Next week I go to England, partly for my birthday and partly to see the independent movie, Spiritual Warriors which is presently touring the world. It shows in London on Friday 2nd October. It is one of those movies that gives you something different each time you watch it. I have seen it about six times so far.
The theme of the story is based on the principles of the book: Spiritual Warrior The Art of Spiritual Living by Dr John-Roger
So what is a "spiritual warrior"? Surely spiritual and warrior are a conflict of terms. Spiritual means peaceful, does it not? And warriors are about fighting.
You have probably heard the expression that people "battle cancer". In this sense, the spiritual warrior uses their human spirit to deal with the challenges and difficulties that he or she meets. And if you have read any of my Huff Post blogs so far, you will know that I am passionate about the human spirit that each of us embodies, and that sustains us through all of the issues, triumphs and trials we meet.
Towards the end of the book, the reader is invited to make a list of the people who personify a quality or qualities identified as those of the Spiritual Warrior. Qualities like:
Intention Impeccability Ruthlessness Dedication Commitment Discipline Focus Acceptance Cooperation Understanding Enthusiasm Empathy Surrender Health, Wealth, Happiness Prosperity, Abundance, Riches Loving, Caring, Sharing and Touching
You probably know people close to you, in your family, at work or in your community who strike you as being exceptional in the way they lead their lives. Often, these are the ones who seem ordinary and unassuming, but who nevertheless demonstrate beautiful strengths. Who are they? What are the qualities in them that you recognize from the list above? How do they inspire you?
Next, I invite you to consider the qualities from the list above that you express. What are they? None of us is perfect in the way that we do all of the right things at the right time. It is much easier to accept that you are learning and doing the best that you can with whatever is happening for you. When you know better, you do better. My mistakes have contributed a great deal to the richness I have experienced.
As a spiritual warrior, nothing is denied you. On the contrary, you are invited to embrace life fully and with a healthy appetite for it. If you were a bright spark, happily successful in all you do, you might never come to appreciate the loving power of the human spirit that sleeps within you, until something knocks you, and you are ready to wake up to it.
A starting point for a spiritual warrior is to love the conditions, the darker aspect of yourself, call it the "ego", fears, doubts, greeds, angers, animosities. They seem to go with the territory of being human.
We have to go into the dark part of ourselves and love that dark part. For loving it is the key to the kingdom. And we have to stand up and acknowledge that it is part of us.
From the book Spiritual Warrior
We can learn to be an observer, with a degree of detachment towards our issues. We can be proactive in producing a life that is rich with the values that are most important to us.
Life is not a matter of avoiding the tough lessons, but of extracting all we can from them for the advancement of our spiritual selves. The difference between a Spiritual Warrior and a lot of other people who wander around waiting for success, or love, or abundance to happen to them is that the Spiritual Warrior acts, not reacts.
From the book Spiritual Warrior
The role of a leader in these times is an unenviable position. Anyone who tries to bring order to people with wildly diverse opinions has a hard task ahead of them. Will disparate groups, with their own issues and concerns, beliefs and attitudes, ever come into one accord such that practical solutions are found for current problems?
As an outsider to the US, but one who has admiration and affection for the country and its people, I watch and wait in wonder for the solutions to be produced for a good and workable healthcare system; for full employment and a flourishing economy once again. I have a curious faith that all of this will, in time, come about.
Reviewing the list of qualities above, I see many in President Obama. But I also see in him what I would call a "Factor X". It is a sense of humanity that touches me and that seems to go beyond what words can define. As a Spiritual Warrior, he gets my vote.
Who are the Spiritual Warriors in your life? How do you show up as a Spiritual Warrior? If there were one quality you would like to develop and master, what would it be?