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  • #141295
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    I posted this in response to Nick’s work in Warrior 101 and Yoshio asked me to post it here.
    * * * * *

    If I understand correctly — perhaps this article from The International Society of Chivalry-Now touches on what you were trying to say, Johannes.

    * * * * *
    This article touches on ‘Warrior Spirit” — and asks the question, “Is it possible for a warrior ethic to play a positive role in the cause of world peace?”

    The cultural roots of chivalry as a warrior tradition cannot be denied. In fact, this is one of the reasons why it resonates so powerfully among men, even today. And women too. It represents the warrior spirit, which always maintained an honorable place in human culture — perhaps less so today. Nowadays, we see quite clearly the terrible results of war, the misery it brings, the threat it carries to all the world.

    But there is more to the warrior spirit than engaging in battle. There are aspects that provide both inner and outer dimensions to the overall human spirit that would otherwise leave us incomplete. While our just longing for peace and harmony might prompt us to reject anything associated with war, we do so only at our peril.

    Medieval chivalry represented a turning point in our concept of the warrior, at least in Western culture. Although warriors were always valued as protectors of society, chivalry added new dimensions of responsibility and civility. The warrior tradition became more civilized, although the final goal was never really achieved during those difficult times.

    Why is this important? Because the warrior spirit provides a number of qualities that are extremely valuable to our overall humanity. Today’s sensibilities might not recognize this at first, so repulsed we are with war and killing and brutality. This is understandable. Warlike tendencies have always been a curse on humanity. The warrior spirit, however, is something different.

    What do I mean by warrior spirit?
    * It is an intensity of life, filled with energy and a readiness to act when needed.
    * A desire to perfect oneself for the benefit of others.
    * An inner determination to protect one’s family, neighborhood, nation and world.
    * Fairness, and the sanity to do what is right and good.
    * Doing one’s best in everything.
    * Being true to oneself.
    * Honesty. Loyalty. Integrity.
    * Willingness to stand up for what is right, even when everyone is against you.
    * Idealism coupled with realism.
    * A sense of duty greater than one’s selfish needs.

    { Note that the above list is very much what is espoused in the lessons and forums of the IJRS }

    While these attributes do contribute to the mindset of a good soldier, they are valuable qualities that everyone can benefit from. Indeed, we are less for the want of them.

    Perhaps the Chinese illustrate this best in their symbol of tai chi, or the Grand Ultimate. We’ve all seen it. A circle divided by an “S” shaped curve, one side black, the other white, with small circles of the opposite colors on each side. It is also known as yin/yang. Yin, the dark side, representing female qualities, and yang, the light side, representing the masculine. In our Western minds, we tend to look at this symbol as representing two opposite energies, but it is more than that. It is a balance of two energies as one, each containing qualities of the other. A predominance of yin or a predominance of yang throws everything off balance.

    Discarding the warrior spirit in the name of peace throws the human spirit out of balance as well. The good and even profound qualities of the warrior spirit need to be redirected from war for their true value to be understood and appreciated.

    We recognize the intrinsic value of well-directed masculine ideals to the overall balance of human energies. They can add tremendously to the peace movement by completing its scope of reference. In fact, it transforms a potential opponent into a powerful ally.

    Contending against the warrior spirit is self-defeating. It produces contention, which is the opposite of peace.
    Ignoring the warrior spirit limits the potential of the peace movement, for it continues the imbalance caused by separation.
    Embracing the warrior spirit, and channeling it in positive directions, restores the balance of life. It completes the all-inclusive circle of our best intent.

    The bible tells us there is a time for everything. Despite our strong desire for peace and harmonious relations, we only have to look at what’s happening in the world to know that there is a time and place for resistance, for self-defense, for standing up strongly for what is right, for loudly saying no to the commercialism that continually overwhelms us.

    Think of the risks and confrontations incurred by Gandhi, by Martin Luther King, and by Jesus. Each of these men exhibited a wonderful balance of male/female qualities, passive and aggressive, that contributed to the healing of the world. I see the warrior spirit in each of these men, long recognized as men of peace. Women of the suffrage movement exhibited this as well. Although history fails to record it, the tenacity and dedication of women to create a better world was always present in the very nature of women, just as it is today. Men and women, masculine and feminine, we are all partners in life, each bringing our individual qualities to the table, our strengths, our skills, our understanding.

    The warrior spirit does not have to be identified with war. No one hates war as much as the soldier who has to live it. A proper soldier is not given to a sadistic instinct to maim or kill. Their instincts come from loyalty, love of neighbor and country, a desire to protect and safeguard. These are positive, spiritual qualities that touch upon every aspect of a person’s life. Jesus recognized this when he said, “No greater love is this, that a man sacrifice his life for another.”

    There are exceptions, of course. There are heartless killers who use violence to the most terrible extremes. They represent the warrior spirit gone completely bad, energies misdirected in a manner that kills the warrior spirit and replaces it with insanity.

    The warrior spirit is a centered consciousness that is open to the world. It is a spirit of honor that does its best to avoid what is bad or hurtful. It intimately knows the benefits of sacrifice, and does its best to avoid gossip.

    I believe that the warrior spirit is in us all, to a greater or lesser extent. It can be used to help rid the world of sexism, racism, and the ethnocentricity that tries to impose its will on other nations. It can eliminate the contentious lack of civility that is now commonplace, while encouraging voices to speak up for what is right.

    * * * * *

    imo, the Spiritual Warrior is a person who challenges the dreams of fear, lies, false beliefs, and judgments that create suffering and unhappiness in his or her life. It is a ‘war’ that takes place in the heart and mind of a man or woman. The quest of the Spiritual Warrior is the same as spiritual seekers around the world. The Spiritual Warrior faces this challenge with the clarity and awareness that this war is fought within himself and that Truth and unconditional love are on the other side of these battles. This is what the Toltecs refer to as Personal Freedom. You can find this referenced in the book The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz.

    To win the war against fear requires awareness, courage, discipline, and commitment to transform the emotional body. These are some of the characteristics of a Warrior.

    The Spiritual Warrior must have the commitment to love him/her self. The warrior then extends that love to humanity. The commitment is required because in our journey we will certainly fumble and fall many times. It is in having a strong commitment that we get back up again. It is common to fall to judgment. It can be easy to love some people, particularly the people that like us or treat us well. However, it requires a tremendous commitment to love in the face of those that reject us. This commitment will cause us to challenge our beliefs about our judgments and not being compassionate. We must be committed to love beyond our own self-serving interests of what it will bring us. This is how we will become happy beyond our current paradigm of beliefs. In time we become committed to love for the sheer enjoyment of expressing love. This becomes our commitment. We nourish ourselves with the love we express. A warrior acts in this committed way, even when challenged.

    As Nick noted, “Ohhh. Great warrior. Wars not make one great.” – Yoda
    I am certain this is a ball of twine concerning war, ego, and more. BUT, the idea is there. One can find ‘greatness’ without having to fight in a war. There are plenty of ‘battles’ — within ourselves and ‘out there’ in the everyday world — that needs someone with a Warrior Spirit without having to take up arms to defend what is right and justice and decent.

    #193826
    Yoshio
    Moderator

    To expand a bit on this and how we got to this post, Kol Drake and NickD had been writing about warriors and more specific about Samurai and Knight in a way which gave me the feeling that those groups or classes shall be reduced to the physical aspect of conflict which is for me always a difficult thought to follow. Obviously there is much truths in this but still, when one goes deeper, in my opinion and how I approach this topic, one will end up with what this post is about and that is why I asked Kol Drake to post it here for everyone to read as I feel that this holds quite a bit of thought provoking material for everyone who follows the Jedi Realist Path.
    Many thanks to Kol Drake for sharing this with us.

    #193895
    NickD
    Participant

    Not sure how I missed this Topic, but I’m glad the Newsletter had the link to get me here!

    Happy to see our discussion producing more opportunity for dialog and learning within the community!

    #193983
    NickD
    Participant

    I really enjoyed the article and discussions we’ve been having about Warrior Spirit and how it applies to the Jedi Path (and most importantly, our personal paths).

    I’d like to note one personal opinion about part of the article where it lists the qualities of a Warrior Spirit:

    * It is an intensity of life, filled with energy and a readiness to act when needed.
    * A desire to perfect oneself for the benefit of others.
    * An inner determination to protect one’s family, neighborhood, nation and world.
    * Fairness, and the sanity to do what is right and good.
    * Doing one’s best in everything.
    * Being true to oneself.
    * Honesty. Loyalty. Integrity.
    * Willingness to stand up for what is right, even when everyone is against you.
    * Idealism coupled with realism.
    * A sense of duty greater than one’s selfish needs.

    I’d agree that all these apply to a Jedi Path in some fashion as part of a Jedi Warrior definition; however, Warrior Spirit is not how I’d categorize them all. As we’ve talked about chivalry and honor, those aspects are not part of a Jedi Warrior Spirit in my opinion, but part of Jedi Warrior ethics, morals, or code. Spirit is defined here as those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period.

    For a Jedi Warrior Spirit, I believe we can all agree on how the elements below are applied towards the Jedi Path:

    * It is an intensity of life, filled with energy and a readiness to act when needed.
    * A desire to perfect oneself for the benefit of others.
    * An inner determination to protect one’s family, neighborhood, nation and world.
    * Doing one’s best in everything.
    * Being true to oneself.
    * A sense of duty greater than one’s selfish needs.

    However, the application of the elements below may vary from Jedi to Jedi depending on their background, heritage, personal beliefs, etc as each is subjective which separates them from being part of the “Jedi” Warrior Spirit characterization in my opinion:
    * Fairness, and the sanity to do what is right and good.
    * Honesty. Loyalty. Integrity.
    * Willingness to stand up for what is right, even when everyone is against you.
    * Idealism coupled with realism.

    If anyone would like, then we can discuss each of these in depth. I might refer to these subjective aspects as Jedi Warrior Ethics or Morality.

    Looking forward to more discussion and learning opportunities!

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