What do you think of this advice? It is from Living Indubiously via The Art of Manliness. I have some serious reservations. The subject is “The Warriors guide to Manliness”:
Use Death as your Guide. We all could die at any moment. It could be today, tomorrow, or next week. You could go and visit your dying friend in the hospital and then get hit by a bus the next day. Whether or not you have an existing condition is of no importance in your actual mortality. If this was the common outlook of today’s man, do you think we would sit around watching cable TV and spending our time worrying about how to afford the next big thing in consumer electronics? Hell no! We would go out today and start doing the exact thing that we have always wanted to do (our purpose) while not wasting any of our time on the petty, pointless things. After all, there is no better a teacher in time management than having death knocking at your door.
Choose the Path with Heart. All paths are the same. They lead absolutely nowhere. At the end of your life you will be in the exact same position except you will be able to look back with either regret or satisfaction on the choices you made. It is the path that is important, not the destination. It is better to have a followed a path in your life that brought you happiness in the moment, than to have followed a path that promised happiness at your destination. Using death as your guide will promote a distinct change in your level of presence and naturally lead you to living in the moment and choosing the correct path. The warrior who chooses his highest calling is also the one to achieve the greatest success, further strengthening the chance of the survival of his bloodline.
Fight Every Battle as if it was Your Last. If you are using death as your guide and living in the present moment then you will naturally fight every battle in your life as if it was a defining moment to make or break everything you have worked for. When you have this mentality you are naturally doing your best at everything and your chances for success are greatly improved. This is the type of performance that we have come to expect from our great leaders and role models so why should we sell ourselves short of realizing such greatness? It is through this concept that you will truly be living to your full potential and increasing your likelihood of being the man that others look to for inspiration.
I expect some discerning remarks from the Knights of Lepanto.
I’ll take a stab…
Use Death as your Guide:
While I should often contemplate the last things, death specifically; if my meditation is only inspiring me to “start doing the exact thing that I have always wanted to do” then I’m missing the boat. The precise problem with society is that everyone is doing what they want instead of what they should. A true warrior does battle against himself, warring against his fallen nature for the sake of supernatural virtue. He looks to his own interests last – for the sake of Christ, His Church, and the welfare of the weak.
Chose the Path with Heart:
What if the “path with heart” leads one over a cliff or to the pit of hell? Of course the destination matters. Skipping along merrily along “a path in your life that brought you happiness in the moment” without thought of where you’re going could end you up at someplace very bad. Like an Obama rally, or an all women’s meeting on Thursday night somewhere in Griswold. Scary stuff.
Also – the reference about not following a path that promises happiness at the destination is particularly troublesome. This whole business about your present happiness being the primary consideration when following a path is self-centered, unthoughtful and childish. There is no room for the cross in this theory, and therefore no room for Christ or our neighbor.
Fight every Battle as if it was your Last:
If our meditation on death and living in the present moment only inspires us to be “successful”, then what’s the point? We’re still going to end up dead. Worldly success is a vanishing mist. What do I profit if I gain the world but lose my soul? Our meditations, if anything, should inspire us to strive for holiness. Only then does death have any meaning, and we can even find hope in it. Saints are the role models of true greatness. Yes, fight every battle as if it was your last – but fight the right battles for the right reasons.
And oh… I guess I missed the “all paths are the same. They lead absolutley nowhere” on my first pass through. If all paths are the same, then what’s the point of chosing “the one with heart?” Even the writer knows that all paths aren’t the same. He’s trying to say, consciously or unconsciously, that in the end we’re all going to die and life is ultimately meaningless.
I won’t be taking that path, thank you.
This is the meat behind every Nike commercial … “If it feels good, do it.” This is the motto that goes WITH our natural predisposition at times which is why Christianity has never been the popular path! Picking up our cross means everything this article DOESN’T mean. It does indeed ask us to consider each day as if it could be our last but in doing so, we are to pick the path that doesn’t necessarily bring us the most pleasure in the moment. We are indeed asked to look at where we want to end up so that, as Steve said, we choose THAT path … the means to the end is every bit necessary and vital to getting us to the proper destination.
This author is convincing himself that sowing to the flesh is acceptable. He makes some good points but ultimately misses the real point in life! Nothing new under the sun, as we say.
One more point from the female here … True Warriors are self-LESS and sacrificial … not selfish as this *warrior* unknowingly desires to be. Not a warrior at all … a total wimp, actually. Ha.
We have occasionally crossed “verbal swords” but here you are spot on! This guy is no knight. A warrior he may be, but any dirt bag who picked up a weapon could be thus classified.
What he hearkens to, whether he knows it or not, is chivalry. But instead of true chivalry, which can only be found in it’s completeness within Holy Mother Church, he is espousing a dark version, which has self as its center instead of others, and has Nihilism as it’s deity instead of the one true God.
No, this is a boy playing in a man’s realm. You can tell he longs to grow up, but doesn’t have anyone to show him how. It is rather pathetic really and he deserves prayers.
Something to be said for him is that at least he is trying formulate a code to live by which is greater than himself. Which is something so many others don’t do. Just without proper formation and guidance, and under the effects of original sin, such zeal tracks in the wrong direction.
As a Knight, I strive to live by “The Grail Code.” This Code pre-dates the Code of Chivalry by more than a thousand years. It is not a man made code, but one given to us by Jesus Christ, Himself – The King of Kings and the Lords of Lords.
The first part of “The Grail Code is this: “You are to know, love and serve the Lord your God, with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength. The second part is this: “You are to love your neighbor as yourself. You are to do unto others that which you would have done unto you and those that you love. To be a true diciple of Christ you are “To love one another as He loved us.” That is “The Grail Code.” This is the ultimate path to follow. And at the end of that path (Quest,) we will hear those precious words from our Lord and Savior: “Well done, my good and faithful servant (Knight).”
Hi all. Spencer, co-author of the original article here.
Blessings to all of you for your comments. 🙂
My brother and I live with Cystic Fibrosis, a life shortening genetic condition, and set out to make a blog site that could inspire and uplift people who had lost hope, or never had it in the first place. We wanted to help strengthen those who felt weak, and give them a shred of faith in themselves and in whatever god they chose to praise …..
Good news is, its become an amazing reality for us to be able to give that gift to others. A true extension of love and kindness …. not wimpy, or boyish at all. Just merely misinterpreted on your site. Wish you all the best.
Luv n light
I would like to personally apologize for the *wimp* statement … very un-Christian of me and therefore totally unacceptable.
I am sorry for the cross you bear in life and do hope that while seeking this knightly, brave avenue of yours that you at some point consider that there may just be a path that DOESN’T lead to nowhere! Wouldn’t that be the best news of all? If that path truly exists, which I believe it does, then it will indeed call you to embark on that path over the others … even if that path doesn’t always bring immediate enjoyment!
Stay brave and keep seeking.
All the best,
Thanks Jennifer. The cross i have to bear in life has been my greatest blessing, as well as the hardest challenge I’ve been faced with. It takes a TRUE warrior to face what could easily cause them to give up, and a TRUE warrior to give that back to others when they could easily wallow in their own misfortune.
The “path to nowhere” concept isn’t to be taken as literal as it has been. My life is filled to the brim with purpose, excitement and fulfillment. It is a way to express being grateful for right now, and living in the present moment. It is a way to illustrate that in order to find ourselves happy in the future, very much depends on the now and the views and choices we take on in this present time. I understand how this could be misconstrued, probably bad writing 🙂
You all have a very distinct vision of the concept of “warrior” on this site. Good for you. We weren’t speaking in this sense when we wrote it. The word “warrior” is merely a vehicle for us to describe a grateful and ambitious attitude.
Blessings to you all. 🙂
Thanks everyone for your comments, and a particular thank you to Spencer for clarifying.
You might imagine how I latched onto your post, Spencer, when I saw it, considering the theme of this blog.
My regard for it was your post was not entirely negative. I especially was interested when I saw the heading “Use Death as Your Guide.” However, my brow was furrowed by some of the same issues that have been brought up here, so again, I am grateful for your clarification.
If I may comment just a bit on your post:
Needless to say it was the “the path that is important, not the destination,” remark more than anything else that gave me pause; however, even in the Catholic tradition there is a great deal to be said about “living in the moment.”
What needs to be clarified is this: for us, “living in the moment” is the realization that the past is gone (hopefully entrusted to God’s mercy) and the future may never come (and therefore must be entrusted to God’s providence); only the present is ours. The patristic maxim age quod agis, “do what you are doing,” is what comes into play; or in the words of Our Lord: do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself; let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day (Mat. 6:34).
This is not the same as forgetting our last end, for there is, in fact, a goal and a destination, and that is not merely the end of my life. Our destiny is heaven, and it is our hope to achieve it. In other words, when I get to the end, the value of my life will not be determined on whether I have achieved a set number of goals, but on the character of the choices I have made. In that sense an honorable life that did not “achieve” the desired goals is better than a dishonorable one that did.
Agreed. Give me Obama any day, than the other torture.
Sir Knight Steven M. Forgette
Well, yes, Sir Knight, but there are human elements in every Christian tradition. For, example, religious life was instituted by Christ, but the religious garb, the habit, was developed by man; however, that is in no way to say that the the religious habit is therefore unimportant or expendable.
The gospel imperatives not only predate the Code of Chivalry, but also give chivalry its meaning and content. Without the words of the Lord, the words of the Code of Chivalry would be empty indeed. Nevertheless, it seems to me that the Code of Chivalry is extraordinarily important the living of Christ’s knighthood.
I agree with you completely. I have had a keen interest in all things “Knightly & Chivalrous” for as long as I can remember. What I refer to as “The Grail Code,” is simply the “Two Great Commandments” given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. To me, they are the very soul of true Christian Knighthood and that is why I call it “The Holy Grail of Chivalry.”
Here is a quote by the late Cardinal Agostino Casaroli on what it means to be a Knight:
“Becoming a Knight does not mean receiving a title of Honor, even though it is well deserved – it presupposes a solemn commitment. A Knight is a man who intends to place himself at the service of a noble and difficult cause, a pure and arduous ideal; fighting Evil, promoting Good, defending the weak and the oppressed against injustice. Christian Knighthood is not a birthright, it is defined by one’s actions.
I gotta say that this is what a warrior is about. If you think about it that you have to take the path that makes you happy it doesn’t always have to be about just trivial stuff like people who believe in god they chose that path because that makes them happy. If you believe in a god then you believe in what he says so then you fight for what you believe in but if you don’t believe in a god then you can still fight for what you believe and that is what a warrior does. About the you have to fight as if it was your last that isn’t the only thing you also have to fight on your best for thethings you believe in. At least that’s what I think. :p