anger is triggered when somebody does something that makes you realise that they're
putting much too little weight on your welfare than you think you're entitled to,
[depending on] the kind of relationship you have with that person.
anger is a system designed for interpersonal bargaining, for trying to get the person
to put more weight on your welfare in the future.
gives you energy, makes you want to persecute the person who has made you angry
looking at the thing that has made you angry adds fuel to the fire
some kind of threat
How to deal with anger
Acknowledge to yourself, “I am angry because of [X reason] that is relevant to [Y
Think consciously and intelligently about how to deal with the situation so as to
bring about the best long-term outcome for all concerned. In your brain, this activity
connects the emotions with the decision-making and emotion-regulating prefrontal
cortex, which has two effects: 1) it delivers the message that the emotion is carrying;
2) it transforms a fast reaction to a slower and more considered evaluation, and
helps to enable a skilful and ethical outcome.
Moral anger is the kind of anger we feel when someone has broken what we consider
to be a moral rule. This may lead us not to have empathic concern for them, since
we do not approve of their behaviour and feel they do not deserve our good word.
Some people use manufactured moral anger as an excuse for bullying people or for
looking down on a particular out-group.
For some reason, we often find moral anger enjoyable.
Sometimes the measures we wish to take against a perceived injustice are worse than
the original offence, or are otherwise not warranted in a decent society.
A moral injury is one received when someone violates an ethical norm and this results
in harm. It is an injury to someone’s sense of proper morality. It is felt keenly
by both victims and perpetrators. In essence it is a transgression of moral expectations
by somebody (or by God, as perceived).
Victims may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, and develop problems
trusting others, and a sense of anger, especially at further moral violations.
Perpetrators may feel a deep sense of guilt and a wish to right the wrong that cannot
be righted because it is in the past, through subsequent exemplary behaviour. A
perpetrator may feel a loss of trust with him or herself.
Both may wish to play the story over and over again in the hope that it will finally
work out right for them.
Like psychological trauma, moral injury is a construct that describes extreme and
unprecedented life experience including the harmful aftermath of exposure to such
events. Events are considered morally injurious if they “transgress deeply held
moral beliefs and expectations.” Thus, the key precondition for moral injury is
an act of transgression, which shatters moral and ethical expectations that are rooted
in religious or spiritual beliefs, or culture-based, organizational, and group-based
rules about fairness, the value of life, and so forth.
It may well be that a social injury caused by just the wrong kind of negativity may
be healed by the right application of the Healing Principle: a social healing caused
by just the right kind of positivity: the right kind of love and forgiveness.
Former gangster Hanif Mohammed spent ten years in jail for killing Alex Holroyd.
“I took somebody’s life man, this ain’t no joke, I’ve deprived a kid of his birthdays,
his holidays, his everything, and that I think is where I started to embark on this
crazy transformation. I’m working with thousands of young people in a bid to dissuade
them from a life of crime, sharing these experiences with them.” Hanif, along with
his mentor, and ex-prison officer Brian Wreakes, run a charity called In2Change.
They deal with young offenders, gang members, and kids on the cusp of joining the
criminal fraternity. “I want to be a role model for a lot of young kids who are
a bit lost, don't really know what's going on, disengaged.”
“Imagine this is a balance, a weighing scale. My sins – are like ‘that’ [far down].
I'm just trying to balance them out, and I’m nowhere near, nowhere near. I don’t
want my son growing up to think, my father was this kind of evil guy, I wasn’t. What
I did was a mistake. You’ll never ever be able to redeem yourself because of the
damage you’ve done.”
Hanif Mohammed, “Gangland”, Channel 5 TV, UK, 6 August 2018
“The unforgiven: When soldiers kill in war, the secret shame and guilt they bring
back home can destroy them” (Aeon magazine) which shows that forgiveness, service
and giving back can be effective therapies.
“Morally justified” violence
An aspect of morality is that all around the world, throughout all of time, people
have engaged in violence because it seems like the right thing to do: redressing
moral wrongs that seem egregious to them. Honour killings and blood feuds are an
example. The police and the army are seen as legitimately engaging in violence for
moral reasons in a state that is seen as legitimate. People can be very ready to
use violence for what they see as morally compelling reasons.
But this neglects the way of peace, and it neglects Perfect Compassion, because non-violence
is nearly always a better available option. Instead of killing one’s daughter, or
beating that person to a pulp, we need to think instead of another way that involves
much less harm to the person we are angry with.
The only reasons to use violence are either in self-defence or to prevent further
violence. To use it in response to a perceived moral violation is not proportionate.
There must be some other way of dealing with things, most of the time. Think of
The Dhammapada: “Forsake anger”:
211 Forsake anger, give up pride. Sorrow cannot touch the man who is not in the
bondage of anything, who owns nothing.
222 He who can control his rising anger as a coachman controls his carriage at full
speed, this man I call a good driver: others merely hold the reins.
223 Overcome anger by peacefulness: overcome evil by good. Overcome the mean by
generosity; and the man who lies by truth.
226 Those who are for ever watchful, who study themselves day and night, and who
wholly strive for NIRVANA, all their passions pass away.
227 This is an old saying, Atula, it is not a saying of today: 'They blame the man
who is silent, they blame the man who speaks too much, and they blame the man who
speaks too little'. No man can escape blame in this world.
228 There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, a man whom men always
blame, or a man whom they always praise.
229 230 But who would dare to blame the man whom the wise praise day after day,
whose life is pure and full of light, in whom there is virtue and wisdom, who is
pure as a pure coin of gold of the Jambu river? Even the gods praise that man, even
Brahma the Creator praises him.
231 Watch for anger of the body: let the body be self-controlled. Hurt not with
the body, but use your body well.
232 Watch for anger of the words: let your words be self-controlled. Hurt not with
words, but use your words well.
233 Watch for anger of the mind: let your mind be self-controlled. Hurt not with
the mind, but use your mind well.
234 There are men steady and wise whose body, words and mind are self-controlled.
They are the men of supreme self-control.
Anger, hatred, fear, is very bad for our health.
The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.
― The Dalai Lama
Anger is a negative emotion, and hence, will make you feel negative. This is why
a bully will try to make you angry. For the sake of your health, replace anger with
The clichéd saying of "Love conquers all," is true. Love can melt the hardest of
hearts. There are hearts that are dead and cold forever, but even if they're at the
center of the love they're receiving and they're not moved, there are witnesses everywhere
that see Love working and they will be moved. So Love still has an effect, a really