Anger can be either destructive or constructive, depending on whether it is at or for something. Anger at is destructiveand serves no useful purpose. It is the emotion we express toward drivers who cut us off, for example. This type of anger robs one of vital energy and can become addictive.
Anger at is consuming. Like a wildfire with more and more forest to decimate, it continually replenishes its force, rarely burning itself out. If it is not dissolved, it simmers down, laying in wait for yet another reason to control your mind and have one blow up at a mere trifle.
Anger for, on the other hand, is a positive force that many highly successful people use to significant advantage, directing it rather than letting it consume them. Anger for is the type of anger we have about injustice, poverty, health, or racial inequities—phenomenabeyond our control that limit people from expressing their full potential. It makes us want to change the way things are.
Anger for the improvement of life often provides the passion that fuels success, like the fire that heats the water for running a steam engine.
Mahatma Gandhi, feeling anger for the British injustices toward the people of India, once said, “I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson: to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled [focused] can be transmuted into a power which can move the world.”
One should question whether one is angry at or angry for. When unsure, look for physical clues: anger at feels like the body is tensing up and can’t breathe freely, whereas anger for feels more like one is being propelled. Once the type of anger is identified, recognise that anger at someone must be let go and anger for an injustice must be expressed, then take the appropriate measures.
An average person’s anger is 95% anger at. And so, to eliminate the majority of this in a few weeks with the proper understanding is actually quite reasonable. In time, one can eliminate it entirely. But first one must know its source and then how to disarm it.
Forget everything one knows, anything one has read or learnt, and read with an open mind that sincerely wants to eliminate anger from one’s life.
Understanding The Value Of Words,
An End To Conflicts
We speak with words and listen to them, but what are words? They are sounds that convey ideas. If one hears the word horse, it will immediately conjure up an image of the animal. But to someone who does not speak English the word will fail to bring any image to mind. Hence while either speaking or listening, it is of no use to get lost in words themselves; instead, one must focus on the ideas they are conveying.
Words are among the most dangerous powers one can wield. When what one hears is not what the other person is trying to say—and conversely, when what one wants to say is not what the other person is hearing—a conversation can quickly turn into a confrontation.The best precautions are first, not to take the words literally, and second, not to trust one’s own interpretation of others’ statements. When in a bad mood and looking for trouble, one may interpret a comment negatively, whereas if one is in an elevated state of mind, the interpretation will be the opposite, resulting in an altogether different communication.
One cannot enter into anyone else’s mind and know exactly how they are thinking at the moment, nor can one expect anyone else to know what is going on in the maze of one’s own mind. One alone is responsible for one’s reactions to the words of others. Words are like a knife placed on the table, one can pick it up and stick it in one’s own heart or one can leave it on the table.
Don’t get lost in interpreting words, especially if one is not certain of their meaning or intent. Even if one is certain, one may be mistaken. Many arguments erupt because people interpret words according to what they mean to them rather than to the speaker. However, once one understands that words are nothing more than concepts with a meaning understood individually by each person and not identically by everyone, one’s perspective will quickly expand.
To bring this expanded perspective to the messages one conveys, imagine that every word has a hundred meanings. Accepting that words will have different meanings to different people will greatly improve one’s ability to communicate without conflict because that concept will force one to choose words carefully. The potential for misunderstanding is infinite. It is only by chance that we can communicate without problems.
There is nothing new or profound about this fact. Ask three people to recount the same event that they all saw standing side by side, and one will get three different stories.
A monologue is; ‘One person talking to themselves.’
A dialogue is; ‘Two persons, talking to themselves.’
Psychological hang-ups and hesitancy to say what one feels often makes us say the wrong thing. Once the words which are not what one meant are blurted out, and a confrontation has begun, the ego takes over and defends what one knows was one’s mistake in order not to admit the error.
All this because our ego is hanging on to words that have not conveyed the sincerity of our sensitive heart that does not want to admit or see that it has inadvertently insulted someone due to its ignorance or lack of self-mastery.
If one would develop an immunity to words by using presence of mind to examine all words for their validity and objective power, one could not possibly get insulted, hurt or upset by anyone’s words.
The objective reality of words is their inability to have any effect on their own. They are not solid objects that have power over anyone. If one were deaf, words are absolutely harmless to them; words to a deaf person do not exist, if they did not read lips of course. Therefore since words can only affect some people and not others proves that in themselves they have no real existence. If something had an existence of its own it would have an effect on everyone, as does a stone dropped on your foot.
The effect of words lies in the listener, not the speaker or the words themselves, but a wise speaker knows this and considers the words based on who they speak to. This is the ethic of See Things From Other People’s Point Of View.
Words are our main form of communication. Words have the greatest power to make us happy or sad, aggravated or elated. How can something that has no actual material reality have such a powerful effect over us emotionally and physically?
If someone gives one a gift,
And one does not accept it,
Who does it belong to?
The strength of words is entirely subjective and personal,
They are a knife that one picks up and sticks directly
into one’s own heart,
Through the mind.
If someone threw a pillow, and one did not react to catch it, it would bounce off and fall away. However, instinctively one will normally react to catch it.
How one interprets the meaning of words is based on one’s own interpretation, which is one’s subjective view of the world. Subjective opinions are a veil, which hangs between one and the world. Every word, sound, smell, sight and interaction that reaches one’s mind and intellect pass through this subjective veil of interpretation. Directly behind that lies the imagination.
One’s imagination is the chef to the mind,
Feeding it the right food to get certain reactions.
This subjective veil forms from our first breath. Humans stop learning as soon as they are certain they understand something. Once the mind is satisfied that it understands any item, including the definition of a word, it closes down the learning function and places the topic in a box labelled ‘understood’.
That is a subjective mind, it knows something and is satisfied that its opinion is correct, and then pulls out that definition any time the item appears. If one’s mind is objective, it is open to questioning all things in context of the current situation, including words. This is the principle behind All Your Emotional Pain Is Self-inflicted and being faithful to your beliefs and opinions, but objective at the same time.
The subjective person lives looking through boxes, the objective person has no boxes to carry around. A subjective person is a prisoner to their thoughts and opinions, an objective person is free to choose what they think and adjust or adapt spontaneously.
This veil is basically the personality, who lives each day and determines one’s experiences in this life, good or bad, filled with conflict or harmony. This personality can change and grow, or it can stay the same. It is a matter of understanding how it works, and putting in the effort to refine it.
Words are the weapon of insults and emotional manipulation. Everyone is constantly manipulated by people’s words, whether we know it or not, whether they intend to do it or not, all due to the interpretation of one’s subjective veil. This is the nature of the reactive mind that is the default state of consciousness when one is not fully present. In this way, one’s moods are easily changed without one noticing what happened to make it change. This handicap is easily corrected through living with the ethic of Accept Full Responsibility For Everything In Your Life.
One, who has found the power of words and,
Ease by which we are manipulated so subtly,
By the words and events of every moment,
And has disarmed their power,
Cannot be insulted or hurt.
Always bear in mind what the other person could be going through. Problems with a spouse, family, their health, or financial concerns, there are so many things that could be disturbing someone. These unlimited factors that no one could perceive of will create many possible reasons for their actions, words and attitudes. All of these unknown factors must be taken into account.
Conflict cannot exist for an objective person.
One does not need to know what the real cause is; one just needs to know that one doesn’t know. Apply the ethic to Be Objective.
Often, one is faced with what one perceived to be a rude comment and taken that as a personal attack of some sort. In time, one found that the speaker had something terrible going on in their life. The speaker had no idea that their behaviour or words where hurtful since they where not in the least intended in that way.
It is best for all concerned if one received every comment, that one perceived as negative, with compassion until one found out the true nature behind it. If it were not intended as one thought, that would save one the heartache of an unjustified argument or guilt for misplaced thoughts. If it does turn out to be intended aggressively, one can let the other vent remembering the ethic; Words Spoken To You In Anger Or Attack Are Empty.
The concepts here are to open a channel in your mind to increase your abilities to communicate. Good communication rarely starts a fight. Good communication begins with the ability to listen and react appropriately far more than it is to merely speak with eloquence.
If one does not know what it feels like to receive,
Then how can one expect to deliver with skill?
Listening objectively eliminates anger and conflicts from one’s life. If one can attain that freedom, then one will be able to avoid causing any negative feelings in other people’s lives. This is the ethic of Harm No One Intentionally.
The Importance of An Objective View
Imagine a baby soiling its diapers just after one changed it. One cannot get upset with the baby who has no self-control. Likewise, see all those whose words hurt one as that uncontrolled baby, helpless and unable to control their functions.
Any emotional reaction to another person’s words
Stems 100% from the interpretation in one’s own mind
And has nothing to do with the words themselves.
Words have no power other than that which one places in them.
Consider these points whenever one feels a conflict or anger building:
That the other person does not mean to attack. Something may be troubling them or one may be misinterpreting the situation.
That no conflict can be successful unless one participates by getting upset.