The difference between a wise man and everyone else is only this: He has no fear.
Let us remind ourselves that none of the virtues—love, forgiveness, generosity, courage et al—require any effort. The only thing effort can do is turn them into a religion.
The virtues are an absence before they are a presence. Courage is the absence of fear, innocence of lust, humility of pride. And what is this purifying fecundity, this mothering absence? Love, actually.
Tad Jones had an anger problem. He was also mistrustful of authority. He figured the best thing was to go into the woods, where the tree giants were, and live there in a self-built shack. He also took a vow of silence which he kept for 40 years. Tad died this year, age 74, burned alive by one of California’s worst wildfires. They found his body in the middle of the road, alongside his two canes. “A slow, rusty death”—no, this was not for Tad, his sister said.
Love has no doubt. Fear is full of it.