The future appears to be global, and if we want to thrive there, the concept of "pure evil" has to be discarded. As fuel for hostility, nothing is more combustible. After 9/11, angry mobs massing in Baghdad against the U.S. weren't just seen as unemployed young Arab males — they became symbols of unrepentant hatred, while jihadists became evil monsters with no regard for innocent lives. The more evil we projected onto "them," the aliens threatening our safety, the less human they became. If the future becomes global, however, projections of pure evil have no breathing room anymore. Everyone is becoming our neighbor, and with the dissolving of borders, everyone must be seen as human, however angry and extreme their actions.
I think the loosening grip of the Satan myth is a touchstone for change. Two weeks ago I participated in a televised debate on the existence of Satan. Some speakers were still firmly holding on to the traditional image of Satan as a supernatural demigod, rival to the real God, arch enemy of human happiness, and at the most basic level, a personage one can meet face-to-face. Yet whenever I or someone else on my side of the debate suggested otherwise — that evil is rooted in human behavior, that foisting evil off on a mythical figure was a copout from taking responsibility for our own bad impulses — there were positive reactions from the audience.
This and many other signs indicate that Satan is on the wane. We are in the aftermath of the age of faith; church attendance has been steadily declining in the U.S. and Europe for decades. As part of this religious waning, Satan has also declined. So much so that it's hard to remember a time when educated, free-thinking people reserved at least a tiny, secret corner where belief in Satan — or pure evil — resided.
More importantly, a positive kind of spirituality has arisen that doesn't need Satan. He is necessary in the battle for souls that pits good against evil in the scheme of Christianity. Without the threat of damnation, the incentive for salvation is severely weakened. But many cultures have had no need for absolute evil, including the Greeks, Romans, Hindus, and Buddhists. Quite often these cultures had supernatural explanations for bad events (e.g., demons, imps, mischievous and capricious gods), and it is almost universally believed that the afterlife will be different for evildoers and the virtuous. An innate sense of fairness makes it hard to think that wrongdoing doesn't eventually arrive at a just punishment. But millions of people who reject religion or pay it almost no attention lead perfectly well-adjusted lives without the threat of Satan hanging over them.
Of course, there were still some boos when I called Satan a primitive aspect of human belief, tearful pleas for me to come into the light, and even not so veiled suggestions that I was doing the Devil's work. I came away from the debate saddened by the testimonials from fervent believers who claimed to have met the Devil personally or to have barely escaped the fires of damnation. But Satan has lost a lot of his mojo nonetheless. In an age where serial killers are labeled as psychopaths rather than agents of sin, we can examine contributing factors like child abuse, peer pressure, mental disorders, impaired brain function, and other things that fall under the rubric of sick rather than evil. The study of psychology, long rooted in aberrant behavior and neurosis, is itself shifting. The new field of positive psychology has begun to establish what makes people happy instead of what makes them unhappy. This is an important distinction, because instead of being one step away from divine punishment — as everyone must be if all are sinners — we could be one step away from the happiness that is our birthright. In the aftermath of Satan, the expansion of well-being promises to replace the eternal battle between good and evil, which only served to make evil more powerful than it has any right to be.
10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.
What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.
There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:
1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.
2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.
3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.
4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”
Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:
- 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.
- 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.
- 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.
- 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.
- 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.
- 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.
- 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.
- 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.
- 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”
- 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order t...
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