05w10:1 Robert Thurman on Anger

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 10 number 1 (Robert Thurman on Anger)

Now that winter is beginning to fade, Renaissance (that is, re-birth) metaphors begin to seem appropriate. In Michael Ignatieff’s speech to last week’s Liberal Convention (upcoming on Goodreads) he spoke of Canada being a ray of light to a gloomy world. The world, immersed in a metaphorical winter of cold hearts, gloomy and dark, seeks the light of a metaphorical summer. But we’re all awash in various forms of anger, anger that’s broken down into a discussion of Us vs. Them, and everyone, always and everywhere, sees themselves united through blood, culture, skin colour, and common dreams into some kind of Us. All the anger in the world towards injustice certainly exists for a reason, but let’s consider how we deal with our anger.
To this end, I want to bring you this link to a conversation between Michael Enright and Robert Thurman, the Buddhist scholar, that aired last month on CBC1’s The Sunday Edition. – Timothy
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Robert Thurman on Anger | The Sunday Edition
http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/media/thurman_se050220.ram
Enright: You say that, especially in the West, that our mythology, our culture, our movies, television, whatever, we valorize anger. Why do we do that?
Thurman:Well, my reasoning there is historical- that we, unfortunately became, especially lately, the past 500 years, we’ve become very addicted socially to militarism. Ever since, in Northern Europe, monasticism was rejected in the Protestant Reformation, and all of human life energy and male life energy was therefore devoted to some form of conquest and aggrandizement, either industrial conquest of resources to develop endless wealth or the physical conquest of other countries, or you know, colonization, imperialism. We became militaristic, like the American ‘superpower’, right, that whole thing. Therefore, a culture that is very dedicated to materialism upholds military virtues. You know, we forget that the Illiad and the Achilles story is a kind of Rambo story and elevate Rambo and Arnold, you know, this kind of Terminator and things like that in the violence of our media, we play football in our colleges, you know team work and crush the enemy. All of this is part of a conditioning to militarism… “
Real Audio file, 27:24 min

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 07 March 2005 @ 8:00 PM

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