Of what use is anger when the identical end can be received by reason? Does one suppose that a hunter is angry with the beasts he kills? Seneca.
Anger is an emotion that everybody experiences at some point in their lives. There are alternative ways during which anger manifests and also alternative ways to handle it. Some people throw temper tantrums when they don’t get their way, others respond with anger after they are in peril, and a respectable amount of individuals hold close to the thought of being wrong which ends in a very kind of anger that slowly consumes us, also referred to as resentment. during this video, I’d wish to speak about anger, the dangers of anger, and a few suggestions on the way to house it, from a Stoic and Buddhist perspective. while anger is natural, we cannot deny that the implications of unrelated and uncontrolled anger are often devastating. it is not uncommon that anger results in murder.
And history has taught us that deeply rooted anger, also called hate, can result in mass violence, war, and even genocide. Still, many folks justify anger, calling it ‘righteous anger after they have solid reasons to be angry.
Also, people see anger as a functional emotion that assists us in asserting ourselves and self-defense. And Aristotle declared anger to be a desire to repay suffering. We could also see anger as a kind of energy, and when harvested the correct way, it’s going to help us to achieve our goals. Stoic philosopher Seneca, however, is critical towards the validity of those claims, telling us that anger may be a sort of madness. For it’s equally barren of self-control, regardless of decorum, forgetful of kinship, obstinately engrossed in whatever it begins to do, inattentive reason and advice, excited by trifling causes, awkward at perceiving what is true and just, and extremely sort of a falling rock which breaks itself to pieces upon the very thing which it crushes. There’s a Buddhist story that challenges the notion of righteous anger, by telling us a couple of young boys with a foul temper.
His father was concerned about this. But rather than fighting anger with anger, he gave the boy a bag of nails and a hammer. He told him to hammer a nail into the fence every time he loses his temper. After the primary day, the boy hammered about thirty nails within the fence. But when the times passed, the daily amount of nails decreased, until the day came that the boy didn’t lose his temper once. He proudly told his father, who gave his son the instruction to drag out a nail every time he was ready to suppress his temper. Finally, the day arrived that each one of the nails were pulled out.
The daddy showed his son the fence and said: “Well done, my son. However, I would like you to appear closely at the fence. It’s filled with holes, which suggests that it has been changed forever. Once you let anger out, it’ll leave scars. you’ll be able to stick a knife in someone and pull it out, but irrespective of how often you apologize: the scar is there forever.”
Even once we could seem to own an awfully good reason to be angry, which is largely a way of being wronged and violated, we only risk to do further damage (especially to ourselves) if we throw our ability to reason within the gutter and let our emotions take over.
“When reason ends, anger begins,” said the Dalai Lama. Now, there are many various kinds of anger. there’s rage, surliness, resentment, bitterness, harshness; there’s temporary anger that lasts some minutes, and long-run anger that lasts a lifetime.
Tibetan Buddhist monk Geshe YongDong distinguished two varieties of anger: hot anger and cold anger. the primary style of anger is that the one that, figuratively speaking, sets oneself and therefore the surroundings aflare. The second variety of anger is that the one that internalized and repressed, and may be carried along for years, and eats one up inside. in line with Seneca we must always not confuse human anger with the aggression we see in animals since human anger is predicated on flawed reasoning, while animal aggression relies on impulses.
A fundamental difference between animals and humans is our ability to reason. Seneca doubts the usefulness of anger for humanity, by explaining the character of anger compared to the character of the man.
Yet what’s more savage against them than anger? Mankind is born for mutual assistance, anger for mutual ruin: the previous loves society, the latter estrangement. The one likes to benefit, the opposite to do harm; the one to assist even strangers, the opposite to attack even its dearest friends. The one is prepared even to sacrifice itself for the great of others, the opposite to plunge into peril provided it drags others with it. End quote. Now, is anger useful? Both Buddhist and Stoic ideas agree on one point: anger isn’t useful. The lama pointed this go in his book Policy of Kindness, stating that anger isn’t necessary once we have the ability to reason. Moreover, once we resort to using force, we probably haven’t got good reasons to do so.
“If there are sound reasons or bases for the points you demand, then there’s no must use violence. On the opposite hand, when there’s no sound reason that concessions should be made to you but mainly your own desire, then reason can not work and you’ve got to depend upon force.
Thus, using force isn’t an indication of strength but rather an indication of weakness.”
Therefore, after we are getting ready to throw a tantrum, it’s always good to ask ourselves the subsequent question: am I doing this from an area of power, or from an area of powerlessness? in keeping with Seneca, there’s nothing reason can not do what anger can. In his work, Of Anger, he makes a distinction between using force and using force with anger. In some situations, it’s necessary to use force. many folks believe that using force goes together with anger, which being angry can somehow assist them in their use of force. But Seneca compared anger to drunkenness; in a battle, angry fighters haven’t any control over their movements, like drunks. Eventually, their rashness results in defeat by a more intelligent opponent that isn’t led by the passions.
So, what can we do about it? Well, anger comes in several stages. it’s going to start with a light-weight irritation which, then, builds up to at least one angry outburst. When the latter is that the case, it’s too late. Seneca argues that so as to remedy anger, we should become responsive to it within the early stages, and apply antidotes when it’s still small.
That which is diseased can never bear to be handled without complaining: it’s best, therefore, to use remedies to oneself as soon as we feel that anything is wrong, to permit oneself as a little license as possible in speech, and to restrain one’s impetuosity: now it’s easy to detect the primary growth of our passions: the symptoms precede the disorder. End quote. So, it’s clear that the Stoics prefer tranquility over anger. But how can we achieve this? In Buddhist still, as Stoic sources we’ll find different approaches and concepts which will help to kick anger to the curb.
A very important one is patience, which, according to Seneca, maybe a product of reason. The thought behind patience is truly an important Buddhist doctrine called impermanence. Everything is in flux and what’s happening in this moment will soon be the past. Not only the items that we are upset about will lose their significance; the emotions of anger will start to subside. That’s why counting to 10 is great advice. Although, in some cases, it should be better to count to 100. Another one is acknowledging that we are angry. This doesn’t mean that we act out, its just that we accept that the emotion is present in our body. Denying the actual fact that we’re angry, for example because we would like to be goody-goodies that never get angry (regardless of our true feelings)we’re fooling ourselves and therefore the world. It’s just another style of repression, that will find yourself within the unconscious.
We will just advise someone: “I feel angry right now,” without hitting the person with a rock. once we acknowledge our anger, we create space between the observer and therefore the emotion, without identification therewith emotion. This way, it won’t control us. Another one is forgiveness, which works better when it involves long run anger like resentment. once we forgive, we will finally give ourselves permission to let alone the grudges that we’ve been carrying around for thus long. The Stoic idea of control could be a good argument to practice forgiveness: some things are in our control, some things aren’t. We can’t change the past, we can’t control what the one that wronged us says, does, or feels, but we are able to change our own position towards it. we are able to yield and forgive. Or we will prefer to drink poison and wait for the opposite person to perish. But it’s more likely that this leads to our own, slow, and painful death.