Author Topic: The mental poison of anger and so called Righteous anger.  (Read 754 times)

Offline Tirisilex

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The mental poison of anger and so called Righteous anger.
« on: July 14, 2016, 06:48:12 pm »
I was talking to a Christian friend and he was asking about the mental poisons. He couldnt understand why anger was a mental poison. He said there was righteous anger and how could that be a poison? He gave me a scenario of for example my sister was being raped would it be wrong to be angry at the person who raped her? He said there is nothing wrong with righteous anger. I did not know ho with answer him about this. I know anger is a poison and that I dont know if it would be wrong if I were angry at a guy who raped my sister. Is there Righteous anger?

Offline Kevin

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Re: The mental poison of anger and so called Righteous anger.
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2016, 06:44:27 am »
I was raised in a Christian household, so I believe that I have a pretty good understanding of what your Christian friend means by "righteous anger". It is often used to explain the motivation that drove Jesus to create a whip that he used to drive out the money-changers in the temple. However, to believe that righteous anger is a "good" quality of mind is to misunderstand what is "righteous" and what is "anger".

Anger is a fetter, and it is destructive to the person who is angry, and can spill over to negatively affect the people around that person. The analogy that your friend made does not account for the possibility that holding on to the anger over the rape of your sister could lead to extreme suffering for you, your sister, and your family as you continually re-live and rehearse the pain from such an event. Your continued anger over such a situation might make it very difficult for your sister to learn to find peace after such a traumatic event, because your anger continually brings it up for her to re-live it over, and over again. Of course, this does not mean that you should find the rape of your sister to be a morally acceptable act, either.

In this analogy, it would be more beneficial to acknowledge the injustice that was done to your sister and show compassion for her. This is a quality of being that would actually be useful for you and her. To be angry would be natural, but it would also create a prison for you and create much suffering. It is more important to acknowledge and work against injustices with compassion, then, instead of anger.

There are different emotions that can accomplish the same end, but that can be more or less useful. In this case, compassion achieves the goal of helping your sister, yourself, and everyone else involved, but without the negative effects and consequences of using anger. Therefore, the expression of "righteous anger" is subordinate to the benefits and enlightened attitude of compassion.

Showing compassion in a situation like this would not be easy, but it is more enlightened, more beneficial, and more committed to well-being than the selfish, samsaric expression of anger. To show compassion in this instance would be to truly reflect the deepest aspects of Buddhist practice.


Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: The mental poison of anger and so called Righteous anger.
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2016, 08:33:02 am »
I was talking to a Christian friend and he was asking about the mental poisons. He couldnt understand why anger was a mental poison. He said there was righteous anger and how could that be a poison? He gave me a scenario of for example my sister was being raped would it be wrong to be angry at the person who raped her? He said there is nothing wrong with righteous anger. I did not know ho with answer him about this. I know anger is a poison and that I dont know if it would be wrong if I were angry at a guy who raped my sister. Is there Righteous anger?

Growing up a Methodist, I understood righteous anger to be the sort that led to Jesus getting angry at the money changers in the temple and kicking over the stalls. As a Buddhist I understand it to be just another feeling. Whether it is skillful or unskillful depends on what you do with it. Feelings arise and result in action- but there is a gap between the two. As I understand it, we start by working on the gap between the arising of the feeling and what we than go on to do about it. It is much later in our development as Buddhists that we can expect changes in the feelings that arise in us in different situations.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: The mental poison of anger and so called Righteous anger.
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2016, 10:57:21 pm »
I was talking to a Christian friend and he was asking about the mental poisons. He couldnt understand why anger was a mental poison. He said there was righteous anger and how could that be a poison? He gave me a scenario of for example my sister was being raped would it be wrong to be angry at the person who raped her? He said there is nothing wrong with righteous anger. I did not know ho with answer him about this. I know anger is a poison and that I dont know if it would be wrong if I were angry at a guy who raped my sister. Is there Righteous anger?


Righteous anger isn't something which appears in Buddhist thought, and indulging anger is seen as unwholesome and destructive.

See the first 5 verses of the Dhammapada: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.01.budd.htm


Offline ECS

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Re: The mental poison of anger and so called Righteous anger.
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2016, 06:31:14 pm »
I was talking to a Christian friend and he was asking about the mental poisons. He couldnt understand why anger was a mental poison. He said there was righteous anger and how could that be a poison? He gave me a scenario of for example my sister was being raped would it be wrong to be angry at the person who raped her? He said there is nothing wrong with righteous anger. I did not know ho with answer him about this. I know anger is a poison and that I dont know if it would be wrong if I were angry at a guy who raped my sister. Is there Righteous anger?

If you focus on human culture ....yes you will be confused as in our current culture , we accept knowledge as the basis of judgement so if you based on knowledge ...there is right and wrong , there is true and there is what should be false .... there is good and there is what being accepted as bad or evil .......but in my current mind , Buddhism is not knowledge .....Buddhism is far beyond what human knows , Buddhism is not something all human including Mr Siddharta will never know .....Buddhism is simply a natural process of realization of your existence .... Buddhism is simply a natural process realizing you are emotion , you are hate , you are desire , you are anger , you are fear .....

Perhaps as one awaken to Buddhism , one will realized that he is emotion travelling in a natural process into a original state of nothingness ....he realized that he is constantly in a natural process forgetting desire / love / anger / hate / fear and if he chooses to hold on to the mind .. he will suffer as he is just like trying to stop a moving train with his feet ......so as he awaken to this natural process of Buddhism , he no longer holds the mind and he realize he is constantly alone in the journey of his choice or his will in his world ....he realize nothing is belong to him nor any human / material even the physical body is never belong to him ... he realize all relationship like father and son , brothers and sister , husband/wife is all human created culture and he realized that he is never connected to anything or anyone as he is just emotion ........and as he awaken to this , everything / anything / every action / every re-action / every nature is all great source for his realization and therefore there is no good or bad , there is no right or wrong , there is no true or false .....so regardless Dalai Lama or Osama Bin Laden is all great teacher to him

So back to your example , if someone raped his sister ....if he awaken to Buddhism , he realized that the victim is never his , the victim is never belong to him and he will care for anything or anyone same as he cares for himself ...he treats all with same emotion as he sees no other except his emotion and same feeling towards the rapist .....he realized that the rapist is actually providing him and everyone a great source to discover their emotion of anger / hate / fear / worry / love etc .....and he will help all with equal emotion as he realized everyone / everything is all constantly in Buddhism .......... 

 


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