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Transcending Anger
A Manual for Those Who Wish to Give Up Anger

Transcending Anger

Samples from the Book, Transcending Anger:

From the Preface:

Most people go through life assuming that they can't change their anger reactions. They assume that how and when they get angry is a "given" - unchangeable. They assume that "the situation" creates the anger reaction. These assumptions are false. When you understand how and why anger is experienced, you will have begun the process of letting go of anger.

This book provides a unique and effective method to transcend anger.

From Chapter 1:

Long-time cigarette smokers know that to "decide" to quit is far from easy. For many, it's impossible; the combination of powerful habit-strength and physical addiction has taken away the freedom to quit for millions. There are stories of people with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) whose doctor told them they must quit their smoking habit or die, and they still can't quit.

It is my position that letting go of anger is NOT like quitting smoking. It does not take incredible "will-power" or "inner strength," but there is one factor that is similar to quitting smoking: Whether giving up smoking or transcending anger, when completed, one directly experiences a sense of freedom, freedom from a behavior over which one had previously little or no control.

From Chapter 2:

I think we can agree that if we were to become angry in a situation in which anger was not only appropriate but useful, then anger is what we should feel. And the opposite: If we were to become angry where anger was inappropriate or not useful, then anger is NOT what we should feel.

From Chapter 4:

Here are some frequently asked questions, with answers, regarding anger.

Q: "Isn't anger a part of life, natural, even 'good' for us?"
A: Anger is natural, as is fear, sadness, and other emotions we'd prefer to avoid. During our childhood, we experience anger in a variety of non-fatal situations; this is how our genes have guided us to learn when to become angry, and when not to.
As we grow up, we should have learned that there are times "act" angry, but there are no situations in which "being" angry is advantageous. It is my position that as we humans have become more "civilized" and able to consciously reason, we are able to discover that being angry is never necessary, and never "good" for us.

Q: "But aren't emotions uncontrollable - reactions to situations - and so there's nothing we can do to control them?"
A: Emotions are "mediated" reactions to situations - the "mediation" is our belief system which tells us what to feel in a wide variety of situations. The beliefs we have can either free us or control us; it's up to you.

Q: "If I 'let go of anger,' does that mean I'll never experience anger again?"
A: If that's what you want. But you always have the option of creating the feeling of anger at any time.

Q: "Do I need to have some kind of 'mantra' to repeat to myself when I think I'm feeling angry?
A: No. If you know that you're free to choose not to get angry, you don't need to do, say, or think any particular thing to transcend anger.

Q: "If transcending anger is so easy, why does virtually everyone I know still get angry?"
A: Few people are aware that one can transcend anger rather than control it. Controlling anger involves accepting anger and then controlling it. Transcending anger involves letting go of it.
The steps to transcending anger aren't difficult, but they do require a clear understanding of each step, and a certain amount of practice. Also, many people believe that their anger is not controllable, while still others identify so strongly with their anger (and other emotional reactions), that they believe "who they are" requires that their emotional reactions not be changed (or even examined).

From Chapter 7:

Know what is important and what isn't. Is the value of an ongoing successful relationship more important than trying to get the other person to admit (s)he's "wrong" and you're "right"? Being "right" doesn't win you any prizes when you're working or living together. You "win" when the participants - your family, friends or co-workers - feel that a mutually agreeable solution has been reached. Remember: the relationship is more important than the problem.

"Right" and "wrong" take on new meanings when you look carefully at interpersonal disagreements. In almost all cases, it is most useful to express the basic truth of relationships -- social, work-related, or family-related: "We both (or we all) have the same goals. Let's work together to solve this problem." For work, it's a successful project or smooth and effective working relationship, or a successful business financial situation. For family and friends, it's an ongoing cooperative relationship, being able to share good times, and support each other at all times. Once it's clear that "we all basically want the same thing," it's difficult to take opposing sides of issues. No longer do you have to emotionally stick to your differing view. Your goals are the same: to solve the problem. Whatever those problems are, it's always much easier to "work together" to solve them: it's do-able.


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