Behind anger is fear, behind fear is caring, and behind caring is love


This is something that becomes clearer over time, especially through exploring specific issues through inquiry.

Behind anger, sadness, and compulsions is fear. Behind fear is caring. And behind that caring is love.

Said more succinctly:

Behind identifications (beliefs, velcro) is fear, and behind that fear is caring and love.

The pitfall in saying to so simply and succinctly is that the mind thinks it gets it and that such a superficial and intellectual understanding is sufficient. The benefit is that it can serve as a question to explore, and a guide when we work on ourselves and clients.

A few more details:

Identifications (holding a thought as true) is what creates stressful experiences such as struggle with anger, sadness, and compulsions. (Anger, sadness etc. can also just be here without any struggle.)

Fear is what holds identifications in place. It may be what created the identification in the first place, and it’s often what comes up when the mind considers not having that identification.

Behind fear is a deep caring. A caring for oneself and others. And caring is just another word for love.

When we see the behind all this is love, there is less of a struggle with it. And less struggle means a bit more space around it, which helps soften and release the identifications in and relating to it.


Jeff Foster: The Beauty in Your Anger


When you’re feeling angry, just feel angry.

Don’t try to ‘not feel angry’; you’ll only split yourself in two,
and end up attacking, or repressing, in your quest for relief.

Don’t think about feeling angry, then.
Just feel angry.
Be present with the raw, fiery, burning sensations
in the belly, chest, throat, head.
Invite loving attention deep into the volcanic heart of anger.
Let the sensations tingle, pulsate, vibrate, flutter.
Breathe into them, soften around them.
Dignify their existence.

Drop the word ‘anger’ now; simply connect with what’s alive.
Be the room for the fiery sensations, their loving embrace.
Know that these sensations aren’t a mistake;
you’re not doing anything wrong.
Anger is not ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ or ‘unspiritual’,
or a sign of your weakness.

You are alive. And you have a right to ALL your feelings.
You need not act on them, and please don’t push them down.
But simply stand with anger; be its loving parent, not its victim.
Breathe into it, let it move. It will not stay long.
It comes to cleanse, not to destroy.
It comes to remind you of your tremendous power.

So be kind to your anger;
It is only trying
to protect you from harm.

– Jeff Foster

Anger, passion


I had a lot of anger come up this morning, fueled by some stories about a past situation.

My habitual pattern is to push it away. There are fearful stories about anger, and an identity that doesn’t include it.

Later on, after holding satsang with these fearful stories, and for a while with this anger, something shifted.

The anger revealed itself as – or turned into – passion, engagement and energy.

When anger is met with respect, understanding and love, is uncontained, is asked what it’s deepest desire is, is invited to look at what it really is, it’s revealed as a passion, engagement and energy. And a desire for clarity and truth.

With this passion, how is it to uncontain this too? Is it true it is contained? Is it true it can be contained by this image of it and its boundaries?

The qualities of hate


A new study published in PLoS One today reveals that hatred isn’t the blind, irrational emotion it might seem. In fact, hate activates the brain regions associated with higher reason and the ability to predict what other people will do.
Source: i09

Hate isn’t the same as anger, but may be close enough for what I’ll explore – briefly – here.

(When I look at it for myself, it seems that hate is just a particularly persistent and strong form of anger, one that is fueled and maintained by stories taken very much as true, and that the essence of it is anger.)

Academic psychology is still in its infancy, and is still exploring the basics, which is good. In many cases, research helps confirm and refine common perceptions, and it sometimes also come up with quite counter intuitive results – which is even more helpful.

In this case, the general findings seem quite close to how we – or at least I – experience anger.

It clears out the cobwebs. Brings clarity. Focus. Single pointed attention if needed. Energy. And a “get things done” impulse.