Thus far we have recognized that a warrior exists in each and every one of us. He may be a physical warrior, ready to take the fight to the enemy, or defend his people against external threats. Or he might be an intellectual warrior, fighting to stave off his people’s ignorance by learning, and then teaching those things most vital to their longevity. This inner warrior might even be one who fights spiritual battles, linking his people’s essence to that of their ancestors by learning their ways and serving as a sage, shaman, priest, or chaplain.
Regardless of the warriors type, once a man recognizes and accepts the existence of his inner warrior, he must then set about to awaken him. He can do this in a number of ways. A man tests himself through challenges – body, mind, and soul. Doing so not only enables the man to learn about himself, but also about the type of warrior he is to become. He also awakens his warrior through remembering and linking those memories to his ancestors, both of blood and race. Challenges and linkages, then, are the path to awakening and self-realization.
The awakening process takes time, and its duration varies from man to man, warrior to warrior. Self-examination is never easy, as it requires honesty, humility, and perseverance. Yet throughout the process, a man will discover his inner warrior, and develop the courage and morality required not only to achieve full wakefulness, but also successfully maneuver through every other step of this very personal journey.
As each warrior varies from another, so too are the requirements that comprise the awakening different for every man. Some men might require deep meditation, and few physical challenges; others might need something more physical. No matter the exact recipe, the process must be tailored to boththe man, and the emerging warrior. It takes hard work and sacrifice, of both tangible and intangible things. It requires devotion and dedication, for in the end, the warrior who emerges will serve to enable the man to be in service to his people, and prepare him for this monumentally important task.
Throughout the process of awakening the warrior, a man may begin to understand the importance of a warrior code. That is, he may start to realize that a warrior is much more than a mere physical attribute of a strong man; rather, the warrior is the essence of being a noble man. The codes by which a warrior lives are the universal principles which reflect those of his people in his behavior towards all others, enemy and ally, friend and foe, kith and kin.
While the principles that comprise the warrior code are universal and reflective, they are also both esoteric and exoteric. That is to say, they are both physical and spiritual. In the physical sense, a warrior must be awakened by tests of strength, endurance, and overall fitness, not to mention fighting skill. Spiritually, he must be awakened by tests of courage, morality, and ethics. These tests combine to give a man a sense of himself and his inner warrior, and they set the stage for proper cultivation.
The principles are also eternal and ephemeral, for once a warrior is awakened, he must start his journey to his becoming. The journey he undertakes is lifelong, for once a warrior is awakened, he must not be allowed to sleep again. This eternal aspect of warriors awakening is composed of short-term components; these make up the ephemeral. These are the little challenges that serve to develop the whole warrior, not only physically, mentally, and spiritually; but also intellectually, morally, and ethically.
The warrior, once awakened, must become the “whole package.” This requires a full awakening process and its duration should not be cut short for any reason. Every man should thoroughly and completely test himself to draw out the warrior from within. These tests do not constitute success or failure in measurable ways. They only serve to awaken the inner warrior and determine his type, nature, and character, as well as set the stage for cultivation.
We may think we are warriors, my brothers, but we are not yet there. Recognize and awaken that true inner warrior. Engage in self-examination and introspection to begin the process. No one can do it for you. You must join the fight. To do that, you must awaken the inner beast, that ancient barbarian, the inner warrior who resides in us all. Wake him up, for our people need him. Challenge yourself to find him, and shape who he will be, and who you will become. Find him. Wake him. Do it now, for tomorrow may be too late.
Next in The Warrior Series: Cultivating the Warrior