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September 1999


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The Warrior Way

by Kala Ka La

There is no lack of information about warrior styles of living.  There is advice available from how to act, what to think, down to what to eat and drink!  So where, if at all, does the attitude of a warrior fit in with following the path of light, with that of a flamekeeper? 

Much of the spiritual path of growth and development does require you to be strong in the face of adversity, to endure difficulties after others would have given up, and to be quietly controlled when circumstances become confused.  These are, of course, what we would expect of any mature human being.  Having endured the difficulties and vagaries of an ‘ordinary’ life it is obviously necessary, if you are to maintain a certain state of harmony with life, to have developed these qualities. 

So, in a spiritual context, what does the warrior attitude require of you.  All of the above qualities are absolutely necessary.  This does not mean that without them, or for them not to be evident during such and such an incident, you have failed or you are not expressing warrior qualities.  The general trend of your life though must move towards being brave and strong when life becomes difficult, to endure through disappointments and tribulations and to a certain containment and self possession when uncertainty is in the air.  To these I would add self responsibility for ones actions.  Do not blame others for the results of your own actions.  Even if you find yourself doing so please try to gradually draw away from this habit, for it is only with self responsibility that you can ever hope to direct your life in a positive direction towards light. 

For me the true expression of the warrior tradition as far as it applies to spiritual seekers is to go forward.  This is exemplified by someone who is confronted by a situation, pulls back and assesses the positive and negative possibilities of that situation, and in spite of the fact that the outcome is far from certain will proceed forward.  This in no way implies that in all circumstances you should proceed, you will have to assess what the possible outcome could be and whether it serves you and your growth, and of course there is always the impact on others and their life to consider.  In a way I find it difficult to describe what the feeling is when you know you should advance.  Perhaps it should be this: try to be aware when you are pulling away from a situation because you are mentally scared or in fear, when you are worried for reasons that have little to do with your growth and all to do with your ego. Nowhere is this attitude more evident than in the field of love: in my opinion this is where you can exemplify the path of a true warrior.  For instance, suppose you had been deeply hurt during the break up of a relationship.  It had taken you a long while to process all the issues surrounding the relationship and you had once again established a certain equanimity in your daily life.  Then another person appears, someone who attracts you, who offers, once again, that fall into love with another.  However you look at the possible outcomes and realise that this relationship could just as easily fall apart, even with your increased wisdom (hopefully) gained from the last disaster!  What should you do?  In such an instance it is so easy to turn away, to settle for something that is at least relatively stable, it is known and comfortable.  If you decide not to proceed then that is your decision and is fine.  No one is asking you to do otherwise.  Taken in the full light of clarity and self responsibility there can be no criticism of you or your actions, a conscious awareness of why you have made that decision is all that is required.  A decision made in such a way is itself an expression of warriorship.  The alternative is that you proceed.  You do not know the outcome, but with your integrity intact and your honourable intentions clear it is a wonderful decision to proceed.  It is brave and graceful.  It is human and filled with light.  Once again you give the love of one human for another the chance to transform you and your life, and of course the other person and their life.  Even if the outcome is not the desired one, as long as you have clarity and do not find yourself doing anything that goes against your spirituality and your true nature, you cannot lose.  In retrospect there is always some positive contribution to your nature that comes from expressing true love even if it is the confirmation that you can survive the terrible loneliness and disappointment if the relationship breaks down!  You will endure and live to fight another day. 

Do you see how in this instance you would be acting like a warrior.  In truth if you can maintain and support the flame of light and love in your daily life, in the oh so very difficult life of us all these days, you are acting like a warrior.  Do not be too concerned about the implied covert subtext to the word ‘warrior’.  Do not be overly pre-occupied with other people’s ideas about how to behave like a warrior.  And certainly do not be troubled by the dictionary definition of the word.  We are using the word in a modern context and yet bringing back to the world the true meaning of a warrior life where the battle is more to do with your inner self than it is to do with the external world.  Change yourself and the whole world changes.  It is a more subtle and difficult battle.  You are only fighting your own limitations, your own beliefs about yourself, you are fighting ignorance and prejudice within yourself, and in many cases you are fighting the true light within, your true nature; wishing to remain in the comfortable illusory world of half truths and soothing platitudes.  Have you no real desire to find out how things really are?  Remember the truth is that you are only enhanced by a true perception of yourself.  No matter how bad you think that is, at least you know the place from where you can commence your inner transformation.  Now let this phrase sink deeply into your warrior consciousness, ‘let battle commence’: with the only possible result that you will begin to discover the truth, the light of knowledge, there seems little point in maintaining the comfortable illusory world that the majority of people live in.  A warrior who bears the emblems of love and light on their shield can always stand proudly in the face of adversity. 


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