Few emotions are as pure as rage. We love; we grieve; we fear; we worry; we rejoice. Seldom do we act decisively on these emotions, preferring to behave tentatively, quietly, or subtly. But when we rage, we often feel totally self-righteous. Never is the temptation to let our emotions loose on another human being so strong as when we are steamingly, overwhelmingly enraged.
Rage has many different inflections, too: outrage; simmering, slow-boil level righteous anger; the desire, simply, to squash that which you hate.
Rage is a popular posture among those who are interested in social justice. "Rage Against the Machine," anyone? They make great music, but is rage the most effective emotion to cultivate if you're interested in busting the cultural elite?
No emotion eats you up faster. In traditional Chinese medicine, anger is thought to deplete the energy of the liver. Chronic ragers are prime candidates for liver disease, and by extension, nervous system disorders like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, since the liver governs the nervous system. Anger is one of the traditional Chinese Seven Deadly Emotions, as it is one of the traditional Western Seven Deadly Sins, where it appears under the guise of Wrath.
|"Wrath," from the Seven Deadly Sins Series by Katie Szadziewska|
I am Wrath. I had neither father nor mother: I leapt out of a lion's mouth when I was scarce an hour old; and ever since have run up and down the world with this case of rapiers, wounding myself when I could get none to fight withal. I was born in hell; and look to it, for some of you shall be my father.
|Anger / Wrath, by Jacques Callot, c. 1620|