Only the idea of death makes a warrior sufficiently detached so that he is capable of abandoning himself to anything. He knows his death is stalking him and won’t give him time to cling to anything so he tries, without craving, all of everything.
All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. However, a path without a heart is never enjoyable. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy—it does not make a warrior work at liking it; it makes for a joyful journey; as long as a man follows it, he is one with it.
Carlos Castaneda (1931 -)
Source: The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
For a warrior, to be inaccessible means that he touches the world around him sparingly. And above all, he deliberately avoids exhausting himself and others. He doesn’t use and squeeze people until they have shriveled to nothing, especially the people he loves.
If his spirit is distorted he should simply fix it—purge it, make it perfect—because there is no other task in our entire lives which is more worthwhile…To seek the perfection of the warrior’s spirit is the only task worthy of our temporariness, our manhood.
Once a man worries, he clings to anything out of desperation; and once he clings he is bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whomever or whatever he is clinging to. A warrior-hunter, on the other hand, knows he will lure game into his traps over and over again, so he doesn’t worry.
A warrior-hunter knows that his death is waiting, and the very act he is performing now may well be his last battle on earth. He calls it a battle because it is a struggle. Most people move from act to act without any struggle or thought. A warrior-hunter, on the contrary, assesses every act; and since he has intimate knowledge of his death, he proceeds judiciously, as if every act were his last battle. Only a fool would fail to notice advantage a warrior-hunter has over his fellow men. A warrior-hunter gives his last battle its due respect. It’s only natural that his last act on earth should be the best of himself. It’s pleasurable that way. It dulls the edge of his fright.
Death is our eternal companion. It is always to our left, an arm’s length behind us. Death is the only wise adviser that a warrior has. Whenever he feels that everything is going wrong and he’s about to be annihilated, he can turn to his death and ask if that is so. His death will tell him that he is wrong, that nothing really matters outside its touch. His death will tell him, ‘I haven’t touched you yet.’