Rage and Despair

by Evan on 2017/01/12

 

We will all likely experience rage and despair at some time in our lives. I am writing this now for my American friends.

 

Totally

Rage and despair tend to be total experiences.

Rage is more than anger. It wants the object of the rage to be totally gone, obliterated, not around any more.

Despair is more than sadness. It sees no hope, not anywhere.

Which means that rage and despair can be very hard to deal with. They are the whole of our world for a time.

 

Little Bits

But there is a whole world outside our despair and rage. There is a time before and very likely there will be a time after.

And perhaps the easiest way to know this is to focus on something small.

I can’t change the whole world, but: I can join an organisation, help a friend, make my lifestyle a little more sustainable.

 

Listening

Rage and despair aren’t wrong. They are important information that we see something very wrong. And wanting to do something about this is very good. And we need to be intelligent about what we do, so that we don’t make things worse but better.

It is good to listen to our rage and despair. Until we know what it is we want to do. It may well be radical – and the first step on the radical path may seem very small to an outside observer. And it will be easier and more enjoyable if you have others who understand your concern and even are willing to support what you are doing. Friends on the journey make the travelling easier. So, consider sharing your concerns and ideas with those you think are likely to listen to you.

 

To Do

1, Find a way to listen to your rage and despair.

Write in a journal. Express it through some kind of art. Talk to others who will be able to hear. Gradually you will find clarity. And then you can act with some sense of where you are heading and what you want to achieve.

 

2. Consider talking to others, joining with them and learning more.

 

3. Find one or more things you can do regularly in response to your rage and despair.

It may be a spiritual practise. (Meditate on or pray about the beauty you can see around you and how it is being destroyed.)

Write a letter each day, or once a week. Sign online petitions.

Talk to one person each day about what you care about and why.

Go to a regular meeting of an organisation working on what you care about.

 

There are difficult times ahead. We will need to develop habits, connections and lifestyles that will help us channel our rage and despair to create a better world.

{ 9 comments }

Generosity and Hospitality are Subversive

December 25, 2016

  Generosity and hospitality are quite counter-cultural at the moment. There is much about defending what is ours and not much about giving freely of what we have. In Australia, where I live, the sheer awfulness of the treatment of asylum seekers is difficult to comprehend. In Australia the current government wishes to sell off […]

Read the full article →

Acting with Thought and Feeling

November 28, 2016

  My last post was about thinking and feeling deeply before acting. A friend pointed out that this would lead to people acting in their usual ways, and this could be a problem. I entirely agree. For instance, bureaucracy doesn’t deal with complexity; when it comes across a complex problem the tendency is to add […]

Read the full article →

Think and Feel Deeply then Act

November 13, 2016

  People are feeling traumatised by the US election, and not just in the US. It is unclear what the newly elected government will do; and the uncertainty doesn’t help deal with the trauma.   What to do? My last post is on dealing with the feelings. In summary, feel the feelings and then do […]

Read the full article →

Grief Rage and Fear

November 11, 2016

Most of us in the world are probably affected by what happens in China, Russia or the US. And these countries affect each other. So the recent US election will probably affect everyone directly or indirectly. (My country, Australia is affected by the decisions of both the US and China.) My friends in the US […]

Read the full article →

A Better World Where All Have Enough To Thrive

November 1, 2016

  Ethics I think ethics is a part of our experience – we all have thoughts and feelings about what is right and wrong. And part of self development is developing this ethical sense. I think part of this is widening our concern beyond our friends and loved ones to strangers and the rest of […]

Read the full article →

Telling The Truth

September 13, 2016

I got this question in the box in the right hand margin of this page (if you have any question at all about living an authentic life please feel free to post it, and I’ll give my best answer), here’s my response. You ask what we feel prevents us from living authentically? Telling people what […]

Read the full article →

Update and Coming Up

September 8, 2016

What have I been up to lately? Two things mostly. Our nephew is living with us (my wife and I) for a while. This has been mostly gone great. 2. I’ve been learning about philosophy – mostly via podcasts and some reading – and discussing it – mostly on some Facebook pages dedicated to it. […]

Read the full article →

The Communal Body of the Divine Spirit #6 Weakness

July 7, 2016

This post is part of a series about living well in groups.  They are a series of meditations inspired by a chapter in the New Testament. It is Pauls first letter to the Corinthians chapter 12.  Verse 22-23, in the New International Version of the Bible says,  . . . those parts of the body […]

Read the full article →

The Communal Body of the Divine Spirit #5 Vulnerability

July 4, 2016

This post is part of a series about living well in groups.  They are a series of meditations inspired by a chapter in the New Testament. It is Pauls first letter to the Corinthians chapter 12.  Verse 21, in the New International Version of the Bible says, The eye cannot say to the hand, “I […]

Read the full article →

The Communal Body of the Divine Spirit #4 Interdependence

July 1, 2016

This post is part of a series about living well in groups.  They are a series of meditations inspired by a chapter in the New Testament. It is Pauls first letter to the Corinthians chapter 12.  Verse 21, in the New International Version of the Bible says, The eye cannot say to the hand, “I […]

Read the full article →