Chapter 9: Beginning and End
This is what Lao Tzu is saying about the innermost phenomena of your being. There also the same thing is happening. If you slow down the process you can see: anger is coming, you can see it. Anger has three stages: anger is there first in the seed, in the astral. If you are very alert you can feel the coming of the storm - it has not come, it is knocking at the doors. The knock is very subtle, but it can be heard. You don’t hear it because you are such a crowd within - such noise, chattering, that the subtle noise cannot be heard. But if you become a little silent you will know of anger before it reaches you. Then it can be treated very easily.
The second stage is when the anger has taken possession. Then it is almost impossible to push the force back. In fact you are so much possessed that you are not there to control it. When you are angry you are not, only anger is; your total being is taken possession of. It may be only for a single moment but you lose yourself in it, it envelops you; you do something for which you will repent; but you are helpless, a maniac, a madman.
And then the third stage, when the anger has gone: then everybody becomes aware. When the anger has gone then even the most stupid person becomes aware. Then he repents, tries to find excuses for why he became angry, rationalizes it, tries to go to the other party on whom he has thrown his anger and rubbish, to be pardoned, forgiven - this is the third stage. And people in this third stage always take vows that never again will they be angry. Their vows are absolutely impotent; they are not going to help because they are taken in the third stage when the anger has gone. Then everybody is wise.
You have to be aware when the anger is there. It is difficult to force it back but if you become aware when the anger is there, you will not prove harmful to anybody, you will just watch it, it will evaporate. It is impossible to push it back, it has taken possession; it will harm you but it will not harm anybody else. You will not be angry with anybody else; you will just boil with the anger and let it be released into the vacuum, into the sky.
If you become aware at the second stage only you will be harmed, nobody else. But if you become aware at the first stage before it becomes manifest, even you will not be harmed.
That which is not yet manifest is easy to forestall
That can be stopped immediately. But then you will need very deep sensitivity - and you have become almost dull, you are not sensitive. As I see it, people have lost their sensitivity completely, they are almost totally insensitive. They drag as if in sleep. They do things not knowing why they are doing them. When they have done a thing then theysuddenly become aware: What have I done? Then they try and find excuses because it looks so foolish. Without any excuse, without any cause, why have you done it? And you have done the same thing many times in the past, and you are repeating it again and again.
Ordinarily a man is a robot, an automaton, he repeats the same mistakes again and again. But he is unconscious.