Anger: The Seven Deadly Sins

Overview

In Anger, Robert A. F. Thurman, best-selling author and one of America's leading authorities on Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, offers an illuminating look at this deadliest of sins. In the West, Thurman points out, anger is seen as an inevitable part of life, an evil to be borne, not overcome. There is the tradition of the wrathful God, of Jesus driving the money-changers from the temple. If God can be angry, how can men rid themselves of this destructive emotion? Thurman shows that Eastern philosophy sees ...
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Overview

In Anger, Robert A. F. Thurman, best-selling author and one of America's leading authorities on Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, offers an illuminating look at this deadliest of sins. In the West, Thurman points out, anger is seen as an inevitable part of life, an evil to be borne, not overcome. There is the tradition of the wrathful God, of Jesus driving the money-changers from the temple. If God can be angry, how can men rid themselves of this destructive emotion? Thurman shows that Eastern philosophy sees anger differently. Certainly, it is a dreadful evil, one of the "three poisons" that underlie all human suffering. But Buddhism teaches that anger can be overcome. Indeed, the defeat of anger is not only possible, but also the only thing worth doing in a lifetime.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Thurman, professor of Buddhist studies at Columbia University and author of Inner Revolution, contributes to Oxford's outstanding series on the seven deadly sins with this brief meditation on anger. Thurman identifies two extreme positions on the subject: on the one side are the people who believe that anger is a healthy, constructive force that can right wrongs and overturn social injustice. On the other side are those who would like to see anger be entirely eradicated, because playing with fire means we'll only get burned. Not surprisingly, Thurman draws upon Buddhist precepts to navigate a more nuanced "middle way" between those extremes. "Our goal surely is to conquer anger, but not destroy the fire it has misappropriated," he writes. "We will wield that fire with wisdom and turn it to creative ends." Thurman says at the outset that he, like many people, has a problem with anger, and that his temper (which he traces to a "paternal lineage of Southern rednecks") still flares despite decades of Buddhist practice. (Some of that character becomes apparent when Thurman rails against war, which he calls "politically organized anger.") At times, his generalizations about Western religions are unfair-such as when he says that the angriest character in the Hebrew Bible is God himself-but his Buddhist perspective makes a valuable counterpoint to the mostly Christian points of view we've seen so far in this series. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"Whimsically packaged exminations of Lust by Simon Blackburn, Gluttony by Francine Prsoe, Envy by Joseph Epstein, Anger by Robert Thurman, Greed by Phyllis Tickle, Sloth by Wendy Wasserstein and Pride by Michael Eric Dyson become playgrounds for cultural reflection by authors and playwrights in Oxford's Seven Deadly Sins series."--Publishers Weekly (on the series)

"From little books come great hopes for the future of mankind!"--Susan Salter Reynolds, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Anyone can benefit from Robert Thurman's masterful and engaging guide to grappling with that deadly emotion, anger. In Anger, Thurman brilliantly offers heart advice from ancient inner sciences that can help us all as we endure the maddening grind of modern life." --Daniel Goleman, author of Destructive Emotions

"Anger is a brilliant elucidation of how to transform the blindness of compulsive anger into sustained energy for change. Anyone who has been challenged by resentment, disappointment, impatience or rage would benefit from reading this book." --Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience

"This brilliant, passionate, supple and profound book is the most formidable exploration and analysis of anger that I have ever read, and a small masterpiece of psychological and spiritual truth. I cannot recommend it highly enough." --Andrew Harvey, author of The Direct Path and The Sun at Midnight

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Robert A. F. Thurman holds the first endowed chair in Buddhist Studies in the West, the Jey Tsong Khapa Chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. He has studied Tibetan Buddhism for almost thirty yeas as a personal student of His Holiness the Dali Lama. President of Tibet House US, he has lectured all over the world and is a prolific translator and writer of both scholarly and popular works, including the national bestseller, Inner Revolution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The momentous present 11
Ch. 2 Resigning to anger - a brief survey 15
Ch. 3 What is anger? 29
Ch. 4 Resigning from anger - the Western way 35
Ch. 5 Resigning from anger - the Buddhist way 51
Ch. 6 The yoga of anger transcendence 57
Ch. 7 Tolerant patience 67
Ch. 8 Insightful patience 75
Ch. 9 Forgiving patience 89
Ch. 10 Resigning to anger - the ultimate level 121
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