I’d make a lousy Buddhist. In theory, I am very much in favor of acceptance, patience and tolerance and all the other higher level teachings espoused by the teaching of Buddha. In reality, none of these attributes come naturally to me. I’ve always said the hardest word in history for me are “Thy will be done” and I think there is something to be said for not accepting everything life hands you. I like a good fight and being impatient and getting more than a little pissed off is something I do very well.
If feelings are the windows to your soul, passion is the front freaking door. “Are you coming from spirit?” Hell yes, my spirit is pissed off! In terms of creativity, it takes passion to become a successful artist, hell, it takes passion to become a successful anything! Anger, impatience and all the other “negative” emotions are not wrong by themselves, your choice of how you handle them makes the difference between being perceived poorly by others.
That’s the thing, isn’t it? You might know that your anger blows over and is forgotten minutes later, but everyone else doesn’t. Besides the fact that you might never be able to take back things you say in anger, not being in control of your emotions can label you as unprofessional or just a plain old jerk. Nobody wants to be labeled a jerk, so we learn to control ourselves and keep our extreme emotions inside.
The trouble is, once you put all the fire of passion out, there might be no way to light it up again and that’s my problem with the Buddhist approach to life. If you eliminate all the negative emotions you inevitably must eliminate all emotions and you become a robot. We have enough computers, passion is part of the human experience and denying passion is taking a pass on being human.
And, if you are wondering why artists are wrapped a little tightly, it could be because they are feeling that passion and letting it drive their work. And the next time you want to cry, scream or explode, give it a shot. Buddha will just have to get over it!