Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

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tomschwarz
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Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by tomschwarz » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:34 am

Hello fri
ends,

His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet, Speaking about very painful experiences such as loosing freedom, loosing your country, and so on... ...and how Buddhist practice helps:

see 11:20

"...then during these period, there is certain sort of knowledge, which we learned, become very very useful.I think. Firstly, they keep our mind more sharp so sharp mind not easily follow emotion. Faith can easily manipulate (be manipulated) by emotion. But logical approach difficult exploit (to be exploited) by emotion. When certain emotion come, we always analyse why why why why. Then most of the emotion, such as anger, anger comes (from) attachment, self centered attitude. So analyse, why? Attachment, why? Anger why? No sufficient reason, because you see these destructive emotion ultimately based on ignorance, ignorance, no sound basis. Or just mental exaggeration. Now some scientists, also say that. So therefore logic is really useful. Logic is like a rein to control wild horses. Emotions come but then logical approach very very useful"

There are many people (on this forum?) who do not seek to rid themselves of anger, but rather accept that expressing anger is healthy. So let's discuss the contradiction to the statements above, that Anger is not always self centered? Does not always relate to ignorance?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Grigoris
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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by Grigoris » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:55 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:34 am
There are many people (on this forum?) who do not seek to rid themselves of anger, but rather accept that expressing anger is healthy. So let's discuss the contradiction to the statements above, that Anger is not always self centered? Does not always relate to ignorance?
What if I get angry watching scenes of bombings of children in Syria on television and that motivates me to go out and fight against these actions?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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tomschwarz
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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by tomschwarz » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:04 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:55 pm
tomschwarz wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:34 am
There are many people (on this forum?) who do not seek to rid themselves of anger, but rather accept that expressing anger is healthy. So let's discuss the contradiction to the statements above, that Anger is not always self centered? Does not always relate to ignorance?
What if I get angry watching scenes of bombings of children in Syria on television and that motivates me to go out and fight against these actions?
There are so many level of understanding of situations of suffering, caring and of time itself and of scope (of suffering). Simply jumping in to all of that complexity, with Anger, we will miss the true landscape of reality...
Why anger misleads/is ignorant
* Asaad was too an innocent child, anger at his actions and the actions of his military leaders and soldiers usually does not embrace this large picture (enter scope of time and suffering). Each one of those soldiers are also humans with unique situations of suffering. We have to accept all of that to come up with ideal actions (skilfull means)
* As you mentioned, anger could call us to action to avenge the innocent who are persecuted. But in order not to do more harm, we must set an example of peace inside of our own temporary consciousnesses. In any case, anger is not a goal/desired endstate yes?
* Anger in this context tends to cause us to "miss the forrest for the trees", in other words to be "tree focused" and "forest blind". Surely we can help a child in Syria, today, to have some care, safety, warmth and food. But if there is anger, how could we come to accept the causation of the whole situation there? And without some complete idea of how it is caused, how all participate in that mess, how can we come up with a truly intelligent and long term solution and begin to implement the first steps of that solution to end their suffering?

So that last point, back to scope of suffering, the shia sunni conflict dates back to 630 AD (?). So it would be difficult to bring lasting change to that part of the world without at least a plan for ending that conflict https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shia%E2%8 ... _relations

And of course, there is the great old USA who is threatening now to send more bombs over to the middle east.

But in my experience, the single most ignorant aspect of anger about the cuelty of humans to other humans, is ignorance of the reality and scope of the first type of suffering (from the first noble truth): the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death. Humans have lived on earth for 5 million years or so (?). Over that time, do you know how many children have frozen to death simply at the hands of nature? Or have drowned simply from swimming? Or have been eaten alive by animals? The number is unreal I am sure.... So with that scope, we look at this AVOIDABLE suffering, and yes, we must do something about it immediately, but in that context.

But with that said, sure, I could see all kinds of good things coming from Anger. But I would not suggest/encourage anger for any being.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by boda » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:04 pm

The fossil record indicates that humans have only existed for around 200,000 years, not 5 million.

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:08 pm

As Shantideva says at the beginning of Chapter 6 of Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life:
There is no evil greater than anger,
And no virtue greater than patience.
Therefore, I should strive in various ways
To become familiar with the practice of patience.
Enough said - anger is self-centred and needs to go because it is never healthy.

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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:28 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:08 pm
anger is self-centred and needs to go because it is never healthy.
Is it healthy to keep all your anger inside ?

Where will it go ?

I know the key here is to develop patience....then the anger will hopefully subside.....and all the anger we experience can be used
for practice....to practice patience....so the more times you get angry...the more practice you have...till you get to the point where nothing bothers you anymore.....i haven't gotten that far yet....but like Grigoris said...you can turn the anger into something constructive to help others....
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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:01 am

If you feel remorse for all the anger you had....does that cancel out the damaging karma you created ?
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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:10 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:28 pm

Is it healthy to keep all your anger inside ?

Where will it go ?

I know the key here is to develop patience....then the anger will hopefully subside.....and all the anger we experience can be used
for practice....to practice patience....so the more times you get angry...the more practice you have...till you get to the point where nothing bothers you anymore.....i haven't gotten that far yet....but like Grigoris said...you can turn the anger into something constructive to help others....
Anger can never be used to help others because it is a delusion, an inner poison, that is characterised by blaming people and things for our problems which is ignorance. Compassion is the best motivating factor for helping others as anger clouds our mind and interferes with our wisdom and ability to help others. Shantideva and other spiritual masters do not advocate keeping anger inside, they advise dispelling it through compassion and wisdom and dropping it like a burning, hot coal as soon as it develops in our mind.

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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by tomschwarz » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:57 pm

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:28 pm
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:08 pm
anger is self-centred and needs to go because it is never healthy.
Is it healthy to keep all your anger inside ?

Where will it go ?
Yes it is healthy )))) it will go away. It is much harder for children, of course... But as adults who are ready to do very serious things, we can consider Buddhist wisdom such as the idea that anger and love can not coexist (very well) in waking consciousness. So if you are serious about overcoming anger, let out a lions roar of skillful caring for the disenfranchised persecuted and abused.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:14 am

boda wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:04 pm
The fossil record indicates that humans have only existed for around 200,000 years, not 5 million.
That is a good point... ....so lets start with 200,000 years of people dieing at the hands of cruel nature, freezing, falling, bacterial and viral infection and hunger. And then multiply that by 25 to account for the same (suffering of male female adults and children) from our upright walking ancestors.

And then, deliberately make trouble for a child, go to hell. But how could I be angry? It's a circle, not a line. Of course the evil adult was also a loving sensitive and innocent child. We can stop that cycle with maximum affection and respect for childrens' feeling and thoughts/communication.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:28 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:57 pm
Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:28 pm
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:08 pm
anger is self-centred and needs to go because it is never healthy.
Is it healthy to keep all your anger inside ?

Where will it go ?
Yes it is healthy )))) it will go away. It is much harder for children, of course... But as adults who are ready to do very serious things, we can consider Buddhist wisdom such as the idea that anger and love can not coexist (very well) in waking consciousness. So if you are serious about overcoming anger, let out a lions roar of skillful caring for the disenfranchised persecuted and abused.

Funny....but the advice you gave was very unskillful and abusive.
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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:39 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:28 pm
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:08 pm
anger is self-centred and needs to go because it is never healthy.
Is it healthy to keep all your anger inside ?

Where will it go ?

I know the key here is to develop patience....then the anger will hopefully subside.....and all the anger we experience can be used
for practice....to practice patience....so the more times you get angry...the more practice you have...till you get to the point where nothing bothers you anymore.....i haven't gotten that far yet....but like Grigoris said...you can turn the anger into something constructive to help others....
IMO it isn't healthy to keep your anger inside, Grigoris makes a great point about using your anger for something constructive.

Another way of looking at it is by examining the root of your anger and seeing how the self centered attitude is the cause, how this is impermanent and if possible recalling emptiness.

Edit: obviously that's very hard so for beginners (I'd say a lot if not most people) would be better off using Grigoris' method.
"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:00 am

Everything we do in samsara comes from a self-centered attitude.

What we think of as anger isn't always what is meant by anger in the Buddhist context.
This is because, if you look at the deepest motivation for why you feel like screaming and your face is red and you are expressing a lot of negativity,
sometimes this is also rooted in compassion, or at least, it can be.
Sometimes you feel angry but this might actually be impatience, or disappointment, or some other things that contradict what one expects or wishes to happen, or have some other root cause. A lot of things express themselves as angry feelings, even though they are not about disliking a person or hating their politics or whatever.

If you are looking at the whole situation, and you realize that everyone involved is suffering from ignorance,
you can even have compassion for the oppressor, because you see all the pain that person is producing is due to his own lack of virtue, lack of wisdom. That is compassion in the Buddhist context, meaning that's the compassion which is the antidote to anger.
This is not the ordinary way of thinking, even though everybody talks about it. Even in Christianity, Jesus' dharma is about forgiveness. It's an expression of the same equanimity. Somebody punches you on the street and while it does hurt, you feel sorry for the attacker because you know your bruise will heal but whatever their problem is will only get worse.

A less severe example, perhaps, is when a parent gets angry at the child for doing something like running out into the street where the child could get hurt. it's not really anger, in the buddhist sense. the parent is very upset out of love for the child. Maybe it's wrathful compassion.

However, losing one's temper is an expression of self-centeredness, of ego clinging, because things aren't going the way you want.

So, suppose the child breaks something that belonged to the parent, maybe a family heirloom.
Or, maybe in a store, the child breaks something and the parent has to pay for it, so the parent gets angry.
This angry situation can be broken down into two parts:
1. what the cause is for being angry. This might be outside of the parent's control
2. what causes the way the parent responds. This is completely within the parent's control.

So, for example, the child breaks something at home or in the store, maybe even in a temper tantrum (on purpose) so, that is the cause of the parent becoming upset, feeling angry with the child. But the parent doesn't have to lose their temper too. The parent can say, "okay, are you finished now?" and when they get home, the parent and the child can talk about it, maybe the parent simply says "go to your room. no TV for a week" or whatever. But they can do this without throwing more heat into the situation.

So, I think, when you talk about anger, it's important to deconstruct the anger experience. then, of course, you can talk about the illusion of self-and-other or emptiness, whatever.
But anger isn't a real "thing". It's an expression of various causes.
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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:46 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:00 am
(1)Everything we do in samsara comes from a self-centered attitude.
.....
(2)What we think of as anger isn't always what is meant by anger in the Buddhist context.
.....
(3)So, for example, the child breaks something at home or in the store (...) maybe the parent simply says "go to your room. no TV for a week" or whatever.
Questions there (respectively):
1 - is there no option for altruistic intention in samsara? Are there no limits to your statement?
2 - What exactly is meant, then, by "anger" in the buddhist context?
3 - i can not imagine ever punishing my child for anything. ...which gets me to thinking just how horrible the parent child relationship is for most all... ...slightly off topic, but regarding peace and love, if you raise your child with respect, that means that you place as top priority listening to your child, never teasing them or belittling their communication, and you always show loving kindness, there will be no need for punishment. which reminds me, i was never punished.

...the reason why, is think of it, what is punishment? it is this bazaar idea, not unlike war, that you can fix things by breaking them, right? so in the context of this topic, what i am suggesting is that punishing a child comes from self-centered attitude. the practical way to deal with discipline in your life and the lives of others (e.g. children), is to have a heart discussion based only on loving kindness, in every day life. with that said, believe me, i know how bad it gets with children who are already true criminals... ...there, you might have to restrain children, but still no "behavior modification" with punishment.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: Does anger comes from self-centered attitude?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:48 am

Yes, I agree with you regarding the raisin of children. But for a lot of people there is this idea of, "you know what you did was something you should not do, so you have to face some kind of consequence" ...which is perhaps why so many people have a misunderstanding of karma.

Anyway...

1. Okay, probably not everything we do is self-centered. But, generally speaking, unless one is making the effort to practice bodhicitta, and further, compassion without regard to self-and other, a lot of the time, when one is being generous or compassionate there is still a sense that this makes one a good person, a good buddhist or whatever, and it slips into being a very subtle ego trip. A friend of mine used the term, "BoyScoutSattva" to suggest this sense of "doing a good deed". That doesn't mean that nothing has been accomplished or that beings aren't benefiting, or that one isn't really practicing dharma, but it's just that one way or another it tends to be about "me".

2. My understanding is that true anger in the Buddhist sense, it's kind of like road rage. It's a little bit insane, really, really wishing harm to another person, an expression of a core feeling of hatred toward someone. I often see this with regard to people holding political office. I know people who were practically seething with hatred toward Obama, for example, and I see it with how a lot of people respond to Trump (not getting into a political discussion here!). I think, perhaps it is easier to occur towards public figures one doesn't actually have to interact with personally.
This is different from simply losing one's temper with someone who, say, in a crisis, one would want to help. However, even this kind of negative outburst still has a harmful effect on people, of course, or will at least result in their wanting to avoid the person expressing that kind of anger.

Even that kind of ordinary anger is based on ego clinging: Say, for example, you get mad at someone because they are late and now you will miss the beginning of the movie. Why are you angry? It's because you had this solidified concept of a perfect night out at the movies or whatever, and that's been upset. Maybe you are mad and resentful of the other person because it seems they are always late, and why can't they be more responsible like you are, etc. etc. etc. so even this kind of passing anger, even over insignificant things, if practiced a lot, becomes an obstacle to overcoming self-centeredness.

I have a friend who was very devoted for a long time to taking care of a person we knew who had a medical condition that eventually led to his death.
She would always talk about him, about taking him to the store or whatever. It might seem that she was being very selfless, very compassionate, spending all of her time helping and comforting him. He certainly benefited from her care. However, after he died, she had no purpose and became very distraught. This was not simply a void one feels when losing a loved one. Taking care of him was her big ego trip. Taking care of him also provided her with a diversion from ever having to confront her own internal stuff, which she then had to go through doing along with dealing with his passing, and so on. Well, the point of this is, even really caring or compassionate activity can sometimes just be a huge ego trip and we aren't even aware of it. Then, when things fall apart, we have even more conflicts to deal with.
(She's doing really well these days, by the way)
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