Why We Need Deep Anger

| Emergent levels, emotional depth, and transformational energy |

Thinking of emotion as a type of physical energy makes it is easier to recognize that emotions aren’t fundamentally good or bad, but rather that there are more or less effective ways of working with / for / against them. This approach builds upon but goes beyond the mindfulness practice of objectively observing our emotions or even harnessing the power of our emotions for a greater purpose. It has the potential to facilitate the emergence of higher and more transformative energies.

Of course, emotions can be dangerous under certain circumstances. Like the chemical substances used in lab experiments, almost any emotion can be involved in an intense or even destructive reaction. But it is this same reactivity that also enables emotions to be powerful catalysts for individual and collective change. Like an alchemy of the mind, emotions are essential ingredients for the deepest levels of conceptual transmutation.

Last year, I watched in amazement as a group of radical First Nations scholars brought down the house in Vancouver at an academic conference called Global Power Shifts … Dr. Glen Coulthard of the Yellowknife Dene delivered a paper saying that folks on the front-lines of land, climate and environmental battles in Canada are tired of being told not to be angry; that given the ongoing process of colonization, theft and exploitation, anger is not only a natural response, but the only moral response.

What he hinted at was a resurgent anger. Deep Anger. The type of anger that overturns tables, defends the weak from the strong, would rather die than live on its knees. Most mainstream environmentalists don’t like this kind of language. It means you have to do more than sign a petition. It means you can’t count miniscule corporate concessions as victories. It means you have to let yourself unravel a bit.

In our culture, anger is seen as impolite, brutish, violent and indulgent … but Deep Anger is a form of empathy, care, even love.

Deep Anger: We Need to Rediscovering Something We Lost Along the Way | Darren Fleet • Stefanie Krasnow