Tuesday, 19 January 2010

On Rage


I find myself strangely reluctant to write this morning.

It is my habit to treat this blog as a sort of annex to my dream journal, as well as a hit-and-miss chronicle of things going on in my life. I never think about what I'm going to write: when I have a moment, and a computer connected to the internet,I sit down and type some stuff. It comes from my fingers, often bypassing my neocortex on its way to the electronic page.Strange, that.

Well,at this time I find myself ruminating on rage - my rage specifically, and the rage of the human animal in general.

Yesterday, in the course of conversation on the smokers' balcony, I admitted that , although I had never consciously tried to kill myself (subconsciously, it's a different matter), I had no problem with seeing myself as a potential homicidal maniac.

My first recollection of rage happened when I was four or five years old. The emotion was so strong that I can taste it vividly even now. The little girl next door was my object. I have no idea what she had done to provoke my murderous reaction - possibly nothing at all - but I was in the grip of an overwhelming desire to hurt her very badly indeed. I picked up a rock and flung it at her.

This rage has visited me on and off for the rest of my fifty years of life in this incarnation. And I find myself wondering where the hel it came from. That a five year old was able to feel such a complete and devastating anger is a little bit puzzling. I was certainly not an abused child - unless you count having scientists for parents a form of abuse, and I do not - and I am left with questions. Is this something hard wired in some of us, or in all of us? I don't remember feeling the more positive emotions - love, joy, compassion - at that age. Only rage.

Is it a trick of my genetic inheritance which caused the sharp, sour, overwashing to possess me when I was hardly of an age to have cause to react so violently? Or is it something we all carry?

I have asked my ancestors for help in tracing this back - and this may explain my reluctance today to comment on it at all. In the last few years, I have worked with -not on - my rage with some success. It's no longer a tight dense ball inside me waiting to hurl itself at some hapless target. Rather it is dispersed among my earthly body now, rendered a little less harmful, a little more amenable to reason. Like all my demons, it is a part of me.

Perhaps, like love and compassion and joy, it has some inherent evolutionary use which I have just to discover, and understand. But it's a conundrum at this stage.
Yet I have every hope that my grokking of it may prove fruitful,and I think that I may yet be able to put it to good use.