Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Is that even possible?

It occurred to me yesterday that when we use Astrology to help us understand what is actually going on behind the scenes, we forget some of the basic ideas as they pertain to us. When discussing the effects of Mars in Libra, it suddenly flashed in my mind that Mars equals Warrior and Libra equals Peace. In other words, Mars in Libra is symbolic of the Peaceful Warrior.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Cover courtesy of amazon.ca

Meet Dan Millman

Young Dan Millman courtesy of The Minds Eye Way / Dan – Now courtesy of The Hug

According to Wikipedia:

Millman was born in Los Angeles, California, to Herman and Vivian Millman (both deceased), and he has an older sister Diane. Much of his early life included active pursuits such as modern dance and martial arts, and then trampoline, tumbling, and gymnastics.

During his senior year at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, Millman won the United States Gymnastics Federation (USGF) national title on the trampoline and was voted Senior Athlete of the Year.

In 1964, while a freshman at U.C. Berkeley, he won the 1964 Trampoline World Championships in London, and earned All-American honors and won an NCAA Championship in vaulting.

In 1966 he won the USGF championship in floor exercise. He represented the United States in the 1966 Maccabiah Games, winning four Gold Medals in Gymnastics.

In September of that year, just prior to his senior year at U.C. Berkeley, Millman’s motorcycle collided with a car. He suffered a shattered right femur, requiring surgical repair and bone marrow transplant with a steel nail inserted in his femur (which was removed a year later after the leg was healed). Millman actively pursued rehabilitation and was able to return to gymnastics as co-captain of his team which won the 1968 NCAA Gymnastics Championships in Tucson, Arizona. He was the last man to perform for U.C. on the high bar, and a best-ever routine and perfect landing clinched the team title. (This true event was later changed and fictionalized in his first book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and its film adaptation Peaceful Warrior, which depicted him instead competing in the Olympic Trials).

In 1968 he was voted Senior U.C. Berkeley Athlete of the Year, and graduated with a B.A. degree in Psychology.

The Book

I picked up this book soon after it was published in 1980. As with all such material, there is an element of fantasy written into the work, in order to make the stories more interesting and more memorable. So I took it in, with a large pinch of salt. (After all, hadn’t we seen a lot of this similar thing with Carlos Castaneda‘s books?)

The story tells of a chance meeting with a service station attendant who becomes a spiritual teacher to the young gymnast, Dan Millman. The attendant, whom Millman names Socrates, becomes a kind of father figure and teaches Millman how to become a “peaceful warrior”.

The Plot (from Wikipedia)

Dan Millman, an aspiring gymnast, joins the University of California, Berkeley, and his life seems to be successful. He wins many prizes at athletic competitions, studies are going well and he has had many relationships with girls of his choice.

Recently, however, Dan experiences a series of nightmares, where he is in a dark lane. In front of him is Death, about to claim his life, when an old man appears out of nowhere and confronts Death. One particular night, Dan heads out to an all night gas station, where he meets the same old man from his dreams.

Dan, nervous, leaves immediately, but as he turns back, he sees the man standing on the roof. Surprised that he could move so quick, Dan strikes up a conversation with the old man, and calls him Socrates. Dan begins to meet Socrates on a regular basis, and is interested in his philosophy.

Socrates ridicules Dan, pointing out that he is trapped in the illusions created by his mind, causing Dan so much trouble. Dan keeps a diary and is surprised that his mind is so troubled, that he is used to it. Dan demands Socrates to teach him. Socrates begins his initiation, by showing Dan visions of his whole life; his purpose; the world and “re arranges” the young man’s mind. Socrates tells Dan that he should eliminate attachments and live in the present, but warns him that it would be a painful journey. Dan becomes besotted with Socrates’s other protegé, a mysterious girl named Joy, who keeps coming unpredictably.

A few weeks later, Dan suffers an accident, where his right leg is badly fractured. Socrates arrives and accelerates Dan’s healing process. Socrates takes Dan to a café, owned by his former disciple, Joseph, who serves simple food. Socrates instructs Dan to take up celibacy, consume only light food and avoid intoxicating substances.

Dan is frustrated, and even fails once, but resumes. Next, Socrates begins to train Dan physically, making him run, correcting his poise and breath, practice tai chi, meditation and aikido and refine his gymnastics.

Dan graduates and Socrates decides to part ways with him, as Dan must travel his path on his own. Dan gets married to Linda, but the marriage fails. He travels around the world for six years, learning new physical teachings, but is unable to find peace. Dejected, Dan returns to Berkeley, to an old place which Socrates had told him about long ago.

Dan meets Socrates again, now over hundred years old. Socrates tells Dan that he is almost near to his goal. Mystified, Dan follows Socrates to an ancient Native American burial ground. A thunderstorms breaks out and the two go inside a cave. Dan experiences a vision where he dies but still remains conscious. He finally overcomes his fear of death. Socrates reminds Dan of his teachings and that he must be happy without any reason. Socrates and Dan return home. Dan wonders where Socrates is and opens the door. Socrates has disappeared, died presumably. Dan returns home as a wiser man. He falls in love and marries Joyce, who is revealed to be Joy.

mindfulness-quotes-quotes-inspirational-millman

The Film

 

The story was filmed in 2006. As a movie, some of the elements were changed, as they always must (for sake of brevity), but the true life inspiration behind the scenes was still intact, in spite of the special effects. It is inspirational

I liked the movie. (I saw it that year in Toronto.) The lead-up to the final scene was somewhat tedious, but the pay-off at the end was worth every minute. I would recommend either or both as a way to ‘change your life’.

 

About cdsmiller17

I am an Astrologer who also writes about world events. My first eBook "At This Point in Time" is available through most on-line book stores. I have now serialized my second book "The Star of Bethlehem" here. And to give my blog pages something lighter, I'm sharing some of my personal photographs, too.
This entry was posted in reviews, spirituality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Way of the Peaceful Warrior

  1. cdsmiller17 says:

    I never thought about this before: the book and movie image is of a gymnast upside down; it’s The Hanged Man from Tarot!

    Like

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