I have a favourite quote from Pema Chödrön that fits perfectly with my way of life – the miraculously ordinary life – and idea of the warrior.
“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”
I like to think of being nice and feeling positive as a warrior’s way of being, cutting through habitual weariness, societal glum, and standing tall as a victor of sunshininess.
These days, I’m steeped in contemplations of non-duality and enlightenment. The warrior notion enters the idea of ending the war within. Historically the warrior has been the fighter, destroying the enemy, achieving victory, and thus securing territory, power, and survival. These days, many people – including myself – don’t need to fight an enemy to maintain a home, food, and family. And so the fight turns inward. Depending on the programs of greatest influence this internal fight can manifest as guilt and shame as you attack yourself for thinking and feeling things that perhaps are deemed inappropriate or undesirable.
I believe that for us privileged folk, this inward focus is an opportunity to end war where it matters most, within. I believe it takes a warrior to truly end the fight. A warrior takes orders from their commander. A warrior sacrifices their life, if the circumstances demand it. I’ve seen the historical accounts of ground wars where the ones in front stand still as commanded. They don’t attack out of anger or righteousness, they do their job as commanded for the greater good, the warriors behind them, the cause that is being fought for. And so, if commanded, the warrior has the discipline to completely stop all warring. And that is the task I feel invited to take on within.
The super-ego is the authoritarian voice in my head that says, hey let’s end this war within. The ego is the conscious and unconscious mind that focuses here or there depending on a lifetime of experience and aeons of human evolution. Sometimes it feels like the super-ego is at war with the ego, rewarding or punishing depending on what thoughts arise. This can even happen in my opening point on choosing the positive way of being. If I scold myself for not thinking happy thoughts then I’m just waging war. This isn’t often the case for me, but it’s important to be cognizant about it. If I reflect on Pema Chödrön’s quote, she says to “drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune”. I see this as fitting with the idea of skilfully refusing to take up the fight, dropping all weapons, dropping complaints, dropping opinions, dropping righteousness, and allowing whatever may happen as a consequence of the cessation of war.
Right now I am blessed with a job that gives me time to write. It has always been a dream of mine to write. I never fully believed in being able to make money from writing (I still don’t) and so I pursued careers that might allow for a good job – a job I would love – where I could write as well. This pursuit was worthy in and of itself but it didn’t facilitate much writing. And so now I have that chance. And I love it. It’s fun to be contemplating the nature of reality, the influence of my thoughts, and the process of enlightenment while opening up to the inspiration to write.
I have a pretty peaceful and wonderful life and so the warriors within are strong and rarely tempted to pick up the sword, until I began creative writing. Whoa, the activity that’s going on in there now. Beliefs emerge: you can’t do this. Judgements arise: this is shit. The warriors recognize their enemies and are posed to destroy such harmful thoughts.
However, even as we see in the outside world, attempting to destroy the undesirable doesn’t produce that which is desirable. In fact, it tends to multiply. You can’t wage peace. Peace is the natural consequence of the end of war. And so as the seemingly harmful thoughts arise in me, the intention is for the warriors to hold strong. The warriors maintain a loving presence. Unconditionally, the thoughts are allowed to arise, stay as long as they need to and eventually dissolve. The bright light of unconditional love makes it easy to see the these dark thoughts quickly, but the environment of that light won’t allow for them to stick around for long. But, they’re welcome to return anytime, if the circumstances deem it fit for their return.
I’m more comfortable with this type of blog writing than storytelling, and still I’m noticing some tricky thoughts arising. Having this opportunity to be with my thoughts, to challenge myself through creativity and public exposure, is a huge blessing. It is an honour to share this with you. And so I hold strong.