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HOMESpiritual Psychology

Are you Angry?

Published on February 6, 2017

Image result for Anger

Anger is something that everyone experiences, at one level or another, and it needs to be expressed to maintain emotional health and intimacy. Anger is a social emotion. Definitions of anger vary from being a body tension with a cognitive view of the world as being frustrating, irritating, insulting, unfair or assaulting to a literal demand from our internal being to pay attention to our essential needs and then to act accordingly. The biological or evolutionary view of anger is one of preparing the entire organism for rapid response to threatening situations.

With anger, the blood flows more quickly as heart rate increases and the rush of adrenaline generates the pulse necessary for vigorous action. The word anger really covers a lot of ground, from indignation to distress, annoyed, aggravated, keyed-up, intense, frustrated, ardent, zealous, and even excited. When we talk about anger, we are talking about a family of strong ‘hot’ feelings.

Anger cannot be dishonest.
George R. Bach

Anger describes an inner space and anger makes a person’s space clear. In anger, our inner world lights up brightly for others to see. In this way, anger is an honest emotion. Anger does have the habit of breaking though most of the games people play. When someone commits and offense against us, or acts in a harmful way, it is natural to show ‘feelings’ of displeasure.

People have a very strong tendency to judge Anger

Anger shows a ‘strong’ displeasure about something.
Reject not anger for it is expressing more than we imagine.

What that displeasure is about is very important. If we get angry because we are not getting our way it is one thing. If we have the kind of anger that is aroused by something unjust, mean, or unworthy it is something else. Modern psychology understands that the universal trigger for anger is the sense of being endangered. This sense of endangerment is not limited to mere physical threats. It can include threats to self-esteem and dignity.

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There is a another kind of anger that deserves our respect.
Anger can show us where respect is being disrespected.
Anger can show us something is wrong and needs correction.

There is an anger that transcends the selfish undisciplined ego. An anger that we can see in nature that delivers consequences and is ruthless and impartial. In general, when we love cosmically it is the divisions in human life that causes intense feelings, anguish and sometimes-even anger. Our beings were never meant to live with the uncaring and separation we face in society. We were meant to live with love and caring but today it is rare when people find deep love. Thus, it is quite natural for us to have strong feelings when we are attacked by uncaring and selfishness.

Our strong feelings are not just emotions to be controlled; they are internal calls to action, to attention, to the turning on of the full powers of our consciousness. The real value of anger is found in the moment it arises and the reason for its occurrence. Anger can propel us to evaluate a situation more carefully. Anger is a powerful call to pay attention to what is going on in our internal and external environments and to understand the relationship between the two.

If a man meets with injustice, it is not required
that he shall not be roused to meet it?
Henry Ward Beecher

Most people associate anger with blame, “You make me angry.” In this case, the cause of the anger is in our thinking, in some judgment about who the person is and what they are doing. Blame is not the same thing as an intelligent call for change.

http://www.revealingwisdom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/angry_baby-232x300.jpg

The three main choices seen in modern psychological circles for the processing of angry feelings is expression, suppressing, and calming. The expression of angry feelings in ‘assertive ways’ has always been seen favorably as the healthiest way to express anger. Anger often is a message to get clear on what our needs are and to establish how in fact we are going to get those needs met. The expression of our anger shows a respect for our own feelings and respect for others who need to hear what we are feeling.

“When we don’t feel safe to have or express our anger we start to contain this life force and eventually may experience exhaustion and even health related issues. If showing anger as a child was met with disapproval, or love was withheld, or violent anger was returned towards us then we learn to suppress it, turn it inwards or explode outwards and experience more punishment.”

Repression of anger is actually the worst method of anger management causing serious medical problems like hypertension, depression, and cardiac dysfunction. Anger can provide the motive force and the energy that allows us to stand up and fight for ourselves. The highest form of anger comes from the self that just wants to stand up for what is right. The hero inside of us wants to vanquish those dark forces. In this anger (strong feelings) can be both our shield and our sword.

We boil at different degrees.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are people who get angry easily and there are others who just cannot seem to get angry when they should. Who wants to get upset in life and who on this earth is so perfect that they never get upset? “Anger is a signal and one worth listening to,” writes Dr. Harriet Lerner in her renowned classic The Dance with Anger.

Anger – Communication – Conflict

There are certain things that we just cannot say to another without bringing up a lot of conflict and anger. No matter how calmly and skillfully we communicate, if we show another person that some action of theirs is hurting our inner world (creating or provoking strong feelings) they will usually react with anger even though they might not show it directly.

Often there is a need to deliver a message, to make a communication. How do we get someone to listen? The softest and most peaceful means is to open our hearts and make a vulnerable communication that expresses exactly how we feel and what we are seeing and needing.

What do we do when this type of communication is ignored? Violence is actually a communication of last resort. When all else fails and communication breaks down completely, many people resort to violence. However, the more we evolve and work on ourselves (ego) the clearer and more forceful our communications become and the less we need anger as a motive and drive of communication.

There is an anger (strong feeling) whose source is love
and this type of anger is a force to be approached
with care for it has the power like no force on earth.
The origin of spiritual fire expressed as anger
is not hate but love not separation but oneness.

To be aware is to care and if we are aware of how we are feeling, we will care to communicate which is a form of action. People have a profound lack of ability to care for the inner world of others and they express this poverty with their inability to listen.

There are skillful ways of expressing anger that maximizes the chance of being heard. “I feel angry, when you doubt me, or don’t believe in me, because I am afraid I am going to lose you,” is very different from, “You make me angry.” The word you is an attack and the other will rally to defend themselves against any perceived hostility.

Truth and Anger

Image result for Anger

People today are angry and that is ushering in a popular rebellion against the status quo. Moreover, the status quo, and all the people attached to it, are angry that people want change and are voting for it. Those who hold the reins of power in the west would rather die (and take many of us with them in a nuclear exchange) than admit or even perceive their total wrongness of being.

Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not
let the sun go down on your anger.
Ephesians 4:26 Bible

On one end, we see that anger is triggered by irrational thoughts, especially thoughts related to unconscious demands, desires, and expectations. We want things to be a certain way, our way and it seems like millions are getting all bent out of shape because things are not going according to plan. Intense egocentric anger runs parallel with fits of rage, violence, intense jealousy, possessiveness and poor communication behaviors.

Progressives, liberals and even the center right are enraged as the harder right step up onto the stage of world politics. “What we see is increasing violence on the part of self-righteous protestors who feel their own righteousness merits violent action.” People have not wanted to see how badly the world is in need of change and now there is hell to pay. Moreover, it is not just civilization and out governments that need to change, we all need to face ourselves, our egos, our willingness to go along with any lie (global warming), and the list goes on.

Conclusion

In the end, angry people usually cannot tell if their anger is in tune. Is it self-righteous egotistical anger or is it something really from the heart as we react to uncaring. Roosevelt gives us a clue. If it is truth that is getting us angry then our anger will boil over and over cutting us off from our own hearts because our hearts are organs of truth. Just like infidelities (lies) make it impossible to stay in one’s heart inappropriate and misdirected anger do the same thing.

In our modern world most people are living in their heads not in their hearts and we can tell this by the frequency of our thoughts. When one cannot stop thinking one cannot have the heart with its full flavor of vulnerability, love and understanding.

Recently I published an essay on my Facebook entitled, ‘Yazidi Girls Sold as Sex Slaves while Women March against Trump’ that had an avalanche of responses from women mostly supporting the idea that the hate and anger against Trump is somewhat misplaced.

The heart does not cut itself off from the whole, it does not, cannot ignore wrongs even if they are occurring on the other side of the world. Egos of course can, targeting a specific person or idea that does not go along with one’s own ideas or preferred individuals.

What is important is not our anger it is truth. It is difficult for angry people to stop and consider that they are wrong and that their anger is misplaced. Self-righteous people are those who cannot consider their wrongness. They are too busy thinking they are right, which means they cannot listen to the other side of the coin.

So if you really want to discern if your anger is in tune ask yourself if you can listen to others. We have the right to agree not to agree but if we get angry about it then we should know that we are probably wrong.

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Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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  • drlechter

    What is it about doctors being political idiots?

    It’s kind of like the Leonard Cohen song where he asks the captain where is a good place to stand and the captain says there’s no good place to stand in a massacre. We’re in a propaganda massacre.

    which dozens of books to sight, I haven’t the energy so I will point to one and you either get it or not: Taking The Risk Out Of Democracy by Alex Carey

  • RicardoRichard

    Someone in this discussion mentions almost a prohibited word “judgement”.

    The word judgement used in a sense of pronouncing one’s opinion or as Webster defines it as ”the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing or an opinion or estimate so formed (I am putting aside its judicial or religious sense) has become almost a swear word in some circles of Western civilization.

    Sometimes I am so irritated by such barren discussions on different sites that I cannot cope any longer. What is wrong in using your judgement?

    According to those circles to pronounce one’s opinion is a crime. This is pure rubbish. How come that we have arrived at such nonsense?

    Dr. Sircus, if you respond to my views or others’, you must first make your judgement, evaluate my opinion or others’ so that you can express yours. Without this process (of judgement), which is indidpensable, your reply would be without rhyme or reason. Would you prefer that? Sincerely, I don’t think so.

    Judgement is necessary to our thinking unless we want to kill our thoughts in order to find ourselves in a full paradise, freedom and happiness. Some people are still going out of their way bending over backwards to reach that stage.

    I understand that a human being should not be associated with rationality only, which is overused in Western societies, because there’s much more to us, humans, than rational thoughts but this is an utterly different matter.

  • Julia Dosby

    Very thoughtful article. Thank for posting.

    “…to anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.” Crystal clear and no fighting anymore.

    • Dragonfly

      “To anger a conservative, be anything but a conservative. Conservatives are not interested in the truth.”

  • easyout

    Is it possible Dr. Sircus that Gods plan for this creation is based on balance, ( day/night, what you sow you must reap, opposites attract, etc.), and anger is just a part of us humans going to far to the left, or right. The liberal left is like a woman, using emotion (God given to women for nurturing children) to think, and the conservative right a man, using reasoning/judgement (God given to man for providing). A woman thinks emotionally and a man thinks with reason as a generality, but each can be taken to extreme and that’s where the balance gets into trouble. We’ve gone to far to the left, just as this creation through history has gone to far to the right, and we always will come back towards center. We will never get to center as that there would be no creation if we were perfect. So there will be anger in all facets of going to far in either direction. Where we get into trouble, if you believe in karma, is when we hurt others feelings. So in my humble opinion, whenever we use anger we build karma, or another words, anger is a negative emotion, where forgiveness and piety is a positive emotion. These are Gods laws that allow the balance in this creation to keep us existing.

    • Mark Sircus

      Sorry easyout but you are making judgments about anger and emotions and feeling. I wrote that people tend to judge anger and thus angry people…and that is incredibly nasty in intimate relationships, devestating to the other….as judgements usually are

      • easyout

        Your right. After I took what you said to the next level I got it. Judgement in itself is the first rung of the ladder in an angry exchange, and that is reactionary. Learning to keep yourself from reacting in haste is an article in itself as many times your have to look deep. Parental dysfunction was what meditation taught me was the cause of my reactive nature in anger, as I truly believe is common in a lot of people. Most people react to anger before they can catch themselves, and then have to apologize, and then keep doing the same thing as the cause is so buried. My mother was very parental, and as a little kid I rebelled and had a lot of resentment which caused a reactionary response to people getting angry at me as I had more of a hyper/aggressive personality, and my brother was depressed most of his life with the same mom and gave into the constant parental letting him almost commit suicide at one point. Many people say; they had no right to get mad at me and feel vindicated, not understanding at least for me, I was really angry at my mom for picking on me so much. So many of my friends through the years had reactionary anger where they didn’t understand why they couldn’t take a deep breathe and respond differently, again saying, they can’t do that, or they can’t act like that, but if you knew their past, you might understand better why they were the way they are, and that leads to forgiveness. Forgiveness, they say, is the only answer to anger, or pain from someone else, but getting to the cause is very hard and that’s where judgement can’t take a backseat. I think it also has to do with survival and adrenalin/fight or flight, but again that’s another story.

  • RicardoRichard

    Sorry, Dr Sircus, but I think you are jumping to conclusions.

    1. The fact we have more thoughs in hour heads than emotions in our hearts does not mean that we live in our heads. The error of your rationale – it seems to me- lies in the fact that you compare two uncomparable spheres, namely unconscious or subconscious thoughts and conscious feelings/emotions respectively. Even such spiritual beings like Chopra think that it is impossible to get rid of your unconscious thoughts and therefore their number will always outweigh the number of your emotions in your heart and even you, Dr Sircus, are not an exception.

    2. “We have the right to agree not to agree but if we get angry about it then we should know that we are probably wrong”. Is it really so?

    I suppose you are angry at the Deep State and you are also angry about the policy of forced vaccination programmes that are spreading across the US and the world. Does it mean that you are probably wrong and therefore you should, standing at attention, listen more carefully to the arguments of the liars and those corrupted people and accept the fact that they are right?

    Moreover I am almost sure you are also angry at some other things that happen in the world and even in your close circles and rightly so! Being angry does not preclude you from living in your heart. It may sometimes make you uneasy but that does not matter much, does it? It is human after all.

    • Mark Sircus

      I never said or meant that anger precludes a person from their heart……..but egotisitical anger does….but the real point about thoughts is independent of anger….thoughts are small compared to a wider intelligence, and when I say heart it is not just about emotions….its about something different…its about feelings….we feel our emotions, and most deep spiritual beings comprehend that it is the greatest freedom to be free of the river of thoughts, all the concepts and ideas and thoughts of everything past, thats real freedom…..and you suppose wrong…..I get excited about things and passionate but it is super rare for me to get angry…..when you stand year after year facing and confronting the terrorism in the world, and for me that started with pharmaceutical terrorism and the terrorism of the war on drugs, and now on the terrorism of the liberal mind, of course the terrorism of religion….can go on…….remember what Eintein said, “I think with my intution, which are feelings, not emotions.”

      • RicardoRichard

        Your objectives are not viable, Dr Sircus. You aim at clearing all of your thoughts and rely on your heart and that’s the way to freedom and happiness. Even half of the yogis are unable to achieve that level. So don’t require the Western civilization to do it.

        But getting rid of your thoughts means stop having a discerning mind, critical thought, etc. Tell me, please, who will substitute you in your blogs? Will you leave your readers like that or are you trying to tell me that one can write the same blogs without counting on the support of your ”useless” and ”disturbing” thoughts. Your heart will suffice to manage it all, or perhaps adding your gut feelings as well.

        I did not even consider egotistical anger unless you understand the word egotistical in the sense that your brain is still working and you conserve your ego.

        Here in Western civilization we should not even try to kill our ego – that would be a great error following a proverb the grass is always greener on the other side of the field or better said in Asia. Lots of Asians would love to become us with our living standard that has been achieved thanks to our ego. Obviously what is necessary to do is to slow down our ego drive and use much more our heart. Our reason is not the obstacle but we should not exaggerate with our pure rational attitude.

        Should we rid ourselves of our past? We are the product of our past. Should we clear our mind of 9/11, of World Wars and other personal events? This is a great error of spiritualistic way of living. Obviously we should not dwell in the past living there all the time, although some people do it for different reasons.

        Finally I am not so sure that our intuition is linked with our heart. I would rather say with our gut.

        • Mark Sircus

          I can see you have no idea of what I am talking about from what you say. The last thing I have lost is a discerning mind and critical thinking abilities. Just so happened I achieved the ability to stay out of my mind for 20 mintues at a time almost 30 years ago though I only do it for maybe five minutes a day these years though if I really try I can and have gone as long as an hour. The point is slowing the mind the rest of the time living with peace, inner peace…its not perfect of course…so please give up commenting on something you have not experienced and do not understand

          • RicardoRichard

            Where did I say you lost your descerning mind and thinking abilities??? What I did say is those hard-core spiritualists advise us to kill the ego and live permanently in the present and by doing this they achieve freedom and happiness. If you follow in their footsteps, you will lose your critical thinking. But for 20 min it is not dangerous.I do it myself but only sometomes I manage to achieve this point just to charge my batteries. I do live in the present, but I never forget the past. How can I clear my roots and my experience? I will never dare to do it. If Tolle wants that, it is up to him.