For What It’s Worth

A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds love in what he does.

The warrior stands rebellious, graphite sword in hand, contemplating over a cosmic plain.  Below him or her is a spinning sphere full of trials, tribulations, threatening adversaries, and tempting shortcuts.  Across the plain rises a mountain called mentality, full of promise but harboring a myriad of challenges.  On the other side of the mountain awaits something of which they are not exactly sure.  Could it be valor, transcendence, illumination, possibly enlightenment?  Or perhaps something more sinister hides behind the mountain in the shallow shadowed valleys below.     

All he or she knows is that they must carve a chivalrous path through life’s uneven landscape and scale the mountain, leading the way for those who seek something better on the other side.  They must guide with empathy and compassion through the shades of peril that lay ahead.  They know that death is an option from which they cannot opt out of.  They are very aware that survival could escape them, but they are prepared and are capable of leading those they love to safety regardless of their own well-being.  But they are also confident and their spirits can barely contain themselves.

Follow Your Heart

The warrior wears their heart as a shield, protecting what they love from the evil that lurks in the dusk of fear.  They defy the nightmares of deceit, false belief, and the judgments that create suffering and false happiness.  It is a war that once was waged within their own hearts and minds.  They stare fear in the eye with an awareness that the inner conflict of adversity has already taught them.  They know that truth, divinity, and unconditional love are what lie ahead on the other side of fear.  They know what is at stake and it is more important than anything else to them.  It is Freedom.  Or call it cerebral liberty if you will.

The warrior breathes benevolence for what they wish to protect, in this case, the reverence of love, and freedom of the mind.  Their tears are hidden behind their eyes, for it is love, not hate, which motivates.  They acknowledge that bravery comes in the presence of fear and not in its absence. Afraid or not, they keep emotional arousal at bay and instead use its energy to finish the task at hand.  They are confident in their skills of struggle and that conceit is an exploitable weakness.  They feel everything that everyone does, but answer otherwise.  Their commitment to peace and harmony is deeper than any river they have ever crossed.  It is what they live, love, fight, die, and write for. 

The warrior knows that in order to win the war against fear, they require awareness, valor, discipline, and promise in order to transform the emotional body of the whole.  They know their inner strength is a weapon but how it is used depends on their hearts and minds, and of course their soul. 

Be Aware

Awareness is the most vital tool of a warrior.  We often think we are aware but to be purely aware does not involve thinking whatsoever.  Awareness is unpolluted because there is no interpretation to the thinking process.  To be aware means that we perceive with clarity the truth of what is happening in the present without opinion.  In a moment of pure awareness the dialogue in our mind stops.  We see from a point of view separate from the scrutiny of our mind.  It is in the awareness of an epiphany that balance finds its way beneath the warrior’s footing, balance being extremely important, as we will discuss later on as we stumble down this road. 

Awareness is essential because it is a state of consciousness that allows us to discern between the facts and the truth, and between the story and the lies in our mind.  Our mind is filled with false perceptions and false beliefs.  The mind is crafty, but it is also full of assumptions and limited patterns of perception, it is easily fed with distraction. 

Self-awareness is the clarity to know who and what you are, and not become so entangled in the image of yourself.  Your self-image that is your utmost distraction will often misrepresent the sense of who you really are.  False internal images can lead you to lower self-esteem and self-confidence, or they can lead to being self-centered. 

Mind Your Head

If you have an idea of who you are, then contemplate that you are not that idea in your mind.  You are the one creating and discerning it.  When you become aware that the images of self that you hold in your mind are nothing but illusion, you recognize the essence of freeing yourself from self-importance.

The warrior has the courage to question his or her own beliefs.  By challenging our own beliefs, we begin to recognize the lies that cause our own suffering.  To challenge our own beliefs requires courage because it is a means to the end of the illusion of safety.  A warrior learns not to defend what we believe, but to challenge those very beliefs ourselves.  It is in this way that we are able to sort the truth from illusion.

Discipline is of the utmost importance in the spirit of a warrior.  Discipline is stringent upon staying the course when faced with the inward challenges of the mind.  A warrior must have the discipline to continue to practice against his or her own mind, without any outside motivation.  They must exercise their own free will at the command of their heart without outward representation.  This often means going against the fearful opinions in our minds that allure us with patterned illusions of both punishment and reward.  They must also carry close the discipline to follow their heart when tempted by judgment.

Love Yourself

The warrior must commit to self-love.  They can then extend that love amongst others, as well as humanity.  Self-commitment is required because along the journey we are certain to fall many times.  It is with strong commitment that the warrior gets back up again.  It is common to fall upon the fleeting judgment of others.  It is easy to love some people, particularly those who treat us with mutual respect.  However, it requires an incredible commitment to love in the face of those who reject us.  This commitment will challenge us.  It will challenge our beliefs about our own judgments, while teaching us that pure compassion is the only defense required. 

The warrior is committed to love beyond their own self-serving interests and what it will bring them.  This is how we become happy past our own paradigm of longing.  Over time, we become committed to love for the sheer enjoyment of expressing love.  This is what the spirit of a warrior lives for, to love.  They nourish themselves with the love they express.  A warrior will always express their love, even when challenged. 

The warrior always expects the best from themselves.  They may not always overcome everything they are faced with, but it is with certainty that they will give it their all to rise above failure.  They will make the best of every situation and seek to unleash their greatest potential even if they do have to dip into the madness of their own mind.  They expect to set the example of what it takes to lead and inspire others, no matter how close to the edge they take themselves.  Therefore, they must be ready, willing, and able to carry the burden, even when lost in the arid desert of their mind.   

A warrior understands that they only have one life, so they treat it with reverence and fill it with those peculiar moments that make life worth living and with those they find meaningful.  Sometimes a warrior must walk away from everything he was to find out where he truly belongs.

The Takeout

But what do I know? I am not necessarily a warrior, I am just some guy who likes to write, but I believe in something much more greater and graceful than the good we are promised.  I have a vision and I believe in it with such passion, I will seek it out until the day I die.  The funny thing is that it’s right here within me.  It always has been, somewhere deep, and probably pretty damn dark.  But it is true; there is a light of faith that will always shine through.

It is in these moments when I write that I find meaning.  The means of myself seem to meet with pen and paper.  For some odd reason, I associate words with leaving a mark on the world.  I’m not sure why. I do know it is borderline brutal to be an open book in a world that barely reads anymore.  But writing allows my soul to saunter with creative experience and not wither away to the misuse of boredom’s mediocrity.  I guess it allows my mind its daily serenity and by treating every minute as a gift—with a gift—is a great way to align my life the way that I see fit. 

So, let us stop wasting these precious minutes, and start running towards those dreams.  Starting with today, go get whatever it is you wish to deserve from this life.  Or you could just continue to put it off until tomorrow, but eventually, you will have to either walk away from what it is the spiritual path demands or stare it down and give everything that you have got to get to the results that Heaven and the One Upstairs desire. 

And for what it’s worth, the warrior knows that he doesn’t have a lot to offer, but what he truly believes in is worth something, as long as he can manage to stay out of his own damn way.

–BeLove

For Goodness’ Sake

I sink with the weight of a thousand unanswered prayers—the ice-cold pain of rejuvenation sets its hook in my soul.

I now know the questions of my dreams are ones that only God can answer.

Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, but in the spreading of hope, always attended by love. 

Some sort of mirrored reality stares back at my reflection—hollow with eyes blue as the void.  I see the edge. My mind walks along some celestial cliff. Paralysis attacks my legs.  My stomach swims through an ocean of butterflies. I feel my heart pound with the rhythm of the crystal blue, white crested waves of persuasion churning below me, as they crash with winter’s effervescence.  

My imagination falls upon a field of metaphors and instead of picking these written wildflowers for you, I leave them scattered about for you to decide? Which are worth picking and which are worth leaving behind to bloom?

This life, this story, this blank piece of paper, these words, what significance should they all carry? What is it all for?  It has to be for something not wrong, but right—right? I am able to do what’s right, or should I stand wrong, maybe corrected?  What is a man to do in the fashion of goodness’ sake? 

As I fall from the cliffs of some astral dream, like hundreds of times before, the cement painted sky above comes to collide with the baptismal blue waters of the place I call home.  I sink with the weight of a thousand unanswered prayers—the ice-cold pain of rejuvenation sets its hook in my soul.  I wake up in a cold sweat.  I now know the questions of my dreams are ones that only God can answer.    

Creative Outpost

All through life, we are established and broken.  Then we are broken and rebuilt. Such is the American dream, in its current blood red state of self-destruction. Its obsession with the self-destructive particulars of the wounded man has grown to be comical. These words were first written in some creative outpost, so it’s time we get down to business.  If love were ever to become a revolution, I can’t think of better time to fan the flame. 

Somebody asked me the other day, if I thought I was some kind of warrior?  My response was, “Absolutely not. The moment I decorate myself as a warrior, is the moment the ego bears judgment on my being. One does not self proclaim themselves to be a warrior.  This is full of idolatry and pride.  The soul speaks chivalrous or it doesn’t.  It is as simple as is it sounds. I just want to do right by the boy and by God. Although love is his namesake, it is for goodness’ sake that I do this for Him.” She looked a bit lost in my answer but you could see the light shine in her eyes as it came to make sense.   

The Poet Barks

But at some point the poet will contradict himself, and as of now, I cannot think of a better time.   There is no time like the present to revolutionize my mind.  It is my very own idea of love.  It is but a jubilee, maybe a rendition of what love, or even who I used to be.  

Love is everywhere we look.

Man’s association with chivalry is pretty much dead.  The self-proclaimed warrior is associated with uselessness, because he does not respond voluntarily.  A warrior knows his purpose, it is rigorous and it takes a special state of mind that is eternally unbending.  To be a warrior is to be a seed of God’s purpose and to nurture His love wherever one goes with consistency.  I guess where I am going, isn’t this or that way, but it is His way.  Therein lies the difficulty of finding the seed of our purpose in a garden filled with God, faith, and wildflowers, and unfortunately, evil.

Rambled Structure

The goodness in the garden of good and evil wasn’t that far gone, so hope had stuck around, and because of this, goodness held a solid chance.  So with these words, please allow me this dance.  

Americans! With our outrageous ideas of love, saturated in the outpouring of domestic tragedy.  Who are we to think so highly of ourselves, after all of the wars, the wholesale revolutions, devastation and death camps? We’ve soaked the earth with the blood of both the innocent and the guilty. 

And still it spills forgiven from our hands?  In the cremation of love, evil lingers in the scent of ashen hate.  Hate but a hungry beast, fed through the vacuum of fear, racial indifference, and disbelief, and never in the sense of preserving goodness’ sake.  What do our personal troubles amount to?  Do we really suffer, compared to the others some consider of equal or lesser value? America’s democratic abundance does have its own peculiar complications. Does it not?

God’s Experiment

America is God’s experiment, such an experiment of dogmatic unity gone wild.  Many of the wounds created by the dogma of elder civilizations have long been healed with this newfound wound, which is a mystery in itself.  America didn’t like those who walked with this curious value that lacked pride.  It ostracized those who embodied the special interest of compassion.  America has lost its ability to understand the truth in the love of liberty and finding one’s self.  

The goodness of man was created in scarcity.  So what shall we anticipate from the false facilities of man with his plenitude?  This is why the world could always use a couple more writers written in as poets, to maybe point out the flaws of the hardened heart.

In the adolescence of America, love was built on the template of a myth. It’s why we fell head over heels in love with the idea of love.  Love is the thickness in our blood, rich with the platelets of self-desire. It was intricately embroidered with the fine print of bliss, but then our boys had to go across the pond and paint the hillsides of Europe with the blood of fascistic imperialistic belief.   

Women were then given an image to uphold and the wild soul of woman was slowly cut off from her genuine self.  The boys, they came back patriotic but broken men, suffered from the inevitable effects of evil, while death was seared into every sight they would see for the rest of their lives.  This was the beginning of the end in my opinion, love put on a mask of comfort and sensibility, covered by the veil of fear and pain. This was when pure love went into hibernation.  And sometimes a poet must carry the weighted stick that pokes the bear of love and lead it back into the wild where it belongs.

Love’s Revolution

In the early days, revolution promised mankind a permanent and interesting life in love with moral goodness. Revolution was the work inspired by love and compassion.  All classified aspects of the societal food chain were in a state of excitement led by the energy of delight in the poetic revolution of life.  Or as William James put it, human beings really lived when they lived at the top of their energies.  

My soul is fed by the energy of love, all souls are.  This is why we often feel so connected to those we hardly know.  It’s the energy of God’s delight, coursing through our veins. But what is there to be so sensible about love if, as I feel, I have waited thousands of years for God to send my soul fallen upon this earth?  Here I am supposed to capture a true and clear image worthy of love before I return, before my human life ended.  Being sensible with something as wild as love does absolutely nothing to mitigate the fear of “missing the boat.”  I believe anyone can see that.

Pure Love   

All of life has been spent in sin and virtue, in good and evil, in labor and struggle, in sickness and in health, in gifts, in sorrows, in achieving and regretting, in planning and hoping, and in love and fear.  

The light of love crashing upon the landscape of hatred.

Suppose a man were at once in his life to disappear into God for the space of a minute.  And suppose he had seen things, considered them, known them, made judgments about them and spoke of them, out of acting wise or not. Suppose he stumbled in and out of prayer, while seeing the smoke of doubt envelop his surroundings.  Yet he walked through clean to the upright side of obedience.  And in this obedience, he tasted the vague sweetness of God, where he found spiritual ease in prayer. 

In all these things, life is but a fabric sewn together with uncertainties.  But in the moment of a knick in time, the minute in which he felt deliverance to God, the fabric of life comes to be woven by the pure love of God. 

“No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Psalm 84:17

Strength In Numbers

It is in this ecstasy of pure love that we arrive at the true fulfillment of the first commandment, loving God with our whole heart and mind, and all of our strength.  Therefore pure love is something that all should aspire to please God, and we ought to desire to inspire all with unconditional love. Not just for a minute, nor half an hour, nor a week, but forever.  It is in these souls that conspire to love, that peace will be proven to be force in this world.

We are the strength of the world, because we have become the tabernacles of God.  We are the ones who keep the universe from being destroyed. We are the little ones, we do not always know ourselves, but the world depends on us.  And though no one seems to realize it, we are the ones for whom it was all created and we shall inherit the land.  

We are the ones who renounce the world and throw away the meager possessions.  We alone appreciate the world for what its nature has given us. We understand joy, and those who are hateful and angry—joy will destroy.  We are the clean of heart, we feel God in our hearts, and our freedom has no limits.  We wash the world with God’s light.

Follow the path and beauty will be in everything you see.

So come, let us go into that body of His light.  Let us live in the cleanliness of His song.  Let us shed the labels of the world like clothing and enter barren into His wisdom.  For this is the prayer answered when He hears the cry: “Thy will be done.” And this is all that one seeks, when he tries his damndest to do something for goodness’ sake.

In Closing  

One may never know why he held the great unknown so close to his chest.  He often grasped at its searing celestial pain under intense circumstance.  Sometimes he would even reach for it and pretend to fill it with emptiness.  Then came the day when he filled it with what he thought was emptiness and instead it was God who filled his heart with joy. And as he felt a sensation like no other shiver up his spine, he knew it was God telling him it was time. 

To be continued…

—BeLove

*Author’s Note-

This is merely an excerpt from the book, call it practice if you will.