Anger and Dogmatism


Have come to understand 3 things tend to be intertwined to make all forms of irritation...anger pop up in my life. Those 3 things...

My personal "Belief System"...leads to a kind of

Rigidity...or "set in my ways"....leads to

Flash Judgements of people, places and things...which leads to...

Irritation...or Frustration...or pure Anger.

So my question is how does one go about’s "belief system" so that it invites...flexiblity...maybe humor and more acceptance of "what it"?

—Lois T, USA


Dear Lois,

The root of anger is thwarted desire. But what, then, is the root of desire? In the context of being judgemental, the tendency to hold fixed beliefs has its roots in insecurity and fear. (It can also simply be ignorance, though, one can truly say ignorance is the root of all suffering!)

Then there’s the common habit of irritability and flash judgments, quite apart from religious dogmatism.

A good starting point is to focus on calmness: using the breath, yoga, mindfulness, and meditation (a healthy diet and regular exercise would help too). Think of irritation as the consequence of an irritated nervous system and an uncontrolled mind: both fed by fear and insecurity.

Divine grace holds the real power: the practice of devotion is essential for invoking the presence, love, and grace of God. Chanting (as part of meditation) and inward chanting throughout the day, talking to God, will infuse body and mind with cooling refreshment. As the mind relaxes from its fear habit, the body relaxes; as the body relaxes, the nervous system cools and the irritation tendency begins to relax.

The deeper you meditate and more pervasive your devotion the sooner the tendency to be judgmental dissolves. It may be helpful, too, to recall to mind that as you judge, so you become. To recognize that someone is a thief is not judgment until you dislike that person for his action. Christians say, “Hate the sin; love the sinner.” Judgment is always self-judgment. So as you judge, say, a dogmatic fundamentalist, remember that the tendency to be either judgmental or narrow-minded is YOUR issue and until you release it you will have to incur the boomerang effects of your own karmic action. In that example, your own dislike of that person is proof of your own narrow-mindedness!!!! Life is a mirror and all we can really see is our own self.

Those who recognized Jesus Christ (or Buddha, Yogananda, etc.) as great saints were those who were ready, spiritually, with “eyes to see.” Those who see only slobs, failures, and “smucks,” is projecting their own inadequacies and fears onto others. Otherwise, you would feel only sadness or compassion for those mired in ignorance.

Yogananda counselled that we should read a little (kindly) humor every day! He had a wonderful sense of humor. Humor requires seeing life and human foibles from the God’s eye, non-attached point of view. Life is a dream of God. Our job is not to fix everyone and to repair the irreversible ups and downs of the dream (both of which are needed to sustain the dream). Ours is to be entertained and to entertain others but always to remain centered in the joy of God which is our true Self.

Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA