It is a known truism that a near-death experience leads to an acceptance of death, and furthermore, a fearlessness that is a by-product of the experience. The experience itself, I believe, takes you to the very edge, where you are in a sense tip-toeing your way to death and the sensation of fear rapidly strikes a peak and then, in the most unanticipated and astounding way, the sensation dries itself out and you are left with an emptiness which is simultaneously awe-inspiring and frightening. However, after that, the fear ceases to manifest in a sort of anxiety. Instead, it brings with it an aura of gratitude a minority have come to experience, and at that moment the gratitude overshadows any sensation of fear. The people who have been there recognised eternity, and when such is explained to laymen, it is seldomly taken solemnly because the only people who will comprehend it are those who have been there themselves. When the great author and poet Dostoyevsky was on the brink of execution, a sudden thought came to his mind; If I do not die, if I am not killed, my life will suddenly seem eternal, every moment.
It is not so much of a let down to be lacking in courage if you were to have an endless lifetime. In the face of death, however, there is no moment for timidity. The fear that exists only in your head is not the fear that you should be afraid of. Death-ground puts you in a state of utter desperation. When we hear the word desperation we tend to impose negative connotations to it because we relate it to neediness or fearful clinging. However, there is a different type of desperation, the kind of desperation that brings about the total concord of courage, expertise and fearless drive. Once the safety net has been detached, the margin for error is so marginal in the grand scheme that your vital energies will manifest themselves in absolute accord. When multiple options are presented, you are not able to focus on a single thing with utmost intensity because you’re preoccupied with other things that may not be so important. This, of course, goes back to your hierarchy of values. If you don’t know what you want, and your priorities aren’t aligned, you are merely jumping from one thing to another without genuinely engaging yourself thoroughly into one thing and mastering it. This is where a bold move must be taken, by being decisive, setting fire to the trivial things that may seem appealing to you in order to triumph. Necessity is a muse, it makes one’s integrity shine through and inspire a sense of metaphysical courage that is almost supernatural to the men that are not under that kind of burden. The ancient commanders understood this very well and inspired their own soldiers with such intense influence.
Of all destructive emotions, there is no greater threat than fear for your presence of mind. Fear battles with the unknown which enables our imaginations to think up the most terrifying scenarios and progressively lose our mind. The only way to make sense out of this perpetuating anxiety is to face it, deliberately. By doing so, your familiarity with it will ease its intensity and you will grow unfazed by it. Conversely, confronting your fears does give you the presence of mind you seek. Firstly, it leaves no doors unopened, no room for regret. Secondly, it delivers you the confidence and pleasure of having overcome a major apprehension that was holding you back. Anxiety is rather fascinating, for the same bodily symptoms arise when you are excited for a particular event for instance. However, when those same bodily symptoms arise in a somewhat disconcerting context, we tend to impose negative undertones to it and call it anxiety. You see, we only call it anxiety depending on the context in which it is experienced, and the mystery of it is in the statement itself. In submitting to your fears, you not only lose your presence of mind, but you also sabotage yourself in shame and guilt and disparage your fearless spirit that is well beyond the fearful ego. This is a vicious circle that becomes seemingly permanent. When you are held accountable for your fearful actions, you have a degree to live up to, people are keeping an eye out on you and possibly relying on you. A failure to overcome illusory anxiety is simultaneously a failure to your group, and losing your imperturbability is going to make it demanding to live with yourself. /Familiarity soothes our fears./This is a very profound insight because it shows us how congenial we become in the common territory. The common territory comforts us and puts our anxieties at rest but it also puts to rest our vital energies that are stirred up through hardship and our willingness to confront our anxieties.
In your striving to impress your teacher, you may very well end up inspiring a sense of unease and lack of confidence in your master which may result in your demise later on. Neglecting the laws of power, or overlooking them, will not avert other people taking advantage of you through manipulative means. One must educate himself on the fundamental principles of power as a means of defensive cover and also sustaining an admirable reputation. Put your master at ease and make sure you are honouring him in goodwill. Certain temptations must be resisted in order to climb the ladder of power, the nice guys never got anywhere with their long-suffering harmless attitude. Lack of confidence is not an exception to anyone. With great work comes great indignation, both in your intimate and professional life.
There is a profusion of envy and umbrage when you exhibit your natural flair to the world. People in power strive for a substantial degree of comfort in their superior positions and they want to feel exclusive to their environment, chiefly in shrewdness, humour, and appeal. Avoid brute creatures of conceit and narcissism. Do not ever disregard your position and let any good service justify self-adulation and bitterness of your master. One may very well pay with his life in his oblivion and ignorance. Overt praise and puffery are potent but have their boundaries, be aware of the cut-off point and do not over colour. As a subordinate to your master, you need to give the impression that he is more brilliant than you, an air of innocence and gullibility will go a long way in your seeming demand for his prowess. In his presence, put your ego and self-image aside and if your self-generated project plans are more inventive, publicly associate them with him. It is not frailty to conceal your virtues, for ultimately, they will contribute to your power. Do not be a sufferer of others’ meekness and insecurity. The dots will fall in line once you resolve to transcend your lesser position.
As a corollary, one need not be consistently concerned about distressing those around him, for there is a good chance they are not emotionally adept, which makes them easily breakable. Selective savagery is a requisite if your master is a degenerate, for there is nothing menacing stopping you from eclipsing him. There is a profound lesson here; the stars in the sky may be allied to the sun and just as vivid, but never seen in her presence. You ought to know when to let nature take its course and not impede or obstruct it because it will just enforce more mayhem. Ultimately, the relationship between the subordinate and the master should be one of good fellowship, the subordinate being the proletarian apprentice, the master the guiding light.