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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Fearlessness
    #4501186 - 08/05/05 08:33 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Here is an essay I read today and I am posting it because others may enjoy it as I did it is called "Fear and Fearlessness".

In order to experience fearlessness, it is necessary to experience fear. The essence of cowardice is not acknowledging the reality of fear. Fear can take many forms. Logically, we know we can?t live forever. We know that we are going to die, so we are afraid. We are petrified of our death. On another level, we are afraid that we can?t handle the demands of the world. This fear expresses itself as a feeling of inadequacy. We feel that our own lives are overwhelming, and confronting the rest of the world more overwhelming. Then there is abrupt fear, or panic, that arises when new situations occur suddenly in our lives. When we feel that we can?t handle them, we jump and twitch. Sometimes fear manifests in the form of restlessness: doodles on a notepad, playing with our fingers, or fidgeting in our chairs. We feel that we have to keep ourselves moving all the time, like an engine running in a motor car. The pistons go up and down, up and down. As long as the pistons keep moving, we feel safe. Otherwise, we are afraid we might die on the spot. There are innumerable strategies that we use to take our minds off of fear. Some people take tranquilizers. Some people do yoga. Some people watch television or read a magazine or go to a bar to have a beer. From the coward?s point of view, boredom should be avoided, because when we are bored we begin to feel anxious. We are getting closer to our fear. Entertainment should be promoted and any thought of death should be avoided. So cowardice is trying to live our lives as though death were unknown. There have been periods in history in which many people searched for a potion of longevity. If there were such a thing, most people would find it quite horrific. If they had to live in this world for a thousand years without dying, long before they got to their thousandth birthday, they would probably commit suicide. Even if you live forever, you would be unable to avoid the reality of death and suffering around you.

Fear has to be acknowledged. We have to realize our fear and reconcile ourselves with fear. We should look at how we move, how we talk, how we conduct ourselves, how we chew our nails, how we sometimes put our hands in our pockets uselessly. Then we find something our about how fear is expressed in the form of restlessness. We must face the fact that fear is lurking in our lives, always, in everything we do.

On the other hand, acknowledging fear is not a cause for depression or discouragement. Because we posses such fear, we also are potentially entitled to experience fearlessness. True fearlessness is not a reduction of fear, but going beyond fear. Unfortunately, in the English language, we don?t have one word that means that. Fearlessness is the closest term, but by fearless we don?t mean ?less fear,? but
?beyond fear.?

Going beyond fear begins when we examine our fear: our anxiety, nervousness, concern and restlessness. If we look into our fear, if we look beneath its veneer, the first thing we find is sadness, beneath the nervousness. Nervousness is cranking up, vibrating, all the time. When we slow down, when we relax with our fear, we find sadness, which is calm and gentle. Sadness hits you in the heart, and your body produces a tear. Before you cry, there is a feeling in your chest and then, after that, you produce tears in your eyes. You are about to produce rain or a waterfall in your eyes and you feel sad and lonely, and perhaps romantic at the same time. That is the first tip of fearlessness, and the first sign of real warriorship. You might think that, when you experience fearlessness, you will hear the opening to Beethoven?s Fifth Symphony or see a great explosion in the sky, but it doesn?t happen that way. In the Shambhala tradition, discovering fearlessness comes from working with the softness of the human heart. The birth of the warrior is like the first growth of a reindeer?s horns. At first, the horns are very soft and almost rubbery, and they have little hairs growing on them. They are not yet horns, as such: they are just sloppy growths with blood inside. Then, as the reindeer ages, the horns grow stronger, developing four points or ten points or even forty points. Fearlessness, at the beginning, is like those rubbery horns. They look like horns, but you can?t quite fight with them. When a reindeer first grows it's horns, it doesn?t know what to use them for. It must feel very awkward to have those soft, lumpy growths on your head. But then the reindeer begins to realize that it should have horns: that horns are a natural part of being a reindeer. In the same way, when a human being first gives birth to the tender heart of warriorship, he or she may
feel extremely awkward or uncertain about how to relate to this kind of fearlessness.
But then, as you experience this sadness more and more, you realize that human beings should be tender and open. So you no longer need to feel shy or embarrassed about being gentle. In fact, your softness begins to become passionate. You would like to extend yourself to others and communicate with them.

When tenderness evolves in that direction, then you can truly appreciate the world around you. Sense perceptions become very interesting things. You are so tender and open already that you cannot help opening yourself to what takes place all around you. When you see red or green or yellow and black, your respond to them from the bottom of your heart. When you see someone else crying or laughing or being afraid, you respond to them as well. At that point, your beginning level of fearlessness is developing further into warriorship. When you begin to feel comfortable about being a gentle and decent person, your reindeer horns no longer have little hairs growing on them?they are becoming real horns. Situations become very real, quite real, and on the other hand, quite ordinary. Fear evolves into fearlessness naturally, very simply, and quite straightforwardly.

The ideal of warriorship is that the warrior should be sad and tender, and because of that, the warrior can be very brave as well. Without that heartfelt sadness, bravery is brittle, like a china cup. If you drop it, it will break or chip. But the bravery of the warrior is like a lacquer cup which has a wooden base covered with layers of lacquer. If the cup drops, it will bounce rather than break. It is soft and hard at the same time.

This was from "Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior" by Ch?gyam Trungpa


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4501245 - 08/05/05 08:54 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

The ideal of warriorship is that the warrior should be sad and tender, and because of that, the warrior can be very brave as well. Without that heartfelt sadness, bravery is brittle, like a china cup. If you drop it, it will break or chip. But the bravery of the warrior is like a lacquer cup which has a wooden base covered with layers of lacquer. If the cup drops, it will bounce rather than break. It is soft and hard at the same time.
_________________________________________________________

Heres where I became stuck Hue. I believe this to be a limited view of fearlessness. I can understand the need for feeling all of your sadness for however long that you need to. But I know warriors who are not sad. They may experience sadness, but that is not were they come from. Joy is what seems to give them strength.

I am not saying what was written here is wrong, in fact I would say it applys well to my condition.  But it is not the only way of bravery and warriorship. :thumbup: :heart:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Icelander]
    #4501322 - 08/05/05 09:19 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

It is similar to the view in Taoism that something that is soft and flexible is stronger than something hard and brittle.

"Man is born gentle and supple.
At death, his body is brittle and hard.
Living plants are tender,
and filled with life-giving sap,
but at their death they are withered and dry.
The stiff, the hard, and brittle
are harbingers of death,
and gentleness and yielding
are the signs of that which lives.
The warrior who is inflexible
condemns himself to death,
and the tree is easily broken,
which ever refuses to yield.
Thus the hard and brittle will surely fall,
and the soft and supple will overcome."
- Tao Te Ching


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4501404 - 08/05/05 09:39 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I believe that both examples of sadness and joy have that flexibility. And there may be more ways that we have not thought of.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Icelander]
    #4502635 - 08/06/05 03:06 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

thanks for posting that hue
i like how it delves into the layers of fear into fearlessness, very interesting

i agree with icelander's point that joy is the source of strength. this seems a true statement.
yet i don't think this diminishes the value of feeling one's sadness as long as one needs to
because maybe there's something to be said for a person being open to both their weaknesses and strengths
being closed is limiting


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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Invisibledorkus
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4503247 - 08/06/05 08:32 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Thank you, hue. Great post.

I am sad and empty all day. Something is draining me. :frown: I've stopped meditating, stopped reading, all lead to sadness and emptiness (not the good kind).

It's like all those nice aspects of me are just conditioning, beyond it I am a mess. I've got a feeling. Everywhere I look reality pokes me in the eye, telling me enoughs enough. I'm being pulled out, or thrown in. Whatever.


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OfflineGomp
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: dorkus]
    #4503315 - 08/06/05 10:18 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I'm not even afraid of being afraid... :smile:

live evil!


--------------------


--------------------
Disclaimer!?


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Gomp]
    #4503386 - 08/06/05 11:09 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

That's courage. :cool:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Icelander]
    #4503953 - 08/06/05 03:57 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I have thought about this. Many here interpret this as saying a warrior should be always sad. I don't see it. I understand that he discussed sadness because it was the underlying emotion that the complex emotion "fear" is built upon. Accepting that sadness is key to accepting that fear as part of ones self. We should all seek to accept our emotions completely instead of rejecting or suppressing them...or avoiding them. When an emotion occurs it is natural to become the embodiment of that emotion. That does not mean to engage in foolish actions, but to accept responsibility for the emotions you experience. As Casteneda pointed out well in "Journey to Ixtlan" we should always accept responsibility for ourselves. That doesn't mean you should not be joyful. That is just my take... Oh yeah here is a link to the whole text of "Journey to Ixtlan"...if you haven't read it you have no excuse now. http://lib.ru/KASTANEDA/kast03_engl.txt

Note: The last part was directed to everyone BUT Icelander...I know he read it already.


Edited by Huehuecoyotl (08/07/05 02:01 AM)


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4505625 - 08/07/05 01:58 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

by embracing fear, fearlessness, sadness, joy, the warrior finds balance, never embracing balance?


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4505651 - 08/07/05 02:07 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

In the Buddhist tradition...the one just presented...the person should follow the middle way...which is maintaining a balence based on the level of attachment one demonstrates towards ideas and goods. This maintains a "balence" as it were. To judge correctly I heartily recommend the book this exherpt is from: "Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior" by Ch?gyam Trungpa It is Tibetan Buddhist in origin.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: dorkus]
    #4505659 - 08/07/05 02:09 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Discontent breeds change....maybe you need one.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4506348 - 08/07/05 10:00 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I understand that he discussed sadness because it was the underlying emotion that the complex emotion "fear" is built upon.
_____________________________________________________

Interesting point. In therapy many years ago my therapist informed me that I was not the angry man I believed myself to be, but had a very deep sadness from my childhood that was masked using anger. She turned out ot be very correct.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Icelander]
    #4506902 - 08/07/05 02:38 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I once had a similar problem with temperament. My feelings of anger were masking frustration from some bad life choices I had made and not taken responsibility for.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4506952 - 08/07/05 02:56 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Huehuecoyotl said:
I have thought about this. Many here interpret this as saying a warrior should be always sad. I don't see it. I understand that he discussed sadness because it was the underlying emotion that the complex emotion "fear" is built upon. Accepting that sadness is key to accepting that fear as part of ones self. We should all seek to accept our emotions completely instead of rejecting or suppressing them...or avoiding them. When an emotion occurs it is natural to become the embodiment of that emotion. That does not mean to engage in foolish actions, but to accept responsibility for the emotions you experience. As Casteneda pointed out well in "Journey to Ixtlan" we should always accept responsibility for ourselves. That doesn't mean you should not be joyful. That is just my take... Oh yeah here is a link to the whole text of "Journey to Ixtlan"...if you haven't read it you have no excuse now. http://lib.ru/KASTANEDA/kast03_engl.txt

Note: The last part was directed to everyone BUT Icelander...I know he read it already.




:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:


--------------------
PsyPost - Psychedelic Research


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4506976 - 08/07/05 03:04 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)


Buddha in the Abhaya [Fearlessness] Mudra

"Buddha's upraised right hand is turned outwards at the level of his heart, his fingers pointing skyward. This gesture is known as the abhaya mudra. Abhaya in Sanskrit means fearlessness. Thus this mudra symbolizes protection, peace, and the dispelling of fear.

This mudra, which initially appears to be a natural gesture, was probably used from prehistoric times as a sign of good intentions - the hand raised and unarmed proposes friendship, or at least peace; since antiquity, it was also a gesture asserting power, as with the magna manus of the Roman Emperors who legislated and gave peace at the same time. Buddhist tradition has an interesting legend behind this mudra:

Devadatta, a cousin of the Buddha, through jealousy caused a schism to be caused among the disciples of Buddha. As Devadatta's pride increased, he attempted to murder the Buddha. One of his schemes involved loosing a rampaging elephant into the Buddha's path. But as the elephant approached him, Buddha displayed the Abhaya mudra, which immediately calmed the animal. Accordingly, it indicates not only the appeasement of the senses, but also the absence of fear."


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #4507056 - 08/07/05 03:36 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I have often wondered about that gesture. I have a very old (100 yrs?) Buddha who does this. I have also seen Mayan statues of Gods who use the same gesture. Interesting bit of info.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4507290 - 08/07/05 04:50 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Choygyam Trungpa is one of my favourite authors whithin Tibetan Buddhism. His teachings cut through all the viels of fluff and sentimentality usually associated with spiriutality. If you like his work, i suggest you read the book "Crazy Wisdom", its really an excellent read.

Oh, and BTW, i took "Journey to Ixlan" out of the library after one of your poasts. I must admit, it was a pretty good read, thanks for that.:thumbup:


--------------------


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Sinbad]
    #4507604 - 08/07/05 06:27 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Oh, and BTW, i took "Journey to Ixlan" out of the library after one of your poasts. I must admit, it was a pretty good read, thanks for that.
_______________________________________________________ :shocked: i'm floored sinbad.  :cool: :heart:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Fearlessness [Re: Sinbad]
    #4507996 - 08/07/05 08:47 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I read the book because I am going to start the meditation and education program at the local Shambhala Meditation Center. I feel stuck in my spiritual development and I want to find a new direction to explore in order to absorb more influences. Mr. Trungpa is the founder of this organization. Have you heard of them and is their program good? I am glad you enjoyed the book. It is one of my favorites.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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