Anger or Peace
by JAREK CZECHOWICZ
Anger is a form of self-punishment. If someone does what you think is wrong and you get angry then your rationale is: "They have done the wrong thing therefore I must punish myself". If you don't see it then you will punish yourself further by recounting and re-living every anger-causing incident, and that is a movement into deeper unconsciousness.
To highlight this point let's replace the 'someone' with 'something', for instance, a car. Imagine a man who has had a bad day, and to top it off his car gets a flat tyre on his way home. He gets out of the car to fix it and finds that he doesnt have a spare. Anger arises so he kicks the tyre and injures his foot. He thinks the car should not break down so he punishes himself by becoming angry. The underlying concept here is: This should not be happening now. And beneath that is a sense of loss.
What we see as normal behaviour is often very unhealthy. Unfortunately it's so widespread that it's a danger to society. It's not a question of justifying anger by blaming someone else. Nothing has the power to make you angry. Anger arises within you in conjunction with certain thoughts.
When attention moves away from thoughts that accompany anger then anger subsides. And if it doesn't subside then it eventually causes so much pain that it wakes you up. At that point concepts fall away naturally and you see through anger, and with the seeing your habituated responses begin to dissolve.
A person more established in non-conceptual awareness is open to anger if it arises. However the anger is experienced as an echo of conditioned thinking. Anger doesn't have to be acted-out; instead it can be seen to arise and pass away, until it is no longer triggered by the conditions that previously caused it.
The benefit of rational thinking is to have a process that is purely conceptual and dispassionate. Yet without a degree of awakening thinkers rarely see that concepts are as ephemeral as their subject matter. Consequently rational arguments too often devolve into emotional conflicts. Emotions can easily overwhelm rational thinking, particularly when health is out of balance. So anger is also a warning sign.
The root of anger is the fear of losing that which was never yours to lose. Nothing is yours because your essential relationship to everything is one of freedom.
This is why some spiritual teachers say, "You are already enlightened". In a way that is true because there is nothing you can practice that will bring you closer to pure awareness. You are already in it. There is nothing you can practice to bring you closer to the present moment. Once again, you are already in it.
Even when thinking about the past or the future, or when overpowered by anger, you are still in pure awareness, and in the present moment. This is not seen because your attention is immersed in a fog of concepts and identifications. Just like in a dream at night you are not aware of your body on the bed until you wake up.
Between you as the egoic individual, and you as pure awareness, are all the appearances that take your attention. Concepts are also appearances, and as useful as they might be, they are at best relatively and temporarily true.
A constant flow of pleasure, pain, attractive and aversive forms pass through your awareness. Trying to control them is like grasping and pushing at water. It eventually and inevitably becomes tiring and frustrating. Once you see your true relationship to the world then the interactions with it become lighter and more enjoyable.
If anger arises repeatedly then see it as an appearance of fear and let go of the thoughts that trigger it. Without attachment to concepts anger has no opportunity to grow and peace has a chance to emerge, or rather to reveal itself to you. Peace is always here.