the way they are at times, try to see if you can understand why the *creator* would choose to experience that type of person. also, try to remember that your reaction is yet another experience for the creator. When we "wake up" to this self understanding, it opens the doors not just for anger management but an entirely new outlook on where we're going. The closer we get to experiencing unconditional love, the more in tune with universal consciousness we will become and that friends, is when we shall be truly enlightened.

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