How does anger arise?

Answer of Lama Ole

If one is completely within the flow of things, then no anger arises. The precondition for anger is a separation in the mind: “I am here and something is happening there.”

If you don’t create this separation, then you can enjoy everything. You share a totality, everything flows. But if you start to think, “I am here and they are there,” and so on, then things get funny. From that point on, anger can develop.

Then there is also idealistic anger. It appears when one thinks that things should actually be different from how they are. I am disturbed by a few such things as well—for example, by what people in Africa or in the Islamic world are doing to each other. But if instead one has compassion and hopes that maybe those people can resolve their difficulties in the foreseeable future, then one is smart. One can transform anger into compassion. That is good and it doesn’t cost anything. Anger, on the other hand, costs a lot.

Until puberty, one experiences the continuation of one’s previous life. Starting with puberty—when the big engine of sexuality is turned on and the ego-illusion and habits become stronger—one creates one’s new life. Later on, from age sixty or so, people’s faces show what they have done with their lives—whether beneficial or harmful actions were predominant. Then it’s a pity if someone looks like three days of rainy weather. One can really see how anger and bad feelings become stronger and stronger. But someone who has many good feelings and makes good wishes for others looks really good even at the end of his or her life. It is important to be vigilant here.