“We have forgotten how to be… brave.”

English: Head-shot of Eckhart Tolle from direc...

English: Head-shot of Eckhart Tolle from directly in front by Kyle Hoobin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We depend on nature not only for our physical survival. We also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our own minds. We got lost in doing, thinking, remembering, anticipating – lost in a maze of complexity and a world of problems.

We have forgotten what rocks, plants, and animals still know. We have forgotten how to be – to be still, to be ourselves, to be where life is: Here and Now.

By Eckhart Tolle


A New Earth

A New Earth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



“We have forgotten how to be” is not a bad way to put it, but not a good way either. There is no choice but to be. We are already “doing it.”


The issue could better be identified as a matter of how we identify. Do I identify with a self-image that prefers pride over shame?


If so, then I hide fear. Hiding fear takes energy- especially when I am also hiding the fear from myself.


It is that fear of fear itself (AKA anxiety AKA shame) that holds to a mold of tension- blocking the display of fear, like trembling and raised eyebrows. There is the constant attraction to diversion, an addiction to distractions from the background fear.


Ironically, one of our distractions from admitting fear is the blaming of current problems- but those current developments that we may relate to as problems are often symptomatic proxies that are “safe”(socially) to fear… while we pretend not to have any latent fear in the background. The so-called problems give us some opportunity to practice experiencing fear and being responsible for developing courage, even in the midst of frustration and disappointment and other forms of fear.


Frustration is a fear of admitting that a method has been producing results that are disappointing. Disappointment is a fear of admitting the presence of… Fear (AKA vulnerability).

laying at the master's feet

laying at the master’s feet (Photo credit: Loving Earth)

If I am willing to admit fear, then do I stay sad or depressed? No, I can just shift directly from fear to some action that I know may be risky (which may reveal some vulnerability or fragility). But in taking the courage to make a risk, there is no need to blame anyone for “why I should not be afraid.” I do not need to set up any excuses for failure in advance. I simply am afraid- at least temporarily, even only momentarily.


Deeper than the temporary fearing is nature. I am nature. Nature sometimes experiences what nature can label as fear. When we reject our own nature, we are specifically rejecting fear out of shame (as a coping mechanism, as a functional way of adapting).


“To be where life is” is an idea that implies the possibility of one somehow being other than life, away from it. That is ridiculous. Only when an organism identifies itself AGAINST shame would there be a sincere pretense in language about not already being life.


Why would life be denied? Because life involves fear and shame. If I do not want to be associated with fear and shame- if am afraid and ashamed- then I can imply ridiculous things such that I am not life itself already, not the eternal nature, that I need nature, that I am a dead ghost, that I need spiritual rebirth, that I need to get to heaven.


Only those who reject life (nature, fear, shame, anxiety, etc) are rejecting the eternal presence of heaven. They may say “my life should not be how it is. I need life to save me from life. I am afraid that in the future, but not now of course, that I might be afraid. I am ashamed that in the future, but not now of course, that might be ashamed.” While that kind of statement might be rather common, it is a bit insane or even silly.


'yeah this is quite a good book, I suppose'

‘yeah this is quite a good book, I suppose’ (Photo credit: Loving Earth)

When a Buddha says “we have forgotten how to be,” look for a winking of the eye and listen for an outburst of laughing. Life has not forgotten that it is alive. Life has been pretending to be dead and pretending to be in an eternal hell, and that is actually a sign of the creative genius of life.


All of the self-image’s so-called problems come from it’s addiction to fear, which only comes from a rejection of fear. If fear is a label for an experience of repulsion or resisting, then what would happen if one stops resisting fear, condemning fear, rejecting fear?


To the one who is addicted to condemning various reasons why life should not be so frightening, shame is dysfunctional and must be condemned as negative and avoided. To the one who is relaxed enough to be open to curiosity, courage, faith, and risk, shame is functional and so is fear.


None of life needs to be suppressed or rejected or condemned or vilified. However, any suppressing or rejecting or condemning or vilifying is also fine. Those patterns do not need to be fixed or suppressed either. What a relief!

Dancing in Bliss, in This

Dancing in Bliss, in This (Photo credit: Loving Earth)


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3 Responses to ““We have forgotten how to be… brave.””

  1. Vivien E. Zazzau Says:

    How very interesting! I will be spending a good deal of time studying this post. And thank you for the pingback! Namaste.

  2. Hell Raising Love Monster Says:

    How quickly I forget to accept. I see that I can stop resisting resisting.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      I am sometimes astonished at how much attention I put on “not getting anything wrong,” which can be on the verge of paralyzing. I second-guess habitually. Maybe I could second-guess whether second-guessing is an issue. What if it is not an issue at all? What if I simply declare that I second-guess exactly the right amount? What if I declare that no matter how much I get things wrong, that is okay?

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