Plukrijp.be vzw – Upside-down the good newsletter
and will only be used in the purpose of informing you of our activities.
Upside-down, The Good Newsletter 2020 – Week 31
The weekly interactive newsletter sent out by Plukrijp to its members
For people living NOW the school of life
For YOU to send all your good news to
upside down = instead of announcing what we plan to do
(& most often find out we do not need to do), we relate what we really did
Building communities of trust is fundamental to healing our collective wound. At Plukrijp, we offer spaces of transparency and solidarity. The
community allows people to encounter each other in truth and so develop trust.
We do the garden for YOU
Plukrijp functions on your frequent visits & harvests. Take along for friends & neighbours, this way we recreate real networks between us all, breaking down the illusory restrictions that now still separate many of us from our fellow
man = UBUNTU.
carrots, sweet corn, orange & green Hokkaïdo pumpkin, and so much more
New on our website www.plukrijp.be
was an active week:
Buy 70x300kg straw locally
& stack it right before rain. Warm & dry weather seems to be our destiny, so every drop of water we can fix in our straw filled roads & ditches counts. All this cellulose then transforms into rich compost over the years, also “locally”, i.e. right where we
need it. By digging out the ditches every 5 or so years our carbon & fertility cycle keeps turning higher. While our neighbors keep on “stealing” humus from their soil by corn, cow & poison erosion, our fields get greener every year as a video made from a
Finish the pallet repair
for our wholesale friends. It was a bit awkward to find out that buying 10cm nails locally had become so difficult. As far as Frank experiences, stocks of tools & materials & local expertise has disappeared over the last 48 years. What’s left is big stores
running only what most people buy, an ever-reducing inventory supplemented with plastic imitation “tools” & run like supermarkets. Frank visited 3 stores & tried an internet shop but eventually had to ask friends from the city to get these “collectors items”.
tons of beans, tens of (mmmm) ripe melons, courgettes, cucumbers & tomatoes. Plukrijp functions on the
Mediterranean way !
the invasive hop on open tunnel 3
but correct episode of
The Green Beautiful
followed by a
discussion on how to live decent lives in a free society. After the breakdown of authority now taking place, people
will need to re-learn to live in cooperation locally as Plukrijp is already demonstrating. As the bard (Bob
Dylan) sang in the ’60s:
“to live outside the law you must be honest”
The surrealist movie
an evocation of
Spain anno 1936sqq. Many of our “love & lighties”
could not stomach the depicted violence. It took Spain 50 years to recover from the fascist take-over of a democratically elected government by Franco. Without the open participation of
& an over-zealous
Vatican this bloodshed could never have happened.
History should be our mentor in these strangely disconnected times where eugenics & fake science & populist propaganda seen to rule the media world.
Interesting Movies & Documentaries
Basic Goodness and Harmony -Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
….And we begin to feel that way ourselves, that basic goodness exists in ourselves…. For the very reason that you are not struggling, just purely creating harmony
alone, but you are also creating enlightened society…. When there is that kind of harmony takes place, properly, fully, then there is some kind of joy taking place… The harmony had to be related with some sense of lusciousness, richness, which is one aspect
of harmony. The other aspect of harmony is a sense of spaciousness, and openness.
The Green Beautiful – Coline Serreau
Viva La Muerte – Fernando Arrabal (1971)
Made in Tunisia with a largely French and Tunisian cast and crew,
Viva la Muerte is apparently set at the end of the Spanish Civil War and features Chaouch as Fando, a boy whose leftist father, like Arrabal’s own, has been betrayed by his mother
and supposedly executed by the authorities. The film is largely concerned with Fando’s coming-of-age, sexual awakening, and filial loyalties—and yet it’s implicitly, as Amos Vogel identifies in one of the most passionate capsules in
Film as a Subversive Art, about “revolutionary purification and liberation … a paroxysm of anguish, a scream for liberty, and probably one of the most ferocious, violent films ever
Fawlty Towers – A Reichian Analysis
Link to the full episode:
Fawlty Towers – The Wedding Party
The past year I have thoroughly analyzed a significant part of the multi-disciplinary scientist Wilhelm Reich’s work, as well as integrated the work into my daily life. A few days back I enjoyed an episode
of the amazing British comedy – by Python John Cleese – Fawlty Towers. While it has always been hilarious, I have never before seen the accuracy with which it portrays the mechanisms Reich describes. We watched the episode together in the evening and I offered
the group a short analysis that I will also attempt to write down here.
A short introduction to Reich
Everyone wants to live. The innate love of life, the basic goodness of life is in all of us. In a sane society, this love of life is cultivated in young children, given
meaning and proper boundaries to explore in. In the western world this is not the case. If babies are deprived of human touch, of gentleness and sensuality, they die. Yet sensuality (including sexuality) is a commodity
in the west. From an early age we are told not to touch our genitals, not to hug the neighbor, not to masturbate (or god shall smite thee from the heavens!). When we were denied the expression of this basic need,
automatically anger comes up. This anger is not
negative. It is the basic rage to
preserve life, aimed at whatever the cause of deprivation or denial might be. We, however, are deprived by the very people who should
be purveyors of love and sensuality. We are put into the double-bind of on the one hand needing to live life, to express love and on the other hand needing the care, food, shelter, love given by our mother or father.
We should have kicked them in the shins, but couldn’t attack our life-line. This contradiction leads to the suppression of this anger.
This energy, seeking expression, becomes lodged in area’s of the body
and in a mechanical inability to express oneself authentically: the body armor and the character armor.
Burdened with this excess energy, we become less and less able to feel, less and less able to experience pleasure, less and less able to experience orgasm. Without release, we
become bloated, stuck, (f)rigid, locked, blocked. The blockage then again leads to less capability to feel, leading to more blockage, eventually leading to the neurotic character
of the western man.
These neurotic characters, deprived of true release, seek ventilation through outbursts of rage, projected at external factors. We might
explode at the slightest scratch to our car (Aha! An excuse to vent, let’s get the fucker!) or at the couple kissing in the street. The latter is key:
seeing the very thing we secretly long for, the experience of love, pleasure, tenderness, we explode. When we observe our little girl stroking her vagina we are engulfed by shame,
disgust, rage and jealousy. When she feels this, the cycle starts again in a new being.
For a thorough analysis of these outbursts, see Eric Berne’s ‘Games People Play’
The neurotic character also entails a rigid authoritarianism;
dictator downwards (towards child), loyal slave upwards
(towards parent). This aspect makes up the foundation of our rigidly hierarchical society:
the docile masses and fuhrer-like managers/politicians/CEO’s.
A spontaneous character would never put up with the torture that is everyday life in the west.
On the macro scale, the government equals the
and the subjects equal the submissive repressed child.
Within the family unit, the mechanism creates a very nasty power dynamic between man and women in near-enough all cases in the west.
At first the couple experiences genuine attraction and love. As the relationship drags on, the power dynamics shift. In the west a relationship is considered an exclusive thing,
a monopoly on the other persons love; the love we did not get as a child, the lack of self-love and now look for in vain in another person.
In this process we select people with whom we can share the same contradictory, pain and pleasure ‘love’ we experienced in our parental homes.
In most families the woman is unable to experience pleasure:
she feels almost nothing. By seeing sensuality as something to doled out to the man as a reward or withheld as punishment, she is able to, by repressing her sensuality (and thus her love of life), to have power of the man. As they are in an exclusive situation,
she is his only source of touch and woe to him if he dare break this holy vow, no matter the need! Deprived, he walks around with an enormous supply of energy
looking for expression, leading to an immense neurosis.
Over the years, this pattern solidifies, until there is barely a shred of sensuality left. Don’t believe me? Go check out the couples you know and have a look at the different stages
and for sure have a look at the episode above: it describes what I’ve just explained beautifully and it also shows you how it even looks like it’s the guy’s fault. Fawlty is nuts, but
how did that become so?
Scene 1 – The
and Mme. Peignoir
flirt at each other. Look how eager he is for the smallest drop of sensuality and how absolutely in
control the Mme. is. At the same time Sybil flirts without repercussions with the guy at the bar.
Both the Mme. and Sybil know they can toy with the man
Look at what it does to Basil. The signs of character armor show: his anger at Sybil’s provocations is vented through sarcasm and cynicism.
Scene 2 – The Reception
The young couple, Alan
and Jean come in, very much sensually active.
Seeing what he does not get to live maddens the neurotic Basil, especially when he discovers they are not married. It wake up the rage with which he should’ve kicked his parents and which he has recreated together with
Sybil. He goes on trying to block them from sharing a room and from (seemingly) buying condoms – ‘That is disgusting!’.
Scene 3 –
When Mme. Peignoir arrives drunk late at night, she trips over Basil and she ends up standing on top of him just as Jean and Alan enter the room, seeing them in a seemingly intimate position. This inspires
terror in Basil, who knows he is property; if Sybil finds out she will have his hide. He does his very best to clumsily hide what has transpired from Sybil.
Scene 4 – Polyamory?
Then the parents of Jean arrive. Basil – not knowing their relation to the couple – catches a glimpse
of Mr. Lloyd hugging, first Jean and then Polly (a friend of the family).
He tries very hard to keep Ms. Lloyd from the room, thinking it would crush her. Then he hears noises coming from the room – seemingly of
sex with Polly, Alan and Jean, but in actuality of a massage. The neurosis triggers and – even though it’s
just his imagination
– the free love must be destroyed; what I can’t have, I shall smash. He becomes livid and orders the couple out, giving a righteous moral
speech and is about to fire Polly. Downstairs Sybil explains to him the mistake he has made. Ordered to put things right by Sybil he goes
up and blames her.
Scene 5 –
Mme. Peignoir keeps trying to seduce Basil,
inviting him into her room, knocking on the door, all the while making it clear she won’t actually deliver.
This once again puts Basil in the position of having to fend off the thing he longs for under threat of aggression by a monogamous matriarch.
6 – The Bedroom
This is an interesting scene for this analysis, because this is where it all takes place (or where all of it
doesn’t take place).
The beds are placed about a meter apart, Sybil is sitting in bed smoking, eating chocolates, reading a raunchy magazine and calling very loudly over the telephone (‘I knoooow!’),
giving multiple middle-fingers to Basil at the same time:
The smoking, the chocolates and the calling loudly proclaim ‘I can prevent you from reading or sleeping and there is nothing you
can do about it.’ Additionally the smoking and chocolates are a poor substitute for sensuality.
The calling is also to maintain a toxic relationship with another lady,
who is complaining about the man she has sat on top of for years.
Reading pornography next to a touch-starved man is also very cruel.
This is a dead bedroom. No sensuality and love is shared here, and from Freud and then Reich we know that this leads to neurosis. It is easy to blame the insane antics of
Basil entirely on him if you ignore the passive (non-)actions of Sybil and this scene shows you exactly what those are.
It also makes very clear who is in charge in the couple.
I am of course not arguing Basil is entirely blameless, but within a system where he is unable to get his needs fulfilled anywhere else,
he is not in an easy situation. Options? He could leave her and hope for a better bet. Would he find someone more open?
He could take his chances and ‘cheat’ on her, running the risk of being publicly declared a pervert.
He could try to convince Sybil (and of course first himself) of the need to open up the relationship, as they both so obviously long for.
Or stay in the marriage, unchanging, safe but neurotic, venting the unlived sensuality in bouts of rage and shame.
This is western society in a nutshell. The same unmet need is exploited throughout capitalism: through fascist parties and armies channeling the rage; through the company-mafias promising relief through
food, drugs, experiences; through media offering stories of exclusive eternal love and the porn industry catering to our perverted neurotic fantasies.
We have not always lived this way. For most of our ever extending (hundreds of thousand of years of human) existence we have lived sensually, openly, poly-amorously. We shared our love, in different ways,
with all the people met. The tribes and peoples still living this way that Reich studied showed no signs of any neurosis, not in adults, nor in children. The bonobo’s, our closest relatives, live the same way. In most of the world, even in those places where
monogamy has become the norm, it is still lived similarly – nowhere is it so rigid and closed off as in the west.
If we unlearn the possessive neurotic behavior and learn to live again sensually, intimately, authentically who we are, we can create heaven on earth. This is the only
way of radically changing our society, of tackling the all-pervading rage that fuels it at the root, instead of trying to snap off the many heads of this neurotic hydra.
This book takes readers on a fascinating journey to the very heart of Tantra: its key teachings, foundational lineages, and transformative practices. Since the West’s
discovery of Tantra 100 years ago, there has been considerable fascination, speculation, and more than a little misinformation about this spiritual movement. Now, for the first time in the English language,
Tantra Illuminated presents an accessible introduction to this sacred tradition that began 1,500 years ago, in the far north of India. The book uses translations from primary Sanskrit sources, offers a profound look at spiritual practice, and reveals
Tantra’s rich history and powerful teachings.
All that exists, throughout all time and beyond, is
one infinite divine consciousness.
Free and blissful, which projects within the field of its awareness
a vast multiplicity of apparently differentiated subjects and objects.
Each object is an actualization of a timeless potentiality inherent in the light of Consciousness and each subject, you and I, the same with added a contracted point of self-awareness.
This creation, a divine play, is the result of the natural impulse within Consciousness to express the totality of its self-knowledge in action, an impulse arising from
The unbounded light of Consciousness contracts into finite embodied points of
awareness , out of its own free will.
When those finite subjects then identify with the limited and circumscribed cognitions and circumstances that make up this specific phase of their existence, instead of identifying
with the trans-individual overarching pulsation of pure awareness that is their true nature, they experience what they call “suffering””.
To rectify this, some feel an inner urge to take up the path of spiritual wisdom and yogic practice, the purpose of which is to
undermine their identification and directly reveal within the immediacy of awareness the fact that the divine powers of CONSCIOUSNESS, BLISS, WILLING, KNOWING and ACTING comprise the totality of individual experience as well-thereby
triggering a recognition that one’s real identity is that of the highest Divinity, the Whole in every part.
This experiential insight is repeated and reinforced through various means until it becomes the non conceptual ground of every moment of experience, and one’s contracted sense of self and separation from
the whole is finally annihilated in the incandescent radiance of the complete expansion into perfect wholeness.
Then one’s perception fully encompasses the reality of a universe dancing ecstatically in the animation of its perfect divinity.
Sweden: the One and Only Chart That Matters
While the Covid-19 epidemic continues to drag on in the United States,
it’s largely over in Sweden where fatalities have dropped to no more than 2 deaths per day for the last week. Sweden has been harshly criticized in the media for not imposing draconian lockdowns like the United States and the other European
countries. Instead, Sweden implemented a policy that was both conventional and sensible. They recommended that people maintain a safe distance between each other and they banned gatherings of 50 people or more. They also asked their elderly citizens to isolate
themselves and to avoid interacting with other people as much as possible.
Other than that, Swedes were encouraged to work, exercise and get on with their lives as they would normally even though the world was still in the throes of a global pandemic.
Huge foreign loans are given to sovereign nations by the World Bank, IMF and the likes. But the conditions that come attached to these loans
are seldom told by governments to their citizens.
A recent case in Belarus has exposed the conditions laid by these agencies for loans being provided for COVID-19. The President of Belarus has exposed
that the World Bank coronavirus aid comes with conditions for imposing extreme lockdown measures,
to model their coronavirus response on that of Italy,
and even changes in the economic policies,
which he refused as being “unacceptable”.
William James – the varieties of religious experiences.
Our normal waking consciousness is but one special type of consciousness, while all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We
may go through life without suspecting their existence, but apply their requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness. No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite
The Harsh Truth – Why so Many Refuse to See It
This is Henna Maria from the eponymous YouTube channel and this is the first of 17 videos that she posted there, starting in May.
She is the founder, late last year of the
of Peace organization, which advocates spiritual consciousness, holistic health, self-sovereignty
and COVID-19 truth. Because, as she says, “Truth is a prerequisite for freedom.”
Her English is almost flawless but it’s not native. I’m guessing that she is Finnish but has spent a lot of time in the US. On her Facebook account, she bounces around
between Southern Spain, Peru and Northern California.
I find her directness and simplicity to be startling and refreshing.
Hi, sisters and brothers near and far and beloved greetings from the Andes Mountains, again. Today, I want to talk about truth and especially, why is it that many people
are not able to see the truth.
Truth, we have to understand, is real.
Truth is eternal.
is immutable and truth exists,
whether we believe in it or not.
But unfortunately, because of the very popular Satanic belief system that has infiltrated into the consciousness of many, many
people, it’s popular to now believe that there is “no such thing as truth” and that there is “your truth” and “my truth” and that you have the “right” to believe what you believe and I have the “right” to believe what I believe.
But this is creating utter chaos.
And as a collective,
if we really want to grow spiritually,
we have to come to understand that truth
is a prerequisite for freedom
and if we hold on to mere opinions and beliefs,
that we can only ever create chaos,
because true order, true harmony
is always based in truth.
So, what is truth? There’s no reason to mystify truth. Truth actually means “what has happened in the past and what is actually happening now.” That is what truth is.
So, our work, as conscious human beings is to refine our perception as close to truth as possible.
Of course, there are many layers of truth
and there are many sides to truth,
which is why this is an amazing task
in our spiritual growth,
to learn to see the truth;
to learn to really look at reality
from different perspectives
and see all the different variables;
all the different conditions
of the manifested reality.
And what is required of us to be able to do that is to first see the truth of ourselves, because if we have a blind spot to our inner world, this same blind spot works
as a blind spot to the outer world. So really, learning how to decipher truth in a world full of lies and perpetuated confusion, the remedy is to go within and learn to see the truth of our reality.
And the first question is,
“Am I lying to myself?
Am I holding on to a positive lie
In order to soothe myself
because I’m afraid to look
at reality for what it truly is?”
This is one of the reasons that many people will not look at the truth, because they have unhealed wounds from childhood. They have traumas and such profound insecurities
in their inner world that they have developed this external structure of security; this bubble of fantasy. The bubble of positive lies that they tell themselves in order to soothe their wounded child so they will not admit if there is a real threat happening.
Like, for instance, what is happening now, when a health threat is being used as a justification to strip all of our fundamental
human rights away from us. Now, these individuals who are so insecure in themselves find that reality way too terrifying so they would rather hold on to a positive lie and believe the media surface narrative of things.
That all these measures, all this police-enforced quarantine against healthy peaceful people is merely “for our own protection” because they are too terrified to see
the actual reality of things, which is of course that health is always a personal responsibility and that
nobody can use law
to bind back the lives of healthy people
in order to protect those who are frightened.
So, they have created this narrative of an “invisible enemy”, and for many people that reality of sickness is something that they can identify with and they will gladly
hold on to, because they are being promised that the Big Daddy Government will look after them but those of us who can see how the mind of a psychopath works, and how in the past, these same narratives have been used against us, we understand that
whatever protection the government provides
is actually our own enslavement.
So, that is one reason why some people can’t see the truth: because it’s far too frightening. Their psyche cannot handle it, their worldview would totally collapse.
They cannot even fathom that such level of evil could exist in this plane. But those of us who understand the psychopathic mindset know that control is the real currency and what better way to control than through fear?
And the second reason why people cannot see the truth is because
their lives are a continuous struggle.
They are so busy, because they are having to overwork themselves that they simply do not have the energy to think. They don’t think.
There are many people who work such hard jobs, their life is so challenging, that when they get home from work, they want nothing more than just to zero out their minds.
They do not want to engage in analyzing reality and sorting through news and then seeking for conflict-of-interest or any underlying agendas or connecting the dots.
They’re too exhausted.
They don’t want to know.
And the third reason why some people can’t see the truth is because of
their blinded place of privilege.
They have never actually come across injustice in their lives. Somehow, they’ve managed to live their lives in this total fantasy, where they believe that governments
are actually elected rightfully and the people that are in power are actually caring people and that the laws that are in place are all justified and moral.
And they live in this rosy-glass world where they believe that everything is what people claim it to be. These people are so naive, that they don’t believe that somebody
can lie to them. “Well, if that person says it so in the news, it must be so.” Or, “if this product says that is good for me, then it must be good for me. If the doctor tells me to take this pill, then I must take it.”
Nothing’s ever happened to them
that has shaken their trust in the system.
They’ve never come across injustice and therefore,
it doesn’t exist for them and they live in this permanent La La Land.
And if anyone goes to poke them and say, “You’re believing in a fantasy, the reality is actually horrific! Look around!”
“No, no, no, no, no, I don’t want to ruin my happy feeling. I put my blinkers on. No, you are the problem. You are bursting my bubble. Get out of my life. I want to
continue in my rosy, perfect world.”
And then there’s the fourth reason why people can’t see the truth: it’s because
they are so heavily brainwashed
and conditioned to believe in the Statism,
when people take whatever the government says or does to their heart with such fierce commitment and belief, that it’s akin to worship and so these people feel that
if you insult their government, this nameless, faceless entity that they have somehow accepted as their god, that you are insulting them and then that is blasphemy, to ever even consider that the laws that are in place are immoral or that the president that
is standing in the podium is a puppet for a cult of power that owns actually every single one of our governments.
But because of this severe conditioning, they will fight for their government until the end, even if it means annihilating all human rights, it doesn’t matter because
government is always right.
So you see these “isms” and beliefs
is what is really blocking
our ability to see truth as it is.
I often tell my husband that I honestly believe that homeless people are closer to attaining enlightenment than many of the spiritual people that I’ve met in my circles.
Why is that? Because they can see the ugly truth. This story of the American Dream or the modern Western Dream, this glossy image of the shining city has lost all glamour for them. They can see right through it. They know the reality and it’s painful.
It’s so painful for them that instead of using it as an inspiration, that truth is actually so crushing, that they have lost all hope and thus they are self-medicating
on the street, stuck in a loop of addiction.
Many of the people on the street are actually veterans, who once believed in government, who gave their every last bit of energy and blood and sweat and tears to defend
their country. And when they come back, they realized it was all a lie. It was all illusion and they are not getting the help they need. They suffer from PTSD, they’re not getting the therapy, the help, so they spiral out of society and end up on the streets,
used and abused and lied to.
If you’ve never spoken to a homeless person, it may be difficult to understand what I mean but my husband and I a couple of months ago went around in San Francisco
and we spoke with the homeless people there they were wide awake. They could see the ugly truth of our reality and some of them were more generous people than I’ve ever met, giving every single bit that they get to the others, sharing their coat when they
get cold; people who have nothing, not even a shelter, are out there, looking after each other in the harsh streets.
But I hope that those of us who see the truth
would not let the truth crush us
but would use this as the diagnostic tool
to heal humanity,
because we need to be able to accurately diagnose a problem in order to treat it correctly and if we never come to terms with
the actual reality of our world; of these powers, of these industries, then we are willing slaves of an oppressive system.
I liken it to having a splinter under your skin. It’s something that doesn’t belong to us, this enslavement, this tyranny. It’s not from us, it doesn’t belong to our
nature, because we are sovereign beings. We are beings with creator consciousness but this force is oppressing us and it’s telling us a story that we depend on them.
But I’m ready to tell another story. I’m ready to say, “Let’s remove that splinter, because if we don’t remove that splinter, it will get infected and it will begin
to spread and if we don’t treat that infection, it can turn into something that is life-threatening. And this is what is happening to the collective soul of humanity, right now.
Our very nature is under attack. We are being told that our body is not our property. We are being threatened with mandatory
medical treatments, examinations, injections against our free will. That is the end of humanity, if we give into this slavery. We will lose ourselves and we will betray all the generations to come, because if we don’t have bodily autonomy, then we have no
If we don’t even have freedom to choose if we take a medical pharmaceutical substance or not, then what freedom have we got
Our body is our sacred temple and the state does not have the right to violate it, under any circumstance and this is where
we have to take a stand, now.
We have to take a stand.
We need to be able to look
into the eyes of these oppressors and say,
“No! You do not have more rights than me.
We are all created equal in our rights
and in the face of Natural Law.
You do not have the right to coerce me
into a medical treatment against my free will.”
This is what we must do now. So, I call on all of you, who can see the truth to become the Lighthouse, to be the voice for
all the generations to come, as well.
Because, what is at stake is the sacred heart of humanity, our very nature.
So, let’s keep speaking the truth
and defend our true nature,
which is freedom and love.
Acknowledging fear is not a cause for depression or discouragement. Because we possess such fear, we also are potentially entitled to experience fearlessness. True fearlessness
is not the reduction of fear; but going beyond fear.
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 is 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 or twitch. Some-times
fear manifests in the form of restlessness: doodles on a note pad, 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 could 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 will
find something out 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 possess such fear, we also are potentially entitled to experience fearlessness. True fearlessness is not the 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 without fear, we find sadness, which is calm and gentle. Sadness hits you in your 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 its 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 or black, you 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 comfort-able 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
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