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Old 05-26-2010, 09:32 AM   #5
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
Location: Los Angeles, California
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 371
Re: Anger, when is it appropriate

Hello Ross,

Thank you for your thoughtful and clearly written insights as to the psychological aspects, and possible social benefits of anger. I feel that I can recognize and accept much of what you appear to be alluding to, and would like to respond accordingly.

Yes, it is quite feasible to think of anger as a welcome resource, akin to the role of adrenaline in providing assistance in time of stress, urgent need or the desire to rectify a seemingly unjust or onerous situation. Yet, being mainly subjective in nature, scope and definition, expressions of anger still require the calming benefit and the balancing influence of rational thought and illuminating logic to be considered a benefit at all.

Otherwise, the end will always justify the means.

I also cannot agree that "the aiki path would be to welcome anger and embrace is as a tremendous gift of energy". Would we consider the work of brave firefighters "a tremendous gift", if their efforts were found to essentially quell suspected arson, or a raging forest fire that could and should have been avoided? Would it be considered a universally welcome and socially acclaimed benefit to have peace officers do their duty in addressing child or spousal abuse?

I do agree that anger can and should be properly used to address a wrong and make it right. Nonetheless, most of the instances of anger are inappropriate, and do far more harm than good. It seems to me that the "aiki path" would be to appreciate and identify the root causes of anger, and develop sensitivities and responses that effectively deal with such conditions, preferably long before they erupt into the consuming fires of anger and rage.

The notions of "good" and "bad" are decidedly human attempts to color consequences we either favor or decry. Nature itself has no such rating system inherent in its design, accepting, as it were, the natural flow of results from natural causes, i.e. gravity, and pyroclastic flows.

Thanks again for your interesting and informative thoughts, I look forward to more discussions with you on matters Aiki related.

In Oneness,
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