Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Anger and Spirituality

I have been feeling angry the last few days. This is probably evident to anyone who has read the blog. I do not apologise for this. In fact, I am glad that I have, since I have also felt particularly creative. As is also evident. I hope that others will appreciate reading the last few posts but that really does not matter - the fact is that I needed to express how I felt and this is now done. Some of the language has been intemperate and, again, I have no problem with this.

Anger is nothing new to me. It is something that has been with me for much of my life. For most of that time, however, I have not acknowledged it. I felt that it was a negative emotion and a sign of my own lack of development. I had to be cool. And all the energy locked up in the anger just whirled around inside me - eating away my creativity and self-esteem. I tried to erase it with pills and drown it in alcohol - but still it lurked, not going away just becoming less visible. Hiding.

And it was not only the anger which was hiding but me. For my anger is born of me and partakes of my energy. It is part of my being and cannot be erased without violence to that being. It is my fire. Or at least, it is that aspect of my fire that exists in order to protect and impel the defense mechanisms but had to be switched off in order that others would not punish or reject me. For anger, in a hierarchical system, cannot be expressed against those in higher position - be they parents, teachers or employers. So I learnt to hide the fire - to hide myself.

For anger is of the will to life. It is the fight or flight energy we need in order to meet threats. It is the energy that will enable a mother to lift a car away from her child. It is goddess-given. It is there to impel action - to move us, and others, out of danger. It is beautiful. If you doubt this, look at, say, Picasso's Guernica or much of Goya - to take two, Spanish, examples.

But we are taught that it is wrong. We are taught that spirituality consists of erasing such passions. Anger is, we are told, one of the seven deadly sins. So we learn to pretend that we do not have it. We become adept at hiding it in words and smiles. We pretend that it is not ours but that others have driven us to it, that they make us angry. "Look what you made me do!" Then we can even learn to hide it altogether - even from ourselves.

And in this hiding I became depressed - unable to move - eventually unable, really, to feel. A half-man, I thought that I was alive. But I wasn't - for my fire was absent. Because in order to hide my anger I had to hide my fire. And without that fire I am not alive.

It still scares me but I am determined to allow my fire to burn. And this, to me, is spirituality - to become fully and completely myself. Only then will I cease to be a prisoner of my passions. When they are allowed to flow freely then I will be free. For anger is not the whole, or even a major, part of my fire - but it cannot be separated from it.


sometimesfaithsometimesnot said...

I've been reading your posts Brian and anger is very good. You have a right to be angry at cretins who hurl inanities at you in comments. It's your space and you don't want it shit all over. Perfectly understandable. I've had those myself. So, be good to yourself, accept and show your anger constructively is you must. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that!!

Brian Charles said...

Thanks Medusa. I am, as I said in a post a few days ago, really glad that he turned up - he renewed my rather flagging interest in blogging.

And the anger has been cleansing!