The Spiritual Warrior

Hola mi gente,
This is a work in progress. A very rough of the second part of my upcoming presentation.

The Spiritual Warrior and the Runaway Society


How do I bear witness to the unbearable?
Why are people so deliberately cruel?
How do I not bring more rage into the world?


Towards the end of Emile Zola’s Beast of Man, an engineer and a fireman are quarreling in the locomotive of a passenger train. In his rage, the fireman has stoked the engine’s fire into an inferno. They grab at each other’s throats, each trying to force the other through the open door. Losing their balance, both fall out and perish. The train rumbles on at breakneck speed. The passengers, soldiers en route to the war front, are sleeping or drunkenly unaware of the impending disaster.

Our society resembles this runaway train. We have become a runaway society.

Some of us act within the world as a response to suffering. Still, at times it might seem our work is impossible. I remember being part of a huge protest rally in DC and walking next to an elderly woman and I asked how she could still do all this without being discouraged. Her answer is one I’ll never forget. She reminded me that some of us have ancestors who fought against slavery though they knew they would probably never be free themselves.

That was a powerful reminder for me…

What does personal liberation look like in a world gone mad? Is personal liberation a worthy goal when there are so many suffering?

Excerpt: In this section, I use my experiences as an engaged activist to talk about the Buddhist notion of the spiritual warrior — the Bodhisattva — who takes a vow to forestall their own liberation until all beings are liberated.

How can the Dharma inform social justice?

Using stories and anecdotes from a range of practices culled over a 20 year period of activism, I show how Buddhism has (and has not) influenced the work.

Question and Answer/ Interaction

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

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