At the end of the Trojan war, the victorious Greek soldiers sacked the city of Troy. They had spent the last ten years at war and unleashed all their rage and frustration upon what remained of Troy. Dispensing with moderation, they acted deplorably. This enraged the gods and the sought justice. Zeus unleashes tempests upon the Greek fleet as they sail for home as well as sowing the seeds of discord between the Greek generals, creating further chaos…
It is said that all the gods are within us. All the energies they embody are projections of the human mind. The rage and anger dramatised in the anecdote above is experience familiar to us all.
When an animal organism does not get what it seeks and wants the RAGE/ anger system becomes activated. Anger is aroused through restraint and frustration. It is often entwined with the FEAR system with which it most likely interacts during social encounters. Higher cortical processes can inhibit, re-direct and in other ways regulate this impulse.
Through trauma, aggression can become dysregulated aimed both at others as well as towards the self. Alternatively, the expression of anger may be highly adaptive in certain circumstances leading to assertive action and a sense of empowerment.
What is your relationship with anger? Do you freely express anger or do you hold it back? Can you think of a time when you acted on anger in a way that was destructive? What about a time you used the anger system to act assertively, perhaps to right a wrong, or seek justice? What does the experience of anger feel like in the body? What actions does it motivate you to take?