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  • Anger

    Liang Shih-chiu


    A person looks his ugliest when angry. In anger, a face that is normally as beautiful as a lotus blossom will tun livid and pale, even ashen1. This, plus the contorted muscles on his face, his staring eyes and bristling2 hair, will indeed make a person’s countenance3 more than repulsive4. As the saying goes, “When anger rises in the heart, evil intent is bound to start.” Anger brings about a change that is both psychological and physiological5. Very few people can control their tempers when their purposes are crossed. Young people are prone6 to anger and one cross word is enough to start a quarrel. However, many elderly people are just as irascible and touchy7.


    I had an older relative by marriage who was over eighty and hemiplegic. He had the habit of reading newspapers in the morning. Each day he would put on his glasses and lay out the newspapers before him. Moments later, he would be pounding the table, fuming8 with rage and letting loose a torrent9 of abuse. He did not like what he read in the newspapers. He could not do without the newspapers, but they only made him angry. At such an hour, everyone in his family would stay out of his sight and nobody wanted to be caught by his rage which, like a thunderstorm, would go as quickly as it had come.


    According to the Book of Poems,1 “When the ruler shows his anger, the rebellion of his subjects will quickly stop; when the ruler creates public well-being10, the rebellion of his subjects will quickly end.” This means that, in a fit of anger, a person in power can crush a rebellion and cause things to return to normal. For ordinary people, however, it will be better if they keep their temper under control and avoid getting into trouble. A person in a fury loses countless11 blood cells in his body and causes a sharp rise in his blood pressure. In short, anger is bad for a person’s health. Worse still, when his blood boils with rage, his mind becomes muddled12, and he is likely to speak or act out of line, causing injury to himself as well as others. “Count the number of days in which you did not get angry,” says Epictetus, the Greek philosopher. “In the past, I used to get angry every day; sometimes I got angry every other day; later on, I got angry once every three or four days. If you have not been angry for thirty days at a stretch, you should make offerings to the gods to express your gratitude13.”


    A decrease in the number of such outbreaks is a result of self-discipline. The method of self-discipline is very hard to explain. “When you are angry at someone else’s shamelessness,” says Marcus Aurelius of Rome, another stoic14 philosopher, “you should ask yourself, ‘Can that shameless person not exist in this world?’ That is impossible. Do not demand what is impossible.” This does not mean that we need not impose sanctions on a bad person; it only means that we need not get angry. If anger cannot be avoided, it should at least be controlled so as not to become excessive. The Buddhists15 list Krodha (anger) as one of the three poisons2. They believe that “a heart full of anger causes greater destruction than a conflagration16” and that controlling anger is one of the basic requirements of self-cultivation. According to the Book of Yandan Zi,3 “the face of a blood-brave person turns red in anger; the face of a vein-brave person turns purple in anger; the face of a bone-brave person turns pale in anger; the face of a mind-brave person does not change color in anger.” I think that a person can become “mind-brave” only through extreme austerity and self-cultivation. A person born with a face that will betray no emotions is, indeed, exceptionally endowed.


    In the early years of the Qing dynasty, a writer named Li Fu published a collection of his essays under the general title of Mutang Leigao. In one of the essays, entitled “The Story of the House without Anger”, he said, “Though I am over forty, I have not yet learned to control my emotions, nor have I succeeded in changing my temperament17. I made mistakes due to anger and, despite my repentance18, I soon became angry again. For fear that I will remain an irascible person to the end, I have named my home the ‘House without Anger’.” It is an excellent essay and, true to his character as a scholar, it clearly expresses the author’s fear of and vigilance against anger.


     10级    双语 


    1 ashen [ˈæʃn] JNsyS   第12级
    • His face was ashen and wet with sweat. 他面如土色,汗如雨下。
    • Her ashen face showed how much the news had shocked her. 她灰白的脸显示出那消息使她多么震惊。
    2 bristling ['brisliŋ] tSqyl   第8级
    • "Don't you question Miz Wilkes' word,'said Archie, his beard bristling. "威尔克斯太太的话,你就不必怀疑了。 "阿尔奇说。他的胡子也翘了起来。
    • You were bristling just now. 你刚才在发毛。
    3 countenance [ˈkaʊntənəns] iztxc   第9级
    • At the sight of this photograph he changed his countenance. 他一看见这张照片脸色就变了。
    • I made a fierce countenance as if I would eat him alive. 我脸色恶狠狠地,仿佛要把他活生生地吞下去。
    4 repulsive [rɪˈpʌlsɪv] RsNyx   第8级
    • She found the idea deeply repulsive. 她发现这个想法很恶心。
    • The repulsive force within the nucleus is enormous. 核子内部的斥力是巨大的。
    5 physiological [ˌfɪzɪə'lɒdʒɪkl] aAvyK   第7级
    • He bought a physiological book. 他买了一本生理学方面的书。
    • Every individual has a physiological requirement for each nutrient. 每个人对每种营养成分都有一种生理上的需要。
    6 prone [prəʊn] 50bzu   第7级
    • Some people are prone to jump to hasty conclusions. 有些人往往作出轻率的结论。
    • He is prone to lose his temper when people disagree with him. 人家一不同意他的意见,他就发脾气。
    7 touchy [ˈtʌtʃi] PJfz6   第10级
    • Be careful what you say because he's touchy. 你说话小心,因为他容易生气。
    • He's a little touchy about his weight. 他对自己的体重感到有点儿苦恼。
    8 fuming [fjʊmɪŋ] 742478903447fcd48a40e62f9540a430   第7级
    愤怒( fume的现在分词 ); 大怒; 发怒; 冒烟
    • She sat in the car, silently fuming at the traffic jam. 她坐在汽车里,心中对交通堵塞感到十分恼火。
    • I was fuming at their inefficiency. 我正因为他们效率低而发火。
    9 torrent [ˈtɒrənt] 7GCyH   第7级
    • The torrent scoured a channel down the hillside. 急流沿着山坡冲出了一条沟。
    • Her pent-up anger was released in a torrent of words. 她压抑的愤怒以滔滔不绝的话爆发了出来。
    10 well-being [wel 'bi:ɪŋ] Fe3zbn   第8级
    • He always has the well-being of the masses at heart. 他总是把群众的疾苦挂在心上。
    • My concern for their well-being was misunderstood as interference. 我关心他们的幸福,却被误解为多管闲事。
    11 countless [ˈkaʊntləs] 7vqz9L   第7级
    • In the war countless innocent people lost their lives. 在这场战争中无数无辜的人丧失了性命。
    • I've told you countless times. 我已经告诉你无数遍了。
    12 muddled [ˈmʌdld] cb3d0169d47a84e95c0dfa5c4d744221   第10级
    adj.混乱的;糊涂的;头脑昏昏然的v.弄乱,弄糟( muddle的过去式);使糊涂;对付,混日子
    • He gets muddled when the teacher starts shouting. 老师一喊叫他就心烦意乱。
    • I got muddled up and took the wrong turning. 我稀里糊涂地拐错了弯。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    13 gratitude [ˈgrætɪtju:d] p6wyS   第7级
    • I have expressed the depth of my gratitude to him. 我向他表示了深切的谢意。
    • She could not help her tears of gratitude rolling down her face. 她感激的泪珠禁不住沿着面颊流了下来。
    14 stoic [ˈstəʊɪk] cGPzC   第10级
    • A stoic person responds to hardship with imperturbation. 坚忍克己之人经受苦难仍能泰然自若。
    • On Rajiv's death a stoic journey began for Mrs Gandhi, supported by her husband's friends. 拉吉夫死后,索尼亚在丈夫友人的支持下开始了一段坚忍的历程。
    15 Buddhists [] 5f3c74ef01ae0fe3724e91f586462b77   第8级
    n.佛教徒( Buddhist的名词复数 )
    • The Jesuits in a phase of ascendancy, persecuted and insulted the Buddhists with great acrimony. 处于地位上升阶段的耶稣会修士迫害佛教徒,用尖刻的语言辱骂他们。 来自英汉非文学 - 历史
    • The return of Saivite rule to central Java had brought no antagonism between Buddhists and Hindus. 湿婆教在中爪哇恢复统治后,并没有导致佛教徒与印度教徒之间的对立。 来自辞典例句
    16 conflagration [ˌkɒnfləˈgreɪʃn] CnZyK   第11级
    • A conflagration in 1947 reduced 90 percent of the houses to ashes. 1947年的一场大火,使90%的房屋化为灰烬。
    • The light of that conflagration will fade away. 这熊熊烈火会渐渐熄灭。
    17 temperament [ˈtemprəmənt] 7INzf   第7级
    • The analysis of what kind of temperament you possess is vital. 分析一下你有什么样的气质是十分重要的。
    • Success often depends on temperament. 成功常常取决于一个人的性格。
    18 repentance [rɪˈpentəns] ZCnyS   第8级
    • He shows no repentance for what he has done.他对他的所作所为一点也不懊悔。
    • Christ is inviting sinners to repentance.基督正在敦请有罪的人悔悟。

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