At root of intolerance is anger. The medicine for anger is awareness of anger: “Anger doesn’t like to be reminded of fits,” said poet Jack Kerouac. If we make a practice of noticing our thoughts, to “catch yourself thinking” (as the phrase goes in idiomatic Americanese), we have a better chance of making our own irritations and fits of anger more transparent, airing out the “hot air” of emotion – as Tibetan Buddhist Lamas say, that dissolves 80 percent of the anger.`
If all mankind can’t practice this kind of meditation – sitting, standing or lying down – at least the elite and the “leaders,” Premiers, Presidents, Dictators, and Senators can do so – I do as best I can.
This (undated) observation by Allen appeared in Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays 1952-1995 (2000). For some reason it never had a composition-date attached to it, but our guess is that it’s probably late ’80s or early ’90s.
We thought it might be a fitting thought for today, for consideration.