Perhaps you’ve seen this scene in movies that involve the sport of football. A team is in the locker room and is preparing to come out on the field and play. Players are working to get “up” for the game, which means getting emotionally stoked. The idea is that a football player who is enraged will display a greater effort than a player who is calm, perhaps even methodical.
I can tell you from personal experience that an emotional surge can indeed up one’s game. It did for me a couple of times. Now, mind you, I’ve played football through 2 years of college, and I played lacrosse throughout high school. And in all of those games, I got truly enraged only 2 times that I can recall. I’m talking extreme anger, so angry that I felt I would bust at the seams.
The first time I felt taken over by rage was during a lacrosse game when an opposing player jammed his lacrosse stick purposefully at my crotch. With my manhood threatened, I wheeled my lacrosse stick around directly at his head. I stopped, the wooden bludgeon inches from his head. Not only had I sent him a message, I was stoked. I went on to score 2 goals in what turned into a win for our team. The time, in football, I rushed for 230 yards in 1 game, a new record for our college.
It seems like it would be valuable to harness this kind of energy, the source of which is deep in the subconscious according to Carl Jung. And indeed, there are historical instances. Consider the Berserkers, for example. They were legendary Norse warriors who fought with a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury. After battle, they would be listless for days, such was their energy output. Is this so different than calling on a Greek god for power? Isn’t this tapping into the power of the subconscious?
I believe it is. And furthermore, it’s this capacity within all of us that can cause such great dissonance in people’s minds. This dissonance can lead to people “latching on” to certain self-defeating tendencies in an effort to avoid facing oneself eye-to-eye. That’s a topic covered by the recently published Capture, by Dr. David A. Kessler. In it, Dr. Kessler says the phenomenon of Capture “is the process by which our attention is hijacked and our brains commandeered by forces outside our control.”
But what opens our minds enough to allow it to be captured by outside forces? (Note: at least he does admit there are indeed outside forces; although he should know that the gateway to “outside” is through the human subconscious.) My answer: the opening is created by not being in touch with one’s inner self, with one’s deep-rooted forces of the id.
My solution: it sounds simple, but let’s start with this. Taking a punching bag and go berserk on it. Get in touch with your inner rage. This way, you get to know the enemy, and because knowledge is power, you gain some degree of control.