The four enemies. (Loosely liberated from Carlos Castenada)

The first enemy is fear. Fear paralyzes you. For fear, you don’t act. There are several forms of fear. One of the lesser manifestations of fear is worrying. If you are constantly imagining bad things in your future, you tend not to act, for fear of something bad happening.  Be aware of the little forms of fear. If you can’t get past fear, you are unable to move forward. You must confront fear. You must conquer fear, and you must realize that you are strong enough to face anything the future gives you and survive.

The second enemy is clarity. If you get past fear, you realize there wasn’t anything to fear in the first place. Breaking through fear brings the realization that the universe will unfold as it should, and you are part of it, and you will come and go as part of the universe, and your mission is to see the universe for all the glory that it is. Clarity gives you the ability to truly see. True clarity doesn’t just watch to see what happens next. True clarity comes with understanding. It is watching without filters to see the deep meaning of what transpires. It understands why things happen. It also is a trap, because it is so fascinating that you can get trapped inside the act of just watching.  Someone caught in the clarity trap will just watch and watch and smile knowingly.

If you have conquered fear, and you achieve clarity, and can break through the clarity trap, you stop just watching and act. Because you have clarity, you act knowingly. This is the third enemy of mankind. Power. Power is very seductive. You see things clearly, you know how to act, and you can foresee outcomes, so you use your actions for gain. It can be your gain, the gain of a company you work for, the gain of an organization, or even the gain of all humanity, but if you are using power for gain the trap is to use it at others expense. If your power means that others suffer, you are caught in the trap. To break through the power trap, you need compassion. Power coupled with compassion is the ability to bestow blessings. Once you have the ability to bless, truly bless, you meet the fourth enemy of man (woman) kind…

Old age. Old age is the final debilitator. It is frustrating to have the ability to make change for the better, but be unable physically to carry through. This is why we study Tai Chi. We want to pass through the four enemies and still have enough will power and the physical ability to carry out the blessings that need to be sown.

May you live long and well.