However difficult the objective, there is always a way of overcoming obstacles. He seeks out alternative paths, he sharpens his sword, he tries to fill his heart with the necessary determination to face the challenge.
But as he advances, the Warrior realizes that there are difficulties he had not reckoned with.
If he waits for the ideal moment, he will never set off. The Warrior requires a touch of madness to take the next step.
The Warrior uses that touch of madness. For–in both love and war–it is impossible to foresee everything.” An excerpt from Paulo Coelho’s “Warrior of the Light: A Manual.”
The mature warrior stands up without standing up. He has become one who does not need to stand up because he is, at the very least, aware of the contents of his life and his actions, even if he does not know the results beforehand. He knows his intentions are to serve. He is curious and disciplined, often conservative in his stance.
Before he matured, he searched for other warriors; in his seeking he often found himself begging his closest friends and family to give up their lives to accompany him on his journey. He frequently laid himself out as a personal sacrifice to show those comrades how to survive even the biggest blows to the ego. He stood, like a baby deer, on spindly, clumsy legs.
At one point, long before he began this search, the warrior believed he was one of few people willing and capable of drawing his sword to fight off the dark and angry foes. Acting mostly alone, he used his point to do damage and power-over people, standing strong and loud in the battlefields of his life, wondering why no one ever came to support him in his quest. He destroyed almost everything he wanted to stand-up for.
His own rage was preceded by a long and quiet self-imprisonment, during which time his only weapon, his deep “wanting,” was turned against himself. Living in a self-fulfilling prophecy of helplessness and hopeless collapse, he was a soul without purpose, destined for failure. It is to this place the Warrior returns now and again, the place from which he first grew and one day will leave to those who are at the beginning of their journey.
These experiences have given the Warrior strength, conviction and trust, to climb up and out of the abyss, and to finally crash through the glass ceiling, into the place he’s envisioned all along. This is the place he’s always known, the place worthy of his lifelong warrior’s stance.
Paulo Coelho is a light warrior whose stories relate many of his own journeys, inexorably linking the inner and outer terrain. I find his stories both intriguing and somehow comforting as he is always reaching beyond his known world into new and different frontiers. Tens of thousands of miles and usually continents away, his journeys bring me close to a group of souls I feel I’ve known for aeons. Each of his books not only feels very real to me–whether he writes of men or women, via fiction or non-fiction; they are all quite personal.
This in itself, is incredibly captivating, and certainly why his stories are translated into 71 different languages, selling over 100 million copies.
From his beginning with the “Alchemist,” to his more recent publishing of “The Aleph,” Coelho’s characters–which no matter how obvious or obscure, I see as reflections and vignettes of his own life–are consummate warriors: both arrogant and humble, curious and complacent, fearless and afraid.
After reading through “Warrior of the Light: A Manual” for the second time, I now pick it up a couple of times a week, randomly thumbing through to find a pertinent verse. They are all pertinent, and as this next verse implies, hold a quality of humility and receptivity.
Coelho speaks from the heart every time.
“The Warrior of the Light views life with tenderness and determination.
He stands before a mystery, whose solution he will one day find. Every so often, he says to himself: “This life is absolutely insane.”
He is right. In surrendering to the miracle of the everyday, he notices that he cannot always foresee the consequences of his actions. Sometimes he acts without even knowing that he is doing so, he saves someone without even knowing he is saving them, he suffers without even knowing why he is sad.
Yes, life is insane. But the great wisdom of the Warrior lies in choosing his insanity wisely.” An excerpt from Paulo Coelho’s “Warrior of the Light: A Manual.”