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The Warrior Sage

Back here in 2003, I talked about how I realised I was in alignment with the concept of what it is to be a ‘warrior sage’.

The warrior sage may be defined as a spiritual philosopher that brings meaning, peace and unity to the chaotic separateness of life. This wise one was known as a healer as well as a warrior and one who had quested through the mountains and the valleys of the earth. Being ever the spiritual truth-seeker, he/she focused on a life pilgrimage that embraced the experiential knowledge and wisdom of the unknown as well as the unity of creation.

I’d forgotten about it, but it’s become obvious to me today that it’s not something I can easily walk away from. I may forget the title, but the philosophy and the experiences are always going to be with me. As time goes by, I’ll only become a stronger warrior sage, with that strength being the spirituality and the philosophy that is with me all the time.

The warrior sage has nothing to prove to anyone. He lives his own life, not for others, but for what is true for himself. He doesn’t care what people think of him, and he doesn’t do things to please them.

The following are what I’ve found on the internet to describe a warrior sage, and which I feel I relate to. Please feel free to discuss.


The sage consists of paradoxes that would mortify most people, but do not seem to bother him at all. The sage:

– is detached, yet compassionate;
– enjoys life, yet does not cling to it;
– is a perfectionist, yet indifferent to success or failure;
– is a man of honour, yet avoids reaping honour;
– ignores ethics and morals, but lives a life of the highest moral order;
– does not strive, yet achieves;
– knows the answers, but prefers to remain silent;
– has the innocence of a child, but incredible inner strength.

These paradoxes are in harmony in the sage, the same way nature itself seems to be a harmonious blend of paradoxes. This makes it difficult to describe the sage in conventional terms and categories. In fact, in most societies the sage’s qualities would be seen as negative, even harmful.


He feels at home in nature – in deep forests or on misty mountains – away from the artificial and the contrived. When moving in artificial corporate environments, the sage is true to his natural impulses, and even though he does not feel at home in a milieu of envy and greed, he remains if not untouched, then at least unstained by the destructive negative emotions around him.


Calmness in victory. Tranquility in defeat. Serenity when confronted by the inevitability of suffering. The sage does not rely on externals to provide him with spiritual strength, for he knows: dependence on external factors – such as status, wealth, popularity, hedonism, success, knowledge and relationships – is the reason why modern man crumples so easily in the face of defeat, failure or loss.


The sage is a loner. He avoids unnecessary contact with people. He does not feel at home with small talk. He abhors gossip. He avoids talking too much. Most people would probably find his company dull. Not that he would mind, for he is indifferent to his own popularity.

He moves in society without being immersed in it. He stands aloof from the conceptually fashionable. He does not become part of socially acceptable prejudices. He refuses to participate in the pretentious verbal exhibition of the latest in intellectual chic.


The sage does not have the Western intellectual’s desperate belief in the liberating power of knowledge. Knowledge, he instinctively knows, is just another form of bondage, just another commodity with which to parade one’s superiority. It is just another means to control and to manipulate. As such, it is a form of power that has nothing to do with the bliss that comes when living in harmony with the Universe. Therefore the sage would rather sit in the shade of a beautiful tree, sipping wine in blissful union with his surroundings, than waste time in the hectic pursuit of knowledge that ultimately leads to greater bondage.

[That’s why I don’t study!]


The sage understands that it is mostly futile to argue about imponderables. He realizes that our concepts of God are imperfect images created by our own minds. He would not argue about whether God exists or not. He knows that you cannot understand the incomprehensible and prove the unprovable. He accepts that man is partially blind, in particular to spiritual dimensions, and that arguing rarely increases man’s ability to see more clearly.


The sage is often not taken serious by “men of the world”. Somebody who cares so little about material wealth could only be judged as inferior and foolish by a world intoxicated by material possession. Someone so untouched by hierarchical structures could only be a failure in the “age of the manager,” which measures success by one’s ability to manipulate and to rule. Someone who is honest and open can only be an imbecile to a world obsessed with devious manipulation and power.

Not for the sage the compulsive preoccupation with several problems simultaneously. He does not fret about his future strategies while frantically trying to deal with his immediate problems. He does not use his cellular phone while simultaneously eating and negotiating with someone across the table. Unlike your ambitious managerial type, he does one thing at a time, and enjoys doing it. He eats when he eats, sleeps when he sleeps, and enjoys company for the sake of company. He lives now and now only, for he knows the past is past and the future mere fiction.

He will only take upon him as much as he can handle without losing his compassion. He knows that being too busy inevitably leads to spiritual starvation and distress, and the loss of meaning to life.


The sage avoids “managing” other people’s lives, for he knows the world is a spiritual thing that should not be controlled or interfered with. He tries to restrict his own influence on others. He will rather suffer loss than manipulate others to reach his aims. Freedom to him has spiritual implications: it is to avoid any form of interference or manipulation. He therefore rejects the basic tenets of power. He prefers to be seen as a loser if success entails tampering with the lives and fates of others.


The sage is honest in his relationships, never calculating. He does not flatter. He would treat his “superiors” with the same honesty than he would deal with his “colleagues” or “subordinates.” He does not cringe when threatened, nor laugh ingratiatingly at the boss’s jokes. He has no hidden self-promotional agendas. Responding to his natural impulses, he would spontaneously do what is virtuous, and instinctively avoid the false and the mean. He would participate in an organization and obey orders as far as they are of benefit to sentient beings, but he would go no further, no matter what it might cost him in terms of career, promotion or prestige. His incorruptibility is remarkable, for it springs from the inner strength of a person who has diminished his own ego to a degree where he has become independent of the judgement of society. He is essentially, genuinely anarchic: he is master of himself, and he will not be controlled by any system of power.

What the upwardly mobile person would find unforgivable in the sage is his lack of ambition. The sage avoids a life brimming over with goals and objectives, which he finds a hindrance rather than a help. He realizes that some goals might be essential for survival, and some might even be useful to make life pleasant. Most goals, however, do not give meaning to life. In fact, striving with great effort to reach numerous goals often destroys compassion as one becomes insensitive to the needs of others.

The sage instinctively avoids becoming too busy, which he sees as the worst form of laziness. Mostly, being too busy is nothing but the effort to sidestep the issues that really matter in your life. No matter how lofty or altruistic your goals might seem to be, being too busy is often a form of egomania, regularly accompanied by a martyr complex, in which the protagonist overtly or subtly displays how much he is “sacrificing” himself and “suffering” for “others” or for “the company” or some “worthy cause”. Instead of giving meaning to your life, hyperactivity can create delusions which alienate you from your own self and increase your confusion.

Being too busy is like running fast without knowing where you are going. The sage refuses to run blindly in any direction. He moves at leisure with his eyes wide open, sensitive to the needs of living beings around him. Like the Good Samaritan, he will have enough time to help his fellow traveller lying, helpless, next to the road.


By almost any Western standard, the sage qualifies as irreligious. Stale ritual has little meaning to him. Even if liturgy should be filled with emotion, the sage remains aloof and suspicious of it. Emotions come and go, and religions that depend on something so volatile as emotions usually forsake their followers when they need comfort most.


The sage shuns competition, for it nurtures egotism, fosters brutality and justifies humiliation. The triumphant pose of the strutting victor is a sign of spiritual bankruptcy to the sage. The demonstratively humble acceptance of the prize, with the losers looking on in awe, is the pinnacle of vanity, and might corrupt even the purest of hearts.


The sage has the tolerance of someone who knows his ideas are less important than his own well-being. He lives with the constant awareness that his convictions are not as precious as the well-being of others.

He has the patience of someone who knows his insights are limited and subject to continuous change.

He has the humility of someone who realizes what really matter are mostly beyond the grasp of mind and language.

Creating discord to defend your own limited vision is absurd to the sage who believes that harmony is the essence of meaningful life.

Therefore the sage does not take sides in intellectual pursuits.

He does not wear the colours of any sect or party.

He does not wave flags patriotically in the wind.

He does not sing anthems with tear-filled eyes.

He refuses to “die for his country”.

He refuses to kill for some nationalistic cause, or in patriotic fervour, or to satisfy the greed of his rulers, or because he has fallen for some propaganda.

He is a true warrior. He would rather be declared a traitor than betray himself. He has conquered himself and therefore cannot be conquered.

Thanks for reading! Please add your own thoughts below.

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