The taste of anger

Thangkas painted by Shawu Tsering and photographed by Jill Morley Smith, in The Tibetan Book of The Dead, Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, first published in Britain 2005, with introductory comments from the Dalai Lama.Anger is an acquired taste, like the taste for blue cheese or witchetty grubs. When you first drink at the Well of Anger, you’re not sure you like it. In fact, you don't like it at all. But you soon learn. And the deeper you drink, the quicker you learn.

Many times have I been drunk on Anger. Many times have I chased that oh-so-delectable feeling of being out of control, of being authorised -- even empowered -- to transgress boundaries I wouldn't even dream of transgressing under calmer, gentler circumstances.

Rage is an even headier brew -- the bitter toxicity of it burns your throat as you gulp it down. Rage makes you feel... fine and hot!

Then there are the bittersweet flavours of Resentment, Disappointment and Humiliation. Not to mention the more exotic delights of Despair, Jealousy, and Unrequited Lust. As for the sweeter, more wholesome dishes, I’ve tasted Joy on the odd occasion, Peace every now and then, Fulfilment once or twice.

Some people are hooked on Loneliness, others addicted to Self-abasement. Speaking personally, over the years I’ve slaked my thirst at the Spring of Selfishness. And worshipped at the Shrine of Pain. Acquired tastes, all of them. And how we love ‘em.

But remember this: there are things that hurt a lot more than pain -- the belief that one is alone, for instance, separate from others and from God.

If you have an anger problem that you would like to resolve you could swallow a fistful of valium, consult a therapist at great expense, or try the anger management technique posted in this blog.

The image is a detail from one of the Thangkas painted by Shawu Tsering and photographed by Jill Morley Smith, in The Tibetan Book of The Dead, Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, first published in Britain 2005, with introductory comments from the Dalai Lama. The painting depicts one of the 54 so-called "wrathful deities", in this case Karma Heruka, in union with his consort, Karma Krodeshvari.


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mgeorge said...

I read of a US ex-soldier suffering from PTSD who used to inflict severe physical challenges on himself for years after demob. After he gave his first talk to impoverished children advising them not to enlist, he felt immediate relief from PTSD. The vast military-industrial complex reaches down to towns and schools, so it was his last such talk, but that is another story.

masterymistery said...

Hi mgeorge, thanks for your comment. That is a very enlightening anecdote. Perhaps the non-dualists are right, that there's only one thing in the whole of Reality, a single monadic consciousness that tells itself stories for eternity to stave off boredom!