Most people would characterize the topic of this post not as anger but rather as instinct. Those who classify certain behaviors as instinctual, regard them as innate and hardwired into the being. The force Hellinger identifies as his seventh type
of anger issues from beyond one’s body, mind and personality. It is a helping force of the Mystery. This force is anger without emotion. It is virtuous and beneficial. This anger is aggression. It is pure strength, strong, wakeful, centered, grounded, assertive. When appropriately directed it is enlightened and courageous. With this anger you are capable of facing up to powerful adversaries, and when necessary, harming them; yet, you are neither angry with those you harm, nor are you emotional.
This anger empowers you to do what the moment demands. This anger does not come to everyone. It comes to those who involved themselves in a long discipline and practice, e.g., martial arts; yet too, it comes easily to anyone capable of it. Its embodied deployment reduces the likelihood of you succumbing to peril.
One unfortunate consequence of New Age thinking is the existence of the seemingly pervasive delusion that if people simply connect to the abstract goodness resident in being live, all will be well. Further, were we to open ourselves to the inherent beauty of life, all peoples will get along well, and that safety will abound. Maybe in two hundred years but not now.
In my world, the universe is truly a friendly place; everything in it is love. Yet, this love presents in a myriad of forms ranging from an incomprehensibly fierce, or harsh and difficult grace, to one that is unimaginably profound, buoyant and hearteningly gentle, and beautiful.
Although we seldom acknowledge it, we humans are animals. No matter the distinctions we imagine and attribute to our own or to another species, we share certain realities. As with other animals, for us too, there are members of our own species with whom we can share a habitat and those we cannot. There are individuals or groups we are safe with and from, and there are those with whom we are not.
There are compassionately intelligent ways for our human diversely to live peaceably on this planet. To date, we have yet to embrace them. We have the opportunity to transition into such an existence. We may or may not avail ourselves of it. We will see. The starting point for doing so is consenting to the reality of our differences. Consenting to “what is.” This requires the letting go of our New Age naivete and the self-deceptions we cherish.
In this context, many people have misunderstandings regarding aggression. It has earned a bad reputation as it has been confused with hostility, which is a learned behavior, a sibling of cruelty. Aggression has no cruelty in it. It is without emotion. Aggression is a natural archetype. A force that comes to the prepared and those capable of embodying it when the moment warrants.
When a lioness fiercely defends her young, she deploys aggression. This is the same energetic force that Hellinger identified as his seventh form of anger. Any capable human mother will embody the same force when the moment asks. This is Hellinger’s anger without emotion. It is brilliant life affirming aggression.
At the risk of loosing you, I invite you to see the beauty in this virtuous and beneficial anger embodied by lioness or woman defending her young. It is a positive and good anger. It serves life. This anger is distinct from the first in Hellinger’s model, which too is positive. The first one is accompanied by emotion. This is not. This anger presents solely as a powerful force outside of your awareness. You simply act as this force lends its agency to your own.
As a child I lived in a rural farming community. Twice I heard of women accomplishing Herculean feats: One involved lifting a tractor from her husband – he had been repairing it. In the other report, a woman lifted a car after it had fallen from its jack onto her husband. Perhaps you have heard of similar things. This anger comes to those capable of embodying it.
As a young adult working in law enforcement, I experienced and embodied this anger myself; so too, I witnessed it in others in life threatening situations. Once I watched a woman police officer (who had a second degree black belt in Taekwondo) being attacked. She acted with fierce aggression controlling the large man attacking her. There was no emotion on her part, simply a fiercely powerful force. It passed and the woman’s gentle nature returned.
On another occasion, I saw a police officer drive his hand through the side window of a locked car to rescue an unconscious woman needing medical attention. For a final example, a friend, who had served in Vietnam as a Marine, told me of his combat experiences. As he talked I knew this empowering anger had kept him and others alive. You too may know this anger personally, have witnessed it, or heard of another’s harrowing feat in which this anger was present.
I have two purposes in writing this post: to present the last in Hellinger’s model; and, to invite you to remember that we are not alone. The Mystery, in its loving intelligence, offers potent helping forces to those of us who are open to and capable of collaborating with Her.
As with all things, initiating movement from stuck circumstances, requires and begins with our consenting to “what is.” Acknowledging reality as it is. Most of us are loath to acknowledge our own anger. We instead squander our attention and lives by wishing and hoping for change to come from outside us. This will not happen!
If we are to live with compassionate intelligence we must consent to our anger, clean it up and move on. As stated in an earlier post, there is a time when humanity will move beyond anger’s useful and destructive forms. Doing so is up to each of us individually. The time to begin is now.
In my next post I offer final perspectives and then a recap of Hellinger’s anger model.