“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” – Proverbs 16:32
A warrior is a person who has dedicated his entire life to the art of war, in service to a person, a nation, or an ideal. His life is defined by discipline and constant growth; a little carelessness during training, a little indulgence during preparation could mean death on the battlefield. His death on the battlefield could mean the loss of a war, the defeat of a nation, and the destruction of everything he believes is right.
Perhaps more so than the metaphorical warriors of this age whose battles remove them far from the threat of physical death, the literal warrior feels the Sword of Damocles hanging so precariously over his being. His martial prowess exposes him to the martial prowess of others, and all his strength is for the sake of war. So every breath and every cell must be trained to submit to the will – the slight disobedience could be the last mistake that snips the thread which binds Death from falling onto his head.
In war, down one man, and the platoon is weakened, down the platoon and the defensive lines are shaken, overrun the defensive lines and the army is broken, break the army and the war is lost. When the war is lost, men, women and children become slaves to another ruler, whole nations and societies are subjugated, ideals are broken down and reconstructed in the image of the victor. There may be much to lose with the loss of one man, and so every man must stand his ground and tame his being to his will.
Greater than the army of warriors who train daily for their cause is the man who commands the army. Each of his warriors are the cells of his very being – he must ensure that every part is connected to the supply lines, able to function in desperate times, and subordinate by whatever means to his direction. Like each warrior who trains their limbs to obey mental commands, the General builds up his men so that they can transform his vision into reality on the battlefield.
Wealth is required for the training of men, expertise for quality training. Honour and respect is necessary for morale, and trust is above all, that which subjugates each man to the commands of the General. To take a city will require an army of diverse talents, machines that can perform sieging operations, supplies that fuel the soldiers, and a General who can oversee the entire operation.
The General must be a mighty warrior, unafraid to take a risk, humane enough to abstain from foolish assaults, and inhumanly calm in the face of discouraging news. He is the one man upon whom the burden of success and failure lies; the grief of many families, the pride of an entire nation – this is the warrior who bears the pain in his body and acts, regardless.
Yet, greater than this mighty, incredible warrior is the man who turns the act of warfare within. He discerns in his soul, the fortresses and strongholds of internal powers that can influence the entirety of man’s seeing and being. The fortress of greed that cannot be satisfied and risks every safety for the allure of more. The castle of selfishness that puts out patrols on all four walls, refusing passage to any merchant who goes in or out. The kingdom of rage that demands speedy and overwhelming vengeance for every perceived slight cast upon itself. There are countless strongholds to be named, and the greatest warrior trains the armies of his soul to wage war against them.
A General conquers a city, and in due time, he is conquered, or death conquers him and another takes his place. History reveals the rise and fall of mighty men. Within the battle-scape of the soul, a second is a day and a day is a year. Wars are won in pivotal moments and lost just as quickly. And so the victories and losses in man’s internal being reveals the same topography of hills and valleys – there is no permanent victory. Every capture demands an unflinching defense against the upcoming counter assault; the battle rages on continuously at every moment. Hence, more so the importance of vigilance, of discipline, of wisdom, for the warrior of the soul.