When you possess clarity in your thoughts and the direction in life, you assume that the clarity will last. However, this act of attaching yourself to clear thought, is the beginning of losing it. In order to see things as they are, we must let go of what we fear.
If we are able to calm our minds of fear, we’ll be shocked at how fear can aggravate an innocent situation. We are conditioned to face the good with pleasure and attachment; and the bad with fear and aversion. We must drop the illusion of good and bad as they are ultimately two sides of the same coin. Both good and bad should be faced with a calm objective mind. Fear taints clear thought. It instigates paranoia that totally blinds us from clarity. Blindness impairs us from taking action.
[ Aikido demonstration and free attacks ]
Sometimes, during Aikido training I’m required to defend against attacks, at normal speed, without knowing how the attacker will attack. Anticipating an attack results in lack of clarity, because most of the time, you won’t be able to anticipate an attack correctly. I have to empty my mind of anticipation and fear. This way I can truly see an attack for what it is; and not what I imagine. And my body has been able to respond to an attack without hesitation by blending with the attackers attack.
I realise the key to being calm and retain clarity is to accept that some of my fears may come true. In the case of an attack, it is the fear of being hit. By accepting those fears I can take action to minimise the impact. It beats attaching to my fears and allowing them to claim my sanity. As a martial artist, the moment you lose clarity and calm, you are dead. I suppose the same can be said of life.