THE PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF ANGER.
How Mental Action Causes Disease.
The mental state commonly known as anger forcibly illustrates the line of action in which mind produces physical results.
The English word Anger is derived from the Latin angor, which means "Compression of the neck; strangling; from angere, to press together; to choke, especially of the mind; to torture; to vex." Anger is a passionate emotion of the mind. It is expressed in various degrees of intensity, ranging from slight fear of loss or other harm because of supposed injustice, to the most furious degree of rage, based upon imaginary hatred of another.
Hatred is a false element which possesses no genuine quality and is destitute of principle. Rage, when forced to its final limits, ends in impotence; this proves its native nothingness.
Anger has no harmonious modes of action. It originates on the lower plane of senseexistence, and is brutal in its nature. Definite physical conditions invariably follow the mental act. To test this statement, analyze both the mental and physical conditions of an angry person and note the correspondence existing between the two.
In cases of extreme anger, the eyes violently snap in discord, the jaws are set and the teeth grind together expressing the thought of destruction indulged in mind. The hands clench and the fingers clutch convulsively, evincing an inclination to destroy the object of supposed hatred. All muscles are tense, strained and abnormal, while their action is acute in nature, angular in character, destructive in intention and tendency. Every faculty and every function is distorted.
Under the influence of anger the action of the heart is also seriously disturbed. It beats in convulsive throbbings, forcing destructive modes of motion upon the blood corpuscles, which modes in turn are conveyed to every vital organ. The face either flushes or pales, as blood is forced to the surface or withdrawn to the internal organs in congestion. Digestive processes are instantly checked, and do not proceed until natural circulation of the blood is tO restored. The kidneys secrete acids generated by the destruction of natural blood corpuscles; these acids bear direct correspondence to the false and destructive character of vengeful thoughts.
The lungs contract unnaturally and move in spasmodic gasps, in which every breathing function is either paralyzed or distorted, resulting in serious interference with respiration. In healthy action the lungs perform the final process of digestion by oxygenation of the digested food before it passes into the blood for use in building new tissue. During healthy activity, which proceeds naturally from harmonious thought, an abundance of pure oxygen is extracted from the air inhaled and perfect digestion ensues; but, during the inverted action which results from indulgence of angry thought, oxygen is discarded, while Nitrogen is generated and retained beyond its normal proportion; thus interfering with the most important part of the process of digestion and assimilation, to the future detriment of every organ and function of the physical system. If a state of angry feeling or ill temper be allowed to become chronic, a similar disturbance of some or all of the vital, digestive, secretive and excretive organs and functions ensues. Disease of all kinds is generated spontaneously under these inharmonious conditions.
While responding to angry influence every muscle of the body is under tension, and drawn to some extent out of its natural position. If anger be continued, muscular tension persists, followed by chronic contraction, with or without painful sensation, according to circumstances. Muscular rheumatism is frequently generated in this manner. Any line of mental action which places the muscles under continuous tension may result in some form of muscular rheumatism. Flight frequently becomes an active cause of acute rheumatism, which will assume muscular forms if the reflected mental action places the muscles under tension; or inflammatory forms if the picture carries in its activity the element of burning, as in a mental picture of flames or any intensely inflammatory thought. The details of the symptoms vary with the different causes, but the principles involved are identical.
Under the influence of anger, the spasmodic muscular distortions of the heart produce violent valvular agitation, which is the exact representation of some forms of action in cases of valvular disease of the heart. If the disturbing cause be perpetuated, the valves continue to register the wrong action until it finally becomes a fixed habit, and some form of valvular disease becomes established. The first' physical stage of this disease is functional, but if not arrested it finally develops to organic.
All forms of heart disease, including rheumatism of the heart, are caused by certain modes of mental action, generated by anger, fear, or some other abnormal emotion. The final symptoms are the direct result of the particular form of action established and continued, let the cause of that action be what it may. In the final analysis of Anger we always find Fear as its foundation. These two emotions are closely allied.
The direct action of the heart upon the blood is a point worthy of serious consideration here, because disturbance of the circulation affects all vital organs and interferes with every physical function. Anger, reflected in explosive heart throbs, resembling blows given under impulse of hatred, fires the blood with poison passion, which explodes molecules, destroys blood corpuscles, and decomposes tissue, generating chemical combinations unnatural and injurious to the entire physical structure. If abnormal action of the heart continues a fever may develop, with characteristics corresponding to the nature of the causative mental action, whether it be anger, fear, excitement, worry or grief. All these mental states result in fever under suitable conditions. An abnormal degree of temperature and rate of the pulse are direct physical effects of distorted mental emotion.
Destructive modes of action established in the blood immediately extend to those vital organs which, in their action, respond to the mental faculties that were involved in the wrong thought, and a corresponding disturbance is likely to develop within that organ.
Interference with the natural action of the liver causes the secretion of a poisonous bile which, in character, corresponds exactly to the angry nature of the original cause of the disturbance. Because of direct reaction upon the liver through the blood, malarial symptoms are a common outcome of anger, fear, grief, dread, or protracted worry.
Bilious, typhoid and puerperal fevers frequently follow directly upon some violent outbreak of temper, either on the part of the patient or of some associate.
Fright or great fear, particularly if accompanied by rage, may produce the same result. Fright prepares the way by undermining the nervous forces and weakening resistance, when an experience of anger may precipitate the trouble and determine the particular features of the disease to become established. In this event Fright would be the predisposing cause, and Anger the precipitating cause of the bilious or malarial attack.
Unless counteracted by a change of mental action, acids generated in the blood through chemical decomposition eventually destroy the natural secretive powers of the kidneys, which results in muscular degeneration, and develops kidney diseases as the ultimate of destructive action. Extreme fright and protracted worry also frequently produce this result.
The physical action established while yielding to angry impulse is a natural outcome of the thought indulged, while the corresponding disease is the immediate result of the particular thoughtaction. The mental condition is registered and reenacted in the nervous system, producing its perfect copy in this as in other phases of human existence. The Body does not make the mind angry, but the Mind causes the body to reenact the morbid state generated by wrong thought.
It is imperative that distorted thought should pass away before the body can cease to register and express distorted action. Attempt to remedy the bodily conditions first is not only a waste of effort, but, if persisted in, may result disastrously.
The disease caused by anger is a physical condition resulting from a previously established mental state. What is the right remedy? In a cure of the bodily condition the muscles must relax, the jaws loosen, the eyes become quiet, and again express kindly thoughts; natural color should return to the face, and the agitated, trembling, nervous system once more become tranquil. How shall we proceed to bring about these results? Shall we rub the tense muscles with oil or with liniment to loosen them, pry open the set jaws and lubricate their joints, or sever a muscle in the eye to stop its angry snap? Shall we put some drug in the stomach to complete the destruction of blood corpuscles, when the disturbance is already as great as the system can bear, or paralyze the heart to arrest its spasmodic movements? "Ridiculous ! "is probably the exclamation of many who read these questions; yet corresponding acts are performed every day in cases of illness where the mental cause is equally evident, and would be readily recognized if the actual state of mind was duly considered. The proper cure for every Case of this kind in any stage of its development lies not in treating physical results but in reestablishing correct mental action.
How, then, may a mental remedy be applied? In the simplest form some quiet words should be spoken in a pleasant manner, and in a tone of voice as nearly opposite in character to the morbid state of mind as possible. Frequently under such influence the mental state soon changes, the anger begins to fade, the eye quiets, the muscles relax, the set jaws resume their natural position, the heart ceases to throb and gradually resumes its normal action, the rate of the pulse is reduced, color returns to the surface of the skin, and natural action eventually results in every part of the body. Why? Because Anger has ceased in mind, and there is no longer any element present to control the body through discord. The natural force of Love and attraction is allowed to resume its harmonious sway. The physical organs are obliged to respond to the natural action now reestablished in mind - they have no choice in the matter.
If, however, after due persuasion, quiet words are not heeded and angry thought still continues, then Metaphysical Influence may be directly applied, accomplishing what nothing else can. Silently that disturbed mind may be reached by thoughts of calm, which, through the natural laws of mutual attraction, will compel it to listen and to cease its useless controversy.
In metaphysical treatment the mind is reached on the spiritual plane of Intelligence, where the attraction of love for all humanity prevails, in perfect sympathy with every troubled soul, and where anger is forever unknown. The angry person was acting on the sensation plane, that of selfwill, where thought is temporarily brutalized in selfish act. Because of the repellent nature of this kind of thought, he impulsively resists every effort to approach him consciously, with an idea different from his present indulgence, if it be expressed in spoken words; but when Intelligence is appealed to in silent thought above the brutewill plane, his higher nature responds; he ceases angry thought, and the good result is already accomplished.
The opinion is commonly expressed that the result of anger is only a temporary condition of discord in body - not a settled physical disease. The reply is: Anger is a mental condition of - the literal rootmeaning of the word disease, - and if allowed to continue, it settles into a chronic mental state, capable of developing to any degree of intensity. Through the natural correspondence of physical condition with mental activity, a definite form of disease is thereby established in the body. This disease is mental in nature as well as in origin; therefore the most natural cure would seem to be the removal from mind of the thought of hatred, anger, fear, terror, or any mental discord which generated the wrong physical action from which the disease emanated. Experience proves that when this is accom plished the disease immediately begins to decrease, as when steam is shut off from an engine the machinery instantly begins to reduce speed and will eventually stop for want of motive power.
Fear is a painful mental emotion.
Anger is a passionate mental discord.
Disease is a conscious morbid distress.
Mind is a necessary factor in emotion, passion or consciousness; therefore, fear, anger and disease can not originate apart from mind or without mental action.
Disease may originate without conscious recognition of its accompanying mental action; but if mind be entirely absent it does not even begin to develop. If there is no thought, there can be no disease.
Mind is matter's motive power; Thought, its active impulse.