Only From Awareness, Not Anger – Learnings from the movie “The East”


Image source –

The other night I saw the movie “The East” (2013), it stars the handsome Brit Marling, the cutey Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgård of the new Legend of Tarzan fame (he reminded me a lot of younger Bill Pullman). It’s a movie about an operative in a private intelligence firm who infiltrates an anarchist group that believes in covert attacks “green terrorism” upon major corporations. This is not a movie review, this does not contain any spoilers.

So this group is basically formed to counter-attack (literally) the evils of big corporations that don’t care about the environment, the effects on the people, the animals etc. A typical scenario in today’s world and you’d find a lot of documentaries, news media, books, lectures dealing with this. We aren’t here to debate that at all. We are here for Inner Clarity.


It Starts with Pain

Here, the aware people start to see that big corporations are hiding, denying and outright lying about their products, after effects etc. It is fantastic to be aware and one must be, but it is another to get angry, frustrated, etc. and yet another to hit back in some way. The movie’s tagline says “Spy on us, we’ll spy on you” and so are the characters heard saying similar things about hurting, destroying.


Here’s the progression of pain perceived by an individual:

– Use the product, behaviour, emotion which isn’t healthy but one isn’t aware

– Identify that something as dark, evil, causing harm outside

– Reject, deny it, lot of troubling mental upheavals here

– Stop engaging in those activities, products, behaviour

– Make other people aware

– Try to figure out how to make a change

– Positive change or Negative change (depends totally on how one sees and approaches it as per one’s mind/state of consciousness)


Inside Out

Positive change or Negative change, this is the important “personal part” of oneself. Forget about the outside world, look at the inside world first and foremost.

We always focus on the outside and try the “Outside-In” approach, and yet that NEVER really works. Because whatever happens to us in real life isn’t about the outside, but the inside of us. If our life choices are about hate, creating fear, all out of anger, all the while thinking “this is for the greater good”. You are looking at it the wrong way.


Image source – Raluca’s blog (link below)

The outside is only a stimulant, everything else is inside, it rises from the inside. How? Simple. The outside stimulus caused something, at that time what did the inside of you do? A popular story here would demonstrate a lot better.

“It is said that one day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him, saying all kind of rude words.

 The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead, he asked the young man, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”

 The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me because I bought the gift.”

 The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”

A lovely old story and a wonderful reflection by fellow aware blogger Raluca.

Only with Inner Awareness

Ever asked yourself, what does Love bring that anger can’t? Can the same anarchist movement be done with inner awareness and stillness rather than anger and hate? Which is contrary to their belief would bring about only more anger and hate. What’s the point? You are dealing with it on the same scale of hate consciousness rather than rising above it.


Image source – Whatsapp

Rise Above Pain

So the next time you are really angry with something, somebody, hate something really a lot, just cool off first. Breathe deep. And really connect with oneself, talk to oneself, surround oneself with people that think higher, better, give different viewpoints. Embarking on a journey without researching more on inner yourself, feeling, thoughts etc. will only limit you incredibly.

’cause that is the point of it all, actually!





This entry was posted in Lessons from Movies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Only From Awareness, Not Anger – Learnings from the movie “The East”

  1. VideoPortal says:

    When it comes to restraining ourselves from anger, the first step must be to increase our self-awareness so that we have a sense of what makes us upset. Too often, we see and feel the signs of the onset of anger, but not having enough self-awareness, we miss all the cues until it is too late.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.