Spiritual Warfare

Rational discussions on metaphysical and abstract topics.
User avatar
Polyhymnia
Soror
Posts: 757
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:20 pm

Spiritual Warfare

Post by Polyhymnia »

I recently found a picture of myself as a 10 year old wearing a shirt that said “spiritual warfare.” As I’ve divulged before on the forum, my father was a pastor, so this type of “demons vs. angels,” “light vs. darkness,” “hell vs. heaven” was all I knew for many years (hence the t-shirt given to me by my father).

Outside of these ideas that don’t allow for unification, what are your thoughts on spiritual warfare? Are there certain spiritual elements or elementals that simply cannot be reconciled? Do you fine the mere concept of spiritual warfare to be problematic? Why or why not?
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
User avatar
Soror O
Soror
Posts: 388
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:15 pm

Re: Spiritual Warfare

Post by Soror O »

I just love these autobiographical bits folks share! I can imagine the picture in my mind. As a preteen, I had a crop top that had a "blame the parents" print on it :>

The concept of warfare (in the western context of it) feels rather problematic to me. I like the eastern notion of warfare better suitable for my practice, as it is more equilibrium seeking, not so straighforward. The oppositing forces have more time to get to know each other and be adjusted to each other. Ofcourse, having been raised in a very secular Lutherian home, I don't have the baggage of angels versus demons with me. I see demons more in a pre-christian light, as ambiguous daemons (which aren't always so far away from angels).
If you want to reborn, let yourself die.
User avatar
Nefastos
Frater
Posts: 4359
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:05 am
Location: Helsinki

Re: Spiritual Warfare

Post by Nefastos »

Soror O wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:57 pmThe concept of warfare (in the western context of it) feels rather problematic to me.

Same here. It might be a good concept in some society or mental state which is pacifistic & meditative to the point of becoming unmoving – which might be one reason why it is being used in Bhagavad Gita. But in our modern societies there is so much of separation and identifying oneself through separations, that warfare might be one of the worst symbols for spiritual striving.

Since this also instantly established itself as a discussion about the shirts we wore as teens: I felt I just had to get a white circle to the chest of my black t-shirt, and had it sewed there. That white circle on the black background became the first symbol of faith, so to say, that I wore openly. Only after it became the rosicrucian cross & the pentagram, and then their reversals.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
User avatar
Smaragd
Frater
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:27 am
Lodge membership in: Graal
Phanes

Re: Spiritual Warfare

Post by Smaragd »

I think spiritual warfare is vital Left Hand Path vision of spiritual strive from a specific point of view where the individual struggle against the Gnostic archons is emphasised. It acknowledges the state, but if too much value is given to such single vision, it will easily stress the Martian aspect to the degree where the aspects most usual failures take place, namely astral intoxication, which is over emphasis of kama rupa, leading easily to dualist warmongering. The aphorism of ”balancing on the edge of a knife” has perhaps it’s most archetypally fitting use in this context. The absence of the Martian virtue, sharpened for us in the Hymn to the Living Vine, is notable in the astrally intoxicated state of the mind.

In RHP context it becomes easily skewed, and a mechanism the trumpeteers of exoterical "holy war" take a selfish advantage of. Imposing the inner spiritual warfare state against the archons to other people, especially children, in RHP context gives easily a bit of a indiscreed and out of rhythm impression. But again, it can be vital and positive when the context where it is forwarded gives understanding to the one who is experiencing it.
User avatar
Beshiira
Frater
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:07 am

Re: Spiritual Warfare

Post by Beshiira »

I've been thinking about the ”warrior” archetype at times lately. It's a very compelling one, and people are easily drawn towards it on an emotional level (link to kâma right there?). I too was especially fascinated by some war/warrior imagery when I was younger. On some level I still am for sure. But there certainly is something to it, and potentially the warrior is probably as useful as any other archetype. In spiritual work extra caution might be needed though, not least because of this very instinctive appeal (to some of us anyway).

One important key to help purify what is vital and useful in this warrior's approach could be self-sacrifice. Through the Hymn to the Living Vine I have slowly started to see how self-sacrifice is actually one of the most important and vital aspects under Mars.

Surely not self-sacrifice in a ”head-first” kind of way, but basically by shifting the focus from oneself towards others. I guess these mentioned ”Martian failures” often tend to have to do with problematic self-centeredness, in obvious or more subtle ways. If I think of the positive features of an ”ideal soldier” – strictness, conscientiousness, loyalty, willingness to prioritize the greater good over ones own life etc. – surely these can be channeled into Work in a balanced and upward way. Not by strengthening divisions among people, not by becoming "selfless" in a way that lets people walk all over you, but by steering that ”will to fight” to face ones negative egoism and inner struggles, calmly.

Now I see that maybe the discussion about The Warrior is slightly different from the discussion about Warfare as such, but surely some of these things apply to both. I don't personally identify with "warrior mentality" that much. But intuitively, it's easier for me to see this useful potential in cultivating The Warrior; not so much in cultivating the idea of "Spiritual Warfare"... Not sure how much of this is semantics or just personal conceptions, and to what extent there is an actual difference.
"Ja kun minun kirkkauteni kulkee ohitse, asetan minä sinut kallion rotkoon ja peitän sinut kädelläni, kunnes olen kulkenut ohi.
Kun minä sitten siirrän pois käteni, näet sinä minun selkäpuoleni; mutta minun kasvojani ei voi kenkään katsoa."
User avatar
Aquila
Frater
Posts: 830
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:14 pm

Re: Spiritual Warfare

Post by Aquila »

Beshiira wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:20 pm I've been thinking about the ”warrior” archetype at times lately. It's a very compelling one, and people are easily drawn towards it on an emotional level (link to kâma right there?). I too was especially fascinated by some war/warrior imagery when I was younger. On some level I still am for sure. But there certainly is something to it, and potentially the warrior is probably as useful as any other archetype. In spiritual work extra caution might be needed though, not least because of this very instinctive appeal (to some of us anyway).

One important key to help purify what is vital and useful in this warrior's approach could be self-sacrifice. Through the Hymn to the Living Vine I have slowly started to see how self-sacrifice is actually one of the most important and vital aspects under Mars.

Surely not self-sacrifice in a ”head-first” kind of way, but basically by shifting the focus from oneself towards others. I guess these mentioned ”Martian failures” often tend to have to do with problematic self-centeredness, in obvious or more subtle ways. If I think of the positive features of an ”ideal soldier” – strictness, conscientiousness, loyalty, willingness to prioritize the greater good over ones own life etc. – surely these can be channeled into Work in a balanced and upward way. Not by strengthening divisions among people, not by becoming "selfless" in a way that lets people walk all over you, but by steering that ”will to fight” to face ones negative egoism and inner struggles, calmly.

Now I see that maybe the discussion about The Warrior is slightly different from the discussion about Warfare as such, but surely some of these things apply to both. I don't personally identify with "warrior mentality" that much. But intuitively, it's easier for me to see this useful potential in cultivating The Warrior; not so much in cultivating the idea of "Spiritual Warfare"... Not sure how much of this is semantics or just personal conceptions, and to what extent there is an actual difference.
Your thoughts on the meaning of warrior ethos felt crucial to understanding the meaning of warfare itself. At least it helped me to grasp the subject better because I was kind of lost with the concept of warfare and how to look at it in this context.

I can easily comprehend certain positive images related to the warrior and what ideals you connected with it. Warfare appears more in the meaning of war against something outside oneself. Something that is carried out actively, not only in defense but as an initiative attack. I think spiritual warfare sounds like the warrior ethos gone wrong and projected to the world outside. In a way your (Fra Beshiira's) description of shifting the focus works the other way around here: shifting the (negative) focus from others to oneself can lead away from the warfare, to something that would be closer to the inner struggle and understanding how the outer war (I do not mean wars fought with weapons but being in conflict with the world) is only the inner war let loose. The idea of self-sacrifice could include an aspiration to keep the war within, not letting it's central point to externalize by projecting it to other people. I need to point out that by keeping the war inside I do not encourage anyone to the harmful behavior of not speaking about your own problems, negative feelings or something else that needs to be discussed with others.
User avatar
Soror O
Soror
Posts: 388
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:15 pm

Re: Spiritual Warfare

Post by Soror O »

Nefastos wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:56 am
Since this also instantly established itself as a discussion about the shirts we wore as teens: I felt I just had to get a white circle to the chest of my black t-shirt, and had it sewed there. That white circle on the black background became the first symbol of faith, so to say, that I wore openly. Only after it became the rosicrucian cross & the pentagram, and then their reversals.
Such epic shirt story! It is fascinating how we are drawn to certain symbols from early on, as if something (or someone) within was playwriting our stories/lifes and the details in it, to unfold bit by bit.


I agree with fratres Beshiira, Smaragd and Aquila: the warrior achetype is relevant here and it opens up the spectre of the concept of warfare. Sometimes I wage war within, as a warrior: this war is waged against inner stagnation and falsely conducted, passive surrendering. The warrior also gives the strenght and the straighforwardedness to carry on regadless of pain, loss and defeat. But it never is the same entity who gets to carry on, rather it's someone who's transformed in defeat, re-emerging from the decay of the battlefield, altered, but still intact.
If you want to reborn, let yourself die.
User avatar
Medeia
Frater
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2021 1:00 am

Re: Spiritual Warfare

Post by Medeia »

Yup, turning the other cheek don't mean much if it's not optional. I'v played pacifist lot as an excuse, but freedom fighter too, whichever did suit my needs better at the time. Then on the downward path the scale tipped to warlord and a bit later found myself on the gutter almost killed and I was then worm so I had to became pacifist again. Invoking Jihad and The Samurai has since enabled me to find some sense and balance on the topic. This thread got me thinking that it perhaps may be time for me soon that I could and should allow myself to retire from this war biz altogether.
User avatar
Nefastos
Frater
Posts: 4359
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:05 am
Location: Helsinki

An Esoteric Approach to Caste System

Post by Nefastos »

The basic case archetypes can be considered to be the shudras (servants & manual laborers), vaishyas (artesans & merchants), kshattriyas (warrior nobles) and brahmanas (philosophers, magicians, priests). These correspond to bodily, mundanely intellectual, strivingly emotional, and spiritual temperaments. This is a model that should not be considered sociologically stabile, least of all hereditary. The sociological caste systems with inherited and otherwise enforced placements are dangerous degradations of such ideas. Such happen when different kind of prestiges and monetary (or corresponding) compensation are attached to different archetypes. That is a grave mistake.

These four steps form one full cycle, in the following way:

(1) One must become able to remove oneself from lethargy and phlegmatic tendencies, and start to work, and be proud of one's personal ethics and quality of Work. (Dharma of the shudra.)

(2) One must be able to remove oneself from one-sided working and understand how different kind of situations demand very different kind of methods, enabling betterment of personal and societal mechanics. (Dharma of the vaishya.)

(3) One must be able to remove oneself from the juggling of different kind of answers and choose an immovable virtue, and never to give up those ideals no matter what. They must be good, ell-encompassive virtues, and one must protect the others with one's vanguard-like stability in those virtues. (Dharma of the kshattriya.)

(4) One must be able to remove oneself from the self-made idea of virtue, and learn to understand the vast space of metaphysical and magical reality, and still remain able to contribute to the surrounding society even while it has changed to something surreal by itself, when compared to the actual esoterical cosmos. (Dharma of the brahmana.)

After once such cycle, another one starts in the higher evolutive stage.

If this would be understood, I would have nothing to say against the warrior archetype, the kshattriya. But usually people who adore it do not understand this, but take the idea of spiritual warfare in a way that one can simply burst out one's emotions in every direction that seems temperamentally suitable at the time. The true calling of the kshattriya is sacred, just like the true calling of a shudra. All these are equal even while they are hierarchical, because of the spiralling nature of the Work, and the all-encompassive needs of both the society and the world at large.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
User avatar
Benemal
Frater
Posts: 934
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:24 pm
Location: South-Fin

Re: Spiritual Warfare

Post by Benemal »

To anyone interested in khsattriya, I recommend Eiji Yoshikawa's book, Musashi. A Japanese Samurai legend, who lived in the 16th century. Aslo Musashi's own The Book Of Five Rings, which is a kind of Samurai dhammapada.
Post Reply