Vedant: Many a times I feel I did not behave myself. I do or say something and then I keep asking myself ‘Why did I do that? Why did I even say that?’. I keep pondering over it again and again, telling myself – I should have rather done this or that. Worse, I should have rather said this or that. It troubles me, makes me feel as if I don’t even know myself. Often, rather always, I would regret the terrible things I say even if I don’t mean them. Why do I get angry? More so, Why can’t I seem to control it?
Mr Swamy: You see.. Most people confuse it but it is rooted in something very basic. We perceive things the way we see them. Some things we tend to like and we tend to dislike some other. This very sense of likeness or dis-likeness is what makes you angry.
Vedant: But isn’t it natural to like or dislike something or someone?
Mr Swamy: Is it natural? Do you think so?
Vedant: Hmm..Well, may be it is not natural. But it is human tendency. Isn’t it?
Mr Swamy: (Chuckles) Human Tendency… We humans have made ourselves miserable by such lame terms such as tendency. There is human nature and that is what all is. When we start feeling uncomfortable to rationalize some things, we term it tendency. Just another hypocritical activity we humans indulge in.
Vedant: I feel I am so confounded by my own intelligence. It was probably wise of the adage ‘Ignorance is bliss’. Anyway, so how does likeness or dis-likeness lead to anger?
Mr Swamy: We accept certain things but we fail to accept some other. Actually, we all want the world to happen in a certain way. We want a certain person as our leader, we want a certain eatery to have it’s outlet across our road. Worse yet, we want certain people to behave in a particular way. If they don’t, we become miserable.
We have expectations. When these are not met, it makes us unpleasant. Stack such unpleasantness from some sources together or even from a single source but with a greater intensity and you become angry. The more likeness we have for a certain thing or person, the greater the expectation. And when things don’t go the way we want them, our mind is haywire and we become angry.
But that is only how you become angry. To sustain anger, your ego plays a major role. Try throwing a stone at a weak animal, may be a rat or rabbit, it will just get scared but never angry. Try throwing the same stone at a strong animal, may be a lion, you will see them becoming angry.
Vedant: I see. But why do we seem to lose our sense when we become angry?
Mr Swamy: It’s not only anger which makes you go crazy. Every emotion does. Haven’t you seen people do crazy things in love? Haven’t you seen people spending money on their salary day as if there is no tomorrow. People even do crazy things while dwelling in self – pity.
So, it’s not just anger, every emotion makes you stupid. Just that the stupid things you do while you are happy may make someone else happy too, while as the stupid things you do while you are angry quite acts like a sword.
So when you let any emotion control your mind, you are crazy, you are not yourself. It is only later, when your mind gains back a little control that you realize what a fool you have been.