There are many similarities between a Warrior and Spiritual Warrior, but there is one huge, overall difference between the two. A Warrior is solely focused on mastering an art form, a technique or a set of skills (e.g. Olympic Athlete, musician) while a Spiritual Warrior embraces courage, compassion, discipline, and training to master one’s own ego and alter ego.
A Spiritual Warrior may still want to be the best in a sport, trade, or in their own personal disciplines, but they are working on being their best while remaining humble.
In our minds Hollywood has successfully destroyed and ruined the Noble Characteristics of the Warrior Archetype, portraying the warrior as hot-headed, arrogant, self-serving, ruthless; the warrior is presented as someone with deeply flawed characteristics that you really don’t want.
Hollywood would have us believe that all the jerks in the world have strong warrior traits and if we didn’t have warriors we wouldn’t have wars.
Being a Spiritual Warrior, however, means making a lifetime commitment to embrace discipline, study, and long intense training (sometimes at the sacrifice of comfort and convenience) to live a purposeful, meaningful life of service.
I have seen the term Spiritual Warrior used in a variety of contexts and adopted by a variety of individuals who may not share a common understanding of the term. For the Master Teachers of the Shin Dao in general terms, a Spiritual Warrior is someone who:
- Is focused.
- Integrity is a primary core value (your word is law).
- Is on a journey of self-discovery in order to benefit others as well as enlighten his/her self.
- Learning to Masters his/her self, and overcomes personal desire, moral issues, and weaknesses of character. (e.g. lying, stealing, cheating.)
- Is Disciplined and understands the core benefits of discipline. (Yes, there is a benefit to discipline.)
- Is compassionate to self and others!
- Willing to train (Mentally, Physically and Spiritually)