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Just back from some 'speelunking'...
Righteous anger, eh? I don't buy it... seen lots of it, you bet. I grew up
in an angry place and time far, far away... not so far in some terms,
perhaps -- aeons and other worlds, in other terms. Funny thing, righteous
anger comes in all colors. What fuels the bombers and terrorists of the
right wing (or any wing), the Anti-Choicers, the racists? How do we
distinguish our 'good' righteous anger from the 'bad' righteous anger of
our 'adversaries' on other than some narcissistic or absolutist ethical
basis? Why do we have the vast majority of the wars we have?
I've felt -- and expressed -- plenty of righteous anger myself (lots of
interesting stories there), but the anger was never what moved me to
creative action. Anger is useful for destruction, for tearing something
down, when that is called for -- and surely sometimes it is called for.
Most of the times that people THINK destruction is called for, however, are
imaginary. There are plenty of angry people out there, and I think that
when they act through the anger they are by definition moving 'against'
instead of 'toward'. To move 'against' is to allow the hated 'others' to
set your agenda on a very fundamental level.
What has kept me moving TOWARD something new and 'better', kept me working
my ass off in a system which doesn't tend to support most of what I do, has
been my passionate love of nature. When I've acted through anger -- AGAINST
this or that -- I've caused harm... not just to others, but to myself. Ok,
primarily to myself. Perhaps I'm not too bright.
On a personal level, yelling matches may appear to 'clear the air', but
they do it with fire... the resulting smog may build up incrementally, so
that you never notice it's there, but one day you look up and things have
gotten kinda sooty. Ever try removing soot? A fundamental assumption behind
relational anger is that the other person is hurting you purposefully,
and/or won't respond with understanding if spoken to with understanding.
Again -- been there, done that, don't buy it.
New Age? Think of Daniel Quinn's premise... we're GETTING a New Age, like
it or not. The question is -- what will it look like?