Pythagoras is not saying to repress it – no enlightened person can ever say to repress it. He is saying to transcend it, go beyond it. Transcendence is a totally different process. In transcendence you don’t repress anger and you don’t express it either. You know only two ways to deal with anger: expression, repression. And the real way to deal with it is neither. It is not expression, because if you express anger you create anger in the other; then it becomes a chain…then the other expresses it, then again you are provoked. .. then where is it going to end? And the more you express, the more it becomes a habit, a mechanical habit. And the more you express it, the more you are practicing it! It will be difficult for you to get out of it.
Out of this fear, repression arose: don’t express, because it brings great misery to you, to others – and to no point. It makes you ugly, it creates ugly situations in life, and then you have to pay for all that. And, slowly slowly, it becomes such a habit that it becomes your second nature.
Out of the fear of expression, repression arose. But if you repress, you are accumulating the poison. It is bound to explode.
The third approach, the approach of all the enlightened people of the world, is neither to express nor repress, but watch. When anger arises, sit silently, let the anger surround you in your inner world, let the cloud surround you, be a silent watcher. see…this is anger.
Buddha has said to his disciples: When anger arises, listen to it, listen to its message. And remember again and again, going on telling yourself: Anger, anger…. Keep alert, don’t fall asleep. Keep alert that anger is surrounding you. You are not it! You are the watcher of it. And that is where the key is.
Slowly slowly, watching, you become so separate from it that it cannot affect you. And you become so detached from it and so aloof and so cool and so far away, and the distance is such that it doesn’t seem to matter at all. In fact, you will start laughing at all the ridiculous things that you have been doing in the past – because of this anger. It is not you. It is there, outside you. It is surrounding you. But the moment you are disidentified from it, you will not pour your energy into it.
Remember, we pour our energy into anger, then only does it become vital. It has no energy of its own; it depends on our cooperation. In watching, the cooperation is broken; you are no more supporting it. It will be there, for a few moments, a few minutes, and then it will be gone. Finding no roots in you, finding you unavailable, seeing that you are far away, a watcher on the hills, it will dissipate, it will disappear. And that disappearance is beautiful. That disappearance is a great experience.
Seeing the anger disappear, great serenity arises: the silence that follows the storm. You will be surprised that each time anger arises and if you can watch, you will fall into such tranquillity as you have not known before. You will fall into such deep meditation…when the anger disappears you will see yourself so fresh, so young, so innocent, as you have never known yourself. Then you will be thankful even to anger; you will not be angry at it – because it has given you a new beautiful space to live in, a new utterly fresh experience to go through. You have used it, you have made a stepping-stone out of it.
This is the creative use of the negative emotions. That’s what Pythagoras means.
Remember, language goes on changing.