An Experiment in Anger: First Results
I felt as if I had overlaid a filter of irrationality upon every aspect of my experience. I knew I could undo it in the blink of an eye, and it grieved me to think that there are many people who go through their lives wearing this filter, their minds poisoned by thoughts they learned so long ago they don’t realize they’re unnecessary. (I want to make clear that my former behavior and worldview were not this unhealthy; what I achieved today was a distillation of one mode of feeling. I was repeating over and over, in every moment, a feeling I would only have had intermittently in real life.)
I tried to sense, inside myself, how authentic these feelings of irritable anger were, and to my relief I sensed that I had to work at them; they were an act, though a convincing one based in remembered experience.
Driving home in the other direction, it was the easiest thing in the world to drop the angry pose and to feel once again the calm and optimism that has dominated my state of mind lately. The angry state of those few miles seemed ridiculous, valueless, artificial, alien, and obsolete. I couldn’t imagine why I would want to feel that way.