Full Moon Message

Harmony

Oct 31, 2020

“Harmony is a state of peace and balance, a state free of conflict. Harmony nurtures growth. When harmony is present, no harm is done.

I would like focus on one thing that often disrupts harmony – anger, in particular anger in reaction to injustice.

When facing injustice, is anger necessary for the change we wish to instigate? Many people believe that without anger, there will not be enough momentum to raise the awareness of the issue and drive the change. They believe that anger is, therefore, the necessary first step for change. Some people also believe that anger is necessary for self-protection when we are under attack. It turns fear into the strength we need to fight back.

This viewpoint is understandable because, after all, anger is probably the commonest response to injustice, and it seems so natural to respond this way. But is anger really as necessary and natural as first thought?

Let’s look at the causes of anger on three levels:

1) As an instinct of human nature

Like many negative emotions, anger is an instinct. In other words, we are all born with the capacity to feel anger.

2) As a pattern on the behavioral level

The way we grow up will determine whether this instinct will be transformed and transcended or be reinforced. For example, if a child is brought up in a safe and nourishing environment and learns strategies to deal with life without anger, this instinct might gradually die out. However, if a child is brought up in an environment where anger is the usual way to react, this instinct will likely to be reinforced and turn into a pattern.

3) As a result of the patterns of the consciousness

If we look deeper into the reactive pattern of anger, we will see that there are more patterns behind it. In other words, anger itself is the outcome of unhealthy patterns being triggered. Usually, there are many other patterns involved.

The above is probably enough to explain why it feels so natural to be angry. It feels natural when we react with natural instincts. Furthermore, when patterns are at work, interestingly, they can feel just like our natural instincts. This is because, when patterns are at work, we are on autopilot. The consciousness needs very little time to process information, and therefore, reactions are triggered instantly. There is no conscious action for considering the information and contemplating on what options we have in terms of how to respond to it. This is why anger seems to arise immediately as soon as the patterns are triggered. It’s like a reflex action, which can feel so ‘natural’ to us. The experience could also be likened to riding a bicycle, which can feel very natural when we have done it many times and got used to it. We can even say patterns have become our ‘second nature.’

In REN XUE, anger is seen as a negative or unhealthy emotion, not because it is morally wrong, but because it causes all kinds of harm to life. I’m referring to the work of cause and effect, rather than a moral judgment. The harm is the result of a violation of the law of life and the universe. When we live against the law, balance is disrupted, and imbalance will manifest as damage to Qi and life. This is how the law works. So in REN XUE, we don’t condemn or deny anger or any other negative emotions. Neither do we glorify anger as necessary or natural as that not only doesn’t reflect reality but could also give us an avenue to justify anger. We see it for what it is and try to understand it—where it comes from and what it does to life–and we work on it. We recognize anger or any of our unhealthy emotions, and use them as pathways to our deeper self and to find the causes and work on them. So they are important opportunities for growth.

Justice is a moral value concerning being treated in a fair and right way. It can be seen as a quality of the universe because the law of the universe is to promote balance and the ongoing development of everything in the universe. It is, therefore, an inherent quality of human nature. The heart is an important place to manifest human nature, and it does so by manifesting its natural qualities such as the five essential qualities (trust, openness, love, gratitude, and true respect). Justice is closely related to the essential qualities of trust, love, and true respect. The need to realize the social value of justice is deeply rooted in the universe and human nature, especially the heart.

Hopefully, the above can help you understand why we react to injustice with anger. Injustice touches what we hold tight as a core value, so anger can be triggered as an instinct; anger being a reactive pattern can play a part; while many other underlying patterns on the consciousness level, such as fixed expectations and polarized thinking, can also contribute significantly .

So, are there other ways to respond to injustice apart from reacting with anger? For example, can we find ways that will not only avoid the damage caused by anger, but also address the root cause of injustice and create positive changes? Ren Xue proposes wisdom as the overall approach. We use wisdom to 1) transform the instinct of anger, 2) transform unhealthy patterns on both the behavioral and consciousness levels, and 3) to understand the injustice and guide our action to create positive change. This approach is driven by the heart, especially the five essential qualities.

I have personally experienced a lot of anger in response to injustice in my childhood. I grew up in the environment with a lot of anger around, both suppressed and expressed. Life was full of hardships, and I often felt mistreated. I learned to react to the injustice imposed on me with anger. Over time, reactive anger became a pattern, and much of the anger was suppressed. As a child, I didn’t know how to heal the wounds, so when the anger built up to an unbearable level, I had to find a way to vent it. One way was to ‘serve justice’ by ‘disciplining’ the bullies at school in a violent way. Ironically my ‘disciplinary action’ was fairly effective. Shortly after I started, my school was clear of bullying and remained that way during the years I was there. Only when I grew older did I realize that it was wrong to use violence to stop violence and that I did it to soothe the extreme pain I was feeling in myself.

Evidently, this didn’t heal my wounds, nor did it change the pattern of anger. It was when I started to work on the underlying patterns, such as negativity and avoiding and hiding, that I began to heal. It was a relatively slow process until I started to work on my heart and make major breakthroughs in restoring the heart qualities. Trust was regained, and love dispelled the hatred and resentment. The progress on my heart accelerated the progress I experienced on changing unhealthy patterns. Increasingly I was able to follow the wisdom of my True Self and see reality more and more clearly. Anger was finally no longer an issue.

Having gone through this healing process, I came to realize that anger is a form of aggression that harms ourselves and the world and does no one justice. It leads to blame and mostly invites the reaction of anger and fighting back. We can change the world without getting angry. A much better place to come from is our sense of responsibility deriving from compassion and love. To work on anger, it is necessary to heal our own wounds by working on the heart and the unhealthy patterns. When seeing injustice, we have the opportunity to face and transform anger and change the world by using our inner resources, especially the essential qualities of the heart and the wisdom of our True Self.”

Yuan Tze


If you would like to learn more from Yuan Tze about harmony check out our Learn REN XUE website for the Replay of his online workshop on Harmony that was six-part of the Be the Master of Your State workshop series run in 2020.

Read

Yuan Tze’s New Year Message 2024

Dear Ren Xue family, Time continues to flow! The earth has just completed another circle around the sun, bringing us to the start of a new year. 2023 has not been an easy year for the world, and may not have been for many of us. But here we are, reading this message...

Yuan Tze on the Causes of Conflict and How to Move Beyond it

Dear Ren Xue family, I am aware that some of you are having a hard time watching the world going through upheavals. Many people are suffering unimaginable pain and even loss of life. I understand that this is the time we can easily fall into despair and question our...

Yuan Tze on Anger

Harmony is a state of peace and balance, a state free of conflict. Harmony nurtures growth. When harmony is present, no harm is done. I would like to focus on one thing that often disrupts harmony – anger, in particular anger in reaction to injustice. When facing...

Yuan Tze’s New Year Message 2023

Dear Ren Xue family, In this time of celebrating a new beginning, I would like to extend my best wishes to you. Every 365 days, we have this opportunity to start anew. How would you like to make a good start for your 2023? I have a few suggestions here. Firstly,...

What is Jingshen?

The common translation of the word Jingshen is spirit or spirituality. In Ren Xue it refers to the totality of the heart (Xin), consciousness, and True Self (Shen). These three components have close connection with one another and therefore can be seen as a unity....

Watch

Yuan Tze on Money

Take a little longer and watch as Yuan Tze helps us to see more of totality in terms of the role money plays in life.  This is an excerpt from Yuan Tze's 10-day Seeing Your Original Face 2 retreat that took place in France in May 2023, where he focused on two of the...

Who are we protecting? How to truly love and protect your (True)self

In this 28min video Yuan Tze applies how the pattern of Polarized Thinking (right/wrong, good/bad, black/white) can influence the setting of boundaries in life, and helps us to understand the best way to 'protect' ourselves. This is an excerpt from Yuan Tze’s 10-day...

The Pattern of Fixed Expectations

Watch this short video where Yuan Tze talks about the pattern of Fixed Expectations. This is an excerpt from Yuan Tze’s Transforming Patterns for Unconditional Gratitude workshop that took place in 2022, where he spoke about the barriers to experiencing unconditional...

The Importance of Working on Identity

Watch this short video where Yuan Tze helps us to experience what, when we're working on patterns, we should identify with and why it is so important to work on identity and identification when working on patterns.  Join Yuan Tze for his two-part workshop on Identity...

The Pattern of Avoiding & Hiding

Watch this short video where Yuan Tze talks about what's behind the pattern of Avoiding & Hiding. This is an excerpt from Yuan Tze’s Seeing Your Original Face 9-day retreat where he focused on two of the Ten Fundamental Patterns identified by Ren Xue: Avoiding...

Full Moon

Latest Full Moon Message – Identification and Information

Latest Full Moon Message – Identification and Information

Do you remember a time when you felt that there was more to a story than what you were being told? Or when you felt there was a gap between the world you saw and what was portrayed by those around you? These feelings came from a very deep place within yourself, the...

Find Trust in Your Heart

Find Trust in Your Heart

Trust, openness, love, gratitude, and Gongjing (true respect) are natural qualities of the heart. Furthermore, we have the capability of manifesting these qualities without any conditions.That is to say, it is possible not to lose them no matter what happens in life....

The Illusion of Control with Over-Generalization

The Illusion of Control with Over-Generalization

We want to know because the unknown breeds a sense of uncertainty. However, grasping the whole picture is never simple. So human nature has worked out a way to simplify, to make the task of knowing easier, and it is over-generalization. With this handy tool, we can...