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Read more about Anger from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

What Is Anger?

Anger is a violent reaction of the vital to some shock that is unpleasant to it; and when it involves words or thoughts, the mind responds to the influence of the vital and also reacts violently. [1]

It comes from outside; from the universal nature and takes possession of the individual being and makes that being act according to the will of this outside force and not according to the will of the soul within.[2]

It makes one forget oneself, one becomes anger and the impulses and powers of self-restraint do not come forward. [3]

Why Anger Manifests in the Human Instrument?

Anger is a deformation of the vital power, an obscure and wholly unregenerated vital, a vital that is still subject to all the ordinary actions and reactions. When this vital power is used by an ignorant and egoistic individual will and this will meets with opposition from other individual wills around it, this power, under the pressure of opposition, changes into anger and tries to obtain by violence what cannot be achieved solely by the pressure of the force itself. [4]

Weakness in the Vital Nature

If there is something in one’s character which answers to this force of anger, it has its free play. All movements, all vibrations are general—they enter, they go out, they move about—but they rush and enter only to the extent one leaves the door open. And if one has some affinity with these forces, one may get angry without even knowing why. [5]

Impurities in the Subconscient

The subconscient is the support of habitual action—it can support good habits as well as bad. [6]

First of all, it is the subconscient that has to become conscious, and indeed the main difficulty of the integral transformation is that things are constantly rising up from the subconscient. You think you have got a certain movement under control—anger, for example. You try very hard to control your anger and succeed to some extent, then suddenly it rises up again for some reason unknown to you, as if you hadn't done anything at all, and you have to start all over again. If it were the transformed part of the being going back to its old ways, it would be most depressing, but it is not like that. It is the material part, the material life which is sustained, supported, so to say, by a subconscient life. And this subconscient is beginning to get individualised around some people; it has certain affinities with a kind of subconscient somewhat like our own, and that is where the things you have repressed or thrown out of your nature go to—and one fine day they rise up again. [7]

Hostile Forces in the Environment

If they come in, it is a sign that there is something in the being, vital or physical, that either responds or is too inert to oppose. [8]

The hostile forces are always on the watch to rob what they can of the things received by the sadhak—not that they profit by them, but they prevent them from being used to build up the divine in life. [9]

How to Get Rid of Anger?

By Developing a Strong Will

If the will is strong enough anger can be controlled. When the psychic being flowers in the being, it will govern the vital nature and such tendencies disappear. [10]

By Control of Speech

If you give expression to anger, you prolong or confirm the habit of the recurrence of anger; you do not diminish or get rid of the habit. The very first step towards weakening the power of anger in the nature and afterwards getting rid of it altogether, is to refuse all expression to it in act or speech. Afterwards one can go on with more likelihood of success to throw it out from the thought and feeling also. And so with all other wrong movements. [11]

By Rejection

If you feel them as not your own, then they have no right, and the will can develop more power to send them away. What you must always have and feel as yours, is this will, the power to refuse assent, to refuse admission to a wrong movement. Or if it comes in, the power to send it away, without expressing it.

If you find it difficult to reject in the sense of throwing away, what you have to do is to refuse assent. As for instance, as regards voices or suggestions, not to listen to them, not to believe what they want you to believe, not to do what they want or push you to do. [12]

Inner Detachment

Look at it and see how trifling is the occasion of the rising of this anger and its outburst—it becomes more and more causeless and the absurdity of such movements reveals itself. It would not really be difficult to get rid of it if when it comes you looked at it calmly—for it is perfectly possible to stand back in one part of the being observing in a detached equanimity even while the anger rises on the surface, as if it were someone else in your being who had the anger. [13]

Developing a Witness Attitude

Witness means an observer, someone who looks on and does not act himself. So, when the mind is very quiet, one can withdraw a little in this way from circumstances and look at things as though he were a witness, a spectator, and not participating in the action himself. This gives you a great detachment, a great quietude, and also a very precise see of the value of things, because it cuts the attachment to action. When you know how to do this with yourself, when you can withdraw and watch yourself acting, you learn many things about yourself. When you are all mixed up and take part in the action, you do not observe yourself acting, you don't know what you are like. But when you draw back and look at yourself, you can perceive many imperfections which you wouldn't have seen otherwise. [14]

Read more about Anger from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.