Way of the Peaceful Warrior Essay
Sometimes the longest and toughest journeys are inside one’s mind; and although others cannot notice them instantly, they change personalities profoundly. Dan, the main character, is a gymnast-student for Berkley University, California. His life seems perfect, he has everything he wants: friends, girls, good grades, his talent and passion for gymnastics and the strive to go to the Olympics. Until he meets Socrates. Socrates is a gas station attendant who leaves a mark in Dan’s memory right from the beginning. When they start to get to know each other, Dan understands that he’s nothing but a fool, and that he needs Socrates’s guidance to wake up and reach a deeper state of knowledge, a state of enlightenment.
After over a year of
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Milestones of Dan’s journey are dreams. He often has odd dreams, rich in symbolism and meaning. They are fundamental experiences he learns from. The introduction to Soc actually start with Dan’s dream of a man with white hair that he feels he can be the only one that could save him from a dark, empty city that symbolized him being lost. The simple fact that the opening scene is a dream, is an indication that those events actually helped Dan change and going serenely through his journey. The dreams he describes are, by the way, not always his, he references multiple times other people’s dreams when he thinks they have a connection with his situation. One of the most mind blowing dreams was Lao Tzu’s, an ancient Chinese philosopher who, awoken from dreaming of being a butterfly, says: “Am I a man who has just been dreaming he was a butterfly, or a sleeping butterfly, now dreaming that he’s a man?”. At this point, Dan understands how people live in illusions, and he finally realizes why Socrates told him, long time before, when he was still at the beginning of his journey, that being disillusioned is the best thing that can happen to anyone. He comprehends how fake his life was and how much he has changed along the path that lead him where he is. Sometimes people live illusion, they think their lives are perfect, that they have everything under control, and when, all of a sudden,