When my son, Dan, was asked to write an essay, before his pre-enlistment interview, why he wanted to become an officer, he wrote:
"I want to live the Great Life, the life of a warrior in service to America and in service to those who, for whatever reason, cannot, should not, nor will not serve.
I want to earn the right to stand among the ranks of our nation's Greatest Men, both the living and the dead, most known only to God, and to share with them, what only a true warrior may experience, the feeling of filling every inch of my uniform with love and pride in America."
* The Spirit does not accept volunteers; the Spirit chooses who will be a Warrior.
* A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting.
* On the Path of Knowledge there are four natural enemies: Fear, Clarity, Power and Old Age.
* When the Knock of the Spirit sounds we follow or perish
* A path without a heart is never enjoyable. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy— it does not make a Warrior work at liking it; it makes for a joyful journey; as long as a man follows it, he is one with it.
* A rule of thumb for a Warrior is that he makes his decisions so carefully that nothing that may happen as a result of them can surprise him, much less drain his power.
* A Warrior acts as if he knows what he is doing when in effect he knows nothing.
* A warrior chooses a path with heart, any path with heart, and follows it; and then he rejoices and laughs. He knows because he sees that his life will be over altogether too soon. He sees that nothing is more important than anything else.
* A Warrior considers himself already dead, so there is nothing to lose. The worst has already happened to him, therefore he's clear and calm; judging him by his acts or by his words, one would never suspect that he has witnessed everything.
* A Warrior doesn't know remorse for anything he has done because to isolate one's acts as being mean, or ugly, or evil is to place an unwarranted importance on the self.
* A Warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A Warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions.
* A Warrior lives by acting, not by thinking about acting, nor by thinking about what he will think when he has finished acting.
* A Warrior must cultivate the feeling that he has everything needed for the extravagant journey that is his life. What counts for a Warrior is being alive. Life in itself is sufficient, self-explanatory and complete. Therefore, one may say without being presumptuous that the experience of experiences is being alive.
* A Warrior must learn to make every act count, since he is going to be here in this world for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.
* A Warrior is never concerned about his fear.
* A Warrior seeks to act rather than talk.
* A Warrior takes responsibility for his acts, for the most trivial of acts. An average man acts out his thoughts, and never takes responsibility for what he does.
* A Warrior waits patiently, knowing that he is waiting, and knowing what he is waiting for. That is the warrior's way.
* A Warrior thinks of death when things become unclear. The idea of death is the only thing that tempers our spirit.
* A Warrior-Hunter knows that his death is waiting, and the very act he is performing now may well be his last battle on earth. He calls it a battle because it is a struggle. Most people move from act to act without any struggle or thought. A Warrior-Hunter, on the contrary, assesses every act; and since he has intimate knowledge of his death, he proceeds judiciously, as if every act were his last battle. Only a fool would fail to notice the advantage a Warrior-Hunter has over his fellow men. A Warrior-Hunter gives his last battle its due respect. It's only natural that his last act on earth should be the best of himself. It's pleasurable that way. It dulls the edge of his fright.
* An average man is too concerned with liking people or with being liked himself. A Warrior likes, that's all. He likes whatever or whomever he wants, for the hell of it.
* Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore, a Warrior must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if he feels that he should not follow it, he must not stay with it under any conditions. His decision to keep on that path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. He must look at every path closely and deliberately. There is a question that a Warrior has to ask: 'Does this path have a heart?'
* Death is our eternal companion. It is always to our left, an arm's length behind us. Death is the only wise adviser that a Warrior has. Whenever he feels that everything is going wrong and he's about to be annihilated, he can turn to his death and ask if that is so. His death will tell him that he is wrong, that nothing really matters outside its touch. His death will tell him, 'I haven't touched you yet.'
* Do you know at this very moment you are surrounded by eternity? And do you know that you can use that eternity if you so desire?
* Feeling important makes one heavy, clumsy and vain. To be a Warrior one needs to be light and fluid.
* For a Warrior, to be inaccessible means that he touches the world around him sparingly. And above all, he deliberately avoids exhausting himself and others. He doesn't use and squeeze people until they have shriveled to nothing, especially the people he loves.
* If a Warrior is to succeed at anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession.
* If his spirit is distorted he should simply fix it—purge it, make it perfect—because there is no other task in our entire lives which is more worthwhile…To seek the perfection of the Warrior's spirit is the only task worthy of our temporariness, our humanity.
* Impeccability is nothing else but the proper use of energy.
* Inner silence works from the moment you begin to accrue it. What the old sorcerers were after was the final dramatic end result of reaching that individual threshold of silence. Some very talented practitioners need only a few minutes of silence to reach that coveted goal. Others, less talented, need long periods of silence, perhaps more than one hour of quietude before they reach the desired result. The desired result is what the old sorcerers called "stopping the world", the moment when everything around us ceases to be what it's always been. This is the moment when sorcerers return to the TRUE nature of man. The old sorcerers always called it "total freedom"
* Intent is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the Warrior's indulgence. Intent is what makes him invulnerable. Intent is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, to infinity.
* It doesn't matter how one was brought up. What determines the way one does anything is personal power.
* No person is important enough to make a Warrior angry.
* Nothing in this world is a gift. Whatever must be learned must be learned the hard way.
* Once a man worries, he clings to anything out of desperation; and once he clings he is bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whomever or whatever he is clinging to. A Warrior-Hunter, on the other hand, knows he will lure game into his traps over and over again, so he doesn't worry.
* Only as a Warrior can one withstand the path of knowledge. A Warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.
* Only the idea of death makes a Warrior sufficiently detached so that he is capable of abandoning himself to anything. He knows his death is stalking him and won't give him time to cling to anything so he tries, without craving, all of everything.
* Personal history must be constantly renewed by telling parents, relatives, and friends everything one does. On the other hand, for the Warrior who has no personal history, no explanations are needed; nobody is angry or disillusioned with his acts. And above all, no one pins him down with their thoughts and their expectations.
* The basic difference between an ordinary man and a Warrior is that a Warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.
* The hardest thing in the world is to assume the mood of a Warrior. It is of no use to be sad and complain and feel justified in doing so, believing that someone is always doing something to us. Nobody is doing anything to anybody, much less to a warrior.
* The humbleness of a Warrior is not the humbleness of the beggar. The Warrior lowers his head to no one, but at the same time, he doesn't permit anyone to lower his head to him. The beggar, on the other hand, falls to his knees at the drop of a hat and scrapes the floor for anyone he deems to be higher; but at the same time, he demands that someone lower than him scrape the floor for him.
* The internal dialogue is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such and so and so. The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue.
* The most effective way to live is as a Warrior. A Warrior may worry and think before making any decision, but once he makes it, he goes his way, free from worries or thoughts; there will be a million other decisions still awaiting him. That's the Warrior's way.
* The self-confidence of the Warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The Warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the Warrior is hooked only to infinity.
* The spirit of a Warrior is not geared to indulging and complaining, nor is it geared to winning or losing. The spirit of a Warrior is geared only to struggle, and every struggle is a warrior's last battle on earth. Thus the outcome matters very little to him. In his last battle on earth a Warrior lets his spirit flow free and clear. And as he wages his battle, knowing that his intent is impeccable, a Warrior laughs and laughs.
* The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
* The Warrior: silent in his struggle, undetainable because he has nothing to lose, functional and efficacious because he has everything to gain.
* The world is incomprehensible. We won't ever understand it; we won't ever unravel its secrets. Thus we must treat the world as it is: a sheer mystery.
* There are lots of things a Warrior can do at a certain time which he couldn't do years before. Those things themselves did not change; what changed was his idea of himself.
* There is a flaw with words, they always force us to feel enlightened, but when we turn around to face the world they always fail us and we end up facing the world as we always have, without enlightenment
* There's no emptiness in the life of a Warrior. Everything is filled to the brim.
* To achieve the mood of a Warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution. To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of a warrior's spirit. It takes power to do that.
* To be a Warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a Warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.
* To seek freedom is the only driving force I know. Freedom to fly off into that infinity out there. Freedom to dissolve; to lift off; to be like the flame of a candle, which, in spite of being up against the light of a billion stars, remains intact, because it never pretended to be more than what it is: a mere candle.
* Warriors do not win victories by beating their heads against walls, but by overtaking the walls. Warriors jump over walls; they don't demolish them.
* We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.
* We talk to ourselves incessantly about our world. In fact, we maintain our world with our internal talk. And whenever we finish talking to ourselves about ourselves and our world, the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we rekindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. Not only that, but we also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die. A Warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his internal talk.
* When a man has fulfilled all four of these requisites— to be wide awake, to have fear, respect, and absolute assurance— there are no mistakes for which he will have to account; under such conditions, his actions lose the blundering quality of the acts of a fool. If such a man fails or suffers a defeat, he will have lost only a battle, and there will be no pitiful regrets over that.
* When a Warrior learns to stop the internal dialogue, everything becomes possible; the most far-fetched schemes become attainable.
* Whenever a Warrior decides to do something, he must go all the way, but he must take responsibility for what he does. No matter what he does, he must know first why he is doing it, and then he must proceed with his actions without having doubts or remorse about them.
* An immortal being has all the time in the world for doubts and bewilderment and fears. A Warrior, on the other hand, cannot…because he knows for a fact that the totality of himself has but a little time on this earth.
* The things that people do cannot under any conditions be more important than the world.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Posted by Steve Savage "King of the Beasts" at 2/16/2010 10:18:00 AM