Read-view: Way of the Peaceful Warrior

A Book that Changes Lives

By: Dan Millman

The book says it would change lives, but I don’t think it changed mine.

Here’s why…

  • Way of the Peaceful Warrior is a real-life story of a world-champion athlete, Dan Millman, the author himself. He spoke about his spiritual journey and his search for true happiness.
  • The author describes his close relationship with his friend Socrates and how they develop a teacher-student relationship where trust and loyalty existed between them.
  • The story is partly fictional and partly autobiographical; hence it was written as a novel.
  • The author incorporated some made-up events, which made me agonise over the validity of the story and regarded that such events were real.
  • The author didn’t say why Socrates was given a job to educate him to be a warrior. I struggled to believe that out of the billions of people here on earth, he was hand-picked by some unknown universal power to learn about the ways and life of a warrior.
  • There were some excellent passages in the story that I genuinely love. Still, I found it very difficult to put my faith into those teachings. First, it only tells you what to do, but it never tells you how to do it. Second, I believe that to apply it to your life, you will need someone to give more detailed information and perhaps dig deeper into the meaning of those passages. Reading it alone would not help that much.

The story goes into astonishing levels of details and unnecessary amount of information.

The ending of the story was not something I anticipated. I was expecting for that BIG ending – the big lesson in life like the ultimate discovery of true happiness.

I was hoping for something I could take with me as a gift of enlightenment or searching for my soul to find my true calling. But I guess, this book is only for pure entertainment, and not a “How-to” manual.

And yes, I believe that Socrates was real. He was a living, breathing human being who suffered from a heart attack. 

And no, I don’t believe that he had some kind of magic or mystical power. I am not convinced that he can transport himself to different places and can read and manipulate your mind. I am not convinced either that he glows and can make himself disappear without a trace, which by the way, it seemed like it did not bother the author.

It seemed odd too that Joy (or Joyce) was also part of Socrates mystical adventure. Through his intervention, she met Dan. And then he sent her to “dreamland”, made her disappear and re-appear again and then back into Dan’s real world and then get married.

It would have been a nice fiction-fantasy story if it was intended to entertain. If the purpose of the story is to help change lives as initially claimed, then a real and accurate account of every event would perhaps speak highly for the integrity of the story.

You may and may not agree with me, and I would love to know your thoughts on this book.

All in all, there was some light humour that put a smile on my face.

So, next time you stop at the gas station, watch out for an old man with shiny hair. You never know, you could be his next student.

Till next time, enjoy the pleasures of life.


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