A Good Bullfight

Roy Masters from 'Secrets of A Parallel Universe'

If you are alive, you are acquainted with stress, so you don’t have to be an expert to see that a clear relationship exists between stress and diseases of mind, body, and soul.

You don’t even have to be unusually intuitive to realize that if you continue to “blow your stack” every time you get into an argument with

someone who delights in “needling” you, you may indeed go crazy, but it won’t be the needler who drove you to it.

The problems posed by our reactions to stress are not insoluble. The secret solution lies in the souls of each of us; all we have to do is learn to be patient.

Of course, patience itself is a response, but it is not a response to people or circumstances. Patience is the overt manifestation of a commitment to One greater, deep within the soul.

As a victim of stress, you have converted your failing, resentment, into a smug feeling of superiority that you consider to be a virtue because it gives you the right to judge whatever or whoever is stressing you.

When you fail to lord it over others in real-life situations, you judge them in fantasy. So pride develops through imagination, and the prideful self it nurtures not only becomes addicted to failing itself, but it also encourages the wickedness in others, whose wickedness encourages the failing of pride shared by both.

Try to look at stress the way a matador sees a bull. Surely, he must look forward to a good bullfight. His success as a bullfighter depends on meeting the stress of one bull after another and conquering each in turn.

Bulls are not only his problem, but his ticket to success—just as problem engines challenge the mechanic to succeed in his field of endeavor.

"Patience is the overt manifestation of a commitment to One greater, deep within the soul."

If engines were all perfect, he would have nothing on which to perfect his skill of fixing them.

Likewise, if everything in life were perfect, none of us could justify our existence. There would be nothing to call the best out of us. But when the mechanic begins to resent his work, and the matador begins to resent the bull, they are in serious trouble.

True, stress can cause death, but when you meet it properly you grow stronger, both in body and in spirit. Something alive, deep within you, moves ahead and keeps improving as you deal properly with stress.

But if you fail to send it onto the battlefield to do its work, it grows weaker and weaker, until it is no more.

The bullfighter who lacks confidence, yet keeps trying to apply a courage he doesn’t possess, will gradually lose the little he has left, no matter how he tries to preserve it, as he continues to resent and fear the bull.

According to the ancient myths, wizards and magicians recognized thehealth-giving virtues of stress. They sent their “patients” out into an unexplored world on dangerous quests, and all who survived came back in good health, radiating confidence.

Adventure sharpens the natural faculties of mind and body, just as dealing bravely and unflinchingly with stress refines and strengthens the

spiritual faculties of the soul.