This is a short spur of the moment demo that was filmed back in 2014. It was March up here in the Vermont Mountains and heavy wet snows remained on the ground. That particular day it was freezing rain and there was a perfect mist all around.
A director from Finland and a great friend of mine were out visiting. It was decided the director wanted to shoot a small amount of action footage out in the snow. I agreed and my dear friend was kind enough to be the strike model.
We snowshoed out into the landscape, getting soaking wet by the freezing rain. Once we found a good spot we had to walk in circles to pack down the knee deep snow so we could remove the snowshoes and not sink too much.
The general idea was for me to move internal fire energy and direct that energy outward towards vital and sensitive targets on my friends body, while pulling the strikes and recoiling the fire energy back into my bone marrow, then returning it to the hara. The strikes were to be direct and delivered in full, but only to the surface of my friends body where I would then reabsorb that energy using the control of my meridian cavities pressure systems.
This is of course training I've done for many years, but for my friend it was his first time experiencing it. He found it to be a rather intense experience but one he said to be quite rewarding.
He had taken actual jujitsu classes with me before, but this was the first advanced internal energy work he had ever felt or seen. Part of his feedback:
"While in his jujitsu classes and when in close contact with him I can feel the surprising power produced from his light thin frame to be staggering. It feels like there is more than just physical strength, an energetic push, like using the Force in Star Wars. His whole body seemed to emanate this grounded chi-force and I for one felt there was nothing I could do to repel this force even though I am very skilled physically and much larger.
Also, when shooting material for a project I was a training dummy for him to demonstrate his striking skills. He always only slightly touched me with each lightning fast strike but every strike even with that greatly diminished intention felt pretty darn hard as he tapped me in all areas of my upper body and head. I was being hit several times per second from all angles and my mind had no time to register just where they were all coming from. There’s something unprecedentedly lethal in his actions, strikes and moves as I was able to perceive up close and personal. The energy of someone who does not hesitate, even to kill as was required of him in service to his country, but will do so with the utmost conviction in a heartbeat. He has no hesitation about what he will do, no second-guessing, no doubt, no uncertainty. It is a frightening energy that you feel you cannot negotiate with. Elder White Wolf also packs more aggressive energy than anyone, to put it mildly."
Anyway, I finally got the footage back from that shooting and decided to share. Only a small part of the demonstration was filmed. There was about three times the amount of original footage that wasn't saved. Nevertheless, here you go:
This will bring you to the Elder's Page. Scroll down and you will find the video embedded.
Fire Strikes In Snow
continued from - Roots of the Warrior - part 2
The path of the warrior is to embrace and create change during the time we live through, surviving and surpassing our own imbalances and battles through the wisdom gained from living in every moment with full acceptance. Change is each of us and every molecule of life.
Courage, loyalty, honor, truth, strength, solid fortitude, surviving, surpassing, endurance, healing, loving… bowing to no one, standing tall in humility yet a simple pride of knowing the self, freeing oneself within and trusting that if we do the best we are able in alignment of what and who we are as individuals, the universe will do its part also.
I decided not to bother listing types of warriors because I feel it is rather pointless as this time. The meat of what I am saying I find to be more viable to the present than lists of titles.
It is common knowledge that when two or more objects or energies collide there is inevitably a measure of collateral damage. This is a catalyst for change itself for the sake of change. An acorn cannot break open and take root unless there is first death and decay as well as life and growth; both are essential necessities. A warrior, a true warrior understands this, accepts it as the way of this physical life and moves within this knowledge.
Peace is within the acceptance of what this life IS and the wisdom to understand one’s place in this physical system. We cannot change the foundation structure of the universe, and to fight against it is not only futile, but senseless because it shows a complete lack of holistic understanding of what makes this physical reality what it is. Every experience we have, judged “good and beautiful” or “bad and ugly” come from this foundation structure. Our birth comes out of this structure, every step and breath of our lives comes from this structure; everything we know and have comes from this structure. It is a waste of time and energy to fight against the universal structure through “movements” that try to convince people they are not what they are and are not subjects to what we are.
Can you see now why there are so few (compared to the global population) true warriors left today? The system does not want warriors, those who have cause heart deep and with personal spiritual roots, which think for themselves and do what is necessary. The system wants soldiers who simply follow orders to human cause locked away and many times completely contradictory of the natural world. The system tries to breed and brainwash a population of “mind controlled” soldiers and sheep because the system does not want change; it wants stability to protect its way of life, a life of ultimate control, dominion of this world and everything in it. The system is based upon fear, fear of the foundation of this entire physical reality – change, that which is at the heart of a warrior.
Many so claimed or stated “warrior’s” today are just soldiers doing the will of others or young people seeking the glory of a title of which they neither understand nor have proven or gained. Being a warrior is a process of personal evolution. Nobody starts out a warrior even if born to be a warrior. It takes a great deal to evolve into the true path and “title” of Warrior and there are no shortcuts.
What type of warrior am I? I stand for the laws of the wilderness, the laws of the wild and the necessity of challenge for the progression of change. What does that mean you ask? Laws of the wilderness are laws that have successfully run this world since it began. They kept balance in such a way as to continually promote shift and change to better the wellbeing of life here – all life. Laziness, apathy, carelessness, ignorance for the sake of it; all avenues to stagnation and lack of wellbeing.
Those are a few and I think you will see just how much the human system disregards.
Necessity of challenge for the progression of change – not only do I challenge myself, but I challenge others to break out of their shells, out of conformity, think for themselves, test their limits, push their comfort zones and question all aspects of their personal lives in order that they may discover parts of themselves they may not know exist. The few who embrace such challenges in life have a rare opportunity in the modern human world of understanding much more personal depth. This depth can lead to acceptance and an internal wisdom of strength and heights beyond physical limitation. That can completely transform a person’s life through the essential evolutionary change for the sake of change itself and a greater understanding for existence.
For many years I was nothing more than a soldier doing the bidding of human masters bent upon their own greed and purposes of dominion. For years I carried shame and guilt for being a part of it. My place was combative, even in youth. Through the many years of my healing path, though I may still struggle physically the most, I have shed the bonds of shame and guilt because I have come to understand my place. I know where my skills fit into this world. I also have come to understand that many of the things I have done long in my past as a soldier and slave were not all of what I would judge as “bad” or unnecessary. In my view many of them were necessary and sections of the world and people (no matter how small or few they may or may not be) are more free then they would have been if I had not done those actions.
When a child is being tortured or a young woman or boy is being raped in an alleyway, do those victims need peace protesters marching around with their signs, or a judge sitting across the county in their mansion eating their 4 course meal who might try the perpetrator in 3 years time… or do these abused instead perhaps a require a skilled blade in the shadows from someone who fights for them rather than the system? Opinions may vary until you are the one being abused.
You see just because someone is physically strong and able to dominate others who are weaker in physique does not mean it is balanced or “justified” by natural law. The strong dominating those “weaker” can be very imbalanced and overall harmful to the wellbeing of life upon the earth. There are a great many who are physically weaker due to their size than others, but who express and share their essential strengths and gifts by other means. Again, the law stating survival of the strongest does not always mean everything physical stronger may dominate those weaker. Strength comes in all shapes and sizes.
Many of those who are no longer here because of my past were such people who dominated those they deemed weaker physically, and thought they had the right to harm them in any way they saw fit. It took me years of healing and soul searching, internal conflict and struggle to evolve into the acceptance and wisdom of what and who I am as a warrior, and that even though I was a tool for others I still had a place and purpose that in many ways was of overall benefit. But only after I came to accept this and shed guilt and shame could the expanse of this benefit truly spread its wings throughout life. Only after I came to understand and accept by shedding preconceived and socially conditioned views could I separate my deeds from beneficial or productive from those not so much. This process helps us put our lives truth into a balanced perspective and allows us to feel good about things we have accomplished and release the baggage of lesser actions with the intention of putting our sights to more productive avenues.
Yes my body is no longer what it used to be. Yes my body has much damage from my past that plagues it daily and though I work continually with the hope that it one day will be fully healed, I understand that it may never be. I understand I am physically where I am today because of my past and I have come to accept this. I have come to accept that the sacrifice was for something higher than myself and I can live with that. This is a very different view than I have had for many years because I have been focusing on and working through so many layers of self healing.
If we hold our deeds to unjustifiable expectations and judgments we chain their energy and they then emit imbalance throughout shame, guilt, fear – whatever non-productive emotion we nurture. Only when we can heal and accept, grow into the personal wisdom of our lives and deeds can all we have done radiate strength from us into the universe.
I think this wraps up my notes and revised notes from my old Roots of the Warrior class from some years back. My hopes is that this information gets out to you all in order that you might come to ponder more deeply the wisdom of the warrior path shed clear of the prejudice oppression of the modern social ways of “no conflict”. Perhaps this information will assist you in coming to understand the true place of true warriors in this world.
The past is no longer, the present is our life and the future has not yet happened. However, the past has created the present, the present gives fruition of the past and the future gives the present hope.
continued from Roots of the Warrior - part 1
I mentioned in part 1 there are many kinds of warriors, but what is the actual purpose of a warrior in life?
A warrior’s placement is to challenge the growth process, to keep moving the currents of life so that the death of stagnation does not set in. It is to fire up natural conflict in every cell until absolute balance is attained. Warrior energy is to promote growth and expansion so the source can truly know itself.
The warrior’s purpose and place is to promote necessary change where the fear of change and the will of stagnation dwells. The warrior challenges life to breech the comfort zone and the trap of complacency.
Does that mean that everyone who challenges their comfort zones are warriors? No. Many people who on occasion challenge their comfort zones or stand up for something in the face of certain opposition many not be in themselves warriors, but rather acting upon the impulse sparked by the actions of a warrior they were or are influenced by. If this meant to be a derogatory statement – absolutely not.
Every energy has its place and purpose. Not everyone is a poet, but perhaps someone who read some poetry was inspired to try their hand at it, if only for a short while. Is that person now a poet – no, but they touched a bit of the poets energy and existence. The poet helped bring enrichment to another’s life through a variation of perspective. That is a form of growth and exploration. Was it prompted by a warrior – no, it was inspired by a poet energy and is no more or less than a prompt of a warrior’s energy, it’s just different.
Everything has a place and purpose, the warrior is simply one, but one that is very misunderstood in today’s modern bias views.
Every year I have a handful of people contact me on Veteran’s Day and thank me for my sacrifice and past service. They understand what I am and they understand that even though partly it was forced service, it had a purpose in life and I fulfilled that small level of purpose at great cost to self and those close to me. So even though it was dark and “ugly”, it had its place and purpose. Predators have as much a placement as prey; disease has as much purpose as health and night has as much a place as day.
Most of you know by now that all my symptoms over the last decade have been due to the damage to my spleen from being poisoned 11 years back. This damage caused an imbalance between spleen, liver, kidneys and lungs; the main trio consists of the lungs, spleen and kidneys in the upper, middle and lower energy sectors of the body. Chronic stasis of blood and energy ensued and generated dozens and dozens of ongoing symptoms. So what does this have to do with this warrior series? Let me show you.
Here is a layout of the progression of stasis complications in my life:
Liver and Spleen Stasis Foundation
The emotional level of stasis
We need to accept who and what we are in this life, and where we are. No matter what society accepts or does not accept, we need to be who we are or suffer the consequences connected by suppressing our very nature. I am a warrior through and through and have been my whole life. Trying to suppress that fact and pretend to be something else is futile and simply dangerous to the entirety of my wellbeing.
I began to shy away from these aspects of who I am because I was told they just aggravate the traumatic memories and enhance cptsd issues. I found out quite the opposite! The suppression of the warrior aspects of me simply flared up the trauma and caused it to stagnate within, unresolved, unmoving, and without hope of further understanding. Slowly bringing these warrior aspects of myself back into the forefront of my life, and once again embracing and honoring them has actually helped subdue and even transform large areas of trauma into more productive energies.
There are people who I am sure will say this is all just programming garbage, but they know nothing, especially not of me. I began to realize this last year which is why I began to bring back Survival Combat camps and training into my school, because it is a large aspect of me and what I do. Suppressing that is like pretending I do not need to breathe or eat. I knew it was the correct course of action not only because of how teaching it makes me feel, but also because the people who came for the entire length of the camps loved it.
Bravery – to fully be yourself, even in the face of opposition.
When we speak of warrior energy and a warrior path through this physical life, there comes a point where we must ponder something very important, essential to a warrior’s path. Earlier in the series I spoke of the warrior and conflict and how the two are inseparable and for good reason. But this leads to the question of dealing.
As a warrior how do we deal with conflict? How do we walk as warriors and remain balanced and neutral within the cause of our own hearts and minds? How do we avoid filling our hearts with hate and how do we continue on with wounds and scars? How do we surpass that which we survive?
I think you will agree how important the answers to those questions are to a warrior’s path.
The answers come down to:
These are all foundations in our hearts and minds dictated by what we have chosen and agreed upon. They are not based upon “right” and “wrong”, even balance and imbalance. They all come from the intentions of our mind’s energies.
No matter if others agree or disagree with our ideals, morals and personal codes of conduct; these are vital to the path of the warrior, to the very roots of a warrior. Without them the path is just dark and pointless. Any path needs purpose and that purpose comes down to personal agreements. A warrior’s path is especially bound to those three personal agreed upon beliefs and structures.
So then what keeps the mind in check? The heart of course. And what keeps the heart in check? Well the mind does. The mind and heart form a bond and one cannot travel far in a balanced state without the other’s input. Both are kept in-check through self awareness and hold nothing.
Samurai were known to meditate for hours and day to try holding personal balance and focus; to let go of all they had seen and done in war. Their lives were dedicated to practices highly refined and strict in attempts to turn every moment into a moment of perfection in order to hold their focus stable. Of course perfection is a personal bias, but can be a useful tool for some in order to gage progress of time through physical life. It can also be a ball and chain that drags one into the grave.
Some Native American tribes would have a line of women available to comfort, through hugs and song, the warriors as they returned from combat to help them let go of the inner pains and trauma that goes along with a warrior’s path.
It all comes down to release, but for release to work there must be grounding and that requires 100% focus of and in the moment. Not long ago I wrote an article on the Complications of Release Work you may wish to review.
All great warriors have come to the understanding that their greatest power in conflict comes from being as empty as possible in the moment and rely upon their earned roots, gained and formed by a life of dedication and training.
Without morals, codes of conduct, ideals and the understanding that releasing experiences is vital to the path of a warrior, a warrior will not stand long. Experience and the built energies of extreme conflict will eventually crush the heart and mind as they fail to communicate and empty themselves of that which is not necessary. It comes down to Survival.
No matter what style warrior, there must first be survival before one can evolve to surpass. What does survival require? It requires the following:
A warrior never willingly undertakes a battle of any kind when they know the odds are stacked against them. Only when forced should they jump into battle that holds poor odds for a survival outcome. Soldiers on the other hand and simplistic fighters will embrace any old conflict just to try proving themselves or placing the meaning of their lives within the bidding of others wills.
The warrior must be intelligent as well as patient and able to see many angles and outcomes dependent on various choices. If you view the list above, and ponder each word, you can begin to see the dynamics in-which the warrior’s attitude towards survival and cause flow dynamically within one another. With a warrior you cannot have focus for one without the other.
Though what is survival for if not to surpass current experiences through growth processes? Therefore beyond survival is the ability to surpass. To surpass experience requires:
You may at first think some of those words are contradictory, but truly they are not. For instance we have Shielding and Trust. How can we express trust if we are shielded? First we must understand the word Trust. Trust does not always mean trusting others. Before we can learn to trust others we must first learn to trust self. Without self trust we have no core strength, no internal substance. However, as we learn self trust we must also shield the self from external harm. For a fire to burn brightly it must first start from a spark and that spark must be shielded from all that would snuff it.
To surpass an experience a warrior understands that they must first shield themselves from the trauma so they can start gaining perspective through self trust. Once this is built, trust can begin to expand into life itself in-which the warrior sees themselves an integral aspect of. Trauma can then be dissolved since the strength of self trust and trust that all things have a place and purpose in life, and therefore self is a reality. With that level of self trust the warrior can transform the original shielding into personal understanding that they are experienced enough to handle life without hiding behind a shield.
Go ahead if you will and take it upon yourselves to analyze the words in the above two lists and see through your own inner depths how they all relate and work together, even if they at first appear contradictory. Next I will present the challenges, the pitfalls or imbalances a warrior must face along the path.
All forms of a warrior in any level of life is prone to imbalance just like anyone else. Imbalance is the constant challenge of life in this world. None are exempt. A very important piece of wisdom for all of us in all areas of life in-which we exist to embrace is understanding the imbalance we are prone to.
For the path of a warrior the major pitfalls of imbalance dwell within the following:
Of course as with any list you could always add to it, but those are some of the major imbalances a warrior path can expect to encounter along the way. For myself I have run into many of those on many occasions. It just happens to be life, and with the path I have walked and continue to walk, those are energies that set within shadows as well as in the light.
None of us are perfect and imbalance touches each of us. The most important thing we can remember is that to dwell upon the times we trip and fall into the imbalance snare does us no benefit. Rather that focus drags on us soul deep and hinders our progression of self learning.
Awareness, acceptance forgiveness and the will to strive to attain a more complete sense of balance within is all we can hope for along the path of constant challenge. We can acknowledge when we stumbled and set our focus of heart and mind to the task of standing back up and continuing on, knowing full well that we will stumble again because that is life.
Striving to learn what we may with each stumble helps us understand that the next time we stumble it will be upon another snag and not the same one that tripped us before.
The trick of the game is that the more a person upon a warrior’s path suffers, the more prone they become to the pitfalls of imbalance, and all true warriors who walk a warrior’s path suffer. It happens with many different paths in life that people tread. It’s one of those “catch 22’s” of life we must deal with. The further along you go, the higher the stakes and the further the fall. Focus on attaining as much balance as possible becomes essential.
As with any path of challenge laced with potential pitfalls we must address yet another connected topic – Endurance.
Most of us never really walk the path in life we expected or thought we might. We envision all kinds of paths as children, but the path that finds our feet and all it entails can never truly be anticipated, only lived and dealt with along the way.
In a warriors life there are inevitably demons. Some of the persons own making and some made long before who patiently wait for our shadow to pass by. For a warrior the act of ridding ourselves of those demons in life is counterproductive. The demons are there for our deepest benefit – survival, learning and surpassing. If we try to snuff them out we tear part of ourselves away and leave a gaping hole that something else will try to fill. No, we must keep them close and learn from them as we learn to control them so they do not control and dictate our path beyond our will.
Endurance becomes an essential aspect of the warrior path, and endurance requires:
Yes these actions can be carried over and utilized in a great many pathways of life, but since we are speaking on the warrior, these fit right in.
Grounding of course I have spoken and written a lot about. Staying present, paying attention to the senses and details of your body; your thoughts and feelings as well as details in your immediate surroundings and how you are interacting with them.
Smiling in care of the self is an essential and integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Basically giving gratitude to all aspects of the self and the body which carry you through life.
Staying active to stay healthy – obvious necessity to well being.
When we move down through the list most are quite obvious, simple and yet potently effective. Releasing the heart is one that takes a bit of time and focus and goes right along with release work, as does the release of wounds, trauma and illusions. Taking the time to focus on and let go of acute energies detrimentally affecting you is essential to health and balance within body, heart, mind and spirit. Of course trying to release specific non-beneficial energies/experiences within you that are connected to unresolved core issues can be counterproductive and extremely wearing. Just like I explained in my article Complications of Release Work.
Releasing the illusions might be one that is confusing to some of you. What this means is the process of letting go of the preconceived. As some examples:
We seek then to replace illusions with – Everyone is who they are and do what they at any given moment because they must be so to gain the experiences required for evolution. If you are part of the experience then you feel you need it for your own evolution and you must not judge yourself or others for it. Instead it is about learning from it and surpassing and moving past it all.
Judgment and punishment are not for us to deal in, even within and to ourselves. Our responsibility is to take responsibility for our every feeling, action and thought and not punish ourselves for them, but instead learn to surpass our own imbalances. This requires change and the courage to do so.
Like in all paths, a warrior’s path too also requires the diligence to focus on and evolve the core issues within our beings. It is simply an essential aspect of this physical life, one we all must face daily. Endurance is required along most pathways and though the type of endurance will vary, the necessity of the above actions in the list can be utilized by most people in my opinion.
Does conflict require combat – no not always. Does change require rashness, harshness, violent energy – no not always. There is a place for everything in variation and change is no different. A sunrise that brings day from night can happen with such lack of celebration from the elements that except for the light you would never know the difference between them. Other times can be very different. Some dawns, as the sun rises, stir up such thermals that create extreme winds and kick up severe and violent storms that rip the land to shreds. The onset of evening twilight can be equally as turbulent or easy.
Change is required by life in order that life continue, but change can come smooth and easy just as it can come harsh and violent and both have their place in the universe. There are various kinds of warriors and not all warriors walk the path where violent change occurs. Other kinds of warriors do stride violent paths connected to harsh and dramatic life changes and shifts. None is better or worse than the other; both are necessary and have their place.
Before I list a few different kinds of warriors and warrior paths in part 3, go ahead and take a little time to ponder it for yourself and see what you come up with.
continued in - Roots of the Warrior - part 3
This was a course that I taught in 2013 titled Roots of the Warrior. I’ve decided to type out a good section of it to add to this blog because I think the information is pertinent enough in today’s world as I believe it was generations ago across continents and cultures.
The main focus of this course was questioning not only what a warrior is but the natural placement of warrior energy in the universe as we understand it. In a world where talks of peace are everywhere, how does warrior energy come into play and does it evolve through the ages – is it only found in the human form or does it exist in other areas of the natural world. This little series will address those questions and more while I delve into explaining this unique energy within this physical existence.
Like an ancient bristlecone pine that has stood for almost 5,000 years, enduring and surpassing all life has brought to its rocky slope. Like the foundations of a mountain that has towered above valleys assaulted by the elements and season, but still stands. The roots of the warrior, standing within the ragged edges of the world, in the shadows without inflated ego yet embracing a purpose that few can carry for long.
How does a warrior stand in today’s world of severe adversity and what exactly is a warrior? Where does the roots of the warrior come from, what do they feed upon and what holds them strong in the face of ages?
How can a warrior walk through life today in balance with the sheer amount of pressure from mass bombardment of wicked organizations, factions, energy manipulation, astral influences and the insanity of mixed messages from governments and media who on one hand condemn acts of aggression and yet on the other execute it daily?
Before we really get into the aspect of warrior energy and beyond that, to the actual roots of a warrior, we need to first ask questions. If we cannot really formulate a question, we will have little hope of discovering an answer.
The term warrior evokes a wide range of responses from people in today’s world. Some embrace it while others despise it. Most responses tend to be “knee-jerk” reactions rather than educated and measured ones, as with many topics in this world.
Below are a few opening questions. Feel free to ask yourself more. The ones supplied are just baseline starters.
Also found below are basic definitions of the flat terms warrior, soldier and war. But beyond the mere definitions we need to look deeper into the understanding of the differences between a warrior and a soldier. Many today think they are one in the same, but they are not.
Taken from the dictionary:
Soldier = enlisted service – doing another’s will or bidding
A military or other group enlisted soldier is a person who has given up their personal power, identity, freedom, individuality and personal responsibility to be ordered, manipulated, controlled ruled by organizations that court armed warfare. A soldier is not a warrior. This is not belittling them at all. They have their place just as everyone else.
Anytime someone aligning with any kind of conflict gives their personal power over to an entity external of themselves, they lose the deeper connection to self and the connection they have to their higher intuition and spiritual alignment on a soul level. This automatically impedes their ability to make choices balanced upon the greater understanding of life. Instead a person then simply follows orders and seals off the “self” from the engaged action. Yes even a so called “supersoldier” is just a mind controlled slave and not a warrior. Keep this in mind as we continue.
But what is a warrior and where are they in history - anywhere people trained in associated skills and stood their ground against oppressors of their own free will and guidance.
The warrior is always in the forefront of change. The warrior life exists in the volatile state of adversity; the very reason the roots of the warrior need to be adequately developed.
An individual that invests adequate time, energy and focus honing skills of tactics and strategy for the purpose of gauging the necessity and inevitability of conflict within the continually expressive stature of life in such a way that they are fit to stand and lead by example.
As we move along in this series and you begin to think more deeply on what a warrior truly is, you hopefully will begin to look around you and within yourself to discover various aspects or perhaps full embodiments of what this series brings to light. But we have a lot to cover, so try not to make assumptions and jump the gun. Be patient.
As we continue exploring the energy of the Warrior we must face the reality behind life’s expressive flow. Flow of energy equals Change which in-turn equals Conflict.
This is the process we see here upon earth and throughout the universe as we understand it.
Things/Energy wishing to stay the same Warring with Things/Energy wishing to change.
Continual energy expression in its own right is a form of War. It occurs on a cellular level as well as a universal one. It is a war against stagnation because life must move one way or another.
Varieties of war are endless and span all levels of existence. This means that the word Warrior must be expanded to meet such variety. Warrior must be defined by the very nature and variety of conflict they are so trained to engage in.
If the very foundation of life’s progression is conflict then where does “peace” fit in?
When we look at the expansion and expression, the self exploration of existence we find conflict, like growing pains. If we think about the necessity of conflict for growth and understanding we must then ask ourselves the position of “Peace”. Where does peace fit into the complex matrix of conflict?
Peace itself becomes rather a conundrum with conflict being the very essence of evolution. So what does that “new” term Peaceful Warrior actually mean and is that opposing title in itself a reality?
I wrote a small blog article question and pondering of peace not long ago. If you have not read it you might want to take a few moments to go back and have a look. Peace is what?
If you have not yet thought about what peace actually means to you, take a little time to ponder that before reading on.
Some definitions of peace in the dictionary are:
Where does peace exist in a state of continual evolution and the continual exploration of self? With that focus see how many areas in your current life contain a feeling of genuine peace. Then see if you can define exactly, exactly what it feels like on as many levels of your awareness you can.
Root of the Warrior – what do you think that means?
Some people are born with warrior natures. Others gain a warrior nature through life itself, but all warriors must be trained and thus pay the price to walk the wisdom of a true warrior. Nothing is free.
Each price is agreed upon or called upon by the individual. Each price forms a root that contains an understanding gained through the paying of that price.
The true strength of a tree is found in its roots.
Prices are paid through training. We do not rise under adverse conditions to the level of our expectations. Instead we fall to the level of our training and what we have or have not paid.
So many people today wish a shortcut to everything, including stature, respect and skill sets, but fewer and fewer have the fortitude and attention spans to stick with something long enough to truly acquire any of those things. Someone cannot claim to be a warrior unless they have truly paid that price and many who claim that title have not. Actual physical testing however always collapses the air built bubble.
A warrior, like any other skilled person must train, be trained and acquire lots of hardcore physical hands on experience. Dreams and fantasy do not count. The word today is thrown around all too easily and empty, like many titles and a great many people holding those titles do not deserve them.
Do warriors as a whole evolve through time? Were the samurai so different than true and trained warriors of today? You see it is not within the “class” of warriors that we need to look for growth. War is war and a warrior will be a warrior.
Growth happens within. The true growth of a warrior is individual, not group based. The best defense we have is the attack upon the self within the gentleness of rain, politeness of a flower, steadiness of the wind, silence of a dark forest, steadfastness of a mountain and relentlessness of fire. We must grow thyself from within through internal and external conflict.
There are stages of a warrior we must first understand before we can really question the growth process of warriors. These stages are the key to a warrior’s growth.
Stage 1 – External Battle
In this stage the warrior and weapon seek only the fight with others. Battle ensues and anything is used as a weapon and the warrior has no separation. Ego rules. The fight is all there is.
Stage 2 – Internal Battle
The hand and the body no longer master the external weapon. Now the heart and mind unify to become the true master of the weapon and the fight goes within. The external battle internalizes and fights the ego and imbalance of the self.
Stage 3 – No Battle
In this stage the warrior evolves past the want of the fight and abandons the weapon. The warrior abandons all conflict and attains perfect balance within. The deepest understanding of what a warrior truly is has been attained through prices paid, roots laid and explored. By fully living the existence of a warrior one has a chance to reach such a level, but just as a an old growth white pine must fully live the entire life and evolution of a white pine from seed to elder to gain that facet of wisdom, to attain the third stage of a warrior means a person must live their life as a warrior.
The real question here is does a warrior grow through each stage in one life? Is the purpose of a warrior to move through the stages into completeness of No Battle? In my own view that is not the purpose nor is it possible for every warrior who comes to this earth. Not only is it perhaps not possible, but personally I do not think every warrior wishes to progress through each stage to the last.
If the point of existence is to explore every facet of itself then that means the facets that do not fully grow through one path of energy. It also means that all energy threads are not meant to complete themselves. A person may very well step fully onto the path of a warrior in this life, but later in their life they move completely away from that of a warrior and into another phase of energy, never having attained the third stage of a warrior. There is no right or wrong about it. The only thing that matters is that energy continues onward.
I have seen many warriors leave the path of a warrior long before they even reached stage 2. Just because someone has paid the price and became a warrior does not mean they will remain such throughout their lifeline. Others may remain a warrior through many “lifelines” if you will.
continued in - Roots of the Warrior - part 2
Originally written - December 7th, 2016 by White Wolf
Tis the season for “Peace on Earth”, at least that seems to be what I hear so many people saying, wishing for and singing about each winter holiday season. Then the year progresses and I look around, look at news reports and global events and it certainly makes me wonder.
Do you wish for “Peace on Earth”? Do you wish for peace in your life? My question is this, Peace – well what exactly does that mean? Truly, what does “peace” mean in all those wishes, songs and prayers?
Does peace mean the lack of violence? I am sure most of you reading consider violence the absence of peace. So maybe that is what Peace is, the Lack of Violence? Do you consider killing animals for food violent? After all it is killing, no matter the cause. How about killing an insect? Killing a plant for food is also violent. Are not all acts of killing, no matter the intent or necessity, violent? Where is that line drawn between a non-violent killing and a violent one? Who draws that line? To me there is no line, and the taking of life is a necessary part of this world. We all need to eat. We all should have enough self care to defend ourselves from attackers, and that means an insect preparing to bite or sting you and harmful microbes inside us. So perhaps Peace is not so much the lack of violence after all?
How about the lack of suffering? Suffering sure is not very peaceful. So maybe Peace is the lack of suffering? Everything alive suffers in one way or another though. So long as a creature has consciousness there is potential for suffering. So long as a creature has a brain and nervous system there is suffering in physical life. All life gets sick. All life is subject to injury. The more complex the conscious state and emotional levels, the more suffering on mental levels there tends to be. All physical life dies as well, and suffering is part of that, even if not for the life leaving, but for who remains. How could this physical world exist and function without suffering? The whole place is laid out with suffering intricately woven through every layer. So maybe the lack of suffering is not an attainable Peace?
What about Freedom? Could having freedom be the Peace people sing about? In a world from ancient times through the present there have been groups of people seeking to control others and all life around them. The very notion of a lack of full control of one’s own life tends to breed fear and fear tends to breed the need to assert control, even if imbalanced. Governments control us, global banks control us – how many of us actually own our own houses? Most people are in debt because they live in a house. The banks own our houses, not us. The economy controls us. The elements control us. The essential needs of the human body control us. Control exists everywhere you look on this planet. Has it ever not? Will praying for true freedom turn the world that seems to have always been as it is, upside-down? Well it sure has not so far. So perhaps freedom is not Peace?
Maybe Peace is then acceptance? Could peace be the acceptance of everything just as it is? The acceptance of all the negatives and all the positives in this life is something very few have mastered. If you accepted everything as is, would you have Peace? Acceptance does not remove violence, suffering or control, it just places the mind in a state that understands all of it has a place here in this life and we can never stomp it all out. Would Peace then be just accepting that there can never be the level of Peace we are taught and told we should hope for on this planet; not in the capacity it seems most think of Peace as anyway?
What about a lack of fear in life? Would that perhaps be what people seek when they pray for Peace? That is another tricky request or pursuit. I have written many times before about fear and the pros and cons of it. I think it would be very difficult to remove all fear from our lives. We live in a very dangerous and challenging world where fear has definite purpose, as well as enslaving properties. Maybe the removal of fear in life would be what is considered to be Peace, but it seems a very out of reach dream unless we go back to total acceptance.
How about faith as being Peace? Once again, faith differs greatly from person to person and once person’s idea of Peace in their faith can be very different than another persons. I think being solid in one’s faith does not necessarily mean Peace.
Maybe love is Peace? If one can completely love would that mean they have attained Peace? I suppose it is possible, but most people I have spoken with over the years who live in a higher state of love than many can identify a background fear of losing that which they love, or having it challenged or degrade. So maybe love is not necessarily Peace either?
How much have you thought about what Peace actually is, actually means? It’s a pretty hefty word that people throw around quite regularly and seemingly carelessly, but I think few actually step back and deeply ponder just exactly what it is. Most people I have spoken to about it seem to have a very unattainable, unrealistic idea of peace on earth.
Originally written - April 5th, 2011 by White Wolf
Fear is a commonly misunderstood emotion within this physical life. It runs the lives of more people than not, yet its affects are so potent most people do their very best to avoid analysis of the emotion. I find fear is usually only partly discovered within people because the defense system of the brain and personality itself does a fair job in covering fear up.
Through about a decade and a half of training and working in government agency paramilitary black ops, I have to say I became well versed in the ways of fear. Not only were we trained in fear levels, but of course we were continually exposed to each throughout our employment as well as afterward within the context of healing.
Freud stated in his book Civilization & its Discontents that adulthood and civilization are just high level and complex defenses structured upon primal, child-emotions to hide those emotions and trick us into feeling above them. But the defenses have weak spots, glitches where the true nature bleeds through. Hunger drive, sex drive, death drive, etc, etc, etc… and all the emotions, positive and negative legacy emotions connected to those drives.
Fear is a primal emotion of this life. The effects of fear are so unpleasant that many people build defense systems to hide the fear, even from themselves. Fear creates various levels of anxiety feelings which directly affect both the brain function and body functions. What is rolling through the brain with intensity also runs through the body. Fear can create a simple nervousness or on the other extreme, a complete meltdown of neural functions placing someone in a serious state of shock, or the systematic shutdown of the nervous system.
Fear of course has its natural place in the world. As a primitive emotion it can warn us of danger in order to help keep us protected and alive. However, fear can also be triggered and exaggerated by the brain into overreactions to things that do not require a fear response. If you round a bend on a dry desert trail in the high flats of Arizona and see a rattlesnake laying there in the sun, your brain releases stress hormones and induces fear. Your brain has been conditioned in life to understand that the bite of a rattlesnake is poisonous and can certainly harm or even kill you. Therefore when you see a rattlesnake in front of you, the conditioned brain responds with the very primal emotion of fear. The body reacts in accordance to its own conditioning to the fear/stress hormones your brain produces. This is natural and useful fear.
On the other hand, fear can be triggered in situations that do not warrant it. This kind of fear can create many difficulties in life and how we all function in it.
Fear itself is nothing more than data. It is an emotional reaction to a person/animal, place, thing, or event. The “thing” could be a memory. Fear is the brain communicating data to your brain and body that something in your conditioning, whether learned or inherited, associates something with danger. But fear is just data; it is not the danger external. When we learn to observe the fear within, from a neutral standing, we can gain understanding. If we let fear override our ability to make rational conscious choices we are unable to remove ourselves from the fear enough to understand what it is communicating to us.
Fear unobserved and not understood becomes a prison, a slave master that controls our lives. But again, because the ‘feelings” we experience during fearful states are so unpleasant, and society deems being afraid as being weak, our brains devise defense mechanisms to hide the fear deep inside. These internal places are the place of the unknown within us all. This is where fear builds its home in our depths.
We must understand that fear is an emotional reaction based upon remembered fear, either through our own conscious memory or through inherited memory from our base instincts. The reactions we have to fear; anger, shyness, guilt, shame, and many others are not so much reactions to fear but rather the remembrance of fear from our pasts. Fearing fear more than a situation that our brains might use to trigger fear. Fear of fear usually prevents us from falling into the full-blown effects of fear and acts more as a check-relief valve that can instantly cover what we are feeling. This of course does not quite hold true of people coming from extreme trauma backgrounds, especially in or starting in childhood when the brain was still developing. Children’s brains exposed to extreme trauma fail to develop “normally” as I have written about before and countless others have studied and documented on in-depth. This creates “different” mental reactions later in life than adults who did not have high trauma childhoods.
What we do not understand we fear, so goes the old saying. If we do not understand fear we will fear the fear itself, as the other old saying goes.
Anger is a cover for fear. I would not believe this for most of my life, but through calm and neutral observation over time I have discovered this reality. When we get angry it is because we are afraid of something and the anger becomes both a self defense mechanism towards that which we fear and a cover to hide the fear. Not all people get angry through fear of course, but anger grows from fear in the emotional gardens of many.
Interestingly there are only really five kinds of primal fears of which all other fears and fear labels set upon or grow out of. Through my own therapy for CPTSD, with the assistance of my counselor, I have been finding these five primal fears. The five fears are:
All fear grows from one or more of the above listed. See how many fears you can list and then see which of those five primal fears the ones you list fit with. I would be very interested if you can find any that do not fit with one of the five primal fears in the above list.
I like to look at the hand as a reminder of that list. The hand has five fingers and then hand is a great representation of that list. What does the hand do?
It is important to be aware of the fact of which many of the professional manipulators, mass media, corporations, military units, government agencies, and so on understand the mechanics of fear and do everything in their power to employ devious strategies to manipulate people on a regular basis. Control through fear. We have all experienced this first-hand.
Even seemingly basic phobias spanning people’s lives from childhood; fear of dogs, spiders, strangers, wilderness, cities and so on come from one of the 5 core fears, not from the objects themselves. If you were attacked by a dog as a child you may have developed a fear of dogs that you carry through life, but you are not actually afraid of the dog itself. Instead your fear might be based in #3- death, or perhaps #5- bodily destruction. The dog is just a symbol your brain has adopted from one experience to trigger those core fears behind the symbol.
Once we can gain an understanding of what fear is and where it comes from, we can begin to identify what we are truly afraid of, why and how we deal with it. It is a first step to personal healing and emotional freedom. It is something I have been working on very specifically. I have been finding it a bit more challenging though because my brain is wired a bit differently due to the major interference in its development as a child enduring the traumas I did. Nonetheless, it is a necessary process in healing and so I embrace it.
Hopefully you will find something of interest here and perhaps discover something in yourself that will place you one step further towards personal emotional freedom. It is important to remember, fear is one of the most difficult emotions to work with, work through and transform because our brains are developed to remember fear the most. Why – because it is a primal survival emotion of which without most of us would have placed ourselves in the way of extreme danger and perished long ago before we ever reached adulthood. Nevertheless, successful training of any combat art (and even more so the successful employment of techniques in real situations) requires the self awareness and understanding of personal fears as well as fear in others, and most importantly the self honesty it takes to admit the truth of it to the self.
I am not among the believers in our purpose in being here to evolve our spirits by-way of gaining knowledge through physical experience. I don’t believe the spirit is seeking to evolve, but rather it fully understands that everything is in a continual state of change and that there is no “good” or “bad” or even an evolutionary process [beings that spirit is eternal, and so is change, and in spirit all energy exists equally and so evolution denotes an inequality within the very energies that make up the ALL]. I feel spirit is nothing more than organized energy, and being energy is has no choice but to create through expression. All energy must express and therefore create. What is created is simply based upon what energy patterns the expressing energy aligns with. I see it all around me everyday no matter where I look. Energy seeking to express itself; plants, minerals, elements, animals, weather patterns, and so on. Spirit is not seeking to evolve but simply express creative forces flowing through it. An artist does not paint or dance to become something better along an evolutionary path [because ‘better’ is a judgment call based upon personal bias], just as a plant does not flower for that reason. They do so because the base need among anything alive is to express the energy flowing through it, whatever that energy may be, it needs to express.
Our spirits are simply aligning with similar energies and expressing facets of itself through, in this case, a physical existence because as an energy structure it must. I don’t believe it comes down to spiritual evolution to “higher” more “profound” states of awareness or karma, but a simplistic and very potent need and continual pattern of expression through creative forces.
For instance, the Viking peoples did not believe in gods and goddesses as lofty entities like poor interpretations of other religions and modern “Hollywood” cliché stereotypes have tried to depict.
Like I’ve written before in interviews and articles - Odin/Wotan was not seen as a god who sits on high, but rather an expression of the totality of creation, just like the Native American Great Spirit that moves in all things. Odin is a combination Norse word roughly meaning “wind that walks”. Wind is unseen yet felt. Wind permeates all life and moves all things from the world of the unseen and yet it is here upon the earth and touches everything alive as if it truly is the non-physical world walking beside us sharing this physical experience with us. Odin can be looked at as a wise chieftain or even the old mystical wanderer who donned a cloak and hat, carried a rune staff and travelled with two wolves, Geri and Fleki and two ravens Hugin and Munin. Hugin is thought and Munin is memory and they both whisper continually in Odin’s ears. Geri is greedy and Fleki is ravenous. Greedy for life and ravenous for experience; meat and sustenance. Odin feeds both the wolves but Odin does not eat, only drinks mead because Odin is ethereal while the ravens are mind energy and the wolves are physical energy. Or like the valknut symbol, Wotan might be looked at as the trio of life; mind body and spirit, the cosmic fire, the cosmic ice and the balance point between and our pursuit to elevate each state of being as well as continual change through movement. Not much different than the creator views of many Native American tribes with many variations, but all the same in that the creator force was a moving force containing everything, not a singular entity, but a movement of life eternal walking beside us and within us.
None of them are “good” or “bad” or trying to evolve into some higher state of being. They are the energies of life; seasons, elements, conflict, love, emotions and so on, and simply exist to express and through those expressions life on all sides of the veil continues ever on.
I do not feel we evolve as we comprehend evolution because we are mere extensions of a greater energy. This greater energy flows into us of its own need to create. Due to massive levels of interference of all kinds in this world we rarely have the opportunity to receive clearly and fully the true level of energy being fed to us from the greater energy source from which we are created. The rare times we do, I find we dabble with the feelings of oneness; a state beyond thought or emotion, a place of absolute contentment, if only briefly and so fleeting.
Therefore since the source from which we come is far more intense and “complete” than we, simple facets of its creative energy, then we do not really evolve, but rather attempt to achieve a stronger connection minus the interference. When we make that fleeting connection it is my mere opinion that we are feeling our real and greater root energy source and it feels like something to “evolve” to, but I don’t think it is evolution but rather a stronger connection to return to.
· Source --- incomplete and flawed creation --- the creation seeking to evolve higher than the source as if we know better than the source as to what is needed in existence – evolution becomes stagnation – lack of creative flow
Continual Creative Flow
· Source --- creates --- creation creates because the source creates --- all has its place in the continual flow of creative expression --- nothing attempts to evolve to a “higher state” because in the end it would stop the flow of creation --- the source flows through all creation, even creation creating, so “evolution” is counter intuitive and counterproductive because it does not create from original intent, but rather attempts to mold into a preconceived idea a stagnant root
Personally I don’t see any evolution going on in the human race, that’s for damn sure. People are just as violent as they have ever been; just as thin skinned, prejudice, self centered, fragile, etc, etc. If anything people in the true depth of a human being seems to have degraded, not evolved. Our ancient ancestors were far more connected to this earth, each other and the realm of spirit than people on a whole are today. With the rise of technology the human race at its base form has seriously slipped down a sinkhole, not worked on any evolution or “ascension” to some higher plane of existence. People long ago lived in the Now because it was necessary for survival and the interplay of relations. Today most people struggle just to remain in the Now for a few moments before the mind is distracted to someplace else. History clearly shows that with the rise of industrialization people and their cultures began to move away from the spiritual, the depth of human connection to this life found in every moment and the power of the Now and move into pursuits of materialism, greed and instant gratification.
The only things that interfere with creative expression are blocks/obstacles. Writers block, painters, block, dancers block, etc. Creative flow happens within all the elements and it relies upon just that, Flow. Anything that blocks that hinders the flow stagnates the creative expression. This creates weakness. As long as the creative expression flow is allowed to happen, life flourishes. Block it and life suffers. No area of this world is exempt; environmental ecosystems down to the inner workings of the smallest organism. All of it is energy and so needs to express through creativity. If someone wants to dominate or destroy another all they have to do is block that life forms expressive flow. It isn’t about evolution but connecting to and continuing the flow from the source through every facet of life; a flow of creative expression.
Originally written - July 30th, 2015 by White Wolf
In this third article I move into a very specific area that can many times be found under addictions. This is the subject of pain itself. This is a sensation no human being upon this earth is unfamiliar with or exempt from unless in the case of rare diseases that inevitably prevent a human body from living more than a few weeks to a few years. And when it comes to pain, no matter how painful it gets, the pain can always get worse.
To start to understand a little bit about why pain might be one factor behind certain addictions we need to understand a bit about pain itself. I am not talking about feeling or not feeling pain, but rather a very real look at the physical aspects of what pain is.
Pain itself can only be felt due to our nervous system, which of course is run and controlled by our brain. If the brain did not register what the nerves were picking up from the rest of the body, we would not feel pain. The brain itself contains no nerve endings to feel pain and so is the only part of our body exempt from feeling pain. Every other region of the body contains nerves in-which pain can be “felt”, but only by transmitting the sensation back to the brain to be processed and identified as pain.
Even though the brain processes what our nervous system picks up, there are two very specific regions of the brain responsible for the task of identifying the pain sensations of the body. They are the thalamus and the cortex. The thalamus is the first real region of the brain to receive nerve impulses registering pain sensations. Once the thalamus had identified the sensations as pain, it moves them to the cortex. The cortex is responsible for our complex thought patterns. Our thoughts pick up the thalamus’ transmissions and then tell us we feel pain, where and what kind.
Each cell in our body contains a surface much like our skin. The skin of the cell is coated in neurotransmitter receptors. These receptors are windows that allow pain messages to enter and communicate with surrounding cells.
Nociceptor’s are a different kind of nerve receptor that registers pain. They are basically very thin fibers of the nervous system, like minute tentacles that pick up pain impulses in our tissues. Nociceptors carry pain impulses directly to the spinal cord for their lightning fast journey to the brain. Typically you need to be smacked for the nocieptors to register pain as they only pick up strong pain sensations. This is unless you have been exposed to some kind of skin damage, which increases the nociceptors sensitivity level and then the slightest sensation can activate them into registering pain. The process is kind of a system to try preventing re-injury or continued injury of a damaged area.
All of the nerves that can register pain rely upon naturally produced chemicals in our bodies. Without these chemicals we could not feel pain. This is how pain medication works. The chemicals in the medication, in one form or another, block the body’s chemicals that allow the nervous system to pick up pain. Opioid drugs do just that, block the nervous system from feeling pain by inhibiting the chemical hormones of the body that allow the opiod receptors from transmitting pain to the brain.
It all comes down to the hormone production of the body’s endocrine system. Increased glutamate reduces pain register, which is one reason it is given to animals with arthritis. Serotonin levels dramatically drop in people just prior to a migraine fit. Prostaglandins are hormones that register pain and thus create feverish and inflammatory conditions.
A-Delta nerve fibers are responsible for picking up and carrying a style of pain known as “Sharp”. C-Fibers only carry other kinds of pain. In the science world of pain there are only 3 main kinds of which all pain is categorized under.
The sharp pain/fast pain includes all skin pain associations such as cuts, scrapes, abrasions, lacerations, splinters, rashes and the like. The A-Delta fibers quickly carry these types of sharp pain to the brain for identification. It allows for a type of first response reaction to quickly and specifically identify hazards that are attempting to more seriously harm the body.
The soreness and burning pains are carried by C-fibers and deal more with burns and inflammation. The C-fibers move pain sensory more slowly than A-delta fibers. The pain is slower to register and lasts longer than pain connected to A-delta fibers. The burning, sore pain ratios deal mostly with the skin and since they are slower to register they are harder to indentify exact locations.
The aching pain style also deals with the C-fibers, but work much deeper areas of the body like bone and organ. The pain is long lasting, can be excruciating, intolerable.
Interestingly both the A-delta fibers and the C-fibers can be activated during the same pain impulse which sends what is termed “Double Pain” sensations to the brain, so we can experience both a sharp pain and an aching pain at the same time.
The chemicals of Histamine, Endorphins, Globulin, Acetylcholine and Arachidonic Acid are all released upon the stimulation of pain. Epithelial receptors, Messner and Pacinian corpuscles are free nerve endings that sense pain in our bodies. No other nerve ending can sense pain.
Due to genetics some people have more free nerve endings than other people and also produce less of certain pain inhibiting chemicals, which allows them to feel more pain and thus deal with it less affectively in general. Redheads are one genetic line that falls into this category.
Now how does this help us understand how pain can accompany, support, intensify or diminish addictive behaviors? Pain is based upon nerves and chemicals in the body and the brain’s ability to register the unique communication pathways between them. If the brain does not develop properly in childhood because of extreme trauma then it can create interferences, enhancements and other imbalances within the make-up of those chemicals responsible for the identification of pain in the nervous system. The cortex of the brain can also develop in ways that does not seek to avoid pain, but rather run towards it so to speak.
If a child is abused over and over and the abuse is physically painful, their cortex may develop with the understanding that pain releases chemicals that can in small ways help free them from the pain and assist in dissociation. An intense euphoric state separates the consciousness from the body, removes the consciousness from feeling pain, sadness, misery, grief and the like. The overproduction of chemicals such as acetylcholine can also create a sort of invincibility to pain. What can occur in such cases is the brain develops in ways to dissociate from pain and move into a mental high. This can process could lead to addictions later in life when the physical pain stops. Stress in life can be more than enough to drive the grown child to seek that mental high, and this many times happens through addictions. The brain has been trained in that survival mechanism in childhood and later in life can fall back to that primal cycle because it found it was proven sets of techniques to cope.
In other cases an abused child or a child who lives through extreme trauma may end up producing such chemical releases from the intense and ongoing stress. The brain could do the same thing in using the chemical release as a survival instinct to dissociate so the mind and body do not breakdown.
Yet another scenario is an aggressive child could fight back against the trauma in physical ways, fighting, anger and whatnot. This in-turn can create painful situations compiled upon the original layers of extreme stress and pain. Their fighting back actions can bring about more production of those chemicals released during pain and create a sense of invincibility, competitive drive to win over their oppressors or yet another state of an almost euphoric dissociation through the extreme aggressive or competitive state.
No matter how we look at it or what circumstances may have occurred originally in childhood, each of them allows for an escape route based in primal survival instincts of the body to cope with the intensity of life. This imprints the brain and later in life under stress the brain can revert to using those previously imprinted survival tactics to once again cope with life’s challenges.
Smoking, gambling, sex, alcohol, fighting… they can all lead the cortex of the brain to various states of euphoria which helps the person dissociate from the challenges they do not want to face, the old traumas hidden deep within their minds.
With me it was fighting. When I was abused in childhood through regular and ongoing beatings, screaming, emotional and mental abuse, anger and rage I rose up to fight back. At first it was inside. I was far too young to physically fight back. I had no choice but to take the punishment and endure. This meant my body created pain inhibiting chemicals far more often than the average person. They would flood my nervous system and brain and help me dissociate from the situations. Once I started physically fighting back those same chemicals would release and take me into a kind of “high”. The pain I endured in fighting would only further stimulate the chemical release as well as allow me to dissociate into an emotional state of fighting the abusers of my younger childhood, both became a sort of release for me. The traumas were so deep and powerful I had not the tools at those young ages to deal with them and so the only way I knew how to relieve the constant mental and emotional turmoil was to fight and try attaining that high which would both help remove me from the pain and release my focus on the darkness of the past for a little while.
I was addicted so I fought and fought and fought until I was recruited into the S.O.E.S. training facility within the special operations group contained in the special activities division. From there my addiction was only enhanced, redirected and used against me and for the imbalanced purposes of others.
In my civilian life my addiction to fighting slowly drove away friends and alienated me from various blood family relations. To them it was all my fault and something they had no desire to help me with. Underneath they were not true friends at all and abandoned me to my misery I could not even come close to understanding. Only through years and years of struggle, pain, near death events, dark and filthy paths did I find people who knew how to help me help myself. People who genuinely cared.
Addictions come in all shapes and sizes. Some are blatant and others well disguised. And the primal survival instincts our body has evolved with in response to pain can be a big factor.
Once again I hope this helps whoever it needs to help in whatever way it may. To your peace of mind and heart.
Originally written - July 29th, 2015 by White Wolf
From my own experience with the severity of trauma is that a person adapts severe survival instincts and actions based upon the energy of the trauma. These actions and instincts are of course created of necessity in response to the continual life threatening and thus traumatic situations, especially in children who have not yet developed the brain capacity for logic and reason to in anyway successfully deal with the traumatic events. These new and enhanced instincts become part of the psyche and morph into whatever area of life the brain feels they are required. But this is from a brain that was deprived of a balanced experience set for proper development. Therefore the brain can develop a logic not based upon a “safe and normal” lifestyle, but rather a violent, dangerous and highly traumatic one.
In time these instincts and “odd logic” find they do not fit into a new and more peaceful life. However, since they are so deeply rooted in the primal areas of the brain, they do not just go away. When the cycles of reliving trauma rise from whatever triggering may have occurred, the old survival instincts also raise. But for some they no longer come out in the same format. One thing I taught on the island last weekend, I said everything we do not deal with gets sunk in the blackness of our depths. And in time under extreme pressure can mutate into something else. Sometimes these things will mutate into addictions and when they surface the suppressed energy will act out in the form of an addiction.
I have noticed the addiction many times in its own unique way mimics the trauma, which is the addictions origin. For example, and these are just possible examples of an addiction and their possible origin:
Now of course there is no one answer or right answer or cause for addictions. The reasons can be very simple or quite literally mind-boggling and complex. They can be from trauma, chemical imbalances, environmental conditions, genetic make-ups, simple childhood exposure, side-effects from prescription drugs and on and on and on the list goes.
The point is that addictions always have deeper underlying reasons and causes. They do not just pop out of nowhere for no reason. They can be a direct view of an underlying cause that is exactly the same; a father was a compulsive gambler and perhaps won a lot, the child sees this over and over and later in life adapts the habit. Or they can be very convoluted and dark based reasons; a child was sexually abused in cult style ritual fashions and not only endured abuse but brainwashing, torture and perhaps witnessed murder and so on. This deep and powerful trauma can split the personality and create new levels to endure new traumas of which create a labyrinth of complex spider web imbalances in personalities that can bleed in very direct or subtle ways throughout the individual’s life.
If you have an addiction or if you know someone who does, it is what lies beneath that is the issue; the addiction is only the superficial surface crying out for help. Some various ways one could go about exploring what is underneath can be found in my PTSD, living with the beast, a personal story e-book, basic techniques found in my first Transforming Addiction article and countless self help books easily available on-line. In-short, there is help everywhere IF you want it. Nobody can transform an addiction unless they want to. Some people can literally do it overnight and others may work with the healing process for many years, yet everyone is susceptible to relapses. Life can be stressful, disappointing, traumatic and the brain looks for ways to cope and the only solid resources it has to fall back on in times of severe stress are the primal ones created in childhood when the brain was still developing. This is why I find removing one’s self as much as possible from stress and lifestyles exposing one to high levels of stress are a vital part of successful healing and brain rewiring. It is very hard to heal and rewire the brain when the external situations continue to tug and dredge the subconscious into survival mode.
For me I have found helpful:
Again this is mainly for informational purposes, but I do hope people will be able to uses some of these things to assist them in successfully transforming their addictions and traumas into something more beneficially productive.
Originally written - July 27th, 2015 by White Wolf
When it comes to addictions and habits we all either deal with them in the present or have had to deal with them in our past. Perhaps some of you will find yourself having to deal with some in your future. Who knows. The point is that addictions and non-beneficial habits affect us all on one level or another. Some addictions, like smoking, affect not only ourselves, but others as well, and this is where addictions can become hazardous to people we care about.
I am not going to write a very long article about this but rather would like to get straight to the point. Addictions and non-beneficial habits destroy the people they control; sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly, but nevertheless they suck the life-force right out of the core and they do affect everyone in a person’s life.
Addiction to smoking, using drugs, drinking alcohol, over eating, excessive sex, video games and the list is literally endless because the possibilities are seemingly limitless. Just about anything can become an addiction or non-beneficial habit that degrades a person’s life. The question is what can we do about them.
Many people are out there suggesting and even preaching how affirmations can help “cure” addictions and habits. As to affirmations and working to shed yourself of addictions, you might first need to analyze:
Affirmations are not enough. It must be real, tangible, enjoyable and thus powerfully moving in order to overpower and change an addictive behavior. It is vital to remember that YOU are NOT your addiction or habit. You are far more. The addiction or habit is nothing more than a dirty film on the window, not the window itself. But the dirty film prevents us from seeing the beauty outside it and others from seeing the beauty inside. That dirty film tires our eyes from straining to see through it. It clouds our vision and perceptions. It confuses us and tires us out. To clean that dirt you need something physically powerful. Affirmations will not clean that dirty film. Affirmations might help you get motivated, but it must be a very physical action to actually clean the window. The same is true for cleaning ourselves of addictions.
Those are just some active ideas anyway. Perhaps you will find some assistance in them? I realize to some that may seem too vague, but for a process to truly work it must first be foundational and then it must be individually personalized to fit the uniqueness of the person and situation. One way never works for everyone. We must use the foundation to find our own way and do the personal work, with support if needs be, to truly make the desired changes.
You are far more and far stronger than your addictions and habits. Those things just try to trick you into thinking you are not. They try to manipulate you chemically by creating false and surface desires through the endocrine and nervous systems. This is why you need to always find something powerful to take the addictions place, something better, deeper and far more enriching and self empowering.
*** Addition ***
I will give you an example of something I had to get over and transform. Many of you who read my autobiography will know that I used to literally be addicted to exercise. I would exercise everyday for hours and the more intense the exercise was the better. Even if I was working 10 hours of hard labor and only getting 4 hours of sleep a night, I still had to exercise intensely for at least three hours, preferably four or even five.
If I did not exercise to such extremes I beat myself up inside telling myself how lazy I had been and all manner of other self degrading insults surrounding laziness. I judged others very harshly who did not or could not exercise as regularly and intensely as I did. I judged them just like I judged myself if I only put in three hours instead of four after working 10 hours in the blazing hot sun of July. I weighed in at 148-150 pounds and 7-9% body fat. If I reached 10 or 11% body fat it was unforgivable.
If I had cracked ribs or a chest wall contusion, I still had to exercise. If my arm was in a sling, I still had to exercise. If I let pain stop me, I was weak and pathetic. So I pushed through all pain and just kept going no matter the consequence.
Now this addiction was not the kind that was poisoning people around me or placing others in danger of say being killed because I was driving drunk. No, this addiction affected me more than others around me. It was eating me alive. Eventually the intensity of my exercise began to do far more harm to my body than benefit. My body began eating itself.
First I had to see that I was doing it. Then I had to accept that I was exercising too much and it was harming me. Once that very difficult process was accomplished I had to ask myself how the addiction made me feel on various levels of my being.
When I avoided exercise all of those feelings would reverse and I would feel terrible because my body and brain were addicted to the constant state of endorphins running through my system, playing down the deep and powerful pains of the years of physical, emotional and mental trauma.
When asking what various aspects would say about my addiction I would get:
So it was obvious the physical and emotional aspects were simply using the addiction to hide from the pain and distract me from dealing with it. The addiction also gave me a vent for the intensity of rage, anger and even wrath that stewed in my depths as a result of years of abuse and trauma. However, it kept me so bogged in the physical aspects, because otherwise I could not have physically continued the addiction, that I stole my connection to spiritual growth. So there was a very real conflict within me surrounding the addiction. The addiction was not helping me, but distracting and destroying me physically. All the while it was chemically fooling me from endorphin release into thinking I was the addicting behavior and needed it to life, to survive and to be “better”.
To wean off I had to find something to replace the addictive behavior. This was not easy, none of it was. It took many trial and errors. It took a combination of trying to accept and resolve the deeper emotional and mental traumas, work with the physical traumas and start taking the time again to tap into my spiritual nature. All the while I needed to continue searching for very real physical actions to successfully replace the need for the exercise addiction.
I looked into art, meditation, sex, reading, writing, traveling, and on and on the list went, but none of it could take the addictions place. Eventually life made the choice that I needed to be forced. I was poisoned by people trying to kill me and my family. It was through the long agonizing recovery that the addiction had to break because my body just simply could not do it any longer. In the face of that absolute I was forced to figure it out. Eventually I found it right under my nose, my wife and son. This branched off into helping others as best as I could through my experiences. Being in the wilderness and spending almost all of my time right next to it and even surrounded by it (living in a place where there was little in the way of separation from its physical aspect) was the other precious key. Together this trio of energies, very real energies did the trick and the addiction was transformed into more beneficial and productive avenues that unified body, mind, emotion and spirit.
But even today I need to keep a cross-check to make sure I do not fall back into the old addiction through the old mental conditioning. Today I am 165 and 14-15% body fat, which is pretty darn good for a 6 foot, 43 year old male (at the writing of this article) whose body and mind have been through hell and has adrenal fatigue, nerve damage, being poisoned which is still affecting my organs today, and many other issues. Even so, there are days when stress tries to uncover the lid of the old addiction. Then I need to stop, remind myself of all of the above and refocus to the reality of my life and surroundings and the urge disappears quickly. In other words I control it and it does not control me.
Anyway, that is a real example for you based upon something in my own life.