The meaning of anger

"If you respond with anger you must be equating yourself with the destructible,
and are therefore regarding yourself insanely."

A Course In Miracles

Anger is easiest to recognize and acknowledge as an emotional experience, but since ego-identified belief systems separate and isolate to the point of worthlessness, anger is impossible to understand or heal as an easily identified symptom out of context. Anger is not only an emotional experience, it is a small component of a larger process. The part of anger that intrudes into awareness is but the tip of a submerged psychological iceberg.
"You have reacted for years as if you were being crucified. This is a marked tendency of the separated ones, who always refuse to consider what they have done to themselves. Projection means anger, anger fosters assault, and assault promotes fear."
A Course In Miracles
There are several variations on a theme, but one common scenario described in the Course progresses as follows:
  • If you perceive yourself as being attacked, you will tend to view the attack as unjustified and unreasonable;
  • If you also perceive yourself as vulnerable, you will view the attack as doing you harm or depriving you of something valuable;
  • Anger results from being harmed without justification, or deprived for no good reason;
  • In its own context, anger is rational;
  • It is logical for those who are attacked for no good reason to defend themselves;
  • One popular method of self-defense is to attack back;
  • Attack breeds fear of retaliation;
  • Attack begets attack, which involves anger, that breeds fear, which invokes improper defenses centered upon threat of retaliation.
Anger is part of a cyclical process of attack and counter-attack, but according to the Course, "Anger is never justified." The Course addresses each of the components of this anger-assault-fear cycle directly and individually with a many-pronged challenge to conventional ego-identified thinking. A major part of the Course's radical message is contained within The Gift of Forgiveness.

-  oOo   -

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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