Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Daily Dedroidify: Anger!

Daily Dedroidify: Anger. A while ago I completed my last of 24 lectures on the "Passions: Philosophy and the Intelligence of Emotions" course from the teaching company (TTC Course No. 4123) Taught by Robert C. Solomon from The University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D., University of Michigan).

I found it very entertaining, I didn't learn a super lot cause I was already well trained in emotional intelligence but I recommend it to anyone, a great teacher with some good lessons and will surely brighten up anyone. Philosophers and other people mentioned include Plato, Aristotle, William James, Freud, etc

I also learned that anger may not be quite the 'basic' emotion we think it is.
The Utkuhikhalingmiut tribe of Inuit (Eskimos) and The Polynesians of Tahiti and surrounding islands do not express anger at one another, and look down upon it, in fact the closest translation for the Utkuhikhalingmiut word would be childishness lol! The Polynesians even demonize anger and regard it as going crazy. Anthropologists who have studied Polynesians in some detail say that they hypercognize anger meaning that they talk about it a good deal, but they do not experience it often. In the west, we also hypercognize anger, but in this culture, that hypercognition serves as a spur to anger... (lol)

This leads me to think that anger is mostly an inherited evolutionary asset which we needed for protection, but clearly can be overcome much easier than thought if entire societies can get rid of it in a healthy way. So if you're embarking on the spiritual path or trying to be happier with controlling your thoughts, think of the Utkuhikhalingmiut and Polynesians for inspiration :) I'll leave you with this thought: Do you think enlightenment still includes anger?

If you're interested, here's some further reading:
Catherine Lutz, Unnatural Emotions.
Robert Levi, The Tahitians.
Jean Briggs, Never in Anger: Portrait of an Eskimo Family.

Here follows a Mahayana Buddhist Sutra on anger:

Sutra On The Buddha's Bequeathed Teaching
Sutra Preface

When Shakyamuni Buddha first turned the Wheel of Dharma, he crossed
over the Venerable Ajnatakaundinya. The very last time he spoke the
Dharma, he crossed over the Venerable Subhadhra. All of those whom
he should have crossed over had already been crossed over. He lay
between the Twin Sala trees and was about to enter Nirvana. At this
time, in the middle period of the night, all was quiet,without any
sound. Then for the sake of all of his disciples he spoke on the
essentials of the Dharma.

...

Avoiding Anger

All of you Bhikshus, if a person dismembered you piece by piece your
mind should be self-contained. Do not allow yourself to become
angry. Moreover, you should guard your mouth and not give rise to
evil speech. If you allow yourself to have thoughts of anger, you
will hinder your own Way, and lose the merit and virtue you have
gained. Patience is a virtue which neither upholding the precepts
nor the ascetic practises are able to compare with. One who is able
to practise patience can be called a great person who has strength;
if you are unable to happily and patiently undergo the poison of
malicious abuse, as if drinking sweet dew, you cannot be called a
wise person who has entered the Way. Why is this? The harm from
anger ruins all good dharmas and destroys one's good reputation.
People of the present and of the future will not even wish to see
this person. You should know that a heart of anger is worse than a
fierce fire. You should always guard against it, and not allow it to
enter you, for of the thieves which rob one's merit and virtue, none
surpasses anger. Anger may be excusable in lay people who indulge in
desires, and in people who do not cultivate the Way, who are without
the means to restrain themselves, but for people who have left the
home-life, who cultivate the Way and are without desires, harboring
anger is impermissable. Within a clear, cool cloud, there should not
be a sudden blazing clash of thunder.

How to stay stressed
a taster:
TAKE PLENTY OF STIMULANTS. The old standards of caffeine, nicotine, sugar, and cola will continue to do the job just fine.

AVOID "WOO-WOO" PRACTICES. Ignore the evidence suggesting that meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and/or mental imaging help to reduce stress. The Protestant work ethic is good for everyone, Protestant or not.

GET RID OF YOUR SOCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM. Let the few friends who are willing to tolerate you know that concern yourself with friendships only if you have time, and you never have time. If a few people persist in trying to be your friend, avoid them.

PERSONALIZE ALL CRITICISM. Anyone who criticizes any aspect of your work, family, dog, house, or car is mounting a personal attack. Don't take time to listen, be offended, then return the attack!

THROW OUT YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR. Staying stressed is no laughing matter, and it shouldn't be treated as one.

MALES AND FEMALES ALIKE - BE MACHO. Never ever ask for help, and if you want it done right, do it yourself!

BECOME A WORKAHOLIC. Put work before everything else, and be sure to take work home evenings and weekends. Keep reminding yourself that vacations are for sissies.

DISCARD GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS. Schedule in more activities every day than you can possibly get done and then worry about it all whenever you get a chance.

PROCRASTINATE. Putting things off to the last second always produces a marvelous amount of stress.

WORRY ABOUT THINGS YOU CAN'T CONTROL. Worry about the stock market, earthquakes, the approaching Ice Age, you know, all the big issues.

BECOME NOT ONLY A PERFECTIONIST BUT SET IMPOSSIBLY HIGH STANDARDS ...and either beat yourself up, or ... feel guilty, depressed, discouraged, and/or inadequate when you don't meet them.

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
Buddha

2 comments:

James Ratte said...

Was this a video lecture, can i get a copy? HULK angry, HULK need emotional intellect, HULK smash internets, HULK sorry, forgive HULK

dedroidify said...

It's an audio lecture and should be available on torrent sites & for sale :)

Hulk be artificial government creation through droidifying with bad info. Hulk transform back into Bruce Banner through dedroidifying with good info ;p