Change! If you do not respond to that challenge you are as good as dead. You have never taken the responsibility for being in this unfathomable world. Therefore, you were never an artist, and perhaps you’ll never be a hunter. There is one simple thing wrong with you – you think you have plenty of time. You think your life is going to last forever. The countless paths one traverses in one’s life are all equal. Oppressors and oppressed meet at the end, and the only thing that prevails is that life was altogether too short for both.
How often are you vehemently asserting some non-sense? You don’t have time for this display. This, whatever you’re doing now, may be your last act on earth. It may very well be your last battle. There is no power which could guarantee that you are going to live one more minute. If this were your last battle on earth, I would say that you are an idiot. You are wasting your last act on earth in some stupid mood.
You have no time, my friend, no time. None of us have time. Don’t just agree with me. Act upon it. What I recommend you to do is to notice that we do not have any assurance that our lives will go on indefinitely. Change comes suddenly and unexpectedly, and so does death. There are some people who are very careful about the nature of their acts. Their happiness is to act with the full knowledge that they don’t have time; therefore, their acts have a peculiar power.
Acts have power. Especially when the person acting knows that those acts are his last battle. There is a strange consuming happiness in acting with the full knowledge that whatever one is doing may very well be one’s last act on earth. I recommend that you reconsider your life and bring your acts into that light.
You don’t have time my friend. That is the misfortune of human beings. None of us have sufficient time. Your acts cannot possibly have the flair, the power, the compelling force of the acts performed by a man who knows that he is fighting his last battle on earth.
We are all going to die. There is something out there waiting for me, for sure; and I will join it, also for sure. Use it. Focus your attention on the link between you and your death, without remorse or sadness or worrying. Focus your attention on the fact you don’t have time and let your acts flow accordingly. Let each of your acts be your last battle on earth. Only under those conditions will your acts have their rightful power.
Otherwise they will be, for as long as you live, the acts of a timid man. There is no time for timidity, simply because timidity makes you cling to something that exists only in your thoughts. It soothes you while everything is at a lull, but then the awesome, mysterious world will open its mouth for you, as it will open for every one of us, and then you will realize that your sure ways were not sure at all. Being timid prevents us from examining and exploiting our lot as men.
A warrior-hunter knows that his death is waiting, and the very act he is performing now may well be his last battle on earth. I call it a battle because it is a struggle. Most people move from act to act without any struggle or thought. A hunter, on the contrary, assesses every act; and since he has an intimate knowledge of his death, he proceeds judiciously, as if every act were his last battle. Only a fool would fail to notice the advantage a hunter has over his fellow men. A hunter gives his last battle its due respect. It’s only natural that his last act on earth should be the best of himself. It’s pleasurable that way. It dulls the edge of his fright.
A warrior is only a man, a humble man. He cannot change the designs of his death. But his impeccable spirit, which has stored power after stupendous hardships, can certainly hold his death for a moment, a moment long enough to let him rejoice for the last time in recalling his power. We may say that that is a gesture which death has with those who have an impeccable spirit.
A warrior dies the hard way. His death must struggle to take him. A warrior does not give himself to death so easily. The spirit of the warrior is not geared to indulging and complaining, nor is it geared to winning or losing. The spirit of a warrior is geared only to struggle, and every struggle is a warrior’s last battle on earth. Thus the outcome matters very little to him. In his last battle on earth a warrior lets his spirit flow free and clear. And as he wages his battle, knowing that his intent is impeccable, a warrior laughs and laughs.
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