Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear.
She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly.
But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle.
The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other.
The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons.
The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, "May I have permission to go into battle with you?"
Fear said, "Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission."
Then the young warrior said, "How can I defeat you?"
Fear replied, "My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power."
In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear.
Phil Cousineau is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, lecturer and travel leader, storyteller and TV host. His fascination with the art, literature, and history of culture has taken him from Michigan to Marrakesh, Iceland to the Amazon, in a worldwide search for what the ancients called the "soul of the world." With more than 25 books and 15 scriptwriting credits to his name, the "omnipresent influence of myth in modern life" is a thread that runs through all of his work. His books include Stoking the Creative Fires: 9 Ways to Rekindle Passion and Imagination, The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred, The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work, and most recently, Wordcatcher: An Odyssey Into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words.
This is a TED talk by Phil Cousineau on one of his passions, being a mentor.
"Where is God?" asked the disciple.
"Everywhere, in everyone and everything," said his Guru.
Later, as the disciple was going home, he saw an elephant charging towards him.
"Get out of the way, get out of the way," shouted the elephant-driver. "He has gone mad!"
But the disciple thought: "God is everywhere. He is in the elephant and he is in me. Would God attack God? No, therefore the elephant will not attack me."
He stood where he was. The elephant picked him up in his trunk and flung him aside. Fortunately, he landed in a haystack and was not too badly hurt. But he was terribly shaken and confused.
When the Guru and the other disciples came to help him and take him home, he said, "You said God is in everything, but see what the elephant did to me!"
"It is true that God is in everything," said his Guru. "He is in the elephant, but he is also in the mahout who kept telling you to get out of the way. Why didn't you listen to him?"