Characteristics of a Spiritual Warrior
“Happiness is every person’s choice, but few make an effort for it.”
A Spiritual Warrior is a person who challenges the dreams of fear, lies, false beliefs, and judgments that create suffering and unhappiness in his or her life. It is a war that takes place in the heart and mind of a man or woman. The quest of the Spiritual Warrior is the same as spiritual seekers around the world. The Spiritual Warrior faces this challenge with the clarity and awareness that this war is fought within himself and that Truth and unconditional love are on the other side of these battles. This is what the Toltecs refer to as Personal Freedom. You can find this referenced in the book The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz.
Characteristics and Traits of a Spiritual Warrior
To win the war against fear requires awareness, courage, discipline, and commitment to transform the emotional body. These are some of the characteristics of a Warrior
Awareness of the Spiritual Warrior
The first and most vital tool of the spiritual warrior is awareness. It is easy to think we are aware, but pure awareness has no thinking involved. It has no thinking because it has no interpretation. Awareness is to perceive with clarity the truth of what is happening without interpretation or opinion. In a moment of awareness, the dialogue in the mind stops. We are “seeing” from a point of view separate from the reasoning part of our mind. This could be described as an epiphany. Practiced seers live in this awareness in every moment.
Awareness is essential because it is the state of consciousness that allows us to discern between the facts and the Truth, and between the story and the lies in our mind. The realm of our mind is filled with false perceptions and false beliefs. While the mind can be very clever with stories and lies, it is the consciousness of awareness that is the discerning intelligence. We may use very intelligent reasoning to make a decision that is not good for ourselves. Only to look at it in hindsight and realize that we discounted indicators that told us otherwise. This can be done in something as simple as a stock investment. The mind is clever, but it is also full of assumptions and limited paradigms of perception. Conscious awareness allows us to see clearly instead of being blinded by these false belief paradigms.
Self-awareness is the clarity to know who and what you are, and not get caught up in self-important images of ourselves. These self-important images in our minds distort our sense of who we are. False images can lead us to low self-esteem and self-confidence, or they can take us into being self-centered. If you have an idea of who you are, then consider that you are not that idea in your mind. You are the one creating the idea, and observing it. The self-awareness that you are not any of those images in your mind is essential to becoming free of self-importance.
Courage of the Spiritual Warrior
The courage that makes for a good soldier also makes for a good Spiritual Warrior, but the intent becomes completely different. A soldier has the courage to face a challenge that may bring physical harm. The Spiritual warrior has the courage to question challenge his or her own beliefs. By challenging our own beliefs we can dissolve the lies that cause our suffering. To challenge our own beliefs requires courage because it means the end of our illusion of safety. When other people challenge our own beliefs we are usually quick to defend. We defend them even if they cause us to suffer. As a warrior, we learn not to defend what we believe, and then to challenge those very beliefs ourselves. In this way, we are able to sort out the truth from illusions.
Discipline of the Spiritual Warrior
A soldier has the discipline to follow orders and continues on when faced with challenges. The Spiritual Warrior’s discipline to continue on with their path when faced with challenges from their mind. It is easier to follow orders as a soldier because we are threatened with consequences and rewarded to motivate us. This is in line with our years of conditioning. A warrior must have the discipline to practice deal with their own mind without someone else providing the motivation with carrots or sticks. A warrior must exercise their own will at the command of their heart, not an outside authority figure. This often means going against the fearful opinions in our minds that tempt us with illusions of punishment and rewards. We must also have the discipline to follow our own heart even when tempted by another person’s opinion. This way of living requires disciplined practice.
Love of the Spiritual Warrior
A soldier has a commitment to love his/her country. The Spiritual warrior must have the commitment to love him/her self. The warrior then extends that love to humanity. The commitment is required because in our journey we will certainly fumble and fall many times. It is in having a strong commitment that we get back up again. It is common to fall to judgment. It can be easy to love some people, particularly the people that like us or treat us well. However, it requires a tremendous commitment to love in the face of those that reject us. This commitment will cause us to challenge our beliefs about our judgments and not being compassionate. We must be committed to love beyond our own self-serving interests of what it will bring us. This is how we will become happy beyond our current paradigm of beliefs. In time we become committed to love for the sheer enjoyment of expressing love. This becomes our commitment. We nourish ourselves with the love we express. A warrior acts in this committed way, even when challenged.
In my point of view, Jesus Christ was the greatest Warrior. He had the courage, discipline, and openness to Love unconditionally even as he was being rejected and physically persecuted during his days. Even when his body was in physical pain, the only emotions he created and expressed were love and compassion. He did not use a reason in his mind to hate or judge. This is extraordinary impeccability. If he could love in his challenges, then we can learn to love unconditionally in our challenges.