By Paulo Coelho
A warrior of the light who trusts too much in his intelligence ends up under-estimating the power of the adversary.
One must not forget: there are moments when strength is more effective than sagacity. And when we find ourselves faced with a certain kind of violence, no brilliance, argument, intelligence or charm can prevent tragedy.
That is why the warrior never under-estimates brute force. When it is irrationally aggressive, he retreats from the battle field until the enemy has spent his energy.
However, let it be made quite clear: a warrior of the light is never cowardly. Flight can be an excellent art of defense but it cannot be used when there is great fear.
In the face of any doubt, the warrior prefers to accept defeat and take care of his wounds, because he knows that if he flees he will be giving the attacker a greater power than he deserves.
He can cure physical suffering but he will be eternally persecuted for his spiritual weakness. In some difficult and painful moments, the warrior faces a situation of disadvantage with heroism, resignation and courage.
To achieve the necessary state of mind (since he is entering the fight at a disadvantage and may suffer a lot), the warrior has to understand exactly what can cause him harm. Okakura Kakuso comments in his book on the Japanese tea ritual:
“We look at the evil of others because we know evil through our own behavior. We never forgive those who injure us because we believe that we would never be forgiven. We tell painful truth to our neighbor because we want to hide it from ourselves. We show our strength so that no-one can see our fragility.”
“That is why, whenever you are judging your brother, know that it you who are on trial.”
Sometimes this knowledge can prevent a fight that will only bring disadvantages. However, at other times there is no way out, only an unequal fight.
We know we are gong to lose, but the enemy – violence – has left no other alternative but cowardice, which is of no interest to us. At this moment it is necessary to accept fate and try to bear in mind a text from the fabulous Bhagavad Gita (Chapter II, 16-26):
“Man is not born, nor does he ever die. For ever he tries to exist, he will never stop doing this, because this is eternal and permanent.”
“Just as a man casts off his old clothes and starts to wear new ones, the soul casts off the old body and takes on a new one.”
“But the soul is indestructible; spades cannot cut it down, fire does not burn it, water does not wet it, and the wind never dries it. The soul is beyond the power of all such things.”
“As man is indestructible, he is always victorious (even in his defeats), and therefore should never have regrets.”
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