2016 Oct 25 -The Shaman as a Luminous Warrior
To be a luminous warrior is to discover the power of fearlessness. Luminous warriors recognize that our job is to use love to vanquish its opposite – and its opposite is not hate, but fear. In the same way that darkness is the absence of light, fear is the absence of love. Our challenge is to exorcise the fear and its darkness within by embracing love and its light.
I like to think of fear as an acronym for false evidence appearing as real – that is, when we focus on what we dread, we give power to false evidence and make it reality. Love, meanwhile, is the essence of who we are, and it radiates around us as a brilliant aura. As luminous warriors we become love, practice fearlessness, and attain enlightenment.
To practice fearlessness we must first eliminate the poverty and conflict that rage within us. We no longer have to buy into the false evidence that we have enemies we must continually battle and subdue. It’s this mentality that leads us to get into shouting matches with the driver who takes “our” parking space, or to believe that our partner deliberately did not unload the dishwasher in order to drive us crazy. We eliminate our addiction to being right and fix our perception of every problem within us before we actually attempt to address the problem itself.
Luminous warriors build collaborative relationships with others instead of trying to conquer them; consequently, we get much closer to finding common ground and solutions to our mutual problems. Instead of clinging to our belief that we won’t have enough or that we’ll be taken advantage of, we bravely extend trust and find win-win solutions. This seems naïve, of course, and part of us says that real life doesn’t work this way, but the most successful organisms in nature are the result of collaborations. The human body itself is the product of a dozen organs and many different kinds of tissues working together.
Now, we don’t have to extend total trust to every person we come across or deny the danger of letting criminals run loose in the world – but we also don’t have to walk through life with sword drawn, ready to vanquish the accidentally inconsiderate.
As luminous warriors, we open our eyes so that we can see in others the capacity for peace, even if they aren’t expressing it. Some psychologists would say that we project our dark side (our shadows) onto others, creating adversaries in order to avoid looking into our own unhealed selves. Yet making others wrong distracts us from the power we have to eliminate our potential for being bullies, and prevents us from accessing our creative, healing energy, which we can use to dream a better world.
When we perceive at the level of serpent or jaguar, instead of hummingbird, we focus on our adversaries and all their crimes against us, thus forgetting to ask the powerful question, What’s the opportunity for creating abundance and healing here? At the level of hummingbird, on the other hand, we try to find creative ways to negotiate with the people we disagree with and we don’t ignore our common ground because we become stuck in the belief that we’re the good guys.
When we step beyond fear, violence, and death, we can embrace the way of the luminous warrior; we can wage peace, not war. Mahatma Gandhi is perhaps the finest example of a man who waged peace even in the face of violence, and he changed the course of history for one billion people. It cannot be so difficult to practice this for ourselves.
Learn more about becoming a Luminous Warrior in my book, The Four Insights.