From Where Does It Come?
All these movements come from outside, from the universal lower Nature, or are suggested or thrown upon you by adverse forces—adverse to your spiritual progress. Your method of taking them as your own is again a wrong method; for by doing that you increase their power to recur and take hold of you. If you take them as your own, that gives them a kind of right to be there. If you feel them as not your own, then they have no right, and the will can develop more power to send them away. What you must always have and feel as yours is this will, the power to refuse assent, to refuse admission to a wrong movement. Or if it comes in, the power to send it away, without expressing it.
How to Master Anger?
If you have a serious difficulty in your character, for example, the habit of losing your temper, and you decide: “I must not get angry again”, it is very difficult, but if on the other hand, you tell yourself: “Anger is something which circulates through the whole world, it is not in me, it belongs to everybody; it wanders about here and there and if I close my door, it will not enter”, it is much more easy. If you think: “It is my character, I am born like that”, it becomes almost impossible. It is true there is something in your character which answers to this force of anger. All movements, all vibrations are general—they enter, they go out, they move about—but they rush upon you and enter into you only to the extent you leave the door in you open. And if you have, besides, some affinity with these forces, you may get angry without even knowing why. Everything is everywhere and it is arbitrary to draw limits.
Don’t Act under Anger
If you give expression to anger, you prolong or confirm the habit of the recurrence of anger; you do not diminish or get rid of the habit. The very first step towards weakening the power of anger in the nature and afterwards getting rid of it altogether is to refuse all expression to it in act or speech. Afterwards one can go on with more likelihood of success to throw it out from the thought and feeling also. And so with all other wrong movements.
Don’t Identify with It
Look at it and see how trifling is the occasion of the rising of this anger and its outburst—it becomes more and more causeless—and the absurdity of such movements itself. It would not really be difficult to get rid of it if, when it comes, you looked at it calmly—for it is perfectly possible to stand back in one part of the being, observing in a detached equanimity even while the anger rises on the surface—as if it were someone else in your being who had the anger. The difficulty is that you get alarmed and upset and that makes it easier for the thing to get hold of your mind which it should not do.
Feel It as Not Part of Yourself
Your method of taking them as your own is again a wrong method; for by doing that you increase their power to recur and take hold of you. If you take them as your own, that gives them a kind of right to be there. If you feel them as not your own, then they have no right, and the will can develop more power to send them away. What you must always have and feel as yours is this will, the power to refuse assent, to refuse admission to a wrong movement. Or if it comes in, the power to send it away, without expressing it.
Some Practical Suggestions
If one takes as an absolute discipline, instead of acting or speaking (because speech is an action), instead of acting under the impulse, if one withdraws and then does as I said, one sits down quietly, concentrates and then looks at his anger quietly, one writes it down, when one has finished writing, it is gone—in any case, most often.
And there is a very small superficial application of this which perhaps you will understand. Someone comes and insults you or says unpleasant things to you; and if you begin to vibrate in unison with this anger or this ill-will, you feel quite weak and powerless and usually you make a fool of yourself. But if you manage to keep within yourself, especially in your head, a complete immobility which refuses to receive these vibrations, then at the same time you feel a great strength, and the other person cannot disturb you. If you remain very quiet, even physically, and when violence is directed at you, you are able to remain very quiet, very silent, very still, well, that has a power not only over you but over the other person also. If you don’t have all these vibrations of inner response, if you can remain absolutely immobile within yourself, everywhere, this has an almost immediate effect upon the other person.
Two things need to be done. Children must be taught:
a) not to tell a lie, whatever the consequences;
b) to control violence, rage, anger.
If these two things can be done, they can be led towards superhumanity.
Anger has never made anyone say anything but stupidities.