The phrase Spiritual Warrior can be given to a person who engages in a battle within him or herself. The battle is between the Inner Resistance to Divine expression (as expressed by our Ego) and True Divinity within.
The spiritual warrior is the person who has recognized and acknowledged that all pain, struggle, and unhappiness arise from within them. With this understanding, the person is willing and ready to embark on the journey that requires them to face their inner world with courage and commitment.
This work is inner work and is a personal choice. This person knows that the task is challenging, daunting and unpleasant but they are not discouraged. They are ready to put in the effort to consistently confront their own inner distortions as well as their darker aspects (shadow) with a sense of commitment.
The default or typical mind that each of us has, is one that believes in a distorted view of life. This is often referred to as the False Self.
Lies, incomplete facts, stories, inaccurate representations of the truth, false perceptions, false beliefs, assumptions, and limited paradigms are interpreted and maintained as TRUTH.
Most people operate from this typical mind and they do not care to question what lies within. They are content with where they are and do not want to make the effort needed to dissolve and eliminate the mistruth within.
This type of mindset is often referred to as the Hedonistic Mindset. With a hedonistic mindset, the focus is external and a person their time and energy chasing for mindless pleasures and superficial forms of happiness.
The Path of the Spiritual Warrior
The spiritual warrior walks the path of spiritual liberation. On this path the goal is to find the core truth of who it is they are. This can be called the True Self (The Higher Self). The Self that can be viewed as “Made in the Image of the Creator”. The True Self is eternal and unchanging.
This path towards greater alignment with the True Self is filled with challenges that must be overcome and it leads to a greater sense of peace and harmony both on the inside and outside.
The spiritual warrior is ready to face their challenges and understands that growth and change are a necessary part of life. They also have an understanding of how their outer physical world and their inner world are tightly integrated and that as the inner world changes and shifts so does the outer reality.
They are able to observe and pay attention to their reactions and responses to their physical reality which in turn informs them of the conditions of their own inner world.
They can dive deep into their own personal challenges to gain insight into their deeply held blindsided beliefs and misaligned values.
In essence, the path of the Spiritual Warrior is what is often referred to as the “Hero’s Journey. It is the path to greater Integration and Wholeness. It is the path away from the False Self to the True Self.
The Traits and Qualities of the Spiritual Warrior
The Spiritual Warrior must embody certain traits and qualities to facilitate this journey or process. They are traits from within themselves and cannot be derived from external sources.
Greater Self Awareness – Self Awareness is the ability to see oneself in one’s own actions, motivations, tendencies, behaviors, strengths, and shortcomings. Without self-awareness, a person will not know when they are in conflict within themselves, when they are deceiving themselves or what their own inner motivations are. Self-awareness opens us to ourselves from within. The spiritual warrior must gain a keen awareness of who they are at the level of their False Self. This will help them discern what needs to be done to move out of the programming of their False Self to the True Self.
Courage – This is the ability to stay strong and ready to challenge the beliefs held by the False Self. While many people would be naturally inclined to defend their existing beliefs, the spiritual warrior is willing to challenge the limiting beliefs they currently hold. They acknowledge and know that such limiting beliefs do not add value to their life nor serve any useful purpose. Courage is not easy to come by. It takes a strong belief in oneself to be able to push through the pain of internal resistance.
Daily Spiritual Practice – Inner work must be done from a Centered Place. By Centered Place I mean a Spiritual Source. This is the source of a person’s belief in a Higher Power. Higher Power comes in various names – God, Universe, Source, Creator. Without this center, it is difficult to effectively navigate the challenges that one might encounter within their own psyche (which is the Ego acting out in resistance).
The spiritual warrior has the willingness to put in the effort needed to sharpen their skills in order to tackle their inner world on a daily basis. Inner work can be compared to peeling the layers of an onion. The further one goes, the more remaining work to be done is revealed.
Commitment – The spiritual warrior is committed to their life first and foremost and the lives of others. They appreciate the value and significance of being human. To them, being human means more than the mundane aspects of human life.
They recognize that the opportunity to grow and evolve at a soul level is an important part of the human experience.
This means that true knowledge, understanding, and wisdom must be acquired. Their commitment to self is evident in their dedication and persistence in the clearing, releasing, dismantling, and dissolving all lies in which they have come to believe.
Love – the ability to love oneself even when what is discovered within is ugly, unpleasant, and worthy of criticism is the hallmark of the spiritual warrior.
They do not look down on (shame) what they discover about themselves or their current beliefs. All that is discovered needs to be accepted, cleared and healed so that harmony within is restored. This is the path to real maturity and Wholeness.
Because it is common to find that we are not as great or nice as we think we are, there is a need to be self-accepting, self-loving and self-compassionate.
Focus and Attention – Along with self-awareness comes focus and attention. Focus and attention are required so that the Spiritual Warrior is able to pinpoint and recognize what is going on within them that is standing in the way of true progress. This refers to the ability to recognize and pay attention to inner fears, blocks, and resistance.
They should be able to recognize patterns of behavior that are giving them poor results, struggle, and pain. These act like clues into what needs to be worked on at a personal level. Without a healthy self-awareness and focus and attention, there will be no real intentional movement happening.
The Goal of the Spiritual Warrior
The goal of the spiritual warrior is to rediscover, restore, rebuild, realign and reclaim themselves. Because the False Self is quick to attach to Hedonistic patterns of behavior, there is a lot of misalignment.
The goals of the Spiritual Warrior are to move away and reduce hedonistic behavior and align with the True Self.
They understand the role of free will in all their decisions, as well as the challenges that come with being able to use free, will properly.
The Tools of the Spiritual Warrior
The spiritual warrior knows that the only way to true liberation is by seeking and tapping into their spiritual side.
They are willing to reach out to Divine Guidance and seek Divine Help.
They learn and regularly apply spiritual tools such as self-inquiry, self-reflection, self-analysis, prayer, contemplation, and meditation to accomplish inner-work tasks.
The job of the spiritual warrior is ongoing and one of constant growth and progress. The determination, courage, and commitment that is demanded of one who chooses to become a spiritual warrior are high. We are each called to be spiritual warriors for our own life. Some people refer to the journey or path of the spiritual warrior as the “Hero’s Journey”.
What I have come to know is that it is challenging but worth it. It gives meaning to life knowing that we can be so much more than hedonistic beings filled with self-centeredness and living merely for personal pleasure. I cannot emphasize enough how the work of the spiritual warrior takes time and requires discipline to sustain.
The rewards of peace of mind, inner strength, inner security, inner truth, true love, and inner harmony lie on the other side of the battle. These rewards are waiting to be rediscovered, rebuilt, restored, and reclaimed.