I am going to disclose to you the warrior’s secret. Perhaps you can call it a warrior’s predilection. The life of a warrior cannot possibly be cold and lonely and without feelings because it is based on his affection, his devotion, his dedication to his beloved. And who, you ask, is his beloved? I will show you now.
His love is the earth. He embraces this enormous earth. The earth knows that he loves it and it bestows on him its care. That’s why his life is filled to the brim and his state, wherever he’ll be, will be plentiful. He roams on the paths of his love and, wherever he is, he is complete.
This is the predilection of a warrior. This earth, this world. For a warrior there can be no greater love. Only if one loves this earth with unbending passion can one release one’s sadness. A warrior is always joyful because his love is unalterable and his beloved, the earth, embraces him and bestows upon him inconceivable gifts. The sadness belongs only to those who hate the very thing that gives shelter to their beings.
This lovely being, which is alive to its last recesses and understands every feeling, soothed me, it cured me of my pains, and finally when I had fully understood my love for it, it taught me freedom.
Listen to that dog’s barking. That is the way my beloved earth is helping me now to bring this last point to you. That barking is the saddest thing one can hear. That dog’s barking is the nocturnal voice of a man. It comes from a house in that valley towards the south. A man is shouting through his dog, since they are companion slaves for life, his sadness, his boredom. He’s begging his death to come and release him from the dull and dreary chains of his life.
That barking, and the loneliness it creates, speaks of the feelings of men, men for whom an entire life was like one Sunday afternoon, an afternoon which was not altogether miserable, but rather hot and dull and uncomfortable. They sweated and fussed a great deal. They didn’t know where to go, or what to do. That afternoon left them only with the memory of petty annoyances and tedium, and then suddenly it was over; it was already night.
The antidote that kills that poison is here; this earth. The sorcerers’ explanation cannot at all liberate the spirit. Look at yourself, you have gotten to the sorcerers’ explanation, but it doesn’t make any difference that you know it. You’re more alone than ever, because without an unwavering love for the being that gives you shelter, aloneness is loneliness. Only the love for this splendorous being can give freedom to a warrior’s spirit; and freedom is joy, efficiency, and abandon in the face of any odds.
Warriors don’t venture into the unknown out of greed. Greed works only in the world of ordinary affairs. To venture into that terrifying loneliness of the unknown, one must have something greater than greed: love. One needs love for life, for intrigue, for mystery. One needs unquenchable curiosity and guts galore. A warrior knows that he is waiting, and he knows what he is waiting for, and while he waits, he feasts his eyes upon the world. A warrior’s ultimate accomplishment is to enjoy the joy of infinity.
Loneliness is inadmissible in a warrior. Warrior-travelers can count on one being on which they can focus all their love, all their care: this marvelous Earth, the mother, the matrix, the epicenter of everything we are and everything we do; the very being to which all of us return; the very being that allows warrior-travelers to leave on their definitive journey.
Let’s put it this way. In order for me to leave this world and face the unknown, I need all my strength, all my forbearance, all my luck; but above all, I need every bit of a warrior-traveler’s guts of steel. To remain behind and fare like a warrior-traveler, you need everything of what I myself need. To venture out there, the way we are going to, is no joking matter, but neither is it to stay behind.
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