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Journal: Fear

Note: This Journal entry was written on September 14th, 2001, as I walked on the Old Tokaido. Take a look at that day's Logbook for more.


Almost every religion teaches that fear is one of the great enemies. The Buddha labeled two such enemies: Fear and Desire. (Some add social duty as a third hindrance to enlightenment. If Gautama had stayed home and done what was expected of him, he would never have become The Buddha...)

I learned something about fear while facing today's climb to Hakone. My imagination is powerful, and I pictured all sorts of terrible things happening. But when I just walked, and kept my mind on the task at hand, fear disappeared. In other words, if I filled my mind with Purpose, there was no room for Fear.

Imagine the proverbial deer in the headlights. His mind is so filled with Fear that there's no room for Purpose. Road kill.

Joseph Campbell taught that you should "Follow Your Bliss." BUT, many object, how do I know what my bliss is? It's self-defining: Bliss is what makes you happy, or what brings you peace. Follow that, and life will be good.

Here's my point: most of us already know what makes us happy. We're just afraid to follow it. Fear fills our minds and keeps us from our Purpose, which is the same for all of us: to live a full life.

I'm fairly well known for coming up with more ideas than I have time to accomplish. (That's putting it nicely; some would say I'm just all talk.) But this time, I'm doing what I said I would. Hakone is said to be the toughest part of this trip. But the REAL toughest part was the "first step" everyone talks about. The real toughest part was overcoming inertia. The real toughest part was overcoming my fear and just doing it.

Who's next?

Posted September 25, 2019

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