Anger and Our Modern World

Road rage

By Bruce Sutchar

bruce_sutcharAs we grow into adulthood our adolescent anger subsides beneath our productive lives, but at some point it could begin to rear its ugly head once again. One day you just lose it — you start yelling at a clerk in a store, something you had never done before. Then you begin yelling at people on the phone (like computer repair people) and your kids begin to wonder why you are always yelling, on the phone or at their mom and them.

Some people get continuously frustrated driving and began to develop anger for people who, for example, drive slowly in the left lane. They would drive by them very closely in the right lane and give them a dirty look and sometimes even slow down in front of them until they moved into the right lane. At night some even turn on their bright headlights from behind until the other car finally changes lanes.

Most of these people already had college or even graduate degrees. None had ever gotten into trouble before the above incidents either as youths or as adults. So why all this anger and detrimental behavior?

What is anger? It can be hurt or frustration at not being able to get one’s way. Psychologists say that when a man is hurt he expresses anger and when a woman gets angry she expresses hurt.

Some people develop different levels of what is called a “Don Quixote Complex.” That is, they think that they can change someone else’s behavior. In reality, the only thing that they can even possibly change is maybe themselves. Some people arrogantly think the world should acquiesce to their needs and desires while others narcissistically believe somewhat similarly, that the world revolves around them.

Divine Principle teaches some very simple lessons. Terms like “love your enemy,” “love your neighbor,” “live for the sake of others,” and “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matt. 7:3)

Living a spiritual life is not an easy task. Actively seeking to repent, to do penance and to take responsibility is not on most people’s most popular things to do list. Likewise for spiritual conditions, seeking ways to get closer to God, through prayer and fasting are not usually listed on the cover of People or US magazine.

Our present day world is quite intense. Doctors say that stress may account for 80% of our modern day illnesses. Attached to their phones and iPods, people no longer acknowledge their fellow man as they walk down the streets of their cities and towns.

When we mistreat our fellow citizens, we lose the cohesiveness of our community. When we think we are better, more important or more deserving than anyone else, Satan allows us to justify this mistreatment of our fellow man.

When we violate or are violated by people we do not naturally love, the old adage “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never harm me,” is proven totally false. Names hurt, insults hurt, and when people violate us, our hearts are broken.

In the modern “Pilgrim’s Progress” parable entitled The Shack, the author points out that when you are angry, resentful or hate someone, the person most affected is you. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, in her historic study On Death and Dying, concluded from her interviews that many people dying of cancer had deep-seeded resentments that they could not let go of. Thus, the resentment was literally “eating them up.”

When we go out into the world, we must constantly “put on the armor of God.” We must be vigilant and realize what Satan has up his sleeve. We must look to the example of our True Parents. For no matter how much they were violated, they never accused their violators. Rather, they collected what Stephen Covey called an “emotional bank account” by forgiving their enemy, loving their neighbor and refusing to allow Satan to distract them from their goal by keeping their eyes on the prize — being world peace and one family of man under God.

Two critical questions must be raised here: How did God keep going after the fall and how did he keep going after Jesus’ crucifixion? The Principle states that God was so hurt and angry after the fall that He wished He had never created man. Once again, how similar he felt after his only begotten son, Jesus, died on the cross. Yet the God of an eye for an eye did not destroy the world after Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden. Nor did He wallow in his misery and grief after Jesus’ death. In each case, He immediately began the process of restoration.

Destroyed_ambulance_in_the_CIty_of_Shijaiyah_in_the_Gaza_Strip

Photo of a destroyed ambulance in the Gaza Strip, taken during a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel on August 6, 2014 (credit: Boris Niehaus).

People are afraid; they don’t like people with a different skin color, a different style of dress, different food and different smells; different religion or even different denominations. Most prejudice comes from fear, and as Rogers and Hammerstein wrote in the musical, South Pacific, “You have to be carefully taught to hate and fear.” People’s insecurities allow them to uplift themselves as long as they think they are better than someone else. Thus, we have the slave system that existed in the American South, the caste system in India, Shiites versus Sunnis in the Middle East, Jews in Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. We can go back through time to Vietnam, Korea, World Wars I and II, the Russian Revolution, the Crimean War, the Spanish-American War, the Crusades, and all the religious wars through the historical tribal warfare all the way back to Adam and Eve. When we emerge into 2014, we are faced with Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, the Kurds, Moslem women, Gaza, Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, and Ferguson, Missouri.

The Beatles sang, “Love is all you need.” Jesus said, “Love your neighbor and love your enemy.” Sounds nice, but how do Palestinians and Israelis love each other? How do Sunnis and Shiites love one another? How do Serbs and Croats, and the North and South Sudanese love each other?

A popular psychology today is called “cognitive-behavior psychotherapy.” These psychologists don’t care, like Freud and Jung, about why someone behaves in a certain way — only how to immediately change their behavior. So it no longer matters that your mother treated you a certain way (or on a national level, that your mother or sister was raped by the neighboring tribe). All it now takes is not understanding, but rather that you just change your behavior!

Reverend Moon oftentimes said that when we are struggling, rather than focusing on the point of our struggle, we need to focus on our current level of communication with God. He continued by explaining quite fully that unless we have a 90 degree vertical relationship with God, then everything else in our life will be proportionally off-kilter.♦

Bruce Sutchar (UTS Class of 1985) is Midwest Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation, USA.

2 thoughts on “Anger and Our Modern World

  1. Bruce,

    Perhaps your article will interest readers to examine the processes they find most helpful in drawing closer to God. I think that there are a number of ways to draw closer to God. Some are not necessarily mutually exclusive with understanding the point of struggle. Since we are thinking and emoting beings, and not machines, by understanding the point of a struggle, we may find the key to unlock the way to God within our original minds.

    For example, images of our parents can be stored in our unconscious minds. By experiencing this “eidetic imagery” of our parents, within our minds, and the emotions in our bodies, we may discover and release any barriers to being with God and to communicating with our full heart and minds toward God. This process can last one moment or many days. Once understanding comes, then the point of struggle does not have to be focused on, as Rev.Moon said. Depending on the depth of the struggle, getting through it is a process that may take an instant or days of prayers, all for the goal of changing behavior and loving with our full heart and minds.

    And, in your example of road rage, it may just take one moment to say: “I am angry, for whatever reasons may be fueling it, I don’t have to know at this moment, but I know that I don’t want to express it or focus on it and cause a destructive result while I am driving. I can choose not to feel angry. God grant me peace to continue. Amen.”

  2. For anyone interested in understanding emotions better, I would highly recommend Dr. Bradley Nelson’s book, The Emotion Code.

    When I went to massage therapy school twelve years ago, what truly stuck with me was when I heard: “The issues are in the tissues” and “Your biography becomes your biology.” In other words, emotions (energy in motion) run though out physical body at all times. Those emotions can bring well being and joy when they are positive. They can bring dis-ease and pain when they are negative. As I have worked on hundreds of clients over the years, I have witnessed the truth to the fact that emotions affect health and well-being and I began searching for a way to help people let go of negative emotions. The Emotion Code answered that quest for me.

    Since this article focuses on anger and the question, “What is anger” was posed, let me focus on this particular one. Anger is, as all emotions are, first and foremost, an energy. Once we experience anger, that energy gets registered in our energy body. Later on, whenever we are in a situation where we feel offended or hurt, that stored anger energy gets triggered and we may find ourselves getting really angry over a small matter. The trapped energy brings fuel to the fire. You may have known people who explode over seemingly nothing, a word, a glance, a certain intonation. The reason is that they already have a lot of anger stored up, trapped in their energy body. Another fact is that such trapped emotions can be passed on, through the DNA, from one generation to another. They are, what Dr. Nelson calls, inherited trapped emotions.

    Margaret Ruby, author of the book, DNA Healing, says “Emotions are, in effect, the vibratory templates that turn our genes on or off. They activate the stories that have been sleeping in our genes.”

    In her book, Bending Toward the Sun, author and daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, writes, “It was not unusual to find children of Holocaust survivors, or the Second Generation, as we came to be known, weighed down by feelings of loss, guilt and anxiety, and trapped in a dynamic with our parents of mutual devotion and over protection. This fallout also clearly extended to a third generation.” She calls this “the harmful effects of intergenerational transmission of traumatization.”

    Further, she writes, “Finally, some researchers have proposed that memories of fear can actually be carried across generations through biochemistry.”

    Looking at what is going on in the world at this time, the suffering people go through in the areas of conflict, at home and overseas, will reverberate, causing suffering, in generations to come. This is the reason why working to bring about a peaceful world is so important and meaningful.

    To go more deeply into this topic how emotions affect our health, allow me to share an article I posted recently.

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