A warrior must be fluid and must shift harmoniously with the world around him, whether it is the world of reason or the world of will. The most dangerous aspect of that shifting comes forth every time the warrior finds that the world is neither one nor the other. I was told that the only way to succeed in that crucial shifting was by proceeding in one’s actions as if one believed. Warriors keep controlled and aloof. They don’t believe anything, but still act efficiently. In other words, the secret trump card of a warrior is that he believes without believing.

But obviously a warrior cannot just say he believes and let it go at that. That would be too easy. To just believe would exonerate him from examining his situation. A warrior, whenever he has to involve himself with believing, does it as a choice, as an expression of his innermost predilection. A warrior doesn’t believe, a warrior has to believe.

Death is the indispensable ingredient in having to believe. Without the awareness of death, everything is ordinary, trivial. It is only because death is stalking him that a warrior has to believe that the world is an unfathomable mystery. Without an awareness of the presence of our death there is no power, no mystery. Having to believe in such a fashion is the warrior’s expression of his innermost predilection.

The best of us always comes out when we are against the wall, when we feel the sword dangling overhead. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is much easier for warriors to fare well under conditions of maximum stress than to be impeccable under normal circumstances.

Having to believe means that you accept the facts of something, consider all possibilities and possible outcomes, and then choose to believe in accordance with your innermost predilection. Believing is a cinch. Having to believe is something else. If you have to believe, you must use all of an event, account for all possibilities, and consider everything. Before deciding that you believe one way you must consider that it may well be another way.

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