The First Gate in the path to Enlightenment is the Way of the Spiritual Warrior.
When you start the Spiritual Path you are wild and uncultivated, with just your natural personality. So long as you let your personality remain as it is, there’s no progress for you in this life in terms of the true meaning of existence, which is the attainment of Enlightenment, or Eternal Life. And this is where hundreds of millions of people fail. They stay as they are, without thinking, “This is not really all there is to it. I should be doing something else or be more than what I am.” So the first thing in Spiritual Life is to decide that you should do something about your basic nature, that you should become cultivated on the personality level.
To follow the First Gate, you have to cultivate Harmlessness, Non-aggressiveness, Peacefulness, Tranquillity and Lovingness.
You have to cultivate these five qualities, or virtues, because they are the basis of the Way of the Spiritual Warrior, and because they are precisely the qualities that are lacking in society. Society has many aggressive and violent people. Many human beings are harmful and aggressive, do not make peace, do not like tranquillity and lack love. That has been the basic nature of the human family for the last few hundred thousand years. So the violent qualities human beings exhibit in society have to be neutralized by cultivating harmlessness, non-aggressiveness, peacefulness, tranquillity and lovingness.
You have to practise cultivating these qualities twenty-four hours a day, and it’s not as easy as it may sound. If an insect bites you, you have to be peaceful and loving to the little bug. What is more, you have to develop these qualities on every level—you have to be physically harmless, emotionally harmless and mentally harmless. There is not much point to being harmless on the physical level if your mind is full of evil thoughts about other people. This is why the people who are into the warrior arts but haven’t got these qualities will never make it to the true state of Enlightenment. Of course, you will fail over and over again, but that’s fine; you are not expected to acquire these virtues right away. The goal is to watch yourself, and when you see that you are getting angry for whatever reason, go back to the cultivation of tranquillity and peacefulness. The fact that you notice what has happened and try to re-establish yourself in these virtues means you are already on the way.
If you want to follow the Way of the Spiritual Warrior, you have to become harmless, non-aggressive and peaceful, do everything with a tranquil mind and be full of love for all your neighbours. Otherwise you will not even make it to the First Gate.
The Simple Way
The Way of the Spiritual Warrior has an active side and a passive side, and most people in the martial arts field only know about the active side—doing judo or karate or kung fu, using drive and force. Very few of them know about the passive side, which is the true mark of the Spiritual Warrior. One way you can understand the passive side is through what the Ancients called the Simple Way.
The Simple Way means that you reduce your excess baggage. By excess baggage we mean your education, your family structure, your social customs, your culture, your race—whatever conditions you. Everybody carries a huge burden: I’m a Hindu, I’m a Buddhist, I’m a Maori, I’m a Jew; all the stress, traumas and blame related to what everybody said and did to you since the time you were born; all the stuff you learned in school that you will never use in your life. It is all excess baggage and it all has to go, because it’s not the real You, the real Self. To become a Master Warrior you have to discover the Simple Way. What are you now, without all your conditioning? What you are now is the reality. You get rid of everything of the past and become simple: just you, now.
Just So is a good expression meaning “just who you are and what you are in the here and now”, without all your thinking about what you were in the past and will be in the future, without all the baggage you carry inside.
The Master Warriors of the past were always in the Just So condition, and they were invincible. If they were in a real sword fight and suddenly remembered something uncle Joe had said to them years ago, they would have lost their concentration—and their head. They had to be in the state of Just So, free from excess baggage with their total attention in that very moment, in that very action. Otherwise, their life would have been finished. Nowadays we don’t have to fight with swords, but the Way of the Warrior, the way to attain Everlasting Life, is still the same: We have to be full of the virtues of harmlessness, non-aggressiveness, peacefulness, tranquillity and lovingness. And we have to live in the Just So condition. That’s why this Path is the easiest and at the same time the hardest. To be Just So is easy and difficult.
The life of the Spiritual Warrior is Heart-focused. The Heart connects to all things.
The Spiritual Warrior surrenders the ego to the Heart and works from the impulse that comes from the Heart. This means the whole life of the Spiritual Warrior is Heart-focused, and because the Heart connects to all things it becomes the Warrior’s sensory mechanism.
Normal warriors trained in the martial arts use the Solar Plexus Centre, which is a far more primitive sensory mechanism than the Heart. They awaken their Solar Plexus Centre through breathing techniques that open up the Astral World, so they can sense visible and invisible objects around them and know where danger is coming from. But Heart awareness is on a much higher level than solar plexus awareness because it works through the Light-energy within the Heart that emanates from the Spiritual Heart. Spiritual Warriors can sense all things because they are connected to all things through the Heart.
So they know whether a situation is right or wrong, whether a person is right or wrong, whether an enemy is a real enemy or a friend is a real friend. Spiritual Warriors cannot be deceived because the Heart cannot be deceived.
The important point is that you can understand the Way of the Spiritual Warrior only to the degree that you can actually live from the Heart and in the Heart. It is not a thought process. There are too many people in the world who are focused in the mind. They go where the Opposition moves them, just like chess pieces, and they will never be Spiritual Warriors. But you cannot fight with just thoughts; you need the real Light-energy, the inner Light within you that thoughts cannot touch. That is why your life has to revolve around the Spiritual Awareness inside you and why you have to be Heart-centred right from the beginning, if you want to become a Spiritual Warrior.
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