Roy Mankovitz, in his letter to the editor, stated “that the world is weary of warriors and that our nurturing and compassionate side has been buried under our warrior driven society.” [“World Weary of Warriors,” 3/26/09,]

While I concur with Ray that the modern template for the warrior is now extremely dangerous to both civilization and the natural world, the “virtuous” warrior archetype is an integral aspect of the authentic masculine.

Within every indigenous culture, boys underwent a rigorous mentoring process. This rite of passage was universally understood as an essential foundation in our evolution from childhood innocence to the flowing knowledge and wisdom of becoming a man.

Unfortunately, the young warriors of today have been shaped by politics, economics, and power, rather than by sustainability and the unbroken wisdom traditions of the tribe as shared through ritual and story.

Here, it is worth noting that in our own community, the seeding of the “new” warrior is going strong. The Mankind Project of Santa Barbara, Boys To Men Mentoring Network, and the Wilderness Youth Project are three incredible local organizations worth doing a Google search on.

Also, this calendar month of April, with the discussions on Joseph Campbell, the UCSB Arts and Lectures talk with Robert Thurman, and the Granada Theatre evening with poet/author Robert Bly, we will be having fantastic opportunities to better understand the warrior of the heart, now beginning to stir within us all. – Ken Cohen


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