- WARRIOR SPIRIT: IMPECCABILITY -
I enjoy drawing correspondences between the various spiritual systems having emerged through time and space. In particular, I have a marked interest for the shamanistic tradition to which Carlos Castaneda was exposed: it is a complex subject, insofar as his work has been criticized and discredited later, and a number of things must be taken with a pinch of salt. Nonetheless, whether real or the fruit of the prolific imagination of a genius con artist, reading the Path of the Warrior/Hunter is invigorating.
In this article, I will introduce the notion of impeccability as understood by the toltec shamanistic tradition, or at least the very little that I understand. The notion is at a crossroads with many Yogic principles that we find in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The interested reader will draw the necessary parallels for herself. Like other writings in this website, the information made available here is extracted from its original context and requires of the reader the right predispositions. The puzzle of understanding is being solved through time.
A word on the choice of the term 'warrior' before moving on. May be it is a sad choice in those troubled and violent times. It must be understood in terms of spiritual warrior: the battlefield is us. And a little movie celebrating the beauty of the region that allowed for those incredible concepts to take birth, sometimes cheesy and too made up, but still...
Impeccability makes a warrior neither preoccupied nor obsessed with the results of her actions: to win or to lose is the last thing on the mind of the warrior. The only thing of importance is to accomplish the most appropriate action for the challenge at hand. To be fully absorbed in the here and now is her duty. To be obsessed about the result is a weakness that leads to loss of control, and she does not have that luxury since death is tracking her.
impeccability, confidence, humility and perfection
Our finite time on earth is the pointer to impeccability: to know that she is going to die gives the warrior the desire to act impeccably.
The warrior gives off a great self confidence. Yet this term, as used today, is misleading, for the confidence of the warrior has deeper implications.
Self-confidence, as generally understood in a capitalist society with strong individual undertones, is an arrogance where the individual flaunts his real or faked capacities publicly, without internal alignment. If he is a good con artist, the audience swallows. The confidence of the warrior is between her and herself, a business of being aligned in actions, ideas, sentiments, emotions etc...
Since the warrior understands that she belongs to this world as part of an infinite energetic dance, where the self voracious universal energy constantly eats itself, digests itself and spits itself back out in a myriad of forms, she knows too that she is both a teacher and a student, and isn't worth more than a stone or a twig. As a result, to win or lose in the eyes of others is the last thing on her mind. In other words, the warrior does not think about her self-importance ("Do you know who I am !?") and never seeks public approval. It is actually a definition of humility in this tradition.
When she does not care about her feeling of self importance any longer (a difficult task), the only consideration of the warrior is to act according to the best of her knowledge and abilities. Therefore, the confidence of the warrior comes from the ability to act impeccably. Nowadays, in the image culture, there is a tendency to confuse public approval and an ability to secure it, with self confidence. To seek approval, to want to be loved regardless of the cost etc ... those are the opposite of free and impeccable action.
Perfection and impeccability should not be confused. Impeccable action is often perfect. But if one desires to be perfect rather than impeccable, we often find the unconscious motive of wanting to be better than the Other, because we have trouble dwelling comfortably in our own skin and be in alignment with the manifest world. If the only desire feeding a quest for perfection is to impress the Other, we are far from impeccability.
death is the hunter
From the moment of our first breath, death is hunting us and each of our actions is potentially our last. If each act we execute is potentially the last one we make, then we should make it impeccable and savor every details of this last experience. To live one's life in the knowledge that each moment, each action, each movement is fundamental and possibly our last one on earth 'thickens' and 'magicalizes' the warrior's life. It does not matter what the specific course of one's life yields: by living fully and acting impeccably, the warrior has neither regrets nor remorses. How could it be otherwise?
When a man seeks perfection, he is incapable of profiting from the present moment, of the gifts of the here and now, and wastes a lot of energy complaining, rarely offering the best he has to offer. And depending on his fortune, he leads a vaguely ok life, with many undesired and partially understood experiences, and coldish-warmish actions lacking the conviction of impeccability. The quest for perfection is a waste of time and personal power. Impeccable action replenishes it.
To live the warrior's path requires impeccability. In return, the attitude requires of us to re-evaluate our being. Especially in our modern culture, we live as if our time on earth was unlimited. Our reason, so quick to strap us to definitive conclusions, also equips us with a feeling of control behind which there is only wind. Yet, there isn't much more to be known that our incredible capacities and potentials are invisible unless death is imminent.
Consequently, a warrior accepts every challenge by stopping to behave like an immortal being with plenty of time: she never complains, and never spends energy complaining about others. She is always ready to grab her cubic centimeter of chance and dwell in her personal power. She never lets circumstances affect her, and whatever fear she experiences, keeps it to herself.
We are going to die. Tomorrow, next year, in 25 years, or... in 5 minutes. The warrior fears and respects death, but she lets her be a companion and an adviser. She does not try to avoid it at any cost, because that does not mean anything, but knows that if she treats it with respect and understanding, she'll lead her in a rich life of impeccability. In the Toltec tradition, the gift of a human life is honored by a life lived impeccably.
By acknowledging that her time on earth is short and limited and that she can die at any moment, the warrior transmutes normal time into magical time. And by living in the here and now and taking full responsibility for her actions, she reaches a state of vivacity and awareness that makes each of her actions a witness of her rigor and predilections.
By being fully awake, and living on the edge constantly, the warrior faces every challenge impeccably. Each challenge impeccably solved increases her personal power, which in return intensifies her state of awareness. Thus is fed the circle of ever increasing understanding of this mysterious universe.
Every challenge we face is meant to teach us the true value of the inestimable gift of life, and in return to assume and internalize the responsibility of knowing and understanding it. Thus, to cultivate impeccability, we can't go through life as a puppet of circumstances, we need to find in them the source of growth and personal power.