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Five more lessons from Peaceful Warrior

As I wrote in my previous article on Peaceful Warrior and the lessons from it, I watch this movie quite often. It tend to dissolve my doubts and questions and give me a new insight every time I watch it. And there is a lot more to learn from this movie than what I wrote in that article. Hence in this article I am penning down five more lessons to be learnt from it.

Knowledge and Wisdom

One of the most important phrases in Peaceful Warrior is “Knowledge is knowing, wisdom is doing it“. It highlights that knowledge and wisdom are not the same. We might have all the knowledge in the world, but it is only worth if we apply it in the real world. And that is wisdom. Most of us know exercising is good for health, smoking is bad for health, and so on. But how many of us apply this knowledge into actions. We can learn and gather knowledge, but the same is not true for wisdom. Wisdom is for the soul whereas knowledge is for the mind.

Be Here, and experience This Moment fully NOW

Be Here, and experience this Moment fully NOW

Learn to Meditate in Every Action

This movie depicts that a Peaceful Warrior learns to meditate in every action of his day to day life. Meditation is not really about going to the Himalayas and sitting in peace but learning to fully experience each and every moment of our busy and turbulent lives. Meditating in this way helps us to slow down the pace of our life while being able to fully experience the love and joy in the smallest of things, like the sound of birds, the different smells around us, or the different people we see.

Not knowing is a Great Realization

In the movie, Nick Nolte says that not knowing is a great realization. It is a very ambiguous statement but at the same time, very powerful. There will be times in our lives when we will not know what is happening or which direction our life is heading. This ‘not knowing‘ phase is perfectly ok to be in, and it is during this phase that we often make great discoveries about our life and its purpose. There is a popular quote by Joseph Campbell which sums up this point wonderfully well, “You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”

Live and Decide Consciously 

Many of the times, we live on auto-pilot. We normally take our decisions based on some set rules or customs and rarely use our rational mind. We must always be conscious about our choices and then responsible for the consequences. We are very good at taking a decision because of the norm and then blaming the norms when things didn’t go well. When we take a decision, we must be brave enough to own its outcomes, both positive or negative. And we must really strive to make each decision we take our ‘own‘.

Life is a Mystery, Dont Waste Time Trying to Figure it Out

Nick Nolte says in the movie, “The mind is just a reflex organ. It reacts to everything. Fills your head with millions of random thoughts a day. None of those thoughts reveal any more about you than a freckle does at the end of your nose.” It might look like a simple statement, but it has a very deep message too. That we are not our thoughts. Our mind is always filled with guilt about some past mistake, blame for others or just worries about the past or the future. But realizing that this is not us but only a function of our mind can give all of us freedom.

Now that I look at what I have written, I think I can write down even five more lessons (or words of insight) from this movie. But I will leave it to another time and article. You will certainly have to watch this movie multiple times to discover the different hidden messages in the words of Nick Nolte. Everytime I watch it, I get something new based on what my mindset and life situation is at that time.

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  1. 1) Konwledge & Wisdom: It’s a great Indian teaching by Chanakya long ago – “Pustakastha tu ja vidya / parahasta gatang dhanam / karja kale samutpanya / nasa vidya nata dhanam” (unless put to practice knowledge acquired in books equals to monies kept in somebody’s custody – none of these work in crisis).
    2) Not knowing is a great realization: It’s good to the extent of not giving up fighting against the odds.
    3) Live and Decide Consciously: Yes, it’s very true. Life led without careful thoughts is like driving a car without brakes.
    4) Life is a Mystery, Dont Waste Time Trying to Figure it Out: The mind is just not a reflex organ – it’s far more than that. Our Indian heritage has innumerable examples of the same. The seed you sow, so you reap – so goes an adage.