My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Warrior of the Light: A Manual (2002) by Paulo Coelho was first published in Portuguese in 1997 and consists of one page snippets (out of 137 pages that can be read in a day or so) inspiring readers to embrace their life to the fullest and to rise to their destiny, whatever that might be.
Once again Paulo is able to motivate readers into further contemplating the reality around them and how to excel within themselves in order to shape the most beautiful world they can live in.
But what is a “Warrior of the Light” exactly? Paulo explains:
A Warrior of the Light “is someone capable of understanding the miracle of life, of fighting to the last for something he believes in—and of hearing the bells that the waves set ringing on the seabed” (p xviii).
Below are just some of the pieces that spoke to me, and so I hope they also speak to you in an hour when you may need them the most:
“A Warrior knows that the ends do not justify the means. Because there are no ends, there are only means. Life carries him from unknown to unknown. Each moment is filled with this thrilling mystery: the Warrior does not know where he came from nor where he is going” (p 131).
“By now, millions of people have given up. They don’t get angry, they don’t weep, they don’t do anything; they merely wait for time to pass. They have lost the ability to react. You, however, are sad. That proves that your soul is still alive” (p 122).
A Warrior of the Light “knows that he has learned something with every battle he has fought, but many of those lessons have caused him unnecessary suffering. More than once he has wasted time fighting for a lie. And he has suffered for people who did not deserve his love. Victors never make the same mistake twice. That is why the Warrior only risks his heart for something worthwhile” (p 8).
“Injustices happen. Everyone finds themselves in situations they do not deserve, usually when they are unable to defend themselves. Defeat often knocks at the Warrior’s door. At such times, he remains silent. He does not waste energy on words, because they can do nothing. He knows it is best to use his strength to resist and have patience, knowing that Someone is watching. Someone who saw the unnecessary suffering and who will not accept it. That Someone gives him what he most needs: time. Sooner or later, everything will once more work in his favor. A Warrior of the Light is wise; he does not talk about his defeats” (p 71).
“The moment that he Begins to walk along it, the Warrior of the Light recognizes the Path…Then, accepting the help of God and of God’s Signs, he allows his Personal Legend to guide him toward the tasks that life has reserved for him. On some nights, he has nowhere to sleep, on others, he suffers from insomnia. ‘That’s just how it is,’ thinks the Warrior. ‘I was the one who chose to walk this path.’ In these words lies all his power: He chose the path along which he is walking and so has no complaints” (p 16).
“The Warrior allows his two lives to draw near. ‘There is a bridge that links what I do with what I would like to do,’ he thinks. Slowly, his dreams take over his everyday life, and then he realizes that he is ready for the thing he always wanted. Then all that is needed is a little daring, and his two lives become one” (p 90).
“Occasionally, the Warrior sits down, relaxes, and lets everything that is happening around him to continue to happen. He looks at the world as a spectator, he does not try to add to it or take away from it, he merely surrenders unresistingly to the movement of life. Little by little, everything that seemed complicated begins to become simple. And the Warrior is glad” (p 91).
“When he goes into battle he remembers what Christ said: ‘Love your enemies.’ And he obeys…He accepts that his opponents are there to test his valor, his persistence, and his ability to make decisions. They force him to fight for his dreams” (p 43).
“He must act, but he must allow room for the Universe to act too” (p 28).
“A Warrior of the Light knows that in the silence of his heart he will hear an order that will guide him” (p 27).
“The world seems threatening and dangerous to cowards. They seek the false security of a life with no major challenges and arm themselves to the teeth in order to defend what they think they possess. Cowards end up making the bars of their own prison. The Warrior of the Light projects his thoughts beyond the horizon. He knows that if he does not do anything for the world, no one else will” (p 118).
“One day, for no apparent reason, the Warrior realizes that he does not feel the same enthusiasm for the fight that he used to. He continues to do what he has always done, but every gesture seems meaningless. At such a time, he has only one choice: to continue fighting the Good Fight. He says his prayers out of duty or fear or whatever, but he does not abandon the path. He knows that the angel of the One who inspires him has simply wandered off somewhere. The Warrior keeps his attention focused on the battle and he perseveres, even when everything seems utterly pointless. The angel will soon return and the merest flutter of his wings will restore the Warrior’s joy to him” (p 105).
“He is never taken in by appearances and makes a point of remaining silent when people try to impress him. He uses these occasions to correct his own faults, for other people make an excellent mirror. A Warrior takes every opportunity to teach himself” (p 6).
“A Warrior of the Light respects the main teaching of I Ching: ‘To persevere is favorable’” (p 9).
For the Warrior there is no such thing as an impossible love. He is not intimidated by silence, indifference, or rejection. He knows that behind the mask of ice that people wear, there beats a heart of fire” (p 54).
“A Warrior of the Light is never predictable. He might dance down the street on his way to work, gaze into the eyes of a complete stranger and speak of love at first sight, or defend an apparently absurd idea. Warriors of the Light allow themselves days like these…A Warrior does not spend his days trying to play the role that others have chosen for him” (p 11).
Paulo Coelho certainly has a way with words and wisdom, and Warrior of the Light is sure to pick any reader up on rainy days when the sun doesn’t want to shine, but deep down the reader knows that today is just one more day in a long string of wonderful days yet to come.
Keep reading and smiling…
CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), and a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU. He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.
He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father’s Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), and forthcoming: Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being; Little Hometown, America: A Look Back; A Time to Forget in East Berlin; and, The Endless Endeavor of Excellence.
You can also follow the author on Facebook @ cg.fewston – where he has 390,000+ followers