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Anger, which, far sweeter than trickling drops of honey, rises in the bosom of a man like smoke. – Homer, The Iliad, XVIII, 108.
Quamlibet infirmas adjuvat ira manus. “Anger assists hands however weak.” – Ovid, Amorum (16 BC), I. 7. 66.
In the beginning, there was Rage.
If you follow the Abrahamic religions, it took a grand total of about four people (in reality, there were more apparently) to exist for rage to take hold of a man’s heart and bring him to killing.
If you follow the Norse like me, our very world was born of anger and violence, when Odin, Vili, and Vi slew the Jotun Ymir and made Midgard/Earth out of the corpse.
My own journey, began with Wrath.
Yet, despite the fact that Wrath is one of the most primal, basic, and useful of human emotions and drives, it his much maligned and misunderstood. It is looked down upon as evil, its products as horrible, is uses as monstrous.
Perhaps most insultingly, is the insistence that Anger comes from Fear. That anger is the mark of the weak and the stupid. That wrath must be done away with.
It is true, Anger often follows Fear, but it doesn’t come from it. Anger, at it’s core, is explosive power. We get angry so that we feel strong, and in being strong can crush that with threatens us. But it is not fear that drives us, but the power.
Anger truly has been a driving force in history. It has toppled kingdoms, lifted up kings, changed the very face of the planet. It has led to the inhalation of people and led to the salvation of those same people.
Anger is also an amazing force for transmuting one’s self. It is, truly, perhaps the most dangerous path, and those caught in it’s cycle of transformation often fail and become twisted horrors. Even those that make it successfully through are not unmarked by their time in the pits of darkest rage. They become beings flooded with power, and are frightening to behold.
I think this is truly why people are so against anger. They fear the transformations it can bring. They, being weak, fear being made strong. They fear failing and becoming monsters, not realizing that they are already made monsters. And they fear most of all that the strong will rise above and rule them. So they seek ever to destroy a path to power, lest it lead them away from their herd or allow their herd to be controlled.
Wrath is destruction, and it is is the virtue of destruction. Life cannot exist without death, and wrath brings death. But it cleanses as well. After grief comes anger. It burns away the dead so that new life can grow. But people fear destruction, mistrust it, because they might be the ones destroyed. So the vilify it, and say it is wrong.
But I say unto you that destruction is not wrong. Indeed, we have too long turned away from it while the rest of the world has embraced it. They keep to the virtue of Wrath. It is time we once more embrace it as well, if we are to have any hope of survival.