Prophets and Warriors, Humor and Antiwarriors

Yesterday in our meditation and video we learned from Broken Walk, and from an indigenous student of mine, and from Hafiz, of the heart dimension to the warrior.  The warrior follows one’s heart—not just orders from above that a soldier follows.

“Warrior Spirit in Sikhism – Guru Gobind Singh’s Key Teachings” Ranveer Allahbadia interviews Sikh teacher Satpal Singh on the meaning of warriorhood in Sikhism.

Chogyam Trungpa talks about the “sad and tender heart of the warrior.” The warrior is in touch with his or her heart—the joy, the sadness, the compassion and the expansiveness that is there. 

Some people completely equate soldier and warrior, and that is very dangerous.  It can feed, rather than tame, the reptilian brain. 

The idea of God as an avenging God or a punitive Father also feeds a distorted notion of masculinity.  The spiritual warrior, as Hafiz declares, relates to God as a lover.  Jesus did that.  Calling God “Abba” or intimate Father does that. 

Interestingly, the Bible on several occasions equates the Messiah as warrior, for example in a passage from the Book of Wisdom employed in the Christmas Eve liturgy when we are told that a “fierce warrior leaps down from the heavenly throne” to assist humans in trouble. 

The prophet too is a warrior for it takes warrior energy to interfere—which is what prophets do–and speak truth to power which is one way of interfering.

Musical satirist Randy Rainbow pokes fun at himself as a candidate for the presidential election.

John Congar, a Jungian and Reichian psychologist as well as an Episcopal priest, reminds us that part of dealing with both aggression and shame—which are characteristic issues in recovering a healthy masculinity—is to employ humor. The prophet has to learn to laugh at oneself or otherwise can readily fall into zealotry. 

Jonah in the Bible pokes fun (though unwittingly) at the whole prophet thing.  And Cervantes does the same in his story of Don Quixote, so eager to defend his honor to avoid the sting of shame.  Quixote becomes a favorite antihero, antiprophet, antiwarrior.


Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. 98-103.

Banner Image: The cast of the groundbreaking war comedy, M*A*S*H, which highlighted the dark humor, tragedy, and moral questions of the Korean War during the Vietnam War years. Wikimedia Commons.


Queries for Contemplation

Do you recognize a sad and tender heart in the warrior-prophets you know?  And do you recognize humor as well?


Recommended Reading

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God


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5 thoughts on “Prophets and Warriors, Humor and Antiwarriors”

  1. Avatar

    I tend to look at things symbolically/metaphorically. What caught my attention in the Sikh teaching was the smaller kirpan (sword) that the khalsa (spiritual warrior/meditative contemplator) carries. The tip of the kirpan that the khalsa carries is bent towards oneself, no matter how you hold it. This indicates to me, that the khalsa knows the value of that which he carries; which is that ability to turn inwards, meditatively/ contemplatively, to connect with the living essence of Spirit present within oneself; to cut through the emotional and mental entanglements of one’s very human egoic reactions of aggressively being on the defence or offence when encountering a negative situation or personality.

    The khalsa knows that the true spiritual power of the warrior is accessible to him, from within; through being and living in relationship with the living Spirit, which he received conscious awareness of during his baptism.

    If he lifts his kirpan to the Heavens, the Earth, or the 4 directions, it always points him to the truth; that the living Spirit of love, compassion and mercy resides within himself; and that he can draw upon this spiritual power in response to any negativity; transforming this energy as a khalsa, a true spiritual warrior.

    The kirpan, in this Sikh shape and form, is a valuable medicine gift for a brother to receive during his ceremony into true spiritual warriorhood; celebrating this Spirit of khalsa, emerging from within oneself.

  2. Avatar

    Yes!Yes! Compassion & Passion, Divine Feminine & Sacred Masculine, Peace & Justice, Healing & Joy, Divine & human… All mysteriously & paradoxically LIVE together on Our Eternal Spiritual Journeys of Our Multidimensional SELVES with-in the LOVING Evolving Diverse Wholeness~ONENESS of Our SACRED Multiverse COSMOS….

    1. Avatar

      It is a subject for prayer and whatever prayerful action we can take, but in my view, there is no righteous side here at all, and, as usual, ordinary people are being destroyed for the sake of someone’s political power—no matter how much that motive is masked by rhetoric, religion, or any other reason. Both “sides” need both warriors and prophets.

  3. Avatar

    I am curious why there is no woman mentioned as a warrior? How do you see “warrior” manifest in a woman? The same as a man? You point out that soldier does not equal warrior. I have sensed this distinction. I am a woman but I identify with “warrior” in that I actively seek to walk with the Christ Love/Light and master my darkness. I choose to focus on the Love/Light in others and pray for others to surrender to the Love/Light every day. My mantra is “Seek the Light hidden in the Darkness”. I see that as a call to be a warrior. I am a woman.

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