Step Two Hundred and Forty-One


Step 241. My Anger Is Unjustified.
Anger is unjustified, for anger alone is merely your response to your failure to apply Knowledge. This engenders anger at its very source. But this need not happen, because anger is a response. As a response it can generate anger in others and stimulate a violent response internally and externally wherever it is applied. Knowledge, however, will redirect anger so that it has no destructive qualities, for what you wish to express is that which fortifies Knowledge in others. It is the strength of your conviction and not your desire to hurt yourself or others that is the true efficacy of the emotion that is the core of anger. Thus, it may be said that your anger is a true communication that has been distorted by your own projections of blame and fear. Once these distortions have been cleared away, the true communication that is the seed of all anger can be expressed. This can only bring about good.

Anger, then, is not justified, for it is a misinterpretation of a true communication. Your anger is not justified because anger is born of confusion. Yet, confusion calls for preparation and the true application of Knowledge. Therefore, the sinful are not punished but are attended to. The wicked are not sent to hell but are prepared for Heaven. This is the true nature of God’s purpose in the world. That is why God can never be angry, because God is not offended. God is merely applying God to a situation where God has temporarily been forgotten.

In the greater scope of things, even the separation of all individual minds is a very temporary occurrence. You cannot think yet at this level and will not be able to do so for a long time, for you must undergo the various stages of development that integrate your mind into greater and greater experiences of relationship and life. But as you proceed and as you take each vital step that expands your horizons, you will begin to understand that anger is unjustified. It merely represents a failure to apply Knowledge in a particular situation. This calls for remedy not for condemnation. Here you will realize that your anger is something to be understood. It is not to be rejected, for if you reject anger, you also reject the seed of anger, which is true communication. Therefore, we wish to clean away that which has spoiled your true communication so that your true communication may shine forth, for true communication always comes from Knowledge.

Think of this idea upon the hour. In your deeper practice periods, actively engage your mind in looking at every single thing that you are angry about, from very tiny things that are specific to things in general that upset or discourage you. Remind yourself as you review your inventory of anger that your anger is unjustified. Remind yourself that it calls for the application of Knowledge and that within each angry experience or feeling that you have, there is a seed which is true. Therefore, your anger need not be rejected but cleansed, for in cleansing your anger you will be able to communicate that which you intended to communicate in the beginning where you initially failed. Then your self-expression will be complete, and anger will be no more.

Practice
 241
: Two 30-minute practice periods. Hourly practice.


Here you will find the entire book free for download http://stepstoknowledge.com/

Here you will find pointers for getting started if this is your first encounter with this practice: Taking the Steps to Knowledge.

January 11, 2014 Round One: This way of looking at and dealing with anger is very profound, and I cannot claim to fully understand it yet. What I do understand, however, is that if I keep myself focused on Knowledge and apply it properly, any anger I feel will be transformed from destructive to productive. Rather it will be redirected and I will be able to discern the seed of truth in it and distinguish it from the chaff. I embrace the fact that any anger I may feel is failure to apply Knowledge and if I allow Knowledge to emerge I will see the roots of my anger and be able to cleanse it.

Actually, when all is said and done, I don’t feel angry about much these days, at least not where I am consciously aware of it. Hah! Beware of that pitfall, says my inner voice, keep the channels of communication open, be aware that you don't know it all, be discerning and watchful. Anger has many faces.

April 3, 2015 Round Two: This Step is still a hard one to get my head around.

“Thus, it may be said that your anger is a true communication that has been distorted by your own projections of blame and fear. Once these distortions have been cleared away, the true communication that is the seed of all anger can be expressed.”

I am still not clear on these concepts of “true communication” and “the seed of anger” and how they interact.

I wrote a lengthy response to another Steps student the first time I did this Step, but to be honest, reading it again now, I don’t really know what I was talking about – lol!

Originally Posted by Angel 

I can see that anger is a response based in blame and fear. Is having the intention of applying Knowledge, regardless of my capability or experience of it, stepping in the right direction with this? What does this look like or feel like in a day to day experience? How do I apply Knowledge to this? When I have this much rage brewing inside of me, how do I cleanse it?

I so want to address your questions, but I feel a bit presumptuous, since I too am a beginning student and am very far from having answers. I hope you may get answers from more advanced students here, but I will try and give you my feelings on this issue.

I would definitely say you are taking a step in the right direction by having the intention of applying Knowledge, even if you are unsure about the experience of it. You ask for Knowledge to help clarify the issue for you and you listen for answers. They may not be immediate, but you ask and listen, always open and attentive to the thoughts that surface in your mind. This to me is what the day to day experience looks and feels like. When you are genuinely and sincerely seeking answers and ask Knowledge to show you, the answers will come, some insight, some new angle, some feeling deep inside you know to be true.

As for your previous questions, "Where or what is the seed of anger in this issue? What is the true communication?", I can only suggest the following, again not feeling very competent to give definitive answers. I see the seed of anger as coming from some true injustice you feel. You feel anger towards men, this is something real, you have the right to feel this based on some previous experience, it just didn't arise out of thin air. The true communication, however, is to express this in a rational and sober way, in a way that does not "generate anger in others and stimulate a violent response internally and externally wherever it is applied."

I see a big difference between internally feeling anger about something and allowing these feelings to burst out externally and negatively affect the people around you. So I feel that true communication means learning to channel negative feelings, anger in this case, in a way that does not stimulate a violent response externally.

You are aware of your anger, you have the intention of applying Knowledge to the issue, you want to experience Knowledge working to heal these feelings, you are being rational and sober in your examination of your anger, you wish to cleanse the distortions created by your projections of blame and fear - this to me is true communication. You work diligently and honestly with your feelings and you ask for resolution. Sooner or later resolution will come.

One thing that really helps me in resolving anger toward a specific person or group of people is seeing that person or people as being in need of nurture and care, of needing to be loved. I see them as not doing the things they do because they are inherently bad or evil, it's just they know no better, they are still living in ignorance, so should be pitied rather than shown anger. Perhaps pity is not a constructive feeling either, but it is a step down from anger.

"Therefore, the sinful are not punished but are attended to."

I see two issues here, 1) dissipating the anger you feel and 2) getting to the root of your anger, finding the seed. The second will take more work, and I don't know the ways; whereas the first seems more along the lines of releasing any feelings of anger as they surface, like popping bubbles.

I hope this helps in some small way.

When contemplating this Step the second time round, a recent situation came to mind where I expressed anger. When spending the weekend at that house in the country, I found myself getting irritated when my husband turned on the TV. The TV was in the kitchen and there were no comfortable chairs to sit in to watch. I am used to watching TV at home while lying in bed. While my husband sat in the kitchen and watched TV, I went to the living room to read, but the noise still bothered me, so I guess I had a disgruntled look on my face. My husband’s response was that I was sad and did not like it there in the country house. This got my back up! I ended up getting angry with him to defend myself. How dare he tell me that I did not like something I had been dreaming of for so many years! What I really did not like was his noisy intrusion into the peace and quiet I was seeking.

"As a response it can generate anger in others and stimulate a violent response internally and externally wherever it is applied."

Later I explained to him what I did not like.

"Knowledge, however, will redirect anger so that it has no destructive qualities, for what you wish to express is that which fortifies Knowledge in others."

I did not want to hurt myself or him with my anger and discontent. I sat and watched the news program with him we usually watch together on Sundays at that time, although it was forced and contrived and brought absolutely no enjoyment. Eventually I excused myself and went to bed, leaving the light on so that he would not think I had deliberately abandoned him. (That worked by the way, he appreciated the gesture.)

"It is the strength of your conviction and not your desire to hurt yourself or others that is the true efficacy of the emotion that is the core of anger. Thus, it may be said that your anger is a true communication that has been distorted by your own projections of blame and fear."


What I understand this time is that anger as an emotion, anger as an outburst in response to some trigger activated is unjustified. However, there is an underlying motive for anger and this is the true communication, this is what anger is expressing. When the underlying motive is recognized, anger dissipates, the distortion is cleared, and true communication can be expressed. In the case I cited above, my anger was aroused by my feeling that my principles were being challenged. I did not want to have to defend what I believe, my true convictions, so I allowed anger to express my upset. Once I voiced my conviction, the anger dissipated. So my anger was unjustified.

Comments

  1. This is so true. When we understand the true source of our anger then we can cope with it and re-direct it in a positive way. Thank you for sharing this insightful post,
    Blessings,
    Charri

    ReplyDelete

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