An understanding of the nature of ego is essential to the comprehension of anger. The ego is that which identifies itself as me and mine. Man is a being who grows through a process of successive identifications. After taking birth, the child first identifies himself as a separate being when he begins to sense separation from his mother. Next comes identification with the other members of his family, adopting their behavior patterns and thought forms as his own. Then the child begins to associate with peers of the same sex. Later in life he seeks his identity in members of the opposite sex.

The end of his journey comes when his ego makes its final identification with the Absolute and merges into Cosmic Consciousness.

Ego works with intellect in the identification process. The intellect stores the information received in the identification process, especially the value judgments received from those with whom the being identifies most closely. The real Self within knows that all realities are contained within itself. However, the identifying self excludes these aspects adjudged evil by those with whom it identifies.

Anger is the emotional/chemical reaction produced when the ego is confronted with an aspect of self that it has rejected and judged as evil. The existence of this negative aspect is experienced as a threat to exis­tence. Indeed, the existence of the current self-identification does face a genuine threat. The ego then projects the rejected aspect of self onto the other through whom it is manifested, and directs its energy toward removing the undesirable aspect. This is the nature of anger.

Anger is a manifestation of multiplicity, of weakness. It is the tail of the snake of egotism. It is a downward projection of energy, which brings the player to the first chakra. When the ego is hurt one feels anger. Anger is insecurity—the basic first-chakra obsession.

Anger is a great obstacle in the path of spiritual growth. Ir produces fire and heat, and burns everything. But whenever this anger is produced without any personal feelings, and is impersonal, it purifies. Anger is a quality of Rudra, the lord of destruction. His anger is not based on personal reasons, and so it destroys not him but the evil that causes disharmony and disbalance. Anger aroused by personal reasons cats the gentle qualities of the self, and brings energy down. Anger aroused by impersonal reasons destroys its own cause, which is evil. Anger is the other side of love. We cannot be angry with those with whom we do not identify. Anger excites the nervous system and suspends the rational mind completely for the time it stays with the system. In one way it purifies the body and is very similar to fire-cleaning, but the cost is too high because it brings a person too low, and he has to start once again from the first row of the game.

Anger can be expressed in two ways: violence or nonviolence. When nonviolence is adopted as a means of expressing anger, it creates great moral strength and becomes satyagrah (satya - truth; agrah - persistence). This is possible only when the player remains calm, even though he really is experiencing anger. This anger is impersonal. It is against evil. It is based on love: love of good, love of truth. This anger helps spiritual growth and is divine.

Three is the number of creativity, expression, and stability. A member of the family of odd numbers, 3 is dynamic, and positive; it establishes a pattern. It signifies the fire element, which in human beings is manifested as anger. On the positive side, the same element can become zeal. Thus power and determination are characteristics of number 3. Three is the number of the planet Jupiter. Jupiter is a symbol of boldness, courage, power, strength, labor, energy, knowledge, wisdom, and spirituality.