He was silent; had been for a long time. Searching for answers. The answer didn’t seem to be lying in wait for him at some place. He remembered what he had read in the scriptures – travel could easily be a way to lose answers than find answers. He had to search for the answer within himself, because he now knew that the ‘real’ demon he was fighting was also within him. He reflected on his struggles.
He had encountered the demon Nablaska a few months ago. Everybody feared Nablaska. The Wandering Monk also feared him. He did not know why – he concluded that he feared Nablaska because everybody else feared him. He didn’t like himself being afraid of the demon; there began his search to find the genesis of this fear.
How much ever hard he searched for answers, they eluded him. The answers, perhaps, eluded him because he didn’t look at the right place. What he thought were his answers, were only a way of protecting himself, and in a way — his fear. Every ‘answer’ was a way to overpower Nablaska. He believed that if he vanquished Nablaska, his fear would go away. This, however, made his fear grow only stronger. For with every answer, came further doubt and with every doubt he found new ‘answers’. He had protected and shielded his fear so much – it was so deep inside him, it had almost become a part of his being.
He opened his eyes after a long time. It was difficult to get through the walls and gates that protected his fear. But it wasn’t impossible, as he had just realised. His belief of how he could get hurt and what that pain really meant to him; was the real demon he had to vanquish. He chose not be afraid, not of Nablaska, not of anything.
Nablaska was just an image of his fear outside of his self – a reflection of the real demon. Waving a sword at Nablaska didn’t amount to anything. There was no need to deal with Nablaska anymore. The projected image was immaterial, literally. Nablaska only ruled on the basis of fear. If fear was the food that fed Nablaska, he didn’t need to do anything. Nablaska could no longer torment the Wandering Monk.
The sinking feeling stopped; he felt lighter.