Anger punishment and illusions of truth!

People attempt to compare religions. For me, with a theological background and my focal point is more about Buddhism these days. I get asked some pretty unusual questions.

This is my resolution when I consider the consequences of personal anger with both familiar religions side by side.

A Christian might say God does not like anger and you need to repent and change your wicked ways or suffer judgment and consequences.

Matthew 5:22 NIV

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

A Buddhist might say that your anger will punish you and the cause and effect, (karma) will alone bring about more suffering and trouble.

SN 7.2  PTS: S i 161  CDB i 255
Akkosa Sutta: Insult, translated from the Pali by 
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Buddha
Whence is there anger
for one free from anger,
tamed,
living in tune —
one released through right knowing,
calmed & Such.

You make things worse
when you flare up
at someone who’s angry.
Whoever doesn’t flare up
at someone who’s angry
wins a battle
hard to win.

You live for the good of both
— your own, the other’s —
when, knowing the other’s provoked,
you mindfully grow calm.

When you work the cure of both
— your own, the other’s —
those who think you a fool
know nothing of Dhamma.

Accordingly and without doubts we all know the mayhem caused when we lose our temper!

We don’t need any ancient wisdom to understand that aggressive behaviour causes more aggressive behaviour. It’s no answer to any situations.

Whether you believe Gods unhappy with you behaviour or Karma will have its way. You know and I know it’s a dreadful feeling when we get angry, it can take some time to recover and often weeks to repair damage to relationships and possibly our reputations.

On relationships I read a great book years ago. Feeling Good Together, David Burns

Truth. In my workshops, I often say that Truth is the cause of nearly all the suffering in the world today. Of course, this is an exaggeration, but if you think about relationship problems, or even international conflicts, you’ll see that a battle over Truth nearly always fuels the hostilities. When you’re at odds with someone, there’s an overwhelming tendency to tell yourself that you’re right and he’s wrong. If you look at any troubled couple who are arguing, you’ll find that every sentence that comes out of their mouths is some version of, “I’m right and you’re wrong, and you’d better admit it!” Of course, the partner feels exactly the same way and says, “No, I’m right and you’re wrong. Any idiot can see that!” Around and around they go, endlessly beating up on each other in the name of their Truth.

Burns

How many religious people push their truths. Not saying they hold no truth but to claim theirs as the ultimate truth is troubling and causes no end of conflicts and anger for many. The monotheistic religions, all claim their God is the one and only. The Buddhists in general could be classed as atheists to the monotheistic believers. The Buddhist could consider the monotheistic beliefs as no better than fairy tales. Nevertheless, the people who are grounded in both religions have a much more balanced view of course.

Balanced views very rarely cause anger. It’s the strong feelings and even bigoted attitude that ignites anger often. More from Burns

Respect is the third characteristic of good communication. You treat the other person with an attitude of kindness, caring, and respect, even though you may feel frustrated and annoyed. In contrast, in bad communication, you treat the other person in an adversarial, condescending, or competitive way, as if she were an enemy that you want to defeat or humiliate. Your goal is to put the other person down rather than to get close.

Burns

Disrespectful people are normally unhappy people,

likewise angry people have miserable lives.

Anger is like drinking poison everyday and thinking you

will be ok.

My thought

Finley a reflection:

Dhp XVII  PTS: Dhp 221-234
Kodhavagga: Anger, translated from the Pali by 
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Abandon anger,
be done with conceit,
get beyond every fetter.
When for name & form
you have no attachment
— have nothing at all —
no sufferings, no stresses, invade.
222
When anger arises,
whoever keeps firm control
as if with a racing chariot:
him
I call a master charioteer.
Anyone else,
a rein-holder —
that’s all.
223
Conquer anger
with lack of anger;
bad, with good;
stinginess, with a gift;
a liar, with truth.
224
By telling the truth;
by not growing angry;
by giving, when asked,
no matter how little you have:
by these three things
you enter the presence of devas.
225
Gentle sages,
constantly restrained in body,
go to the unwavering state
where, having gone,
there’s no grief.
226
Those who always stay wakeful,
training by day & by night,
keen on Unbinding:
their effluents come to an end.
227-228
This has come down from old, Atula,
& not just from today:
they find fault with one
who sits silent,
they find fault with one
who speaks a great deal,
they find fault with one
who measures his words.
There’s no one unfaulted in the world.
There never was,
will be,
nor at present is found
anyone entirely faulted
or entirely praised.
229-230
If knowledgeable people praise him,
having observed him
day after day
to be blameless in conduct, intelligent,
endowed with discernment & virtue:
like an ingot of gold —
who’s fit to find fault with him?
Even devas praise him.
Even by Brahmas he’s praised.
231-234
Guard against anger
erupting in body;
in body, be restrained.
Having abandoned bodily misconduct,
live conducting yourself well
in body.Guard against anger
erupting in speech;
in speech, be restrained.
Having abandoned verbal misconduct,
live conducting yourself well
in speech.

Guard against anger
erupting in mind;
in mind, be restrained.
Having abandoned mental misconduct,
live conducting yourself well
in mind.

Those restrained in body
— the enlightened —
restrained in speech & in mind
— enlightened —
are the ones whose restraint is secure.

I hope all of you have the courage to let go of any anger that’s been troubling you. Scott

3 thoughts on “Anger punishment and illusions of truth!

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