“Every sentence of Pythagoras, like most of the ancient maxims, has a dual signification; and, while it had an occult physical meaning, expressed literally in its words, it embodied a moral precept, which is explained by Iamblichus in his Life of Pythagoras. This “Dig not fire with a sword”, is the ninth symbol in the Protreptics of this Neo-platonist. “This symbol”, he says, “exhorts to prudence.”
It shows “the propriety of not opposing sharp words to a man full of fire and wrath – not contending with him. For frequently by uncivil words you will agitate and disturb an ignorant man, and you will suffer yourself….Herakleitus also testifies to the truth of this symbol. For, he says, ‘It is difficult to fight with anger, for whatever is necessary to be done redeems the soul.’ And this he says truly.
For many, by gratifying anger, have changed the condition of their soul, and have made death preferable to life. But by governing the tongue and being quiet, friendship is produced from strife, the fire of anger being extinguished, and you yourself will not appear to be destitute of intellect.””
H. P. Blavatsky