In the introductory article to this series, I originally used the term “targeting.” I prefer the term “tempering,” as it more accurately captures the essence of this step in the process. Therefore, let us discard the former term and purge it from our minds. Instead, let us consider “tempering the warrior” akin to the process of tempering steel, for this is what we will have to do.
At this point in the process, we have realized and activated our inner warrior, and turned to cultivating, improving, and steeling him. In contrast with the first two of these, the latter three require constant “care and feeding” to ensure our inner warrior has fertile ground in which to thrive, improve, and grow. Now we turn our efforts to tempering him; that is, we being the process of polishing and refining our inner warrior.
Focus is the key to tempering the inner warrior. Once a man has become a warrior, and has begun the improvement process, he needs to turn his focus from himself to others, and on the threats to both. These threats come in all shapes and sizes, but they primarily include those against himself (internal and external), his family (kith and kin), and his people (community, clan, tribe, and nation). With focus in mind, the man can temper his inner warrior and escape the individualism that pervades modern Western man.
There is weakness in the myth of the “rugged individual.” The warrior must temper himself to overcome this innate individualism, for his life is not his own any longer. He lives to protect and serve; that is, he must live his principled life so that he is able to protect his family and serve his community and people.
This means overcoming our natural distrust of our fellow man. By being part of a community, the warrior is able to trust and be trusted, and this only increases over time. Without trust, there is little to no authority and a lack of competent leadership. Trust feeds into both of these; in fact, one could even say that trust is the key ingredient.
Building trust among men is difficult, especially in times of peace, but there are ways to accomplish this. Regardless of the situation, men build trust within a group, especially one forged under stress. This group stress builds not only trust, but also cohesion, which is another key ingredient in tempering the inner warrior, for he must be able to work with other men; other warriors. The essence of warriordom boils down to an exchange of trust between men or groups of men who have been tempered by common stressors.
These stressors can be simulated in training and education, but only so far. Hard times bring with them the natural stressors that a peaceful life lacks. In many cases, life itself can provide the stressors men need to temper their inner warrior, and build trust and cohesion within their group. It is up to the warriors themselves to identify those stressors, and capitalize on the tempering opportunities they present as they embrace the pact that binds the group.
When this pact between warriors is executed well, it is not only exceedingly effective but also serves to create a bond between the men who enter into it, a bond which may very well be one of the most powerful connections they will ever experience. These bonds must be forged, tempered, and strengthened through training, not only for the individual man and his inner warrior, but also for the cohesive band of warriors who form the group. Through discomfort, danger, and stress, great bonds are forged. Trial and tribulation shape men as surely as a potter molds clay to form a beautiful vessel.
Bonds between men are the basis from which great things are accomplished. From these basics of group cohesion come the unrefined form that needs tempering.
How do we do this?
We have already laid the foundation and made great strides in becoming the warriors we are meant to be. We have also already developed the proper mindset. Now we have to refine our inner warrior to the point he is a strong blade with a keen edge. It is this edge that will serve us and our group well as we protect our families and serve our people.
“Know yourself and seek self-improvement” is a saying -a leadership principle- that applies to this process. We must continually improve ourselves in all aspects; that is, we must make our mind-body-soul connection stronger by striving for mastery of each of these elements. As we master ourselves, we leverage that mastery to build trust with our fellow warriors and strengthen our group cohesion. In short, we move from “self-improvement” to “group improvement.” We lose ourselves in our group, for we are but one piece of this complex organism of warriors.
History is replete with examples of how people survived by being part of a community. Unlike a “collective,” a community consists of individual men who band together to provide for and secure their families. From here, these families form the foundations of a community, the men forming a brotherhood. Strong men rise to fill leadership positions, and all men follow those higher in the hierarchical structure. This system of strength and honor rests on trust and cohesion.
Earlier I mentioned men losing themselves in their group. This means that a man must suborn himself to the group. He does this by setting aside his ego and forgoing his natural selfishness. In place of those he develops a sense of belonging and service to those who form his group: his people. If actions do not benefit his people, then they are not worth doing. If words do not help his community, then they are not worth saying.
This process does not mean that a man becomes less; it means quite the opposite. By suborning himself to the survival and prosperity of others, a man becomes more than himself. He becomes part of his people in both esoteric and exoteric ways. In essence, he becomes his people. Through hardship, discipline, and self-sacrifice, the man prepares himself to become a warrior. Through subordination and selflessness, the man becomes a warrior.
By becoming more than himself, a man tempers his inner warrior. He transforms from a soldier into a warrior, ready to serve his people and ensure their prosperity. This requires inner strength and a sense of belonging to the group. In this way, trust and cohesion form the fires in the forge through which the warrior is tempered into sharp steel. It is through his fellow warriors and his people that the inner warrior becomes the warrior which the man is meant to be, and on whom his people rely.
Take the plunge. Trust in yourself and your brethren. Build that cohesion that only a group of like-minded men can build. Do it for yourself, for you have the ability to become more than you are. But also do it for your people; they need you. They do not need another basement-dwelling shitposter who is larger-than-life online but shrinks in the light of day. They need men of action and deeds, not just words. So shut up, get off your lazy ass, and get to work.