Saturday, June 16, 2012


I do a lot to support positive feelings and positive states.  Sometimes we ascribe a negative connotation to emotions like anger.  One the one hand, this is  accurate, but its not the whole story.  So today I am going to suggest a radical approach, but one that can work wonders for you if you can use it in a productive, not destructive way.  Anger can be used in a very productive way to release a lot of feelings that you might not be able to do otherwise.  There is a tendency to see anger as one emotion that is best left alone in spiritual practice, as though it is a coarser emotion that will somehow overtake us or ruin us.

Anger is a powerful emotion, no doubt about it. Behind anger is the sheer force of energy that is being expressed in what we know to be anger.  Energy is energy, and how it is expressed is also how it is experienced. There is a very positive side to anger in truth, and it can be very cathartic. Its a strong force because of how it is being expressed, so I would say do not be afraid to feel anger, but like a loaded gun, consider where you are pointing it.

I have gotten very angry recently.  I have allowed myself to just let the anger flow instead of keeping it pent up.  No one else was around.  I was not kicking the cat (I never kick the cat!), I was just letting it flow in a very empty house. Behind it, though, I could also feel a lot of nervous energy.  Letting it out also let out a lot of pent up energy. That which is repressed gets expressed as dysfunction.  Anger can be used in a productive way instead of its usual destructive way that serves to hurt others (because we ourselves feel like someone has hurt us for example...) and this anger is used like a violent flame that burns with great intensity but not out of control. Sometimes, anger can play an important role in healing.  Arthur Janov developed an effective way to help people with this pent up emotion through his Primal Therapy (there is a link to his site on the side bar to the right of this post). This is what most people know as  Primal Scream Therapy.  You might think it silly, but it taps something that allows us to get to the root of some hard issues.  Turns out my own mother used Primal Therapy years ago in order to get at a very old issue from her early childhood.  It works because it admits that sometimes we are like a volcano with all this fire in us that needs to be let out.

When you deal with anger,  you let it flow through you without hurting anyone by not focusing your anger on another person.  This energy is real, and if you connect someone into that stream, you do them and yourself real harm by wishing to use such a powerful force on them.  Even in their absence. All of this flows through the universe, everything is connected by this vast inner-net that is the All. So be careful.  Be angry, yes, but own your anger and do not put it onto another.  They will feel it in some form or another if you do.  The feeling can help guide you to a still deeper issue or truth that is inside of you which is causing the anger in the first place.  Until you deal with the anger, you are merely erupting over and over without getting deeper.  I am giving you permission to move through the anger to go still deeper inside of yourself.

By doing this, I am also going to caution you not to go at this in a mental way.  Let yourself go. Allow yourself to FEEL. Don't expect some outcome.  Let the feeling be the end.  If you do this, you will release your limiting mental process and become much more open to what lies beneath.  I am going to suggest to you that its entirely possible that you haven't a clue what lies beneath.  It could be an utter surprise. It could actually be incredibly peaceful, but you will never know when there is all of this magma lying atop it distorting the view deeper down. Remove, then, all thoughts of what might be or should be or expectations.  Be in the moment.  Be open, and be free.  FEEL. Then let feeling guide you. Most issues are so irrational the mind isn't going to be of any help to you anyway.  You see what I mean?  Don't be afraid not to know.  Be curious.  Give yourself over to feeling. The anger is a force like wind blowing through you. If you see it in a positive way, your awareness will tend to move through it in a more positive way.

The positive character to anger is that it helps you to recognize what needs to change.  It can be a powerful catalyst for helping you to understand what your own issues are.  This happens most constructively when you realize that what bothers you is also what you happen to mirror in the world.  You are not the victim in all of this. As long as we remain the victim, we turn away from the full truth of the universe, of our lives, and our own truth as sovereign beings here.

But it doesn't mean that you LIKE what you mirror. In fact, it can get you so mad and upset that you want to tear your hair out, stamp around and even scream.  Maybe yell.  See, all of the things you have shoved down inside get registered in your energy field, your nervous system, and they even nestle down into your physical tissues (this is what is behind Rolfing as a type of pushes that material out of your tissues). All of this is connected. Each body, from the energy body to the nerve body to the flesh body system, all are connected and deal with the load of this junk in their own ways.  But its there. Its why movement is so important in healing energetic problems.  It is why I cover it in my book as part of knowing how to alleviate these old problems.  Chi Gong helps, massage can help, and even acupuncture can have an effect.  But so can exercise.

Movement helps the body to find a way to dispense with these old issues recorded in our bodies. The violence of anger can also be the raging storm that cleanses the energy field and body when it is not directed on another person. You can let its powerful force move through you and clear out all the tension that has been built up. I would even say that movement that is akin to throwing a fit could very well be a fast and effective way to clear the energy lines in your body and all its represents as it reaches down through the vibratory frequency of the denser dimension of the physical body.  The trick is to let your body move along with your feelings. You might need to go outside for this.  Be careful; you don't want to break anything or be destructive.

So be angry. Get mad as hell, but admit that you are mad because you are unhappy with how your life has gone, not because you are some victim.  If you keep the victim energy out of it and you keep others out of it, anger can be the flame that can burn in a cleansing way. We are often afraid to even FEEL anger, but it can serve a very useful purpose if we do not focus it outwardly towards another.  Many fear anger as a force that can help to clear away stuck emotion.  Many eschew anger because they have been taught it is to be avoided. By confronting your anger, in letting it flow in the most natural of ways without pushing it down or denying it, you face it and you flow with it.  Let the energy be spent.  Burn away the fuel that resides in you, let it burn itself out.  Once this has been done, look and listen quietly within yourself for what remains.  What lies beneath it?  This is the promise that this path offers.  It is a path you do not need to trod often.  Do not make it a habit.  Be honest with yourself and let the anger flow, do not bottle it up.  When you bottle anger, it can devolve into depression. Like anything else, you can choose to utilize this force wisely or not wisely. Be natural.  Admit how you feel.  Go into the feeling not to marinate in it, but to learn to master yourself.  There is a difference between letting anger control you and letting anger out.  I know intimately what happens when anger is bottled up and allowed to vent.  It is a slow burning fire that causes the container to bubble over.....over and over.  I have known people who have put a lid on all of this without dealing with the source of the anger and this merely became a pot that would explode ever few weeks. This is going on even now as far as I know.....until its root cause is dealt with.  To get behind the anger, you must confront the anger.  Anger is a tiger that looks ten feet tall.  It is a lynx that is only a fifth of that.

There is a great old method that feels pretty good to me that I think is rooted in my connection to the Native American path.  In the old days people would dig a hole and they would then put all of their anger into that hole. They would just sit and yell and scream, letting all that energy bleed out into the earth. You might think that this might create a repository of anger into the earth that is not good for the earth.  Ah, now that might make sense at first blush, but when you get into the energy that is Gaia, you will perhaps see how the consciousness of the earth is built on an energy of transformation. In her earthly core, she is molten.  Her molten state creates a field of electromagnetic energy that penetrates through every living thing on the planet.  And while yes, your anger is moved through those lines of force, it is also transmuted. Also, anger itself is not a bad thing. It is a very intense energy, yes, and it can be a hard emotion when we focus it on others, but when it is not focused on others, it is more like the molten eruption of a volcano. Stand back because it can hurt you, but if you watch what grows from a volcano, you will see it also has important life giving properties.  A volcano while a force of destruction is also a force of creation also.

So let your inner volcano out.  Imagine it like a pure flow of fire.  Feel it flow out of your mouth as you scream.  Let its lava flows move out from you, not AT anyone.  Let its fire flow out into the very natural world around you.  Let your own frustration and anger move out of you because if you do, this can lead to a place in you where the flowers can grow.At the foot of each volcano is an incredibly verdant slope.  Just like real volcanos, our own inner volcano can leave room for new growth.   The earth knows what anger is, for she erupts in the same way in violent forms from storms to volcanic eruptions, land slides, earthquakes and tsunamis.  All of these things seem destructive, but are also at their heart creative.  The difference here is that every time you have an issue, you don't immediately move to anger because that can become a crutch and can also be just destructive.  Destroy, year down yourself if you must, but only you are the one being so reordered.  Neither destroy out of self loathing or hatred of the self.  Anger can help you to see that what you were angry about was merely inside of you.  Anger will help you to eject all the pent up energy that you need to get out that wont ever be gotten out with matras and gentle songs.  It wont. Here, you are destroyer, but a sacred destroyer.  Let the vast force of earth move through you for a higher purpose.  Shake off your shell, slip out of that constraining skin.  Let anger work in the most positive of ways.

This might seem foreign to you.  Scary even.  I ask you, then to think about this a little differently.  Think about how you feel when you are really hungry.  Once you get food, you chew it up sometimes in an action that can only be termed violent.  Eating could be seen this way, yes.  It must destroy in order to create.  We do not eat dirt, we eat living things.  This is a fact, and no amount of vegetarianism will change the reality that we must eat living things in order to survive. So even the once alive plants must give up their existence so that we may have ours.  Anger can be much like this, except instead of chewing up the world, destroying the world, we are eating those things inside of us that no longer serve us, that annoy us, that hurt and harm us.  We are the snake that sheds and then eats its skin.

Another way you can relate to this is how you might feel when you are exerting yourself in a very physical way.  Working out in a sustained way will most often bring about a state of anger, something that might be called body anger.  We push through the pain and the fatigue in order to achieve some new physical goal.  Maybe its topping a difficult hill running or on a bike.  Maybe its 60 push ups.  Maybe its lifting an extra 40 pounds on weight equipment. Maybe its hoeing a row of dirt in making the garden.  We push through the difficulty in order to reach the goal.  And this is in some ways how anger is.  We push through it.  We exert, we allow the body to burn and in so doing, we begin releasing pent up anxiety, fear, and all sorts of other things that are unique to each person.  Anger is an increase in your spiritual metabolism for a very specific purpose.  As in nature, very few events like this last for long.  It is a violent action that serves to establish equilibrium.

The goal in this, though, is to remove the issue that is embedded in you. If you do not do this, you have only trimmed the bush, you have not dug it up.  It will continue to grow.  This is important because there are plenty of people who use anger as a relief valve without ever emptying the cask of its contents and starting anew.  Because of this, the cask continues to build up pressure periodically and the valve is opened through a burst of anger that most often is directed at other people.  This is not the productive way of dealing with this. If you are merely reacting, you are not learning to create in a new more productive way.  Use anger, do not let anger use you. If you do this, you fall into the trap of suddenly being the victim.  You are not the victim, remember?  You are here to master this.  Let anger be your ally in a controlled burst of emotion and then let it cleanse you.

I am not big on methods. I create my own sometimes on the spot in an intuitive way and they work very well for me.  There is no magic in others' methods unless you ascribe that magic to them. Sometimes a method is very good at helping you to relate to a certain feeling, and in this way someone else's method could work very well. I know we like to have them from others when we think they will work for us.  What I would like to explain is that your consciousness is naturally creative.  If you can realize that any method that helps you to tap deep into emotion will naturally be effective.  The way to fashion your own method is to find what works for you.  What images help you to relate to anger?  How can you imagine that anger erupting from you.  Is it a volcano? A giant storm with thunder and lightening?  Is it strong enough to break out the weaker branches in the trees of your awareness?  Can this image help to sweep away al the dead wood of your being and bring you a feeling of freshness and cleansing?  Or does a tsunami suit you better?  Do you imagine it rushing up onto land, clearing the decks entirely and taking everything in its path back out to sea?  Can you imagine this force in you so purely that you do not need images?  If you can relate to the feeling in a full way, it is very likely to work more deeply.

Okay.  So you let the anger out.  Sometimes this will work all on its own.  I am going to suggest that you also try after the storm has passed to become very calm and quiet.  Sit quietly and ask yourself how you feel.  Reflect into yourself now that the storm has passed.  Can you feel something different now inside of yourself?  With that layer of anger removed for the time being, can you peer quietly like looking into a crystal gazing pool more clearly?  I want you to pretend that you are looking at a pond or pool or ocean depths after moving through this anger.  Quiet and calm, reflect on what you see.  What you see, though, will be what you feel. Beyond simply feeling spent, what have your found deeper still?  Do you suddenly realize that what was making you angry was because of how you had allowed yourself to get yourself into situations that weren't good for you?  Did you WANT to make someone else responsible for hurting you?  Or maybe you do not understand why something happened that made you angry.  Sitting still, asking yourself what the answer is, can you see anything float up into your awareness that shows itself?  If you take time to pause and reflect, this can be a productive time to see some issues in a new light. But don't worry if you don't.  Trust feeling. It sometimes offers answers not on our expected schedule but in its own time.

Now that I have said all of this, I hope that it helps you to see anger in a new light.  By honoring it, letting it flow, you do not become a slave to it because its purpose is to cleanse you.  Let it do its work.  Maybe you do this with some physical activity.  Perhaps you go out and find old dead branches in the woods and take an axe to them, chopping them up, letting your anger flow down into the earth. Do not be destructive in the old way, but harness the power for your own transformation. Sometimes yelling at no one in particular does the trick.  And the trick is in not focusing it on another. In the movie Network, the character played by Peter Finch tells everyone to go to the window and yell "I'm as mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!"  It turned out, the whole world had all this pent up anger about the way things were.  In the clip below you might get a chuckle but also a view into how we can use anger in a productive way....

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