Monday, July 9, 2012

Love and Anger

So today I talked to a Tibetan Buddhist monk. It was the most enlightening thing that has happened to me in the last 6 months... probably since the documentary on the Muoso women. 

The topics were simple. The first was on anger and how they control their anger. The second was about love. Luckily a friend of mine had her camera ready and she got it on video because I want to remember the precise words that he used. 

The part on anger was interesting and is something people need to learn I think. The example given was if I hit you with a stick you will get angry with me but you don't get angry at the stick. This is because the stick has no will of its own. Anger pushes me to hit you with a stick so you should get angry at my anger, not at me. When angry I have no will of my own, like the stick. And once you have realized that it is just an emotion that has caused your anger, it makes no logical sense to be angry at anger. We need to learn to let go of our anger, wait before it pulls and pushes us around. We need to be strong and wait during those moments when anger is in full force within us. 

The second topic of love. True love means loving everyone and being compassionate with everyone. What we perceive as love, that connection between partners who are in a relationship, is pure selfishness. Reality is that we want something beautiful for ourselves. Beauty and possessions are not eternal so when beauty deteriorates or when the money finishes we move on and want more, perhaps if we can't find them we get depressed. 

It all made perfect sense to me. But what does it all mean to me in my life?

I guess I will try to love everyone equally. I hope I will be able to see anger as he described it and perhaps with some practice I'll be able to get my negative emotions under some control. I am naturally cynical though. When I hear these explanations it feels like I see a glimpse of reality (the little lightbulb goes on), but then the sensation is lost and I'm back to being cynical (like now, re-reading my post).

As for the love discussion, I do believe that this could very well be true. What does that change though? Am I ready to sacrifice my selfishness for a higher enlightenment? I'm not sure I am. I want, I want, I want, I want. But it does, if you think about it, tie into why I feel like I'm not cut out to be in any relationship. It ties into the fact that I don't think I could be truly happy in a relationship and that I constantly feel something missing. So maybe it does make sense.... but how do I turn around and use that information without giving up the person I want? heh funny question.... I am selfish. I have always admitted that to myself and to others... especially here on this blog. I will never get tired of saying it either. I just never realized that it could be/is my selfishness to create the "void" I have. Definitely food for thought.


ChErikS said...

When anyone discusses taking selfishness out of love they are asking you to sacrifice your higher value for some lesser one. I don't know why anyone would ever want to this. Love something/someone because they are worth it and in loving them you yourself become happy.

Rand has some excellent writings on selfish love, both romantic and otherwise, that I would recommend checking out.

Ebony Panther said...

That's very interesting. I will have to think about the love aspect for a while. As far as the anger part, I've seen those protests that they have against the Chinese government concerning their country's takeover. I definitely wouldn't mess with them. Some of them don't take those anger thoughts to heart & can throw down with the best of them.

Ebony Panther said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Advizor54 said...

I agree that I should not be angry with the stick, the stick has no will, got it, but the person holding the stick has free will and so is responsible for hitting you in anger. I no nothing of the larger Bhuddist philosophy, but removing responsiblity from our actions that are based on emotions sounds irrisponsible. I hold the stick, I have the emotion, do I control it or not? That is my choice.

That being said, as the hittee, I can choose to remain angry or not without removing responsiblity from the hitter. I can forgive, I can even forget, I can choose to release the anger and move on. So that part I can deal with, but I'd deal with it better if I could hit him back with a slightly bigger stick. :-)

As for love.... I have become more compassionate, more empathetic towards people I dont know as I've become more aware of my own failings, I judge less, I condemm less and I find the good in others more readily (as long as they don't hit me with a stick). I love more freely and make connections more openly, yet I still have special feelings for those closest to me. Some are more loved than others.

Am I more enlightened? I know I'm less angry, but I'm not sure if I'm more happy.