( taken with my mobile in the dim light of my room, apologise for the quality )
Master Yoda says:
Fear leads to anger,
anger leads to hate
hate, leads to suffering.
– Master Yoda
Anger is the solution the ignorant falls back to when they encounter an issue that they can’t comprehend. In Nichiren buddhism, Anger is the world number four, right next to Beast (third), Hunger (second), and Hell (first). A person living in a world of Anger is said to be like a Giant who carries a big club – and of course, with an ego the size of a mount Himalaya, he always feels that he is right.
Like fire on timber
Anger is like fire – its seed may be small but if left unchecked it can consume the forest in no time. It is also compounding, the more you give in, the anger you become, and the further you fell into suffering.
But no matter how fierce, a burning fire can’t live long on water. The wisdom of Buddhism is just like this water. When we have trained and purified our self to be like that of water, no amount of insult nor assault will rouse your anger. This is because through wisdom, we can perceive the reality of things, and when truth is understood no amount of hate, insult, nor assault projected into you will rouse much anger.
If you are a person who are easily angered, beware – because as Murphy states: “what can go wrong, will go wrong”. You are flammable, and so in due course you will crash and burn. It is not a matter of IF, but rather a question of WHEN.
If you are dealing with an angry person – seek to understand this person. When you have seen the truth, when you can see the sickness within, not only will you see the way to enlighten him, you will also realize how irrelevant all the hateful remark are.
If anger is like flu, then the hateful remarks, tantrums, and the various kinds of manifestation of anger projected into you can be likened to the germs and bacteria emitted when a person sneeze. However, a body that have understood the nature of this illness will naturally build an immunity over it. What applies to our body, applies as much to our mind.
Entitlement to the Buddha nature
The good nature, the Buddha nature is present in all of living beings – if they appear to be missing, they are only sleeping, soundly. If the wisest man can be angry at times, then the most ignorant, hateful person can also have the potential to awaken his own good nature.
To awaken the good sense, all you need to do is to appeal to it. No one, not the gods, Buddhas, much less mere average joes like us, have the right to deny any living being of their own potential to awaken their good sense. To do so is to deprive ourself from such hope.
The question is then, how can you appeal to the Buddha within?
For this reason, you need to employ Expedient Means. This is the means by which Buddhas of the past, present and the future communicates a glimpse of the eternal wisdom to us humans.
This is by no means easy – because Expedient Means can only be expounded by one who have understood how to employ it. And it can take a very long time for a person to understand how to employ it in the various circumstance. If you consider all of the trouble that one has to go through to attain this state, the trouble seemingly outweighs the benefit.
But this heart is precisely what separates a normal person from a Bodhisattva, and a Bodhisattva from a Buddha. It IS troublesome, but for the sake of the ignorant, yourself, and the environment that you share with this person, you have to try regardless. It may be difficult and your effort may be ineffective, but give it a go anyway.
Ultimately, the very journey we take to employ one Expedient Means to save one angry soul will be the very door we use to attain it. In helping others, we have helped ourselves. This is the nature of how wisdom is attained, it is not sequential. But rather when a core within you is lifted, its benefit will manifest immediately and simultaneously across all aspect of your life.
The key here is sincerity – without it your effort is based on a very weak foundation.
A sincere heart is not pretentious
We are very perceptive beings. We are born with an invisible antennae that can pick up the slightest body language and interpret signals in a blink of an eye. An angry person may be blinded by hate, but this antennae is inherent within our very hearts – if you are not sincere in your effort, your inadequacies will be revealed, and you will fail.
Sincerity is the key to communication. No other gesture of heart can communicate an intent like sincerity can.
Mind you, just because you have enacted a sincere heart that appreciates the situation and give your best effort to connect to this person it doesn’t mean that he will respond to your gesture immediately, but a seed sown MUST grow when it is constantly nurtured. That is the nature of all things. That is cause and effect. It is only common sense.
Slowly, let your presence grow in him as a listening ear and a helping hand – and with time he will realise that you are actually on his side, that you are there to help him. Eventually he will learn to trust you.
What is planted and nurtured, must grow.
Plant the seed of wisdom and nurture it. You can’t shape the way a tree grows by forcing it to bend the other way. But you can put little blockades here and there to encourage it to grow in a certain direction. The only question is, do you have the CAPACITY to take it slow?
The beauty of it all is that if you do have to encounter such a person on a daily basis, you actually can play a very big role in changing this person’s life. The fact that he is within your immediate surroundings is a sign that you are very much connected with this person. Remember, it all start from within you.
To succeed in painstakingly removing one angry mask from a person, thus transforming his life will indeed be one hell of a life-changing accomplishment.
That, is worth all the trouble.