The Warrior. Even the name gets our attention. It touches something primal inside of us. Every man has felt the warrior ethos at some point – or longed to do so. Whether it was beating up the bully on the playground as kid or protecting our family’s honor or safety as an adult, we’ve touched the energy of the Warrior.
And, though civilized society is often at odds with the Warrior ethos, it will never go away. It lives inside of us. As the author notes, “We can’t just take a vote and vote the Warrior out.” Our Warrior energy may lie dormant, but it will not go away completely.
“We can’t just take a vote and vote the Warrior out.”
This is the second installment in my review of King, Lover, Magician, Warrior: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. In my first post on masculine archetypes, we looked at the King. The King is that balanced, stable energy that looks after the welfare of the realm.
The Warrior is different. The Warrior serves the King. For lack of a better phrase, he gets shit done. The Warrior is assertive and aggressive. He “rouses, energizes, and motivates”. He goes on the offensive and attacks the problems and obstacles that life throws at him.
Underlying all he does is an unconquerable spirit. He is courageous, fearless, and disciplined. He is tough and gritty. He sacrificies for the mission.
But the Warrior is not reckless. He is alert and awake, always on guard. He can focus his mind, evaluate his circumstances, calculate his advantages and weaknesses, and develop a strategy to win.
He is always mindful of his own imminent death. This gives him the proper perspective on the shortness and fragility of life. This doesn’t cause him to cower and be fearful. Instead, it causes him to act with intention and excellence.
The Warrior trains for strength, skill, power, and accuracy. He trains his mind and his body so that he can use both to achieve his goals. He doesn’t rely on brute force. Though he is strong, he masters the available technology and weaponry.
Like the King, the Warrior’s abilities are not used for self-serving purposes. Instead, they are enlisted to serve something larger. The Warrior serves the realm, the cause, and the community. His loyalty and devotion go far beyond himself. His training, his talents, and his discipline are used to advance the realm.
He has no time for pettiness, squabbling, or personal ego, from himself or anyone else.
The Warrior is often detached emotionally. His decisions are based on what will advance the mission. This detachment helps fuel his bravery and allows him to sacrifice his own safety in battle. It allows him to act “forcefully, swiftly, and efficiently”, with no regard for his own preferences.
The Warrior is often violent. He often destroys. But the purpose of his destruction is to clear out the bad so that the good may thrive. He does not destroy without purpose or out of self-interest. He destroys so that something new and better may emerge.
But, like all masculine archetypes, the Warrior energy can get twisted. Instead of a Warrior, men become Sadists or Masochists. They become either cruel or cowardly.
The Sadist loves inflicting destruction and pain without regard for any larger purpose. He carries a bloodlust. He loves the feeling of power that violence and cruelty give him. He lives in fear of being weak, which leads him to acts of brutality. He is very effective at getting things done. But he leaves a trail of broken relationships and hurt in his wake.
The Masochist is a pushover. He projects the Warrior energy onto others. He fears that everyone around is stronger and better than him. He cannot set or enforce boundaries with others. He allows himself to be abused and walked over. He has no confidence or self-respect. He lacks discipline. He is indecisive and unproductive. He refuses to face and overcome his problems.
Our challenge as men is to tap into our Warrior energy. We must avoid the extremes of the Sadist and the Masochist. When we access The Warrior, we are:
- courageous but not reckless
- disciplined in our mind and body
- decisive and assertive
- strong and powerful
- competent with technology and weaponry
- aware of the shortness and fragility of life
- living with intention
- tough and able to endure hardship
- in service of the realm
The Warrior is a winner. He attacks life. He doesn’t hide from the hardships and obstacles that life throws at him. He meets them head on. He develops a plan for overcoming them and executes that plan. He serves and protects the realm.
For us, our realm is our family, our friends, our community, and our job. We must become Warriors of this realm. This is the burden and privilege of being a man. So tap into your Warrior energy and make sure that your realm thrives. This is the man’s life. Godspeed.