RICHARD: [..] the very reason, the underlying cause, for the existence of anger amongst the whole suite of affective feelings was the basic resentment at having to be alive in the first place (as expressed in popular phrases such as ‘I didn’t ask to be born!’ and ‘Life’s a bitch and then you die!’ and so forth) … whereas the reason, the trigger, for getting angry varied according to a range of situations and circumstances.
Here is what some dictionaries have to say about the word ‘resentment’:
- ‘resentment: an indignant sense of injury or insult received or perceived, a sense of grievance; (a feeling of) ill will, bitterness, or anger against a person or thing; spec. a negative attitude towards society or authority arising, often unconsciously, from aggressive envy and hostility, frustrated by a feeling of inferiority or impotence’. (Oxford Dictionary).
- ‘resentment: a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury [offence implies hurt displeasure; resentment suggests a longer lasting indignation or smouldering ill will]’. (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary).
- ‘resentment: indignation [righteous anger at something wrongful, unjust, or evil] or ill will felt as a result of a real or imagined grievance; indignant smouldering anger generated by a sense of grievance’.
[Richard]: ‘Speaking personally, the first thing I did in 1981 was to put an end to anger once and for all … then I was freed enough to live in virtual freedom. It took me about three weeks and I have never experienced anger 1 since then. The first step was to say ‘YES’ to being here on earth, for I located and identified that basic resentment that all people that I have spoken to have. To wit: ‘I didn’t ask to be born!’ This is why remembering a PCE is so important for success for it shows one, first hand, that freedom is already always here … now. With the memory of that crystal-clear perfection held firmly in mind … that basic resentment goes. Then it is a relatively easy task to eliminate anger forever. One does this by neither expressing or repressing anger when an event happens that would previously trigger an outbreak. Anger is thus put into a bind … and the third alternative hoves into view’.
RICHARD: [..] that basic resentment, the fundamental grievance, will dog every best effort otherwise and render all endeavour useless. http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-happy.htm
RESPONDENT: …[the basic concerns underlying the distinction above are valid], but the feeling of aversion to the idea of feeling-good-for-its-own-sake is not.
RICHARD: Okay then … generally speaking, an ‘aversion’ to be going about one’s everyday/ workaday life with a general feeling of well-being (a.k.a. ‘feeling good’), for the remainder of one’s life, stems from a basic resentment at being alive – of being in the sublunar realm as a sensitive, affective and cognitive human being with people as-they-are in the world as-it-is – as is epitomised by such expressive plaints as ‘I didn’t ask to be born’ or ‘It’s all just a sick joke’ or ‘Life’s a bitch with death at the end’ and so on.
Furthermore, for such a sensitive, affective and cognitive human being who is also at all thoughtful about life, the universe and what it is to be living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are, any such idea of ‘feeling-good-for-its-own-sake’ ̶ let alone enjoying and appreciating being able to experience that general feeling of well-being (as in, an engaged relishing of feeling good and, thus, intimately approving being alive/ being here, by virtue of that personal delectation of ‘feeling good’ per se) as well – is a betrayal of all what they fervently hold intellectually dear, about the world in general and the human race in particular, as for them life itself is, essentially, a bum rap (an unjust punishment) when all is said and done.
It is pertinent to note, at this point, that the root cause of sorrow – and, hence, malice (e.g., the ‘basic resentment’ above) – is being forever locked-out of paradise.
The ‘unjust punishment’ component (or some such similar ‘unfair’ and/or ‘inequitable’ grievance) stems from an inchoate primeval feeling of having been somehow disenfranchised from a fabulous pre-historic ‘golden age’ (e.g., the ‘Garden of Eden’ theme) posited, via variations of a ‘Status Gratiae’ style supposition, upon a numinous/ pre-sinful ‘innocence’ – or even from similarly fabulated prepubescent ‘golden years’ (e.g., the ‘Glimpses of a Golden Childhood’ theme) posited, via variations of a ‘Tabula Rasa’ style supposition, upon a juvenile/ pre-sexual ‘innocence’ – which presupposes there really is a lost ‘innocence’ to be regained.
Yet innocence as a liveable actuality – an actual innocence (not the pseudo-innocence of those ‘State of Grace’ and ‘Blank Slate’ fabulations above) in other words – is entirely new to human experience/ human history.
VINEETO: When I applied the actualism method – being attentive to how I experience each moment of being alive with the intent of being happy and considerate towards others – one of the first obstacles I discovered was my basic resentment of being here as in ‘I wasn’t asked to be born’ and ‘the world is not how I want it to be’ and ‘people don’t behave as I want them to behave’ 2 . This basic resentment was like a bad habit that continuously spoiled my enjoyment of whatever I was doing and interfered with my being in harmony with whomever I met and interacted with – both at work 🏢 and at home 🏠.
Once I recognized the silliness of this bad habit it was fairly easy to prevent it from reoccurring by applying an ongoing attentiveness as to how I was feeling each moment again. By doing so, I discovered that this basic resentment towards being here had various branches – one of them was that in most cases people, including me, have to work 🏢 for their livelihood. Once I stopped resenting the fact that I have to trade some of my time and expertise in exchange for tokens, which I then use for buying food, clothes, shelter and toys, my whole attitude towards and experience of work began to change. Not only is food a requisite, it is also a pleasure, not only are clothes a requisite, they provide warmth and comfort, not only is shelter a requisite, it provides comfort, cosiness and convenience and any money left over after purchasing necessities can purchase what toys I find interesting from the increasingly inexpensive and ever-widening array of adult toys.
With the intent of being as happy and harmless as humanly possible the nature of the task at hand became obvious – work 🏢, i.e. the time and expertise sold in exchange for tokens, not only needs to benefit those I offer it to but it also needs to be enjoyable for me in order to achieve a win-win situation for all participants in the game.
I don’t need to be ‘nurturing’ towards others, as you describe it, because I no longer need to rely on such fickle feelings to cover up or bandage over the underlying resentment I used to feel towards others – on the contrary I am in an excellent mood every day and I actually care for the wellbeing of those for whom I work and for those I work with and almost always enjoy their company while we work together. I don’t need to love them because I am not hostile or resentful towards them nor do I need to be loved by them because I am not down on myself, I enjoy what I do and I care that they get the best for the amount of time they bought. They are above all – not after all – my fellow human beings.
To put it succinctly – the basic feeling of resentment is replaced by joie the vivre and fellowship regard feelings of ‘nurturing’ or caring are replaced by actual caring for one’s fellow human beings.
The other benefit of actualism in regards to work 🏢 was that I began to be able to sensibly assess my needs rather than be driven by senseless desires in order to be able to sell less time for livelihood and toys and have more free time to do with as I choose.
VINEETO: [..] When I first became aware, really aware, about the enormous resentment I had about being here, all the little and big ‘buts’ that I normally came up with when complaining about life on this wonderful planet, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was astounded that this overall seemingly all-encompassing feeling about each and everything I encountered had such a simple label. When I applied its label it turned into something about which I was able to make a choice – to feel resentment or not to feel resentment. It really is as simple as that. At that moment when I dropped all of my resentment in one go, just for this moment in time, it was as if a veil opened and I could see the world as it actually is, in all its beneficial splendour – with the sole exception of passionate human beings fighting and killing each other … and the only thing I can do about it is stop being driven by my own instinctual passions and stop being part of humanity altogether.
PETER: [..] What I see in the human condition, and have discovered operating in ‘me’ and as ‘me’, is a basic feeling of resentment intrinsic to being a human being. This base-line feeling is what fuels much of the resentment against other individuals, groups, tribes or countries who are seen to be, or who are, more powerful, more wealthy, more fortunate, and so on. Many seek to counteract their feelings of resentment with the antidotal feeling of self-righteousness whereby they aspire to feeling ‘above’ the ‘ignorant’ behaviour of others, whilst many others seek solace in feeling grateful to their own personal protector-God.
To take a moral or ethical ‘position’ is to maintain a cycle of righteous anger and bitter resentment that we see played out on the international stage as righteous wars and wars of retribution. An actualist has to get beyond this societal conditioning to have any chance of becoming happy and harmless.
PETER: [..] an essential first step is to take a long look at one’s own deeply-ingrained resentment at being born and having to be here. If one cares to break this habit of feeling resentful – and avoid the traditional antidotal trap of feeling gratitude to Someone or Something – the fact that one no longer feels resentful for being here disempowers the very driving force for one’s resentfulness towards one’s fellow human beings together with feelings such as anger, pity, jealousy and envy. The accompanying essential step is to stop focussing one’s attention on how you perceive, as in intuitively feel, others to be and to start paying exclusive attention to the only person whose feelings, intentions, sincerity and integrity you can know for certain – ‘me’.
Now the difficulty in actually doing either of these things is that both of them run contrary to the human condition – resentment at having to be here is par for the course within the human condition as is the ongoing obsession with intuiting or interpreting the feelings and motivations of one’s fellow human beings, and not only those human beings we actually get to meet or communicate with directly but also those we have never ever met, based on the by-and-large biased reports of yet others.
But then again that’s the challenge intrinsic to the process of actualism – to do something radically different to what everyone else has been biologically programmed to do and socially conditioned to think and feel, to be sensible in that one obeys the laws and conforms to societal protocols yet be a rebel in that one devotes one’s life to not only breaking free from the crowd but to become actually free of the human condition itself.
RICHARD: P.S.: For what it is worth: a true rebel wears their motorbike helmet (for instance) without any protest/ without any resentment whatsoever.
RICHARD: Please note this does not imply anger was extinguished (as that requires the ending of the instinctual passions via the extinction of the feeling-being formed thereof) but, rather, that anger as such never featured thereafter – never arose again – for the remainder of ‘his’ life. Concomitantly, hatred similarly disappeared out of ‘his’ day-to-day living as well although ‘he’ did not notice this until maybe six-to-eight weeks later when in a discussion ‘his’ then-wife raised on the topic. In fact, the feeling of hate was so far removed from ‘his’ everyday life ‘he’ could not remember too well what it felt like (in the aforementioned discussion with ‘his’ then-wife ‘he’ somewhat hesitantly recollected hatred as feeling ‘cold’ but she was adamant it was a ‘hot’ feeling).