This series of battles and enumeration of them concludes with the battle of the seer. Knowledge is a trap as much as any other stage of growth and development. Knowledge can become so specialized that it traps the attention in itself. Also knowledge is not the same as information. We have great people who spend their whole lives gathering information and perfecting the information that they have. Yet knowledge is the connective glue that holds it together. Knowledge is the wisdom to act upon that information with correct timing. And yet it is a trap for that is why we battle with knowledge as spiritual warriors. We must remain fluid and open through our knowledge.
Recently I read that knowledge for a spiritual warrior is not the ability to define and link with words ideas and things together… it is the ability feel, perceive and to act upon the silence at the center of all awareness. This is a great definition for the perfection of knowledge for it begs the next step of the spiritual warrior… a step that walks us through the rest of life, seeing.
When I use the word seeing and even seer, I do not mean a visual point of perception. The trick of the spiritual warrior/person of knowledge is to recognize that words always fall short of the direct energies and awareness we are experiencing or trying to describe. Seeing is a direct connection to the universe as it is. IT may manifest as a feeling, a sound, a touch, a thought…. But what it lacks is self reflection, the voice of ration and distraction… it is a direct knowing and perceiving.
Therein is the battle of the seer… The seer lives a life of constant practice; lives a life of constant movement; lives a life of constant awe… The seer never let’s down his practice… The seer can never just sit and say, “I have made it and now I can relax.” Spiritual awareness and warrior-ship moves all the way through life up to and including the moment of death. Awe, the complete and total union with mystery is the final and liberating practice of a spiritual warrior… the artist as seer. Because the seer is vigilant and disciplined, they are always turning away or turning around the energies associated with giving up in the face of the awesome wonder and magic of the universe. They dance…. They remain young in the face of aging. They laugh easily and lightly….
The greatest battle the seer has is in watching, looking around, sharing with those around them and knowing without a doubt that we are all on this path of awe. The seer offers nothing unless asked. The seer does not try to fix or tell another person what is right or wrong. Knowing, as they act, they could not assume their answer is the right one for another’s path. The seer’s battle is engaged detachment. The seer sees so easily the necessities of failure; the young one who needs to fall to stand up. The seer supports and encourages all of life by allowing it to discover itself. The seer may point towards something amazing, but would never shove someone through it to confront it. This practice in and of itself is the hardest part of the depth and breadth of awareness. Its efficacy sits in the middle of awe.
Seers shine bright in our culture, but need not be followed. Seers are people in the world but not of the world… for they have recapitulated that link. They are of the energy of creation and the whole of the universe. When they step out of life, they are at peace with everything and everyone. It is as if they leave no mark at all, but laughter resounding in the wind.
A side note… When I learned this as a pup, I was completely unaware of the power of awareness that comes in practicing the four battles. They are related to the wheel of life. Anyone can walk the wheel with awareness. We all walk the wheel of life. The first battle, fear, is in the south. It is the battle of growing up and maturing into a young adult. Many, most, are still trapped here. The battle of clarity is in the west on the wheel and is characterized by the young adult maturing their walk and life with diligence… like getting a bachelor’s degree in life itself with all the stories. The battle of knowledge is later adulthood, associated with the north when we become masters of our lives. The battle of the seer (artist) is in the east and is the part of life that leads us into old age… We leap like eagles into the next moment. The other directions are also connected to specific animals as well.
Now it would be easy to say, I am a seer, but it takes time and discipline. It is easy to say that we have become X and knowledgeable about something, and this may be true… but not actually be finished with the battle of knowledge… What is important is to have the humility of age… This does not mean that all elders are in the battle of the seer/artist… they may never have left fear… nor does it mean that we are fully in one stage at a time… we may be in two or three. Not until all the necessary work and energy of our lives has moved completely into a stage of life can we say we have finished that previous period. And even then, we may need to revisit the previous to pull some more of our energy forward.
It takes a lot to take full control of the engine of our lives. There is so much set against us, that we are told we cannot do… especially freedom. We are free, yet everywhere we choose the chains of life and being. It is a journey, not a destination… but when we journey, we eventually learn we are not just in charge of the engine, but in how we create the tracks going forward from this moment…