322Re: [U-Zendo] anger(CHAT)
- Aug 15, 2006
But you can't really prohibit the arising of an emotion.
There is a prohibition against anger in Buddhism. It is because, like alcohol and drugs, it clouds the mind. Righteous anger acts on the nervous system exactly like a drug. The ability to reflect and act compassionately is lost.
When anger is examined we always find fear at its base. This is a personal fear, a fear of loss of some kind. With the practice of this path we can become aware of how this reaction arises in our mind. This awareness automatically changes or prevents the reaction from happening. Our attention is switched from some outer event or person to how the reaction is happening now, and we lose interest in the thing we thought was the cause.
I think I originally meant to say that IMO the emotion of anger is not necessarily the root cause of all evil.
I wonder if we could consider even for a moment that there is no evil?
Bush went into Iraq not because his ears were turning red, but out of cold calculation.
But even that cold calculation was the result of conditioning. And the conditions that made it possible to adopt the view that bombing Iraq would help anything, arose in his childhood. Introspection anytime in the years that followed could have been a benifit to all the world. Anger was not what caused the bombing of Iraq; it was fear. Anger was what clouded the minds of both sides, and is the reason Buddhism has a prohibition against it.
Walt, your comment about dropping the knife at the last moment make me remember an old zen story I'll try to reproduce from memory.
Samurai war lords were fighting over a temple. After they had killed all the monks, one warrior descended on the zendo where the abbot, the only one left alive, was sitting in meditation. He walked up to the master, bloody armor clanking, and said: "What's the matter with you? Don't you know that before you stands a man who can run you through with one thrust of this sword?" To which the master answered, What's the matter with you? Don't you know that before you sits a man who can be run through with one thrust? In that moment the Samurai became the student of that master. Anger can stop anywhere on its continuum if it encounters great clarity.
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