Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The warrior spirit does exist

For the record, I disagree with the folks that say that there is no such thing as a warrior, or that it is a romanticized glorification of violence by weekend soldier-of-fortune wannabes, or that it is an artifact of imperialistic nationalism. The Warrior Spirit is a vague thing, but it does exist, it is noble in some sense, and is worth defining and discussing. My gross generalizations of what we've learned in this discussion include:
  • The warrior spirit seems to be something that pervades or accompanies warriordom of all types of all ages. It is common to the times and cultures of Achilles, Gilgamesh, and Beowulf as well as those of World War II and the Civil War soldier.
  • It has something to do with manhood, though there were notable female warriors (eg Dido, Boudica, Amazons. Perhaps even Rosie the Welder).
  • It seems to be associated with sacrificial service to a group (i.e .samurai, Heckler). See this quote at Nathan's blog.
  • It is associated with several virtues (honor, courage, strength, etc…)
  • There are conspicuous potential mis-uses of it (machismo, misogyny, etc…)


  1. Warrior Spirit...read the book "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" then watch the movie "Peaceful Warrior".

    This ideology elevates the warrior spirit concept to a modern level.

    It removes it from that which our country equates to Bushido or Bushi.

    Example: Bushi on Okinawa has nothing to do with Japanese Bushi or Bushido. It means a spirit of gentelmanly conduct. Honor at its highest level.

    In Okinawa the term is honorific. It refers to a karate-ka who is respected for thier skills and for being honorable.

  2. Great post. An amorphous concept, warriorhood, to be sure, and most of the accepted definitions are correct, in my opinion, from the professional soldier or law enforcment officer to the man or woman who exemplifies the noble qualities of the highest warrior ethic. Certainly, for me, self-sacrifice for a greater good tops my list. So, to me, the firefighters who run into burning buildings, which every other one of us would run out of, are warriors as much as Achilles or Pat Tillman. Good stuff, Pat.

  3. Thanks for the cmments, guys. Nathan mentions firemen, etc...as warriors. For a couple of striking examples of everyday heroes and anti-heroes, check out http://mokurendojo.blogspot.com/2007/02/heroes.html


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