To keep my mind right as I write – and minimize my hating – I think from time to time, Namaste (nah-mahs-tay), which in Nepal means,
The part of me that is God acknowledges
and salutes the part of you that is God
And this includes everyone. There is a divine part in each of us, a quiet peaceful spiritual part, and when we act from this part, we’re nice and kind and that’s great. (For the moment, take the word of St. Thomas Aquinas that God is the First Cause of Being – that there must be some kind of cause greater than us up there or back there).
Aside from the part of us that is God, another part of us is an angry fool. I’ve bunked with this fool forever. I’m now an expert on angry fools. Some ancient wisdom about angry fools is in Proverbs 22:24 – Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.
Or Proverbs 29:22 – An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
This all applies, of course, to women as well. Women can get angry and stupidly condemning just like men. When women or men insult me, yell at me, call me names, etc., I still react too much. I need to remember more quickly that these attacks are not about me – unless I make them about me by reacting – even a tiny bit. I must remember to remember, as quickly as I can, that anger is always projected guilt. It is the self-loathing of the attacker.
There is a claim made by some that if you’re not angry, you don’t understand the problem. But anger is a form of violence. If you are holding onto anger, validating it, then you’re part of the problem. Instead of validating or being guided by anger, we must ask our wise inner teacher – many times every day – Is what I’m feeling, saying, thinking or doing helping me to be wise or hindering my progress? Enlightenment is not about changing the world – it’s about changing our mind about the world.
Of course, we can’t just stop having emotional reactions. They’re part of being human. And it’s not healthy to deny feelings however false they are. But we can and must deny their validity, their truth value, and take responsibility for them. We must see our emotional feelings as the ego-reinforcing phantoms they truly are. Unfortunately, we tend to validate and justify our emotional feelings. We indulge them way too much and see them as, sort of, well, SACRED – uh oh.