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Warrior-Saint Redux

April 2009

Okay, last time, talked about the Warrior and the Saint in terms of power. Here's a different way to look at them.

It could be put: the Warrior seeks glory, where the Saint seeks peace. Or: the Warrior is focused on this life, the Saint on the next.

The Warrior seeks to keep his ego (his self) intact and whole – even beyond death, by way of exploits and reputation and glory. The Saint seeks to relinquish his self, with an eye to the inevitable loss of self at death.

The Warrior battles against death, living large until the very last. The Saint accepts death, embracing it long before he needs to.

Strangely, the Warrior fights death by brushing against it every day, while the Saint accepts death by living peacefully out of its immediate reach.

The Warrior succeeds when he has gained everything, the Saint when he has nothing left to lose.

I remain conflicted, but I still find myself leaning the way of the Warrior.

Nato commented:

I'm interested as to how the warrior and the saint interpret your previous post. Street spirit is roughly about defeat, and I think the warrior might interpret it as thom interprets, defeat being the end, whereas the saint accepts defeat, as what he lives for is beyond such defeat?

Matt commented:

I'm not convinced it's about death being the end, I think it's about this life still being important – maybe like, in the next life we just get to watch, this is our only chance to affect things?

I'm reminded of Dylan Thomas:

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Maybe it's just about one's posture towards anything inevitable. When faced with 'this will happen to you, and you have no choice in the matter,' some people just lie down and accept, while others fight it with everything they have, purely on principle. Here's Lucifer in Paradise Lost, speaking of his defeat at God's hand:

What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That Glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deifie his power.

There is something to be greatly admired in that.