In a previous post, I mentioned Carlos Castaneda’s idea of the path with heart. Basically, we are in this life and we have to choose the path we want to walk. You can either choose a path that is of no use and makes you curse your life or you can choose a path with heart and have a joyful journey.
The thing is there are many paths you can choose, but know this: the end of each of these paths is the same, that is we all die regardless of which path we chose. Given that death becomes us all, we don’t have to worry about death. Instead, we can focus on how to live, that is the ultimate question and the ultimate pursuit of wisdom.
The Warrior’s Path
The warrior’s path, “…it is the opposite of the life situation of modern man… Modern man has left the realm of the unknown and the mysterious, and has settled down in the realm of the functional. He has turned his back on the world of the foreboding and has welcomed the world of boredom.” – Carlos Castaneda, A Separate Reality
One of the paths that I want to explore over the next several posts is the Warrior’s Path. Let me say upfront this is not about the warrior in the pop cultural sense of Conan or Rambo, nor is it associated necessarily with being a soldier or going to war. This is more about a mindset and a way of being in relationship to the world.
To enter onto the warrior’s path you must already possess a certain level of awareness, which is that most of us live our lives in a consensus trance (I’ll write some more about the consensus trance in a later post). Those ready for the warrior’s path have woken up from the consensus trance to the realisation that there are choices.
While everyone else is content to live in The Matrix (this movie works as a great metaphor for the consensus trance), the warrior seeks the unknown. They are interested in finding new territory, making new discoveries, blazing new trails, and plunging into new depths. And they do all of this while carrying on with their day to day business without dropping out of mainstream society. Those on the warrior’s path learn to find the unknown in the day to day realm.
“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors of perception.” William Blake and Aldous Huxley
Even as you look around the room you are in now there are things unknown to you. We have put a filter on our perception that blocks out most of what we see. We are content with the consensus trance, one step up from the zombies you see on the Walking Dead. Check it for yourself on your morning commute to work!
There are 7 components to the Warrior’s Path:
- Engaging the mystery
- Living strategically
Let’s explore engaging the mystery in the remainder of this post and then I’ll explore the others in subsequent posts.
Engaging the mystery
“The Rule”: 1) Everything that surrounds us is an unfathomable mystery. 2) We must try to unravel these mysteries, but without ever hoping to accomplish this. 3) A warrior… takes his rightful place among mysteries and regards himself as one. Florinda in Eagle’s Gift
Basically what Florida is saying here is that we, as warriors, should never become fixed or solid in our perceptions, actions, or thinking. If you do, then you are in danger of operating out of habit and will stay stuck in the consensus trance. Those on the warrior’s path remain fluid.
“The warrior, in keeping the sense of mystery alive, never shuts the door to the possibility of learning more. The mystery, the adventure of the unknown, is the fuel that propels the warrior along their path and energises their quest for personal power and knowledge.” Robert L. Spencer, The Craft of the Warrior
Challenge Exercise #1
In the next day or so, on your daily commute, or during lunch, or when you next visit town, go into ghost mode and observe the people around you. Do this in a non-judgemental way. Take note of what you observe.
Let me know how you get on with this exercise.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be exploring the other components of the warrior’s path in upcoming blog posts. Now might be a good time to Sign up for the Zen Motivation newsletter, which is a weekly digest of the top posts and other goodness.
Stay strong peeps,
Excellence in all things.
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