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I am looking for a textual reference. I cannot recall the exact details but I will try my best; if anyone knows what I am referring to and can point me to the text, it would be much appreciated.

The basic idea in the passage was roughly, I believe, that if one doesn't have anyone who can tell them what to do or not do...doesn't have a person who can punish them, then they won't become angry. I believe I read this in the Visuddhimagga but I'm not sure. Any help is appreciated!

  • Are you sure that's the principle of the passage? Kings fit that description but are still prone to anger; any un enlightened being is! – Ryan Dec 13 '15 at 1:06
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    This is not a Buddhist reference but something that seen as true by some school teachers: blinn.edu/socialscience/LDThomas/Feldman/Handouts/0801hand.htm ("If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight" etc.). – ChrisW Dec 13 '15 at 2:15
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He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me of my property. Whosoever harbor such thoughts will never be able to still their enmity.

Never indeed is hatred stilled by hatred; it will only be stilled by non-hatred — this is an eternal law.

— Dhp., vv. 4-5

(Source: The Elimination of Anger: With two stories retold from the Buddhist texts by Ven. K. Piyatissa Thera)

The bolded text implies they blame the other for one's plight.

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'Anger' is an 'underlying tendency' (anusaya) thus the potential to anger exists regardless of an object of anger (refer to paragraph 3 of MN 64 and to AN 7.11). In relation to sense objects, while blame is a cause of anger, the cause of blame is unpleasant feelings or feeling hurt. Thus the scriptures state: "If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one sorrows, grieves & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught, then one's underlying tendency to anger gets obsessed." MN 148

  • suttacentral.net/en/mn64 A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘beings,’ so how could ill will towards beings arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to ill will lies within him. – Dhammadhatu Apr 27 '16 at 12:57
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Atma does not think that such could be found in the frame of Buddhas teachings. Actually people get most angry after a while, or more angry, if not confronted. Of course such anger is at least turned into once own direction. Andrei Volkov Avatar appearance reminds a little on such.

Maybe Adhipateyya Sutta: Governing Principles is useful.

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There must be some mistake or the text might mean there isn't as much anger if there isn't another person there to facilitate anger.

By myself I experience much subtle and gross anger. If I have pain , I might react with frustration(frustration is the same as anger in this case). If while practicing I wander off many times then I might feel a subtle anger because I want a smoother practice session.

Anger and greed are not very precise translations for the Pali words "dosa" and "lobha".

Anger(dosa) is whenever we don't want to accept something and so we can't accept reality. Greed(lobha) is any time we don't want to let something go so we can't accept reality.

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