If you've followed my blog, you'll know that in the past I've been a dedicated martial artist and studied martial arts philosophers of the east like Musashi, and written several other blogs on the topic of warrior spirit. This time, though, I'm speaking to a different dimension of the same concept. That is, the notion of a rogue warrior, or the quality of being mercenary. This is a big topic that warrants more than a simple blog post, but I will touch on a few elements that have been present for me lately.
Mercenary is most often used in its noun form, but is an adjective as well. The quality of being mercenary is to be on the look out for one's own interests primarily, even at the cost of both ethics and honor. It is reflected in behavior that puts my own perceived interests above those of my community. This rogue warrior spirit has at some point infiltrated my way of being, so part of my path has been to uncover and unlearn this tendency.
For example, when I stay quiet instead of speaking up in order to avoid bringing trouble to myself. Or when I avoid working on something because I'm afraid to fail. Or when I suppress my difficult emotions in order to maintain a certain appearance. These are all examples of me putting my own perceived self-interests over the whole, because it reflects a lack of trust in others.
It might seem fine or even benign to be mercenary. After all, if I don't look out for myself, who will? But there is something quite sad about this perspective. The rogue is one who has lost faith. One who has abandoned belief in wholeness and community. More than likely he has been betrayed, perhaps more than once, and now is in a state of fright, alone inside his own pain, believing he must fight only for his survival, rather than for the benefit of his community. Let me be clear that I'm talking about elements of my own character here.
The rogue warrior, or mercenary, might be useful at times. But I must consider this- he holds his self-interest as paramount, so there is always a chance he will desert. He is unreliable and can't be trusted. When times are good and the tides of battle are in our favor, he stands with us. But if it appears the tides are changing, he will flee to protect himself. And in doing so, he will have to double down on the belief in his aloneness.
The tragedy of all this is apparent. Perhaps to none more than me, as I grapple with this tendency within myself. I ask, just who do I fight for? And who do I follow? Where have I laid my trust, and in whom have I built my faith? The curse of aloneness is known to me so thoroughly that I forget sometimes that there is another way. The way of togetherness. The way of faith in oneness, and the power of joining together. Humans fall short over and over, there's no other way. But in Spirit, in Perfect Oneness, faith is justified. And if we live as community, then no one of us has to carry the weight of trying to be perfect. We are all leaders, and will all have our moments of failure, but since we're in community we'll also have those moments supported by others who want us all to remain unified and strong.
This post is me acknowledging that I sometimes need help to remember that I don't have to do this alone. That I have support and that people want me not just to fight for them, but also to fight with me for something larger than ourselves. For a vision of what's possible when we join together with love as our guiding principle, and selflessness as a core value. These are the people that I admire most. These are the people with whom I would endeavor to develop the trust necessary to blossom into the truest and highest expression of ourselves. If this is you, thank you, I bow to you, and am filled with joy and hope in considering that I'm not so alone after all.