Here Be Monsters
The world ABSOLUTELY DOES have an anger problem. I suppose this shouldn’t be a surprise. We are angry little hairless monkeys after all. Even the holiest amongst us have trouble dealing with anger so what chance do we have?
A few years ago a group of Trappist monks at Gethsemani Monastery held a gathering of monastic people to discuss the ascetic lifestyle. Monks and renunciate practitioners from many different religions and cultures met for discussions, prayers, and discussions about the difficulties of their simple lives. One of the really interesting things that came out of this experience was the hardest challenge reported by all the attendees. Giving up anger. Yep, anger. They had resolved themselves to live without sex, meat, alcohol, creature comforts, children and all the other things we all think might be hard to leave behind. What they couldn’t give up so easily was anger.
If you give this some deeper thought I suppose it makes sense. Anger is the purest expression of ego. It nearly always results from some form of not getting what you want. To give up anger requires that you give up your ego, your expectations, and your judgment. Monks have left the world to accomplish this and no one said it would be easy.
Martial arts should be an avenue to address this very question. Your opponent is never your enemy, anger and your demons are the real foe. If you aren’t training this way you’re either practicing a sport or your doing it wrong. If you’re training you need to be thinking about this. If you aren’t training, or at least practicing something, you might well be letting anger rule your life and that would be a shame. After all, if you’re pissed off, you’re part of the problem, no matter how ‘right’ you might be. Saor Alba, Vaya con Dios, & Viva la Revolucion.