THE TRANSFORMATION OF ANGER: FROM ACCUSATION TO AFFIRMATION
When one uplifts anger to its higher purpose it becomes not a tool for vengeance, revenge, or blame, nor a means of establishing one's power over others. Rather, it becomes a means of affirming with greater intensity and commitment the truths by which one chooses to live.
Anger has been the subject of discussion recently with respect to President Obama and his response (or lack thereof) in the wake of the Gulf oil spill.
Anger is an energy that can be funneled into a downward moving component that benefits primarily the ego and its defenses, or an upward moving component that joins with the purposes of light to improve conditions of life for all and especially for those who are suffering.
In this sense, the roots of anger which lie in protest against existing conditions, can be used to nurture a plant that serves all of life, or to diminish this connection through focusing on the desire for retribution. The latter often appears to address the source of anger, yet equally often does not.
This is the context in which we find ourselves in relation to the crisis produced by the Gulf oil spill. In the presence of great pain and distress, one needs to view one's own anger and that of those whose lives have been so deeply affected as a pivotal and understandable first step toward something that can be much broader in its impact and much vaster in its implications, namely, a petition for an expanded view of how human beings are meant to relate to each other and to the Earth.
The outcry in the present situation has great potential for initiating social change, but only if the present anger joins with its higher purpose to serve a greater whole, even as it seeks to redress the specific grievances of the present moment. In this case, what must be addressed are the ways in which human beings care for each other and for the Earth, and the interference that occurs to this caring as a result of the profit motive which many corporations hold as a highest value. We need to expect from all, responsibility to life as the highest value.
The potential of the current wave of anger is twofold. On the one hand, it asks that those who are suffering at the hands of a man-made disaster have their losses repaid by those who are responsible. On the other hand, it asks that broader practices that apply to the conduct of large corporations in general be monitored and restricted by clearer regulations so that consequences that are harmful to life cannot occur again. This applies to consequences to human life and to the Earth itself.
Not all who are suffering have such a broad picture in mind. Many are concerned primarily with their own survival and the survival of their communities. And yet in the midst of this deep distress, a sense of inner necessity is being born - a kind of necessity rooted in the evidence of pain that asks, on behalf of the life of the oceans, the marshes, the wildlife, as well as human life, that this pain be prevented from happening again.
Looked at from the larger perspective, what we see emerging out of this crisis is the possibility for a new consciousness, one which affirms the right to life and livelihood for humans and the right to sustainability and protection for the Earth. These rights may be articulated in a series of affirmations that can take root within human awareness. They may not exist in the foreground of consciousness at the present time, yet they are being born within the deeper layers of awareness as a growing moral imperative:
1. THE UNITY OF ALL - Affirmation of oneness with others, including all whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by natural or man-made disasters. This includes the affirmation of participation in and with suffering so that no one is left alone.
2. THE RIGHT TO LIVELIHOOD - Affirmation of the right of individuals to earn a livelihood that supports themselves and their families, and the restriction of all practices by those with profit motives which diminish these livelihoods through malice, neglect, or indifference.
3. THE RIGHT TO HEALTH - Affirmation of the right of individuals to maintain their health in a world that does not have toxins in the air they breathe, in the water they drink, or in the land they cultivate, and the restriction of all practices, both commercial and non-commercial, that diminish the safety and health-giving potential of the environment.
4. THE RIGHT TO ACCOUNTABILITY. Affirmation of the right of individuals to know, through accountability, what policies and practices are being implemented by government or organizations that affect their lives. Such accountability is based on the restriction of self-interest and the understanding that each is responsible for all.
5. THE RIGHT TO SUSTAINABILITY - Affirmation of the right of individuals to be sustained through times of humanitarian crisis by agencies that have been set up for that purpose. This right is based on the understanding that no one must feel alone in their need for survival and sustainable life.
Human beings, everywhere, who are responding to this crisis with anger have a choice in the presence of great distress as to the way in which they hold their anger. On the one hand, they may hold it in the historical context of 'an eye for an eye' with its emphasis on retribution. On the other hand, they may hold it in its upward movement toward reform and redemption.
The truth about anger is the truth about human consciousness, namely, that it is evolving, and what it is evolving into is an awareness that is joined with others and with the Divine. Such anger is spiritualized. It is illuminated. It is fed by light's purposes and joins with the highest ideals of mankind in order to create reform and the manifestation of the new.
Where anger associates itself with such higher purpose, it becomes revolutionary. It changes society because it brings the strength of will, commitment, and faithfulness to all of one's actions. It does not pursue nor give energy to blame as a less effective mode of change, but pursues right-action accompanied by moral courage as the most effective means of furthering one’s goals.
In this sense, both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi were revolutionaries. It is in this sense, too, that the present upsurge of anger may address 'wrongs' that have long existed within American society whose symptoms are now coming to the surface in the presence of these tragic circumstances.
Each human being has a choice to make in this regard. When anger is uplifted toward its higher purpose, it becomes a powerful agent of change. It can bring about a new awareness for human beings in their relations with each other and promote affirmations that support the life of the Earth.
Please join us in moving consciousness further toward this end. See the links below and the new Calendar of Awakening, creating a bridge to the soul's awareness of Love and Unity.