April 21, 2013

Robert Moore And Douglas Gillette On The Warrior

Related: Robert Moore - Archetypal Images of the King and the Warrior.

Below is an excerpt from the book, "King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine," by Robert Moore And Douglas Gillette. 1990. HarperSanFrancisco: San Francisco. Pg. 82-84.
"The Warrior traditions all affirm that, in addition to training, what enables a Warrior to reach clarity of thought is living with the awareness of his own imminent death. The Warrior knows the shortness of life and how fragile it is. A man under the guidance of the Warrior knows how few his days are. Rather than depressing him, this awareness leads him to an outpouring of life-force and to an intense experience of his life that is unknown to others. Every act counts. Each deed is done as if it were the last. The samurai swordsmen were taught to live their lives as if they were already dead. Castaneda's Don Juan taught that there is "no time" for anything but meaningful acts if we live with death as "our eternal companion."

There is no time for hesitation. This sense of the imminence of death energizes the man accessing the Warrior energy to take decisive action. This means that he engages life. He never withdraws from it. He doesn't "think too much," because thinking too much can lead to doubt, and doubt to hesitation, and hesitation to inaction. Inaction can lead to losing the battle. The man who is a Warrior avoids self-consciousness, as we usually define it. His actions become second nature. They become unconscious reflex actions. But they are actions he has trained for through the exercise of enormous self-discipline. This is how Marines are made. A good Marine is one who can make split-second decisions and then act decisively.

Part of what goes into acting decisively in any life situation, along with aggressiveness, clarity of thinking, the awareness of one's own death, is training. The Warrior energy is concerned with skill, power, and accuracy, and with control, both inner and outer, psychological and physical. The Warrior energy is concerned with training men to be "all that they can be"---in their thoughts, feelings, speech, and actions. Unlike the Hero's actions, the Warrior's actions are never overdone, never dramatic for the sake of drama; the Warrior never acts to reassure himself that he is as potent as he hopes he is. The Warrior never spends more energy than he absolutely has to. And he doesn't talk too much. Yul Brenner's character in the movie The Magnificent Seven is a study in trained self-control. He says little, moves with the physical control of a predator, attacks only the enemy, and has absolute mastery over the technology of his trade. That is another aspect of the Warrior's interest in skill, his mastery of the technology that enables him to reach his goal. He has developed skill with the "weapons" he uses to implement his decisions.

His control is, first of all, over his mind and his attitudes; if these are right, the body will follow. A man accessing the Warrior archetype has "a positive mental attitude," as they say in sales training. This means that he has an unconquerable spirit, that he has great courage, that he is fearless, that he takes responsibility for his actions, and that he has self-discipline. Discipline means that he has the rigor to develop control and mastery over his mind and over his body, and that he has the capacity to withstand pain, both psychological and physical. He is willing to suffer to achieve what he wants to achieve. "No pain, no gain," we say. Whether you are literally a hunter, crouched for hours in the same position in the chill early morning of the Kalahari waiting for your prey to come within range, or whether you're a triathlon trainee, a medical school student, an executive enduring the misguided attacks of your board members, or a husband trying to work out difficulties with your wife, you know that discipline of your mind and perhaps your body is essential."