For a warrior, to be harmonious is to flow, not to stop in the middle of the current and try to make a space of artificial and impossible peace. He knows that he can only give the very best of himself under conditions of maximum tension. For that reason, he seeks out his opponent the way a fighting rooster does – with avidity, with delight, knowing that the next step is decisive. His opponent is not his fellow man, but his own attachments and weaknesses, and his grand challenge is to compress the layers of his energy until they won’t expand when his life ceases, so that his awareness does not die.– Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual
I always love a good epiphany. That moment when you stare into the abyss and find it staring back at you. The flash of illumination that reminds you that everything is okay and that life will continue to go forward with or without your consent or approval. Such a realization happened the other day when I was walking along the river. I was reflecting upon all of the anger that I’ve had for the past year in the face of what seems like insurmountable global issues that affect us all, many of which I’ve written about. I watched the calm water move with fluidity over rocks, creating little eddies in the shallows, and random fish jumping up creating beautiful ripples across the surface.
A close friend asked what I was afraid of and I told him I wasn’t afraid, I was angry. I sat with anger at the river and realized that the root of anger is fear. I admitted to myself that I have been living in fear for far too long and had a good laugh about it because I don’t think of myself as a fearful person, I think of myself as a warrior of freedom who has made death an advisor. The laugh’s on me.
I came across this quote by Eckhart Tolle, “Don’t look for peace. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”
This quote provided me with redemption, I suppose, that I was able to withstand my own mental distress and agitation for so long which I viewed as strength, rather than weakness. The river guided me to accepting my “non-peace” which did, indeed become transmuted into peace. The only way out is through. And so, I move into the deeper universal states of trust and surrender because it is in this state that I am truly free.
I have since purchased a kayak and plan to spend many days on the river. I’m turning off the TV, the radio, and putting the phone down to connect to the earth, take in the beauty, and experience fluidity again.
Thank you everyone for reading, relating, commenting, supporting, and rejecting what I say, especially Jack Daws-Corwin, for pushing me when the mountain seemed immovable. In the craziness of the world and in all things, keep dancing!
I am already given to the power that rules my fate.
And I cling to nothing, so I will have nothing to defend.
I have no thoughts, so I will see.
I fear nothing, so I will remember myself.
Detached and at ease,
I will dart past the Eagle to be free.
~ Carlos Castaneda, The Eagle’s Gift