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Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives Paperback – April 13, 2006
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During his junior year at the University of California, Dan Millman first stumbled upon his mentor (nicknamed Socrates) at an all-night gas station. At the time, Millman hoped to become a world-champion gymnast. "To survive the lessons ahead, you're going to need far more energy than ever before," Socrates warned him that night. "You must cleanse your body of tension, free your mind of stagnant knowledge, and open your heart to the energy of true emotion." From there, the unpredictable Socrates proceeded to teach Millman the "way of the peaceful warrior." At first Socrates shattered every preconceived notion that Millman had about academics, athletics, and achievement. But eventually Millman stopped resisting the lessons, and began to try on a whole new ideology--one that valued being conscious over being smart, and strength in spirit over strength in body. Although the character of the cigarette-smoking Socrates seems like a fictional, modern-day Merlin, Millman asserts that he is based on an actual person. Certain male readers especially appreciate the coming-of-age theme, the haunting love story with the elusive woman Joy, and the challenging of Western beliefs about masculine power and success. --Gail Hudson
"This book is so appealing," commented Virginia Satir, "because it provides an easy access for people to naturally identify, connect and be in touch with the spiritual part of themselves."
Indeed, Way of the Peaceful Warrior does just that with its piercing truths, lively narrative and humorous wisdom. Like Castaneda, it enables the reader to reflect on the deepest questions of life. Yet unlike Don Juan, it spotlights the path to a happy, uncomplicated life without dependency on drugs.
Told with drama and insight, the novel revolves around Dan, a world champion gymnast and student at the University of California at Berkeley. The story begins when Dan meets his powerful 96-year-old mentor Socrates, an all-night gas station attendant.
Guided by this wise old mentor and tempted by an elusive and playful woman named Joy, Dan journeys through everyday reality and metaphysical realms. He travels the paths of flesh and spirit, romance and terror, light and darkness, laughter and magic, learning new ways to see the world and live life fully.
Thematically, this tale of the eternal human quest for the meaning of life is the path of transformation and enlightenment. It uncovers concepts known deep inside but really allowed to wake up and be content with this knowledge. There is no need to search, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One - and the only laws are paradox, humor and change.
After reading Way of the Peaceful Warrior don't tuck it away on a bookshelf to gather dust. Keep it close at hand, and recapture guidance from many of the metaphors sprinkled throughout the story. The secret of happiness, Socrates so aptly points out, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less. -- Association for Humanistic Psychology Newsletter, July, 1984
Remarkably wise, provocatively humorous, and hauntingly beautiful. It may even change the lives of many who peruse its pages. -- Dr. Stanley Krippner
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Top customer reviews
The author (Dan Millman) relates a personal mystical experience and a meeting with a man who Dan calls Socrates or Soc for short. Dan is in college at the time and is also world champion gymnast athlete and one night when he could not sleep he wound up at a small all-night gas station. This is where he meets a man working the night shift who becomes his philosophical and spiritual mentor.
The unique and original approaches to learning about what is really important in life are the lessons Dan is taught in sometimes subtle and unusual ways. The numerous conversations and feedback between Dan and Socrates makes this 217 page soft cover an interesting read. I had heard about this book some time ago but did not read it until recently. There also was a movie made based upon this book.
This book is organized into three books. Book one covers “the winds of change.” Book two is about “the warrior’s training.” The final book (3) is about the final search and the gate opens. There is also information about the movie being made from the book.
Even though I enjoyed reading this book I have some disagreements with some of the esoteric approaches in this book; nevertheless, I felt it was good enough to give 5 stars.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Zen Poetry Moments: Haiku and Senryu for special occasions).
Wish more people would read this book, on a regular basis I think of myself in the shoes of the main character in the book and try to develop my mindset to be more in control and positive of the situation.
It has lots of moments that are pop culture and pop psychology but those are overshadowed by the powerful presentation of the concepts and the moments of valuable story-telling.
A good, formidable, worthwhile read, especially if you're the kind of person who likes to play at reflection and 'light' philosophy.
Not a real quote but it capture my feeling: "And then I married this girl and we had a daughter and it didn't work out so we separated". That's how the writing is in the last 1/3 of this book. Very disappointing.
And regarding the spiritual premise. Some of it I really did like, includinf the last given advice/insight, but a lot of it is very shallow and cliche. Many of the insights that the hero receives are simply due to his teacher'a magic powers. This is like a plot hack. No events in real life were needed for character to attain profound insight. So I was left wanting.
I know this is a rant. And it is such purely because of the dramatic decrease in writing level in the last part of the book. It left me annoyed and disappointed.
I don't recommend this book.
I would suggest instead to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed for a good example of hard earned, real life based insight into how the journey of life works.
And if you are interested in Buddhism or other spiritual stuff, there are amazing non-fiction out there.
I'd suggest What The Buddha Taught as the book to start with.