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Destructive emotions

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This paper discusses the problem of destructive emotions by comparing Eastern and Western assumptions about emotions. In the case of anger, for example, Eastern thinkers straightforwardly posit that it is entirely possible to cultivate attitudes in which anger is naturally absent. In the West, by contrast, it is generally assumed that anger is a “basic” emotion that can be suppressed or managed, but not eliminated from one’s basic emotional constitution. Thus, in the Eastern way of thinking, emotion is a force that more easily harmonizes with rational approaches to life and to the specific problems in life.
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Keywords: Buddhism; anger; emotion; mind; mindfulness

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Duke University

Publication date: 01 March 2000

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