By Stephen Cheney
Relaxed Alertness and its effect on Fear and Surprise Attacks:
In an unfair fight there is usually an Aggressor and a Victim. An unfair fight is any fight that you have not agreed to. A fight where you do not want to participate, but the fight is forced upon you. A fight with an Aggressor can occur no matter what you say or do to avoid it.
The Victim is the one whose mind may give way under the pressure forced upon it, and who usually does not have full control over what they do. The Aggressor, the original Predator, is confident; plays mind games to dominate and thus cower a victim’s mind; and having decided to act does not hesitate and is dangerous. When you are in a dangerous situation, a fight situation with a Bully swearing, postulating and intending to attack: You then make a choice of being a victim or a predator, and if you choose to become a Predator, then that can make the Aggressor the Victim, and not you. To do that you need to know and practice enough Self Defense techniques to be dangerous. It is the Mind that drives those techniques, so you need to learn how to remain in control of your mind when under stress; stress dismantles the mind and its functions.
You be the leopard in the tree, alert and waiting, uncaring as to what happens as you already know what you can do in a fight. You can also choose to leave, but you can do that only if the Aggressor lets you. If you cannot leave and cannot talk the Aggressor out of attacking you, then you must fight to preserve your life. Leaving is not an option if you have no exit such as in a confined space or if the Aggressor blocks your way out; or if you must remain to protect children. Negotiating is not an option if you are set upon by surprise, or there is simply no time for it.
A Surprise! Occurs when everything looks and feels normal to you, and then there is a Sudden Change that seriously involves you.
Such as you are in a normal crowd of close people and then Suddenly someone from behind grabs you. Or you are driving down a straight highway with sight to the horizon and no traffic anywhere and your eyes check your mirror and Suddenly in that moment, a high speed vehicle flies off some unseen side track and straight across your path.
When your environment is Not normal you expect more such non-normality, you expect change and your senses, mind and body get ready for it. You are already reacting to change. But it is in the moment when all looks well that all Hell can break loose, catching you off-guard. Without anything to focus on, your mind can drift off into a Past or Future virtual reality. Alertness usually drifts when the mind bored and inactive and your senses no longer circularly sweep the surrounding environment. An environment in which you are the centre-piece or the central-obstacle for all incoming forces to collide with.
All collisions, all danger, all damage happens in the Present moment. The mind is a time-traveller. It has the ability to dwell in the Past or Future. These time zones are environments which are often far more interesting than the present boring moment where nothing is perceived to be happening. You are a construct of matter which is atoms, and atoms are actually constructs of energy, as Einstein and science have proved. That energy does not solely exist in the present moment of existence. That energy is smeared through Past, Present and into the Future moment, as has been proven by science examining the nature of electrons through Quantum Mechanics. As the particles or wave packets of your body and brain can transcend time at least a little bit, it is not surprising that your mind which so depends on them, can do the same.
Your Awareness, or the magnifying glass of your concentration or Will, can only converge on a moment of time, whether it be in the Past, the Present or the Future. It travels between them and sits in them but cannot reside in all at once. Our bodies always have an existence or anchor in the Present moment. Our mental focus can however drift elsewhere. You will often find your mind focusing on its Past, in its memories. A mind often sits in its vast library of experiences and data, reading volumes in your memory library, watching Past videos, some of them may be horror movies, unresolved conflicts and traumas. The outside Universe the mind internally reconstructs and edits.
Alternatively, the mind will be found focusing on the Future, on dreams of vagueness as clouds not fully shaped, on imaginations about possibilities; a Universe that the mind itself creates, where in dreaming in the night or day-dreaming in the day, it often includes itself as the principle actor and victim. The Future is a blank movie set, and the mind is a landscaper, script writer, emoter in music, director, actor and camera. The mind time-travels when not actively engaged, as that is its purpose: a life force that explores all universes, Past, Present and Future. A god-like creature passing on the Bifrost Bridge between all conceivable worlds. A beam of light travelling through space. All life explores, at the least, what its immediate environment or its intimate self presents. You need to deliberately bring your mind from its wayward astral travels back into the present moment, where its body always awaits. The better the two (body/mind) merge the more efficient the ship, and its captain can act in the Now where all futures start and deviate.
So, for a warrior, a survivalist, the time to sweep for possible danger, of possible change, is in the Present moment when all seems normal. So every now and then, look up from whatever you are doing or from what occupies you, and softly sweep your surrounds with your senses and your mind. From the submarine of your consciousness, you up-periscope to check out what is happening; especially whatever is incoming, as doing that that can change your state from a non-alert victim into a hard-to-surprise warrior. In order to do that, it is useful, as in Tai Chi, as in ballet, to swivel your head to a vertical upright position where it can see best, turn best. Where the head can be the steering wheel of the body allowing instant movement in any direction. Senses, mind and body all to relax as one blending in a relaxed awareness of the present moment. Like a leopard resting up a tree but surveying all, is the mental state of what the ancient warriors sought, in order to detect and cope with sudden danger and thus enjoy to life a little longer.
When you expect trouble even when there is no seeable trouble, and do that in a relaxed and not a tense manner: then it is difficult to surprise you. When you can imagine possible dangerous scenarios through the day but do so without tensing mind or body, then you are less likely to evolve fear from a nebulous nothing into a choking rigidity; you are then less likely to go into a frozen state of Fear when danger sets upon you. Fear is a normal reaction. Pre-empt its potency by changing your mind-set with a vigilant relaxation of your being. You cannot change outside happenings, but you are the master of your internal world. So to be more in charge of your reactions: you just give yourself prior commands. As it is upon whatever is the present state of your mind, that outside fearful and other impressions must impose themselves. The Demons real or imagined pounce, but what is the nature of the being that they pounce upon? Not everything that Dangers attack is an unsuspecting victim. Command yourself and rule.
(Image: The Wanderer Above the Mist - Caspar David Friedrich)