#5: On Anger (De Ira) Apr20


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#5: On Anger (De Ira)

Quotes that resonate, from ‘How to Keep Your Cool: An Ancient Guide to Anger Management’ by Seneca, selected, translated and introduced by James Romm. 

[S]ome men think it valuable to moderate anger rather than set it aside, for force it to conform to a healthy measure and restrain its overflows, to hold on to that part without action grows weak and the force and energy of the mind is dissipated. 

First, however, it’s easier to shut out harmful things than to govern them, easier to deny them entry than to moderate them once they have entered. Once they’ve established residence, they become more powerful than their overseer and do not accept retrenchment or abatement. 

That is why Reason itself, to which the reins are entrusted, stays potent only so long as it’s kept apart from the passions; if it mingles and pollutes itself with them, it can no longer restrain that which formerly could have been rebuffed. 

Once shaken and overthrown, the mind becomes a slave to that which drives it. In some cases, though the onset of things is in our control, that which follows drags us along by its momentum and allows us no step backward.