Friday, December 16, 2016

Spiritual Warrior

Years ago, I read Dan Millman's Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book that Changes Lives. Ever since, I have pondered -- at least now and then -- what it is to be a peaceful warrior, or a spiritual warrior.

 In these times, especially, I find myself wondering what it means to be a spiritual warrior. What is a spiritual warrior called to do, today?

After the election, Naomi Klein said that those who would be in resistance need to "warrior up". I am sure she meant "peacefully warrior up", or "spiritually warrior up". At least, that's the way I interpreted her words. And I take this very seriously.

I have a sabbatical coming up, from January 1 - April 30. One of the quests that will shape my time is just that: figuring out what it looks like to be a spiritual warrior, and what steps I should take to move in that direction.

To me, at a minimum, it requires being spiritually centered. It requires a kind of spiritual grounding that enables one to act on love and not fear. It requires a kind of grounding and centering that lets one be courageous in resisting evil. It requires the knowledge and felt sense that you are part of something greater, and the willingness to put that greater good ahead of your personal good. I don't think it's easy.

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Thinking beyond the personal realm and even beyond what is happening in the USA, I have been alarmed by what is happening in Aleppo. What should we do? What should we have done? Certainly the USA should take in more Syrian refugees; that seems like an obvious step, now. But what about the use of force? I was one of those people who, several years back, was against the US having military involvement. I posted about it here and here. But now, with hindsight, it is clear that whatever we did wasn't enough. I still agree that "war is not the answer" in the general sense. But what are the exceptions? Are there any? Every situation needs to be contextualized.

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