"The first extreme view is that there is nothing you can do about anger, except perhaps modulate it a little bit. There are both religious and secular versions of this view. The religious version claims that 'God' is an angry God, even Jesus is hot-tempered when he kicks over the money-changers' tables and criticizes Pharisees and others. Anger is God-given. We are all angry. Anger is healthy. We need anger to right wrongs, overturn social evils, revolt against oppression. Anger is only deadly, sinful, or bad when it is unfair, excessive, or self-destructive. Anyone who tries to control or overcome anger is delusional, trying to be perfect, in the grip of Lucifer.

"The secular version of this view argues from a social Darwinist version of biology, that we are all 'hardwired' with anger. We need it to protect ourselves from danger of aggression or oppression. It is our source of courage in a fight. Anyone who thinks we can get rid of it has never read Freud or his successors.

"The second extreme view is that anger can be totally eradicated. It absolutely is a deadly sin. It is completely destructive, unjustified in any circumstance. We must manage it out of existence. We must learn to meditate, to transcend all emotionality. It is a fire and can only burn us. When we quench that fire, we have attained Nirvana, Godliness, perfection. We must all become saints and can somehow become ultimately perfect, superhuman.

"The first extreme view is predominant in the West, in both religious and secular versions, and is also strongly represented in the East. The second extreme view is present in the West in the forms of Gnosticism and most kinds of Judaic, Christian, and Islamic mysticisms, and more widespread in the East in the forms of dualistic Buddhism and Hindu and Taoist mysticisms."