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Thread: warrior path?

  1. #1
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    Question warrior path?

    okay, so I got to thinking. how do we reconcile warrior paths mentality ( honor, defence, martial skills) with rencarnation? I'm not trying to get into a discussion of "harm none" but what is the thoughts of folks? how do actions that harm another affect our spiritual growth?

    in another regard, I work as a healer, and I am a warrior. is that a way to balance it? It was common in Native american peoples for old warriors to become medicine people....

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    I suppose it depends on your path, definition of a warrior and personal opinion.

    I see myself as a warrior too but I also spend a fair amount of time healing and guiding. I don't feel there's anything for me to reconcile, I feel that 'harm none' (etc) is not a relevant concept for me as I just try to do my best in any given situation (I also believe that tough love is often necessary). I do not do any kind of martial art and I would never choose to fight physically. I will do whatever I feel is necessary, I don't shy away from anything just because it might be difficult or unpleasant. I am dedicated to Odin which, for me, is a dedication to gaining knowledge by facing and overcoming challenges.

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    Are you perchance confusing "warrior" with "aggressor"? I don't see how honor, defense, and martial skills either harm another or conflict with the process of reincarnation/spiritual evolution. Don't the most advanced martial arts come from societies with established beliefs in reincarnation and spiritual development?

    How does it need to be "balanced" by healing? How does it need to be reconciled? Is it the path that needs reconciling, or how you are experiencing and interpreting the "mentality"? Is the mentality you are describing necessarily a part of the path?

    To me a greater concern regarding spiritual progress/reincarnation rather than the path itself would be what appears to be conflicting feelings about it.

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    Brymble raises good points. Warrior, although synonymous with aggression in modern culture, is really a neutral word. One can be a warrior and a protector, or a warrior and a giver of justice. We can't always live in the light and sometimes we have to take a dark path to get to where we need to be. Let us not let 21st century thinking poison our reincarnations in often darker pasts.

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    what is your understanding of warrior...there are many kinds, and what you consider harm....???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taliesyn View Post
    okay, so I got to thinking. how do we reconcile warrior paths mentality ( honor, defence, martial skills) with rencarnation? I'm not trying to get into a discussion of "harm none" but what is the thoughts of folks? how do actions that harm another affect our spiritual growth?

    in another regard, I work as a healer, and I am a warrior. is that a way to balance it? It was common in Native american peoples for old warriors to become medicine people....
    I don't think harm effects our spiritual growth at all. I think that sometimes harm must be done. Even by doing harm weather our intentions are honorable or not you can still grow and learn from the experience.

    I definately think of my self as a warrior. Though some might not see it, if the need arises I certainly would fight with everything I have, especially to defend those I care about. I'm not sure anyone can tell you how to reconsile being a healer and warrior, I think it's a personal matter of understanding. To me they are one and the same, i believe to be a healer you must know how to harm and heal.
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    It's like Mister Miyagi once said to Daniel-san...We learn to fight so we don't have to.

    What makes a person a "warrior?" Does one automatically qualify for the term, simply by picking up a sword or a gun and bashing somebody's brains in?

    Or does a person even have to pick up a weapon, or conduct any sort of aggressive action, to be a "warrior?"

    I think the Islamic concept of jihad would be most helpful to this discussion. I am far from being an expert on Islam, but I do know that the common Western reactions to this word - i.e., thoughts of suicide bombers and 9-11 and fanatical terrorism - are inconsistent with its historical usage. I once met a Muslim man who worked as a cab driver in New Orleans. It was very interesting to speak with him, because he was a man who had brought his family here to the States because he honestly believed they could have more freedom as Muslims here than they could in any Middle Eastern country. When I asked him what the word jihad really meant, he told me it is about struggling in life and facing obstacles for the glory of Allah, and working to make the world a better and safer place to live. His understanding of the term had nothing to do with committing acts of violence or aggression. For him, it was merely taking a stand for what's good and human and decent in this world.

    Another example - one of my favorites - would be Mohandas K. Gandhi. He never raised a finger against his enemies. He never told any of his followers to pick up guns or weapons against the British. He refused to support the British Empire, choosing to break the law and make his own clothes and his own salt as he pleased. He was continually beaten and arrested and malnourished, yet he never gave up fighting for the rights of the Indian people without ever striking a single blow. This, to me, is what it truly means to be a warrior. IMO, Gandhi was one of the greatest warriors who ever lived. Martin Luther King Jr. was another who followed in the same tradition.

    Now I do not know what the point is in trying to tie this to reincarnation, unless there is some question as to how acts of violent self-defense may effect one's karma in future lives. This I cannot answer, since I do not possess any decisive belief (or disbelief) in reincarnation myself. Yet when it comes to the question, "How do actions that harm another affect our spiritual growth?," I believe the answer lies in one's motives. Does one hurt another simply for hurt's sake? Or does one hurt another to protect the innocent? In the first case, I believe such a course of action will eventually lead to self-destruction, for outside of any karmic implications (in the Eastern sense at least), the cosmic inertia does assert itself, and as many people say, "like attracts like." Or, if you like, we can use Jesus' way of phrasing it: "He who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword." But in the second case, I believe the Gods are much more understanding and forgiving. They smile upon the woman or the man who sacrifices their own safety, their own life and limbs, for the well-being of others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taliesyn View Post
    okay, so I got to thinking. how do we reconcile warrior paths mentality ( honor, defence, martial skills) with rencarnation? I'm not trying to get into a discussion of "harm none" but what is the thoughts of folks? how do actions that harm another affect our spiritual growth?

    in another regard, I work as a healer, and I am a warrior. is that a way to balance it? It was common in Native american peoples for old warriors to become medicine people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Taliesyn View Post

    I disagree with this notion. Most people chosen to be Keepers of the Sacred Bundle, or other holy relics, are for different reasons. Many chosen to be in any of the shamanic type roles were usually chosen from birth. A great warrior was considered to have strong medicine but was not seen as a medicine person.

    Old warriors became grand fathers to all the young warriors (braves) and served to pass on their skills. Depending upon tribal grouping they may have been shirt wearers or given certain positions in ritual dance or ceremonies.
    ...


    Myself I think many try to claim the role of the "Warrior's Path" but have no true sense or understanding of the pathway.

    The warrior’s path is one of balance. Balancing the roll of life verses that of death. Balancing the notion of life giver to life taker and respect. Balancing the notion of honor and courage to self versus that of honor, courage and dedication to community. Balancing the role of destroyer against that of creator. Balancing awareness of self in association of awareness of place and ability. It's also about knowing when to lead, when to follow and when to wait. It's about knowing oneself but also knowing others.

    One may train in the skills of various weapons but that training is more so to condition the body and mind to act as one. Yet the warrior also knows that many times the skill is to use your opponent strengths and skills against himself and undermine or disrupt their medicine. Yet skill is also seen, as one's ability to lead or inspire other's to overcome or manage their own fears and weakness upon the field of battle.

    To use the Native slant a great warrior was one who could defeat his opponent through more than just physical fighting skills. If I could steal your horses I was a better fighter and warrior than the one who guarded them. If I could show bravery and run forward and count coup upon my enemy it showed my medicine was stronger and my bravery greater.

    The Samurai of Japan were renowned for fighting ability but that mattered little in comparison to their loyalty to master or Diameo. Their fighting skills gained them fame but their ability to create works of art and poetry gained them prestige and enduring honor. Their ability to create was equally important to their ability to kill. Their steadfast commitment to loyalty the thing they desired most for honor yet the thing they would commit Sempi Cou should they fail to protect or bring dishonor to their charge.

    Personally, I do not see where the notion of reincarnation comes into play with regards to the warriors path. One is more of a religious notion while the other is more of a morale and ethic position.

  9. #9
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    The enlightened warrior

    Coming from one who studies the old ways of the ninja mystics, both physical and spiritual, I think that what makes a warrior is both the ability to physically defend home and family and to cultivate the ability to live happily with oneself. A warrior cherishes freedom to be himself, to make his own choices based on his OWN ethics, not some religous dogma or cultural stereotypes or social mores that limit his journey to enlightenment in this life. That said, martial skills do have a place in the enlightened warrior path. You can't have the spiritual without the physical, or vice versa. To separate the two or to put the one above the other is bring imbalance to your life.

    We live in a world where there are those who would harm others for their own gain. That is the harsh reality. Warriors do not deny reality, but embrace it in all its beauty and ugliness. They do not let the ugly side of life deter them from their own joy and enjoyment of life. They simply take care of the problem that comes their way in a manner that seem fitting, and move on. I hope this helps, somewhat , and please keep in mind to not take what I say as gospel. It is simply my own opinion and experience.

    Oh, one more thing: Check out any books By An-Shu Stephen K. Hayes on ninjutsu. You'll get alot from them.
    Last edited by magus512; May 16th, 2009 at 09:11 PM.

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    It is all well & good to say, "If you're acting in self-defense, then you are justified and will be forgiven" but how do forgive yourself if you are committed to not harming others?

    I may have to strike out at someone who is hurting me, but that doesn't mean that I wanted to do it, or enjoyed doing it. It was a necessary action. It is really easy to intellectualize it if you haven't had to do it and have no first-hand experience of the inner conflict that this causes.

    We worry about our karma, we worry about doing the right thing.. and to some even acts of self-defense would be considered harming someone else. How do you reconcile those beliefs with your actions?

    If your intention and love is healing, how do you justify self-defense or any other type of harm to yourself? How do you NOT think that it is damaging to your karma in some way? That it won't affect how your next incarnation will be?

    Do you take the responsibility that any action that causes harm to another will affect your future incarnations? Do you hope that the healing work you do will help to offset the "negative" balance?

    I feel that you can't take responsibility for the actions of another. If someone places themself in harm's way by offering violence, and you are forced to respond in kind, then the onus is on them. But, even believing that, and knowing that... I would probably still question myself.

    It reminds me of the Mighty Mighty Boss-tones song "Knock on Wood".
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