Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER VIII: Of Repelling Anger - The Spiritual Physick
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CHAPTER VIII: Of Repelling Anger - Rhazes, The Spiritual Physick 
The Spiritual Physic of Rhazes, trans. Arthur J. Arberry (London: John Murray, 1950).
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Of Repelling Anger
Anger is put into an animal to be a means of taking revenge upon another that causes it pain. When this disposition is taken to excess and surpasses its proper bounds, to the extent that reason is lost in consequence, it may well be that the injury and suffering it brings upon the one moved by this emotion will prove severer and more grievous than that endured by the object of such anger. It therefore behoves the intelligent man to recall frequently the cases of those whom anger has brought sooner or later to disagreeable circumstances, and to try to picture himself in their predicament when his anger is roused. For many men when they are angry are apt to strike out with their fists and slap and even butt with their heads, and often enough hurt themselves more than the person with whom they are angry. I have seen a man punch another on the jaw and dislocate his fingers in doing so, so that he had to nurse them for a long time, whereas his victim came to no great harm. I once saw another man get into a rage and scream and spit blood on the spot; that led on to consumption, which caused his death. We have heard tell of men who during the time of their anger have brought suffering upon their families and children and dear ones for which they repented a long while, and which they perhaps never put right till the end of their lives. Galen states that his mother used to rush at a padlock with her mouth and bite it if it was difficult for her to open. Upon my life, there is no great difference between the man who loses his powers of thought and reflection when he is angry and a lunatic.
If a man will constantly keep such situations in mind while he is normal, he is more likely to be able to picture them when anger seizes him. He should be aware that those who do such monstrous things when they are angry are only brought to that pass because they lose their reason at that time; and so he ought to see to it that when he is angry he will not do anything except after due thought and deliberation, lest he injure himself where he intended to injure another. He should not share with the beasts in liberating action without reflection. And during the time he is inflicting punishment, he ought to be free of four emotions—arrogance, anger against the person he is punishing, and the opposites of these two; for the two former states of mind provoke him to make his punishment and vengeance exceed the dimension of the crime, while the two latter result in their being too lenient. If the intelligent man will keep these ideas in mind, and prevail upon his passion to follow them out, his anger and revenge will be proportionately just, and he will be secure from suffering any consequent injury to his soul or body in this world or the next.