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Righteous Anger

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:20 am
by LeoKing
So i have a question, that i am struggling with. I am new to Buddhism, but have always been drawn to it. The materials i have been learning from are the Kadampa sect which as i gather probably sounds horrendous to some of you, but what i read from it has made sense out of thins i have been struggling to make sense of for years... some of it does not make sense though, and i believe i would feel the same way about all schools... whether that is an inherent lack of faith or not i do not know, but my point is i know i will always be looking for truth and i do not believe anyone one set of teachings will be correct.... my spiritual path is my own.

I am taking a lot of what i am learning as guidelines.

But one thing i am struggling with is what i would call "Righteous anger"... i have always held marxist beliefs... and have a strong belief in socialism... it is this kind of "anger" that i find difficult to allow to dissipate, or to control. I can easily accept an insult of slight directed at myself or my ego. But when faced with the exploitation of humans, or the like... i get a wave of an anger that is more like a fuel than real anger... its an anger that i enjoy... and can almost become self perpetuating like a nuclear fission reaction.... i am pretty sure that this is not helpful towards my goals of self improvement on a spiritual level... but that is my logic and wisdom talking... on a human and deluded mind level... it feels so right.. and nourishing...

I would like to hear any comments that anyone has about this... because it is something that i am most confused what i should belive.... my spiritual instinct says i should feel it... but my logic and knowledge says no...

Re: Righteous Anger

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:50 am
by JiWe2
One sutta comment regarding anger:
Having Slain

At Savatthi. Standing to one side, that devatā addressed the Blessed One in verse:

“Having slain what does one sleep soundly?
Having slain what does one not sorrow?
What is the one thing, O Gotama,
Whose killing you approve?”

The Blessed One:

“Having slain anger, one sleeps soundly;
Having slain anger, one does not sorrow;
The killing of anger, O devatā,
With its poisoned root and honeyed tip:
This is the killing the noble ones praise,
For having slain that, one does not sorrow.”

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn1.71

(Spk: Anger has a poisoned root (visamūla) because it results in suffering. It has a honeyed tip (madhuragga) because pleasure arises when one returns anger with anger, abuse with abuse, or a blow with a blow.)
But yes, sometimes it really feels like in that song "Rise" by PIL: "anger is an energy".

Re: Righteous Anger

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:04 pm
by No_Mind
LeoKing wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:20 am
But one thing i am struggling with is what i would call "Righteous anger"... i have always held marxist beliefs... and have a strong belief in socialism... it is this kind of "anger" that i find difficult to allow to dissipate, or to control. I can easily accept an insult of slight directed at myself or my ego. But when faced with the exploitation of humans, or the like... i get a wave of an anger that is more like a fuel than real anger... its an anger that i enjoy... and can almost become self perpetuating like a nuclear fission reaction.... i am pretty sure that this is not helpful towards my goals of self improvement on a spiritual level... but that is my logic and wisdom talking... on a human and deluded mind level... it feels so right.. and nourishing...

I would like to hear any comments that anyone has about this... because it is something that i am most confused what i should belive.... my spiritual instinct says i should feel it... but my logic and knowledge says no...
The common mistake made by those who are learning about Buddhism / Dhamma is they believe perfection is the first step. No one expects you to give up anger or lust or negative thoughts in your first year or even in first decade .. or even in your first lifetime.

"You should" is how Dhammic religions go (Buddhism and Hinduism) not "You must" of the three Abrahamic religions .. there are no diktats "thou shall not kill" there is a suggestion to make yourself better "it is better to not kill"

It is all a suggestion. Nothing more. Give it time. Say quarter of a century .. and then see if you want to give up your anger.

:namaste:

No_MInd

Re: Righteous Anger

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:48 pm
by Digity
LeoKing wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:20 am
So i have a question, that i am struggling with. I am new to Buddhism, but have always been drawn to it. The materials i have been learning from are the Kadampa sect which as i gather probably sounds horrendous to some of you, but what i read from it has made sense out of thins i have been struggling to make sense of for years... some of it does not make sense though, and i believe i would feel the same way about all schools... whether that is an inherent lack of faith or not i do not know, but my point is i know i will always be looking for truth and i do not believe anyone one set of teachings will be correct.... my spiritual path is my own.

I am taking a lot of what i am learning as guidelines.

But one thing i am struggling with is what i would call "Righteous anger"... i have always held marxist beliefs... and have a strong belief in socialism... it is this kind of "anger" that i find difficult to allow to dissipate, or to control. I can easily accept an insult of slight directed at myself or my ego. But when faced with the exploitation of humans, or the like... i get a wave of an anger that is more like a fuel than real anger... its an anger that i enjoy... and can almost become self perpetuating like a nuclear fission reaction.... i am pretty sure that this is not helpful towards my goals of self improvement on a spiritual level... but that is my logic and wisdom talking... on a human and deluded mind level... it feels so right.. and nourishing...

I would like to hear any comments that anyone has about this... because it is something that i am most confused what i should belive.... my spiritual instinct says i should feel it... but my logic and knowledge says no...
Here's my take on the matter. The goal in Buddhism is liberation and freedom of mind. Now, when you're really riled up and angry does that seem like a mind that's liberated? I think the issue is that anger moves in the opposite direction of liberation. Understanding the nature of anger, how it arises, how it dissipates and so on moves us in the direction of liberation, because we're not being controlled by our anger.

I think the goal in Buddhism is to replace the unskillful forces that motivate us with things more skillful. So, for instance, instead of anger being something that motivates you to do something you turn to love, compassion, empathy, etc. You might think that you need anger to be motivated, but maybe if you uprooted anger then it'd be replaced by a motivation coming out of something more wholesome.

Re: Righteous Anger

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:52 pm
by dharmacorps
It is said righteous anger is the most dangerous kind of anger for a spiritual practitioner. This is because it involves all 3 poisons: greed (desire), hatred (anger), and delusion (wrong view). I used to be very attached to political views and I found my spiritual practice went nowhere until I loosened up my attachments there.

Re: Righteous Anger

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:25 pm
by Modus.Ponens
dharmacorps wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:52 pm
It is said righteous anger is the most dangerous kind of anger for a spiritual practitioner. This is because it involves all 3 poisons: greed (desire), hatred (anger), and delusion (wrong view). I used to be very attached to political views and I found my spiritual practice went nowhere until I loosened up my attachments there.
Indeed. I've been learning that lesson, but at a very, very slow pace. If only other people were reasonable. :tongue:

Re: Righteous Anger

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:30 pm
by SarathW
It is gradual training.
Learn to forgive yourself first.
Angulimala could not become an arahant until he learned this.

Re: Righteous Anger

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:55 pm
by binocular
dharmacorps wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:52 pm
It is said righteous anger is the most dangerous kind of anger for a spiritual practitioner.
Supposedly not the case for a Vajrayani practicing Vajra wrath.

Righteous Anger = STRONG VIEWS

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:29 am
by Subharo
The Atthakavagga (from the Suttanipata) makes great reading on this exact topic. It is highly relevant, and explains from many angles the pitfalls of strongly clinging to views (such as political views).

Here's a recent draft of a new translation of the Atthakavagga, which I snagged during my recent time in Sri Lanka. This is an awesome translation, IMHO.

Who is the author? A Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka, who wishes to remain anonymous. I know his name (and it's not myself). He has a fantastic reputation of being a highly reclusive forest master, who is rarely ever seen. The handwritten scrawlings in this .pdf are the personal handwriting of this monk! This .pdf contains scans of the actual paper notebook he wrote his translations in.

This draft will eventually get published nicely as a free-for-distribution book. I would humbly beg anyone and everyone falling into extremist views to read these entreaties from the Buddha to come out of such extremism (which is to say, attachment to strong views).

Personally, the Atthakavagga is one of my *very* favorite parts of the Pali Canon.