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Fearlessness is extending ourselves beyond that limited view. In the Heart Sutra, it talks about going beyond. Gone beyond, gate, is the basic NO. In the sutra, it says there is no eye, no ear, no sound, no smell—all of those things. When you experience egolessness, the solidity of your life and your perceptions falls apart. That could be very desolate or it could be very inspiring, in terms of shunyata, the Buddhist understanding of emptiness. Very simply, it is basic NO. It is a real expression of fearlessness. In the Buddhist view, egolessness is pre-existing, beyond our preconceptions. In the state of egolessness everything is simple and very clear. When we try to supplement the brightness of egolessness by putting a lot of other things onto it, those things obscure its brilliance, becoming blockages and veils.

In the warrior tradition, sacred outlook is the brilliant environment created by basic goodness. When we refuse to have any contact with that state of being, when we turn away from basic goodness, then wrong beliefs arise. We come up with all sorts of logics, again and again, so that we don’t have to face the realities of the world.

We run up against our hesitation to get fully into things all the time, even in seemingly insignificant situations. If we don’t want to wash the dishes right after we’ve eaten, we may tell ourselves that we need to let them soak. In fact we’re often hoping that one of our housemates will clean up after us. On another level, philosophically speaking, we may feel completely tuned into the warrior’s world. From that point of view, we think that we can quite safely say, “Once a warrior, always a warrior.” That sounds good, but in terms of the actual practice of warriorship, it’s questionable. “Once a warrior” may not always be a warrior if we disregard the beauty of the phenomenal world. We prefer to wear sunglasses, rather than facing the brilliance of the sunshine. We put on a hat and gloves to shield ourselves, fearing that we might get burned. The colourfulness of relationships, household chores, business enterprises and our general livelihood are too irritating. We are constantly looking for padding so that we don’t run into the sharp edges of the world. That is the essence of wrong belief. It is an obstacle to seeing the wisdom of the Great Eastern Sun, which is seeing greater vision beyond our own small world.


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