A man, any man, deserves everything that is a man’s lot – joy, pain, sadness and struggle. The nature of his acts is unimportant as long as he acts as a warrior. A warrior must learn to be available and unavailable at the precise turn of the road. It is useless for a warrior to be unwittingly available at all times, as it is useless for him to hide when everybody knows that he is hiding.
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. 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. To worry is to become accessible, unwittingly accessible.
A warrior-hunter deals intimately with his world, and yet he is inaccessible to that same world. He taps it lightly, stays for as long as he needs to, and then swiftly moves away, leaving hardly a mark.
To be a warrior-hunter is not just to trap game. A warrior-hunter does not catch game because he sets his traps, or because he knows the routines of his prey, but because he himself has no routines. This is his advantage. He is not at all like the animals he is after, fixed by heavy routines and predictable quirks; he is free, fluid, unpredictable.
The warriors’ way offers a man a new life and that life has to be completely new. He can’t bring to that new life his ugly old ways. He must dissasemble his habits to free his energy for new endeavours and abilities. Any habit needs all its parts in order to function. If some parts are missing, the habit is disassembled.
If a warrior’s spirit is distorted she should simply fix it – purge it, make it perfect – because there is no other task in our entire lives which is more worthwhile. We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye. For example, smoking and drinking are nothing. Nothing at all if we want to drop them. Only one thing is indispensable for anything we do; the spirit. One can’t do without the spirit.
Not to fix the spirit is to seek death, and that is the same as to seek nothing, since death is going to overtake us regardless of anything. To seek the perfection of the warrior’s spirit is the only task worthy of our temporariness, and our personhood.
A warrior starts off with the certainty that his spirit is off-balance; then, by living in full control and awareness, but without hurry or compulsion, he does his ultimate best to gain this balance. In your case, as in the case of every man, your imbalance is due to the sum total of all your actions.
The act of a warrior is to balance the terror of being a man with the wonder of being a man. We unwittingly focus on fear and distrust, as if those were the only possible options available to us, while all along we have the alternative of deliberately centering our attention on the opposite, the mystery, the wonder of what is happening to us.
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. A warrior acts as if he knows what he is doing, when in effect he knows nothing. 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.
Well-being is a condition one has to groom, a condition one has to become acquainted with in order to seek it. You don’t know what well-being is, because you have never experienced it. Well-being is an achievement one has to deliberately seek.
In order to accomplish the feat of making yourself miserable you have to work in a most intense fashion. It is absurd you have never realized you could work just the same in making yourself complete and strong. The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
You must push yourself beyond your limits, all the time. The only possible course that a warrior has is to act consistently and without reservations. At a certain moment, he knows enough of the warriors’ way to act accordingly, but his old habits and routines may stand in his way.
A warrior never loses his mind under any circumstances. If a warrior is to succeed in anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession. 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.
The average man is aware of everything only when he thinks he should be; the condition of a warrior, however, is to be aware of everything at all times. A warrior must be calm and collected and must never lose his grip. A warrior is always ready for anything. The only way to counteract the devastating effect of the sorcerers’ world is to laugh at it. It’s your duty to put your mind at ease. Warriors do not win victories by beating their heads against walls but by overtaking the walls. Warriors jump over the walls; they don’t demolish them.
There are three kinds of bad habits which we use over and over when confronted with unusual life situations. First, we may disregard what’s happening or has happened and feel as if it had never occurred. That one is the bigot’s way. Second, we may accept everything at its face value and feel as if we know what’s going on. That’s the pious man’s way. Third, we may become obsessed with an event because either we cannot disregard it or we cannot accept it wholeheartedly. That’s the fool’s way. There is a fourth, the correct one, the warrior’s way. A warrior acts as if nothing had ever happened, because he doesn’t believe in anything, yet he accepts everything at its face value. He accepts without accepting and disregards without disregarding. He never feels as if he knows, neither does he feel as if nothing had ever happened. He acts as if he is in control, even though he might be shaking in his boots. To act in such a manner dissipates obsession. One of the acts of a warrior is never to let anything affect him. Thus, a warrior may be seeing the devil himself, but he won’t let anyone know that. The control of a warrior has to be impeccable.
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. I have tried to teach you that the real experience is to be a man, and that what counts is being alive; life is the little detour that we are taking now. Life in itself is sufficient, self-explanatory and complete. A warrior understands this and lives accordingly; therefore, one may say without being presumptuous that the experience of experiences is being alive.
If a warrior needs solace, he simply chooses anyone and expresses to that person every detail of his turmoil. After all, the warrior is not seeking to be understood or helped; by talking he’s merely relieving himself of his pressure. That is, providing that the warrior is given to talking; if he’s not, he tells no one.
Persist in acting like a warrior. The rest comes of itself and by itself. The rest is knowledge and power. Men of knowledge have both. And yet none of them could tell how they got to have them, except that they had kept on acting like warriors and at a given moment everything changed.
There is nothing in this world that a warrior cannot account for. A warrior doesn’t seek anything for his solace, nor can he possibly leave anything to chance. You see, a warrior considers himself already dead, so there is nothing for him 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 treats everything with respect and does not trample on anything unless he has to. He does not abandon himself to anything, not even to his death. He is not a willing partner and not available, and if he involves himself with something, you can be sure that he is aware of what he is doing. For a warrior there is nothing out of control. Life for a warrior is an exercise in strategy. But you want to find the meaning of life. A warrior doesn’t care about meanings. He would set his life strategically. Thus if he couldn’t avoid an accident he would find means to offset his handicap, or avoid its consequences, or battle against them. He would be battling to the end.
A warrior is never available; never is he standing on the road waiting to be clobbered. Thus he cuts to a minimum his chances of the unforeseen. A warrior is never idle and never in a hurry. A warrior lives strategically and never carries loads he cannot handle.
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