Way of the Peaceful WarriorThe other night Teri and I were flipping through channels trying to find something to watch on the boob tube. I noticed that "Peaceful Warrior" was on Showtime, so I turned it on. I knew what the story was about, but Teri was wondering aloud "Why are we watching this?". I explained to her that the movie was based on a book that I had enjoyed a few years ago, "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman. The movie was not nearly as good as the book (are they ever?) and afterwards, I was left with wanting more. So on my way to the bathtub for some reading that evening, I stopped by the bookcase in the bonus room and dusted off Mr. Millman's book. When I read it before, I was in a very happy and secure place in my life and I honestly didn't get a lot out of it. I'm starting to believe that things are put in our paths for a reason, and as such, that movie was on at that particular time for a reason. It was a gentle nudge for me to revisit this book.
Well the past few evenings, I've been reading it and it is a wonderful tale about a man (Dan Millman) searching for answers and purpose in his life. One evening when he cannot sleep, he heads to an all night gas station for some food and meets a curious old man whom he later names "Socretes". As he's leaving he turns around to see Soc standing on top of the gas station, where no more than 30 seconds earlier, he was seated just outside the station. He asks how Soc was able to get up there so fast and Soc gives him a cryptic answer. Thinking the old man must be crazy, Dan heads home. But he continues to return to the gas station and becomes a student of the strange man and learns more about life and what it means to really live life than he ever thought possible. Higly recommend picking up this book if you've never read it.
Here's a passage I came across a couple days ago that really stuck with me: (Thanks for not suing me Dan)
"Listen to me," he interrupted. "Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for. There have never been past warriors, nor will there be future ones either. The warrior is here, now. Your sorrow, your fear and anger, regret and guilt, your envy and plans and cravings live only in the past, or in the future."
"Hold on Socretes. I distinctly remember being angry in the present."
"Not so," he said. "What you mean is that you acted angry in a present moment. This is natural; action is always in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the present. But the mind, you see, is like a phantom, and, in fact, never exists in the present. Its only power over you is to draw your attention out of the present."
- Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior