Of course, this is 1999 and I live in a reasonably safe place, but this instinctual genetic program is ‘me’ at my core. ‘I’ am rotten through and through as in kill or be killed. LeDoux’s research politely labels this the ‘fight or flight’ response. My experience is that it is more accurate to call it the ‘kill or be killed’ response. http://www.cns.nyu.edu/home/ledoux/
I would put aggression before fear, for fear only happens when one’s initial aggression fails. ‘What can I eat’ is primary, when you look at the animal world. Animals primarily need to eat to survive – they can’t survive solely by being fearful
I have had flashes and insights about anger and aggression before and understand very well the operation of the instinctual passions. LeDoux’s findings were of immense help to me, for here is the hard evidence that backs up the – now banned – sociological studies of Stanley Milgram and others. This enabled me to do the diagrams and writings in the section of the Library ‘Our animal instincts in the primitive brain’ on The Actual Freedom Trust website. But this latest little journey into ‘who I am’ at my core was experiential – it’s fascinating what you can discover when you dare to strip away belief, abandon morals, ethics and psittacisms – then you start to discover what you actually are. Then you can make discoveries dispassionately without recoiling in horror and/or running off to the sanctuary of the ‘good emotions’ – only to ‘discover’ bliss again. Just a good hard look at things as they really are – no grey or rose coloured glasses.
But, first things first. At the start of this process, as a spiritual person, I had been encouraged to express my anger – which is the current New Dark Age rebellion against the repression practiced by the previous lot. There is a third alternative to the usual fashionable swing from one failed extreme to the other. As with any emotion – neither repressing nor expressing does the trick. What ‘I’ initially did with anger was stop expressing it. Seeing what I was doing to others was sufficient for me to shut my mouth, keep my hands in my pockets, go for a walk, lay on the couch – do whatever was necessary to stop acting it out on others. The other bloody good reason for stopping was that I then stopped the endless cycle of being angry, feeling guilty, wallowing in shame, seeking solace in resentment, plotting revenge and building up to anger again.
This stopping is not suppressing for the feelings are still there, but now you can do something about them given that you begin to see them clearly in operation. When one is angry or in a blind rage one is consumed and possessed by emotions and thus loses all chance of learning anything from the experience. And saying sorry to someone you have hurt in your indulgence or expressing is but a cop out. I’ve written of this very act of stopping in the ‘Love’ chapter of my journal, as has Vineeto. It’s crucial to stop pissing away one’s opportunity to investigate the roots of anger by indulging in or expressing anger – and it’s an eminently sensible thing to do, both for oneself and for those one comes in contact with!
Freedom from the Human Condition – Happy and Harmless
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.