The Purpose of Anger

Windmill silhouetted by lightning strike from low hanging storm clouds.

There seems to be a lot of angry people in the world today. Perhaps there has always been a lot of anger but people were too polite to express it. It is equally possible that the anger people feel is escalating.

To understand anything about anger we might first ask where we find anger within us and what is its purpose? Anger is an emotion that we feel in the lower levels of our soul. It rises up when we disagree with something. It agitates our soul and wakes us up. In this sense, anger actually educates our soul – whether we are conscious of it or not. Anger doesn’t arise through the soul faculty of thinking but through feeling. We feel the agitation and then we have the opportunity to think about why we are agitated and what we might do about it.

It is our choice how we deal with this anger. If we feel it inwardly, it can strengthen us. If we express it we are weakened. Not only that, if we express our anger we are cut off from everyone and everything. Think about the last time you lost your temper, you usually feel exhausted and alone.

The real benefit that comes from anger is that it takes our attention away from ourselves and in this way changes selfishness into selflessness. It serves no purpose to avoid feelings of anger, we must first experience them and then overcome them. When we accept the feelings of powerlessness that come from overcoming anger, we then experience heightened feelings of love. This is the purpose of anger.

Image: Severe Thunderstorm Near Kingman, Kansas

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