To Fight Or Not To Fight
It was a foregone conclusion. Everyone knew the pipeline would be built no matter what they did, but they did it anyway. Lit the fire. Camped in freezing temperatures. Put themselves at the mercy of a hostile police force, which sent dozens of their most vulnerable to the hospital; filed injunctions, motions and lawsuits in courts that have ignored their rights for centuries. They’ve marched in the capital of a government whose agents have, time and again, found excuses to dispossess them of land and resources in a relentless campaign of ethnic cleansing.
They did it because that is the warrior’s way. A warrior does not fight to win or lose. A warrior fights a battle only because it is his path. There is no glory or humiliation in the life of a warrior. Victory is not the result of his actions. Like defeat, victory is only a concept conjured up in the minds of those who are not warriors.
A Soldier craves recognition and avoids defeat because it is only through declarations of victory or medal ceremonies that he can say to others that his lifetime of following orders was worth it. But wherever he finds his end, whether it is through a mortar shell or of natural causes, he will know in his heart it was not.
For the soldier, nothing is wondrous because nothing can be left to chance. For the warrior, everything is left to chance and so everything is wondrous.
Breaking The Fossilized Mind
The Army Corps of Engineers is an institution of soldiers who follow the orders of the White House, currently inhabited by the least wondrous of creatures. The 45th President of the United States, who gave the CEO of one of the world’s largest oil companies the power to create foreign policy, is unlikely to pursue a new energy policy domestically. The final easement for the Dakota Access pipeline was granted by the Army Corps within days of Trump taking office and construction is set to begin next month.
But these developments will not discourage the warrior. There are over 90 pipelines transporting oil and natural gas in the U.S. Before the NoDAPL movement, who knew the name or location of any of those pipelines? Who was aware of the risk posed to native and every other population that lives in close proximity to one? The answer is very few of us knew.
The warrior has achieved a magical feat. He has climbed up into the fabric of our collective unconscious and ripped a hole through it. He has fashioned a window in our house of cognitive dissonance so that we can see beyond our own cloistered existences and recognize the genocidal dangers inherent in the propagation of the fossil fuel energy paradigm.
Freedom Of Choice
Our eyes cannot be averted as we stand at the threshold of a conflict between those who serve their king against those who serve their heart. If you are waiting for the next directive to slide down the chain of command, there’s no need to take a sides or engage your spirit in any way. If you already know what you have to do without anyone telling you, then you can count yourself among the living.
Soldiers are extensions of policies and interests beyond their pay grade or understanding. Warriors are masters of their will and face life in full awareness about their impact on their surroundings. Only one of them acts in freedom, while the other is told he fights for freedom. The difference is as stark, yet as subtle as that between a park and a cemetery. Children can be found in both. Where will you find yours?