Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Warrior Ethos: The Lord of Discipline

The excerpt below is from a post at Steven Pressfield's blog. Mr. Pressfield is the author of many great books, including one of my favorites, Gates of Fire. The full post may be read here.

One of his recent books is The Warrior Ethos

Chapter 26   The Lord of Discipline
In the Gita, the warrior Arjuna is commanded to slay the “foes” that constitute his own baser being.

That is, to eradicate those vices and inner demons that would sabotage his path to becoming his best and highest self.

How is Arjuna instructed to do this? By the practice of self-discipline. In other words, by the interior exercise of his exterior Warrior Ethos.

Arjuna’s divine instructor (one of whose titles in Sanskrit is “Lord of Discipline”) charges his disciple to:
Fix your mind upon its object.
Hold to this, unswerving,
Disowning fear and hope,
Advance only upon this goal.
Here is the Warrior Ethos directed inward, employing the same virtues used to overcome external enemies—courage, patience, will, selflessness, the capacity to endure adversity—but enlisting these qualities now in the cause of the inner struggle for integrity, maturity and the honorable life.


walt said...

The Gita is embedded in a larger, 80-volume epic called the Mahabharata which describes the "greater" war, of which the Gita is just a small part. The whole affair is a fascinating mix of myth, real history, culture, and religious philosophy.

Who but a scholar can approach such things?

Well, one fellow did, setting aside his career for three years, and wading into the epic at a university not too far from you. From this study, he produced a very readable synopsis (just 488 pages), written from the angle of dharma, i.e., secular ethics (there are many other versions around that take a "religious" approach).

Fascinating background.

Rick Matz said...

Awesome. Another addition to the wish list.