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I used to think that anger was a tool, a means of accomplishing something that no other emotion could take care of. I could use my anger even to combat the hatred of prejudice and discrimination. I could use my anger to bring people together, to make them understand my point, to win them over, to change the world. Anger could cure everything. Because I was filled with it, just like any red-blooded hardcore kid was. Filled with rage and anger at the way the world was, at the way people were oppressed, how so many animals were needlessly slaughtered and forests full of trees were leveled for the all mighty dollar. I was angry. And with what I thought was good reason.

Stepping back, I noticed one very important thing. My anger was not very different from the anger responsible for all these things I was against. The same hatred that spawned racial hatred towards blacks, for example, was the same hatred I shot back to the white supremists. Suddenly, I could draw parallels: the hatred and anger displayed by countless immoral organizations and people was simply being mirrored and returned by me. Their hate was affecting me and causing me to have the same symptoms and emotions as they were. I was sickened. There had to be something more to my philosophy than just the mirroring of hate. But everywhere I looked in the scene, in our little punk rock community, I saw this hatred. Seemingly warranted, but hopelessly misguided and very quickly dumbing us down.

It then came to me that we can not defeat hate and anger by automatically responding with the same hate and anger. It was clear that these problems we hated so much were, even at their roots, evil and immoral. They were based on bodily designations (bias against sex, race, sexuality, species, etc.) and a materialistic nature (the greed to consume, the lust for money and power, the idea that we could destroy anything we wanted). Such things are spawned by hate.

Henry David Thoreau once wrote, "In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita." And so do I. I have found an unlimited storehouse of knowledge within its pages. Insights beyond typical, mundane, so-called insight. From this book I draw my conclusions on hate.

"While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises. From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool." Bg. 2.62 - 63.

Basically, we hate because we are envious of others, and from that hate, we become unintelligent and materialistic. We become just like those we stand in opposition to. So in essence, to paraphrase Iconoclast, we are what we despise.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Instead of acting out of anger and hatred, we must act out of intelligence. We have to understand precisely why some people hate other people, and combat that not with anger and hate but with steadfast and persuasive anti-materialistic intelligence. To know that we are all indeed equal on a level above the bodily, materialistic platform (the material pool). With this knowledge and understanding we will finally overcome their hatred and anger.

Anger is their tool they use to defeat us. Our tool is an intelligent philosophy. For me, that philosophy was found in the Bhagavad-Gita. It is the first step to true understanding and the ability to let go of all of our hate and anger. It is the first step to really living.

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