Anger pt 3: Collective transformation

September 14th, 2014




“The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.”

– Dalai Lama XIV



During the so-called ‘Contra war’ in Nicaragua in the early 1980’s I was approached by a man on a Sydney street selling a socialist political newspaper. He struck me as being beyond passionate in his condemnation of US forces involvement in Nicaragua and insisted that I must buy his newspaper that featured articles on the subject.


MGM/UA entertainment

MGM/UA entertainment


When I observed that the obvious anger in his own heart was the self-same element that fueled the wars he so vehemently condemned he became even more furious. In his mind it was all about what US forces were doing ‘over there’. His own position (both geographical and his state of consciousness) was seen as irrelevant and completely separate.


Now, this is not to say that the list of man’s inhumanity to man is not depressingly long and sadly predictable at times. It is that, despite popular programming to the contrary, we cannot fight fire with fire – at least not an angry one. All we create is more angry fires burning into eternity.



Hold on a minute. What ‘programming’?


“… war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance.”


This quote is from George Orwell’s novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-four’. It was written in 1949 during the early years of the cold war – which, lest we forget followed hot on the heels of the ‘hottest’ war to date, world war two.


Have you ever wondered why media treats every subject in the context of conflict? Even the most trivial subjects are sensationalized into dramas and scandals that don’t really exist. Instead of cultural, political, economic, arts, science and technology, sporting or entertainment news we are bombarded with a gossipy soap opera of scandal and sensationalism in each of these categories.


Mona Lisa


Simplistic lines are drawn, sides are taken and we are encouraged to engage in tribalistic support of one side or the other. It doesn’t really matter which as long as we join in and fuel the ‘bonfire of the vanities’1. Whatever the real news was is now drowned in the static.


Why is it that every film portraying the future gives a dystopian view of endless war, conflict, shifting alliances, betrayal and a constant quest for power? Why are the vast majority of video games about war, death and power struggles?2 Why are death and necromantic images so pervasive at every level of media, religion, fashion and even body art? Do we really think this has been our individual, conscious choice?



Why are we being told the only solution to our problems is through declaring a war on everything? What have these fake wars given us? Has the war on terror led to less terror? Has the war on drugs led to less drug production and use? Has the war on cancer led to less cancer?


If we could design a world, would the one we live in today be our vision? Why should even more war and conflict be inevitable? This is why conscious awareness is so important to cultivate and maintain at every level of personal and collective health.



The success of programming relies on a passive, unconscious state. Lies that are repeated often enough to a passive mind take on the appearance of truth.


Take the oft repeated distortion lie about Darwinian survival. “Survival of the fittest” was a concept Darwin used to describe genetic mutations. Most mutations didn’t work and so didn’t survive. Those that did, gained a foothold. It had nothing to do with emotional behavior or aggression.


Never mind the facts getting in the way of a handy lie however: “Survival of the fittest: Only the strong survive!” propaganda slogans now pollute our senses anytime justification for violent and aggressive acts are required.


Our reflex responses to stress and conflict then begin to look remarkably similar to the images and scenarios we have been fed.



Cynicism as an aggressive control mechanism


Once we have been overwhelmed by this tsunami of distracting and destructive negativity we are left with a sense of powerlessness and impotence that we could possibly do anything to change it. Those who have been reading this series so far will know that powerlessness will soon produce its own anger – albeit usually in a self-destructive form.


From the point of view of cynical control though, even better! We shall sabotage our own power to act by getting lost in a maze of self-destructive addictions and distractions – from alcohol, drugs and fast food to pornography, TV, gossip and scandal, violence, money, luxury and consumerism – all in plentiful supply yet strangely unsatisfying. Worse still, if we cannot attain what we desire we are admonished as weak or not trying hard enough.


All of these sap our energy and time leaving us more disempowered than before. In the questioning words of Siddha Guru Mai: “Am I enjoying my pleasures or are my pleasures enjoying me?”


So now that we see how bleak things are, or more pointedly, are made to appear, what can we do about it both in ourselves and collectively?



Elemental transformation


This might be a good time to consult a framework that has modelled transformation for centuries. It is called the Five Phases of Transformation also known as the Five Elements.   Regular readers of the Monday Conscious Health blog will be familiar with this. It charts the transformation of energy-consciousness from the personal to the collective Self. Of course it can also be used to chart personal health challenges as we did in a recent series (click here).


How might it aid our understanding of how personal and collective anger, fear and aggression can be transformed?




The emotional flow from Water to Wood is from fear to anger. There is a school of thought that assigns different frequencies to emotional states. Anger is considered a relatively ‘higher’ frequency to fear – albeit still connected to a state of suffering. From there it transforms progressively via the Fire element to love and joy. This is our most expanded, ‘Yang’ energy.


Love represents our potential for expanded consciousness; the union between the individual and higher Self; the understanding that ‘me’ and ‘we’ are the same thing; that ‘us’ and ‘them’ is an illusion.




The more observant will also notice another arrow showing a cycle that skips a phase. In this flow fear ‘controls/regulates’ joy and love. This is why fear is so often used as a tool of oppression and division. It contracts our consciousness and separates us from others. It urges us to think only of personal interest and to see others as a threat to that interest.


We may also observe that what tempers, well, temper, is sadness and remorse (seen in the above diagram as connected to the Metal element).


In the light of love all our angry acts cause us as much pain as we have caused others with them.


This is why it is so important to replace fear with love, joy and unity. The focus on love and its creative expression is also the best way to shift a stagnation of anger by moving it forward on its natural cycle.



Love and expression as a tool of unity


So much for the theory. What about the practice? As it happens, I was visiting Estonia last week to make preparations for a conference by the International Light Association that will be held there next year. Estonia is only 20 years free of their (second) occupation by Russian (then Soviet) forces.


One would think a country that has so often been under oppressive rule would have a right to be bitter and angry – or even insular and suspicious of foreigners. My experience was the polar opposite.


They were warm, open, colorful and creative. There was an emphasis on the arts over politics. They seemed proud of the originality of their culture but devoid of nationalism. This led me to enquire how they managed to be free of foreign oppression.



‘The Singing Revolution’


This was a term coined by artist Heinz Valk to describe the events in Estonia between 1987- 1991. Neighbouring countries Latvia and Lithuania followed in this period. Rather than engage in angry confrontation the Estonian people began spontaneous night singing demonstrations.


Three hundred thousand Estonians (more than a quarter of the total population) gathered in Tallin to sing folk songs and hymns forbidden under Russian occupation.


By September 11, 1998 It catalyzed the first political call for Estonian independence and the rest as they say is history culminating in 1991 when the public provided a human shield to protect the radio and TV stations from Soviet tanks.


This is now celebrated every year with 30,000 singers and 100,000 spectators:




Iceland, another country noted for its fiercely independent stance – in this case, against oppressive banking systems that threatened to cripple it economically – were the first to recognize Estonian independence. The Estonians in turn showed their fraternity by posting a plaque on the Foreign Ministry commemorating Iceland’s support at a crucial time.



Is love a weak or naive alternative to anger?


These examples might make us question why solutions based on love are so often repositioned as sentimental or corny, unrealistic or weak; that force is the only way to solve ‘real world’ problems; that the watchwords must always be the ‘security’ of ‘our interests’; that we shouldn’t bother the serious adults with our naive, romantic notions.


Buddha, Jesus, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and many, many others who helped positively change the course of history with a gentler hand didn’t seemed to think so. It even inspired artist and silent movie star Charlie Chaplin to break his silence when faced with the onset of war.




Conscious transformation and the remembrance of love


The secret of love is that it is our highest expression of consciousness. It is a state more than an emotion. This is why coming back to love is like coming home. We realise we knew it all along. We had just been distracted, divided and disempowered by an uneasy dream where we allowed self-doubt, fear and anger to creep in and separate us from ourselves.


To return to love is to realize it was obvious all along. How had we allowed ourselves to believe anything else? A good friend of mine put it this way: “Maybe there will not need to be a violent revolution to create change. It may simply be an attack of happiness that overtakes our collective consciousness.”


Now that sounds like a remembrance of love, that transforms us.




Till we all remember that Mondays need love too.



1 ‘The bonfire of the vanities’. Tom Wolfe. 1987 Publisher Farrar Strauss Giroux

2 Including two major releases featuring the the phrase ‘endless war’ in their titles.


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

Related Posts

Leave a Reply