Rage Vs. Rage

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Dylan Thomas, the famed poet, told us as men to “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” “Do not go gentle into that good night,” Thomas warned us. Thomas’s poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” is a call to arms for how we live life. We are inspired by Thomas’s words to live fully, boldly, with the fight flame of a raging fire. Rather than go gently into “that good night” which can be interpreted as death, we go with a fight. Hunter S. Thompson once said “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’”.

These inspirations give us a healthy sense of rage. As men, we experience rage in two ways. We shake and clench our fists and scream guttural screams when we are inspired, encouraged, motivated, proud. We can do the same when we are beyond this kind of rage, instead clutched by another kind of rage, the kind of rage that grows out of anger.

We rage against the dying of the light when we see it disappearing. The light of our spirituality, our recovery, and everything we have come to know as sanity, dwindles as our rage grows. Rage is defined as a “violent, uncontrollable anger”. When we rage, in an action, we “feel or express violent uncontrollable anger”. Rage is the kind of anger that overtakes and consumes us.

Anger is a natural human emotion and experience. Anger can be a great motivator. Anger can be a great inhibitor. We have to first recognize anger as a survival response, a mechanism of the fight or flight system. Next, we have to understand that anger is a secondary emotional response to fear and sadness. In the throes of anger, boiling toward rage, it certainly feels like a primary emotion. Realizing that anger is not a primary emotion helps us realize that our angered reactions are choices. We can choose to see the source of our anger, make peace with it where necessary, and choose a different course of action.


Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program in Portland, Oregon, offering men the journey of finding freedom from addiction. Creating a sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men revolutionize their life through total transformation of mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474


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