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Anger is an energy: origin?
October 5, 2011 8:40 AM   Subscribe

Did the phrase "Anger is an energy" originate in the 1986 song "Rise," or was the song quoting some other source?
posted by kalapierson to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Google Books is telling me that Annie Besant used the phrase in a Theosophical lecture in 1895. If you change the date range to 1800-1985, there are a few other results from self-help books in the early '80s.
posted by cobaltnine at 8:59 AM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

AFAIK, this is a conception of quite long standing in Hinduism and Buddhism.
posted by slkinsey at 9:07 AM on October 5, 2011

Definitely older - there's lots of philosophy that has this idea. In song, Joe Strummer wrote:

Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

In Clampdown, from London Calling (released in '79). I bet if we dug we'd find other references, that's just what pops to mind.
posted by pupdog at 9:36 AM on October 5, 2011

Are you looking for earlier uses of the concept that anger is a form of energy, or for earlier uses of the exact phrase "anger is an energy"?
posted by 23skidoo at 10:02 AM on October 5, 2011

Yeah, this is a fairly old notion in Tantric Buddhism (note: tantric doesn't necessarily mean sex). Anger is seen as a kind of fire to be transformed.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:22 AM on October 5, 2011

Thanks for the clarifying question, 23skidoo. I'm looking for earlier uses of the exact phrase "Anger is an energy."
posted by kalapierson at 10:30 AM on October 5, 2011

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