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Conquering Fear: The Ground

When we bring together the ancient spiritual traditions of the West with those of the Orient, we find a meeting point where the warrior tradition can be experienced and realized. The concept of being a warrior is applicable to the most basic situations in our lives—to the fundamental situation that exists before the notion of good or bad ever occurs. The term “warrior” relates to the basic situation of being a human being. The heart of the warrior is this basic aliveness or basic goodness. Such fearless goodness is free from doubt and overcomes any perverted attitudes towards reality.

Doubt is the first obstacle to fearlessness that has to be overcome. We’re not talking here about suppressing your doubts about a particular thing that is taking place. We’re not talking about having doubts about joining an organization, or something like that. We are referring here to overcoming a much more basic doubt, which is fundamentally doubting yourself and feeling that you have some kind of shortcoming as a human being. You don’t feel that your mind and body are synchronized, or working together properly. You feel that you are constantly being short-changed somewhere in your life.

When you were growing up, at a very early stage—perhaps around two years old—you must have heard our  father or mother saying no to you. They would say, “No, don’t get into that,” or, “No, don’t explore that too much,” or, “No, be quiet. Be still.” When you heard the word no, you may have responded by trying to fulfill that no, by being good. Or you may have reacted negatively, by defying your parents and their no, by exploring further and being “bad.” That mixture of the temptation to be naughty and the desire to be disciplined occurs very early in life. When our parents say no to us, it makes us feel strange about ourselves, which becomes an expression of fear.


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