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Anger and Guilt November 27, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 28) Anger and Guilt.
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PARTICIPANT: You haven’t addressed the subject of anger in depth and it seems to me that it’s an issue that is a major factor for a number of people. Frustration and anger have both been a problem for me, and I have a friends, family, and coworkers who have all had the same problem. One of the men I work with took anger management classes because it became a problem for him at work and at home. Can you give us your take on that subject?

WW: Sure. I don’t usually spend a great deal of energy on that because once anger happens, it’s too late. Anger comes along somewhere down the road from the way one sees, and if a person takes care of business in the way one sees, the anger question pretty much takes care of itself. We’ve talked about the way society works backwards on so many things and this is one of them. I don’t think it’s productive in the overall picture to work on anger, but it’s worthwhile to take a short look at it.

I was watching a television program that had to do with gangs and crime. Most of the subjects were teens or young adults. A woman of some sort of authority was giving her spin on the story and she almost excused the violence and crime by stating that these were “angry young men.” She later implied that the anger was somehow brought to these young men by society or some sort of outside means. I suppose the anger was hiding behind some corner and then sneaked out and grabbed these poor fellows and forced them to become antisocial. Did these poor lads have no control over any of this? It was all caused, in the eyes of the spin lady, by social conditioning or social circumstances or some sort of blame that relieves personal responsibility. Not one person on this program discussed seeing differently as a clue.

Looking at anger is a bit like looking at a target after the bullet missed the mark. Missing the target is the result of something that went on before, probably having to do with the aiming of the gun. We’ve gone over the order of events, relative to the way we see. First, we have an ideal. Second, we use the methods of self to achieve the ideal. Third, we try to measure our success, then we end up with an emotion as the result. Where does that anger and guilt boil up from? Well, if a person goes along with the methodology trolls on side number one—being belligerent, demanding, and so on—then the trolls from the other side jump up and produce guilt, shame, and regret. If a person goes along with the methodology trolls on side number two—tolerance, obedience, self blame—then the trolls from the other side will eventually boil over and produce anger.

Rather than work on anger management, or guilt and regret counseling, I prefer to check out the way we see things, events, others, because a person’s perception is where it’s at. If you have a car that’s blowing clouds of blue-gray smoke out of the tailpipe, would you try to work on the exhaust system? Forget about the exhaust system! Let the other people work on the exhaust. I want to look further back in the chain of events to see what’s going on. There is no substitute for the way one sees.

PARTICIPANT: Do you think that it would be beneficial to those gang type kids if they could be exposed to the type of discussions that we’re having? That is, if they could listen to you that it would turn them around. Maybe counselors could be trained for this.

WW: So far, I haven’t done well at turning anyone around. I don’t have any reason to expect that some street gang member would do any better than anyone else. In addition to that, where are you going to find counselors? All of the counselors I’ve seen are trained by people in institutions that believe in high ideals and working backwards! How could councilors pass this line of teaching on to someone else when the councilors themselves believe in ideals, methods of achievement, and measuring success or failure? That’s the way institutions have always worked and that’s the way it will always be. I’ll go further and state that institutions must function that way, otherwise they wouldn’t be institutions, would they?

PARTICIPANT: It just seems to be a shame that there are people out there who could use this teaching that can’t get exposure to it.

WW: It would be very difficult for someone to get this on their own, but if they wanted it enough, they’d find it. Delta urges us every day, we trip over it every day, but we stand up and dust ourselves off, then go on as if nothing happened.

PARTICIPANT: How about going out on a limb and tell us what you would do as far as conventional treatment of gang members.

WW: Okay. I always do what I perceive as being in my best interest. Did you ever try to do something that was not in your best interest? It’s very, very difficult. These gang members are doing what they see is in their best interest. They may be wrong about it being in their best interest, but that is nonetheless what they are doing. The best thing that I’ve heard of is counseling sessions run by prison convicts. We’ve probably all seen or heard of these programs. In the big picture, aren’t the prison inmates showing the gang members that their lifestyle is not in their best interest over the long term? Some people are just unreachable and will end up in prison. It’s just the way it is. We can’t fix everything. There are plenty of people and programs out there to fix society and very little information on seeing differently. I’ll stick with seeing differently, I can let someone else fix the gang members.