Dear brothers, Shlama,
Many of you have asked why anger arises and how can it be controlled.
“Do not permit your anger to get the best of you and in turn cause a stumbling block to be placed before your brother or your enemy… If someone expresses anger toward you, always speak with kind words with him.” (Teachings of Mir Izgadda 22:4; 87:1)
Anger is one of the sources of humanity’s ills on the earth. It is often due to a defiled and unbalanced mind, and diluted outlook or mindset. Anger can arise when we are not satisfied with our current surroundings or the events that are taking place around us. If we have wrong ideas about these matters around us, and something goes against our ideas of what we think should be a perfect situation, then anger might arise.
When we have ideas about a person or how they should be acting, we might become angry because they disappoint us and do not follow the standards we placed upon them in our minds. When we put too much emphasis on the actions of others, we become upset when they disappoint us.
Because you are in a physical body, part of the creation of the world of darkness, it is not going to be uncommon to have false thoughts about situations, people and other ideas related to the same. The goal is to control that anger and come to realise the situation or person’s actions for what they are. Each of you must remember that you are human beings – and those who are offending you are also human beings. If you can not forgive others for what they have done to you, then, truly, how can you expect them to forgive you? How can you live in peace without forgiveness?
When we realise situations for what they are, we are not shocked at the actions of others, even if they are so outrageously out of the “norm.” We have sympathy for those affected by outrageous acts (school shootings, murder of infants, other acts of violence, and so on), but we do not lose our balance as a result of those acts. We do not permit ourselves to become outraged or permit our anger to get the best of us because we know that the act in question has probably caused a lot of suffering. We would want to balance that anger and channel it to good use, turning it into compassion for those who have been hurt as a result of the act itself.
Instead of constantly condemning others, or becoming angry at them because they have not followed a rule or set of standards that you created, have empathy and if it is truly necessary, attempt to help them. But do not try to help anyone until you yourself have developed a more balanced mind and have let go of anger. Freely forgive people for their mistakes. They are humans and those mistakes arise from ignorance, and often they are unable to correct their paths because of the evil one. This is how an enlightened person deals with various people and situations – without anger.
If anger is not subdued, the true nature of the self is covered and can no longer be seen. In this case there is no connection with the Third Messenger, and without the Third Messenger, there is no connection with the Great Father. So, this is why it is important to quench the fire of anger, and never permit our tongue to become flame of fire under the control of the evil one. It is very much like a person who has a fever. Even if one does not speak his anger through his mouth, he still suffers because he has not let go of the anger. This anger is like the fever that remains within the body, causing all kinds of suffering.
Anger and bitterness can hold one back from the blessing of life in the world to come. Never allow your anger or bitterness to be an excuse for the demons to hold on to you in the next life. “When I heard the voice of my Saviour, a Power clothed all my limbs; I said to him: ‘I have received your words, O my Father; stretch out to me now your Right Hand, so that when the seven demons before me see me they may flee far from me!’ Then after that the seven frightful demons departed from me, their foul hands being also empty of my blood, their heart being further laden with grief and sorrow because they had been unable to coax me into the nets of pleasure –for I have never been a slave of the wickedness that works outrage. See, I have subdued the Darkness; see, I have put out the fire of the eruptions, their bitter walls I have destroyed, and battered down their gates.” (Karuzuta d’ Mar Mani 74:1-3)
Faith in the truth and light, grace in our own actions and speech, and companionship with brothers and sisters of like faith can help us walk a path that is far from anger and any speech that causes suffering for ourselves and others.