Afterdeath: The Second Bell

The Second Bell or “clearing the decks” is similar to washing and sanitizing a utensil before you reuse it. Washing is fine… it looks brilliant and shiny. On top of that gloss, however, lies bacteria and chemical traces inaccessible to the human eye. It must be boiled at a very high temperature. So it is with the carrier of fear. He or she must go through the fire to be cleansed in order to become useful to itself.

Ok… you gain the courage to leave the table of grinning faces and bounty. Now what? Memories of hunger come back. You want to turn around, take your seat, and re-engage the knife and fork to destruction. Yet you are not really depleted. Scared maybe, but only enveloping the fear of being hungry once again. This is the time of searching for the next meal; one of substance and stability.

Learning to defeat your fears is the most important lesson of the second bell. It took courage to leave the table. That courage is a sprint in the race. It pushes you ahead, yet only to dissipate as you walk through the doors of the café. Look around you. There are other venues filled with different sorts of meals to enjoy equally, yet more beneficial to the body. The carrier of fear must learn to push anxiety to the background. It must become a slow hum, decreasing at a rate of two decibels per minute. Simultaneously, the carrier must fill the void with visions of what their healthy environment or meal will look like, taste like, feel like as it passes their lips and engages the pit of their stomach. That vision must become all encompassing. I heard a story of George Washington, where he crossed the river with his troops, then ordered them to burn the ships. There is no retreat, no surrender in the quest to the perfect self-realization. The carrier must establish a vision of their perfect world; arm them self with resistance,  and turn a deaf ear to tunes out of sync with their music.

Everyone carries music. You hear it in their walk; hear it in their talk, or the wave of their hand. Listen for your own symphony first. Let the wholeness of it drive out fear. After you have your ideal piece in place, run, not walk, away from the sour notes of life – no matter how beautiful they sound on their own. They belong to another chorus and will only ruin yours. If you cannot distinguish off beats, you have not yet developed your symphony or are too filled with fear to hear it. To do this, you must become the rejecter, – not the rejected.

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