I called somebody a "stupid fucking asshole" on the way to yoga class this morning...there in the middle of the street--him in his car that had careened in front of me, shaking with indignation, yelling, acting like he was gonna run into me on purpose, though I'd had the right of way...men, women, and children standing passively at the bus stop on the corner as I unleashed my invective, yoga mat slung over one shoulder.
Probably not the best example of loving kindness. Then, that well of rage, so easily tapped, might have something do with why I go to yoga class in the first place.
Joe Strummer sang
Let fury have the hour
Anger can be power
Know that you can use it
And that's true, up to a point, even if the number of oppressive regimes overthrown by punk rock seems to be securely locked at zero. I've been known to rage against people with positive attitudes, though it's generally only those who desperately want to have positive attitudes that are the problem; y'know, people who say "keep your bullshit negative attitudes away from me," without the least hint of irony. Smiling organic types who, if you're suffering, will tell you it's just your own bad karma, all your own fault for putting out negative energy--as if anything could be more negative than substituting rejection and judgement for kindness and empathy. Then, who knows, maybe all those people in Darfur need is just a good New Age seminar.
An American Tibetan Buddhist nun named Pema Chodron (yeah, I’m at least as dubious as you are about Westerners who become Buddhist nuns and change their names, though, as far as I know, she didn't drop nearly as much acid as Richard Alpert did before he became Ram Dass) (not that there’d be anything wrong with that if she had) wrote this about a Zen teacher named Bernard Glassman who works with the homeless: “he feels that moving into the areas of society that he had rejected is the same as working with the parts of himself that he had rejected.” Could it be that all self-righteousness is, in essence, a refusal to accept what we see in the mirror?