Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nature and Origin of Anger

The teaching of a certain elder, concerning the nature and origin of anger.
  A certain elder said. Anger arises through four things—through the greed of avarice, whether in giving or receiving; also through loving and defending one's own opinion ; through a desire of being honourably exalted; also through wishing to be learned or hoping to be wise above all others.
In four ways anger darkens the nature of a man—when he hates his neighbour, when he envies him, when he despises him, and when he belittles him.
  In four places anger finds scope—first in the heart, second in the face, third in the tongue, fourth in the act. Thus if a man can bear injury, so that the bitterness of it does not enter into his heart, then anger will not appear in his face. If, however, it find expression in his face, he still may guard his tongue so as to give no utterance of it. If even here he fail and give it utterance with his tongue, yet let him not translate his words into acts, but hastily dismiss them from his memory.
  Men are of three kinds, according to the place which anger finds in them. He who is hurt and injured, and yet spares his persecutor, is a man after the pattern of Christ. He who is neither hurt himself, nor desires to hurt another, is a man after the pattern of Adam. He who hurts or slanders another is a man after the pattern of the Devil.