The Warrior’s #1 Quality

Most of the emails and youtube and social media things we see – and certainly the mainstream media too – share an assumption that what’s needed is to understand the world out there in a particular way.

They share the assumption that the answer’s out there and that it’s some form of information that once in your head, will make the difference you need. What these share is a trope from our evolutionary past: What’s important is a bit of content from the out-there world – all you have to go is find it.

But that’s not really where it’s at and many of us know that already. It’s truer that the crucial bit exists somewhere in the space between – the field  – between you and the world in the process of an encounter.

It emerges in an engagement and the quality of the engagement, the intensity and care you bring to it matter.

A Warrior’s #1 quality is earnestness. This word was the one that 20th century sage Nisagardatta Maharaj often liked and it’s recently being used by epistemoligist and sensemaker Daniel Schmactenberger. Earnestness means that while we can bs ourselves all we want, there’s a part of us that actually wants the real thing. Earnestness.

The world is full of competing narratives, now more and more than ever: around race, gender, war, politics – around knowledge itself. We can’t know from looking out there what’s going on. We can’t know in here either with the certitude we’d like. But we can trim off some of the bs every time. Not as a should but because it’s the best game in town.

We can tell the truth to ourselves in the moment and we can get better at it. And it can make the difference we’ve been waiting for our whole lives.

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