We choose only once. We choose either to be warriors or to be ordinary men. A second choice does not exist. Not on this earth.
When a man embarks on the paths of sorcery he becomes aware, in a gradual manner, that ordinary life has been forever left behind; that knowledge is indeed a frightening affair; that the means of the ordinary world are no longer a buffer for him; and that he must adopt a new way of life if he is going to survive. The first thing he ought to do, at that point, is to want to become a warrior. The frightening nature of knowledge leaves one no alternative but to become a warrior.
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 as a curse.
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. As is always the case in the doings and not-doings of warriors, personal power is the only thing that matters. A warrior, or any man for that matter, cannot possibly wish he were somewhere else; a warrior because he lives by challenge, an ordinary man because he doesn’t know where his death is going to find him.
The challenge of a warrior is to arrive at a very subtle balance of positive and negative forces. This challenge does not mean that a warrior should strive to have everything under control, but that a warrior should strive to meet any conceivable situation, the expected and the unexpected, with equal efficiency. To be perfect under perfect circumstances is to be a paper warrior.
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.
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. He is too concerned with liking people or with being liked himself. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. And he likes whatever or whomever he wants for the hell of it.
The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity. A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness. He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge.
It’s likely you’re after the self-confidence of the average man, when you should be after the humbleness of a warrior. The difference between the two is remarkable. Self-confidence entails knowing something for sure; humbleness entails being impeccable in one’s actions and feelings.
The humbleness of a warrior is not the humbleness of a 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. I know only the humbleness of a warrior, and that will never permit me to be anyone’s master.
The recommendation for warriors is not to have any material things on which to focus their power, but to focus it on the spirit, on the true flight into the unknown, not on trivialities. Everyone who wants to follow the warrior’s path has to rid himself of the compulsion to possess and hold onto things. When one has nothing to lose, one becomes courageous. We are timid only when there is something we can still cling to. One has to be utterly humble and carry nothing to defend, not even one’s person. One’s person should be protected, but not defended.
Warriors have no life of their own. From the moment they
understand the nature of awareness, they cease to be persons and the human condition is no longer part of their view. You have your duty as a warrior and nothing else is important. So do your best.
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