Secrets of a Parallel Universe              Stress: Are You Coping or Failing?

to put these things first, to seek the false sense of security material things seem to provide, rather than the real security that attends right action.
     The error of pride leads to extremes. The stress of pressure can drive you to embrace the stress of peace, which is just as threatening to you. Emotion evolves a beast-self that is afraid of the Truth and cannot survive without stress. So you can fear the stress you need for fear of becoming a beast, and at the same time, be equally afraid of peace because you are likely to encounter the Truth that disables pride in the stillness. Motivated by pride and emotion, you can't win.
     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. 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 the health-giving virtues of stress. They sent their "patients" out into an unexplored world on dangerous quests, and

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