Monday, July 11, 2011

Peaceful Warrior

Peaceful warrior is a 2006 movie about a talented but troubled gymnast who meets a spiritual guide. I really enjoyed this movie, well at least those parts of the movie that show the meeting of the gymnast (Dan Millman, played by Scott Mechlowicz) and the spiritual guide ( Socrates, played by Nick Nolte).

Anyone who has been exposed to spirituality,  and enjoys reading, listening to it will definitely love it. It is quite close to that. Here I am going to write about the meetings and the dialogues between Dan and Socrates.

* Warning- Spoilers ahead. For those who have not seen the movie

The movie also mentions that it is inspired by true events. I have also underlined some of the lines that I really liked and felt it to be very true.

The movie starts showing a gymnast- Dan performing. As he lands on his feet, suddenly his right leg completely shatters and breaks into many pieces as if it is made of wood or some other material. He falls down and is in agony. Others rush towards him and suddenly he sees that someone is sweeping  the pieces of his broken leg  and he notices that the shoes of the sweeper (janitor) are strange. One seems to be new and the other old and at that moment he wakes up from the dream. Thus, being shaken up and unable to sleep, he decides to go out jogging. On the way, he sees a car service station and decides to go in and have something to eat and drink. There he sees that the person at the service station has the same shoes he had seen in his dream-  one new and the other old. He goes out and the man comes out and sits on a chair. After a couple of seconds Dan again turns around but this time, the man- Socrates (as he calls him later) is on the top of the roof! Dan is shocked and asks him about it, but Socrates doesn't reply and Dan leaves bewildered. He comes later on a bike.

Socrates- Help you with something? 

Dan- You can tell me how you did it. 

Socrates- You like things explained. Don't you? 

Dan- Look. That roof's gotta be at least 10, maybe 12 feet high. No human can make a vertical leap over four or five feet, tops. I know. I'm a gymnast. Toughest men's sport in the world. Most people don't know that.

Socrates- The Spartans of ancient Greece were gymnasts, too. They vaulted over bulls. Trained their elite warriors that way. Did you know that?

Dan- I know more than you think.
Socrates- And you think more than you know. But knowledge is not the same as wisdom. 

Dan- Yeah? What's the difference? 

Socrates- You know how to clean a windshield, right? 

Dan- Yeah. 

Socrates- Wisdom is doing it. 
Dan- I train seven days a week, 50 weeks out of the year. 

Socrates- Why so much? 
Dan- Are you serious? I am a heartbeat away from qualifying. 

Socrates- Qualifying for what?

Dan- You watch the Olympics?

Socrates- No. 
Dan-  Look, even as good as I am, I gotta do everything I can to make sure that I qualify. 
Socrates- There's a lot you'd have to know before you could understand what you saw. 

Dan-  Go. Ask me. Ask me something. Ask me anything. 

Socrates- Are you happy? You said I could ask you anything.

Dan-  What does happy have to do with anything?

Socrates- Everything.

Dan-  My dad's got plenty of cash, school's kind of a breeze, I get straight A's. I got great friends, I'm in great shape, and I only sleep alone when I absolutely want to.

Socrates- So why can't you sleep at night? Yesterday, you came here at 3:00 a. m. Now, tonight. That's two nights in a row.

Dan-  What are you? Some kind of a Quickie Mart philosopher or something like that?

Socrates- You need some philosophy?

Dan-  No, thanks, Socrates. I get enough at school.

Socrates- Last question. If you don't make the Olympic team, what will you do?

Dan-  If I don't what?

Socrates- You must have thought about it.

Dan-  What the hell are you talking about?

Socrates- What's the problem?

Dan-  I don't even know what I'm doing here. You're a freak. And I don't need you freaking me out.

Later Dan sees Socrates in his room for a flash....troubled, he again goes at night to meet him.

Socrates- What's the matter?  Couldn't sleep again? 

Dan-  What would you say if I told you that I keep seeing those shoes in a dream I keep having?

Socrates- I'd say maybe you're still asleep. You can live a whole lifetime without ever being awake.

Dan-  Hey, Socrates. If you know so much, how come you're working at a gas station?

Socrates- This is a service station. We offer service. There's no higher purpose.

Dan-  Than pumping gas? 

Socrates- Service to others. 

Later Dan and Socrates are at the table eating. 

Socrates-  Slow down. You might taste something. 

Dan- You sure got a lot of rules about stuff, don't you?

Socrates- Not rules. Things I've learned from my own life experience. That's why I'd say your eating is sloppy.

Dan- Who cares? 
Socrates-  You do. That's the difference between us, Dan. You practice gymnastics. I practice everything. If I was your trainer, no meat. 

Dan- Seriously? 
Socrates-  None. 

Dan- I could probably handle that.

Socrates- No TV, no alcohol, no drugs and no sex.

Dan- And that's why I'm glad you're not my trainer.

Socrates- So, this diet and your training are making you all you can be?

Dan- Absolutely.

Socrates- So, how long can you stand like this? (Knees bent as if sitting in a chair and hands outstretched)

Dan- Name it.

Socrates- Five minutes. On the table. 
Dan- Done. 

Socrates- You move so much as a muscle, and I get to call you Jack for the rest of the night.

Dan- Jack? 

Socrates- Short for jackass.

Dan can't do it and falls down after some time...

Socrates- (To a man whose car he was servicing) - My son, Jack.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Socrates- Everyone tells you what to do and what's good for you. They don't want you to find your own answers. They want you to believe theirs.

Dan- And let me guess. You want me to believe yours.

Socrates- No. I want you to stop gathering information from outside yourself and start gathering it from the inside.

Dan- What are you, part of some cult or something? 

Socrates- People are afraid of what's inside, and that's the only place they're ever gonna find what they need. Why can't you sleep? Is it because, maybe, late at night, when all the noise dies down and you're lying there in the bed, and there's nobody around but you, then, maybe, you get a little scared? Scared because suddenly everything feels so empty. You tell me you want to be more than just someone who gets up on those rings and performs a well-practiced stunt or two. You tell me you want to be someone who uses his mind and his body in ways that most people would never have the courage to, and I will train you, Dan, to be a real warrior. 

Dan- Sometimes, I don't like myself very much. My first thought was about how maybe Kyle's fall could work out for me.

Socrates- People are not their thoughts. They think they are and it brings them all kinds of sadness. Toss me that wrench.

Dan- I'm not what I think?

Socrates- Of course not. ( Dan throws it when Socrates is not looking, but still he catches it with ease!) The five-eighths. (This time Dan throws it wider and again he catches it without even looking) The mind is just a reflex organ. It reacts to everything. Fills your head with millions of random thoughts a day. None of those thoughts reveal any more about you than a freckle does at the end of your nose. (Now Socrates throws it back at him, but Dan misses the simple throw trying to grab at it while catching) Take a swing at me. 
Dan- What? (Socrates slaps him) What are you doing? 

Socrates- Come on. 10 bucks if you can slap me on the cheek. (Again slaps Dan) Come on. Take a shot.

Dan- Knock it off, man. I don't want to hit you.

Socrates- You don't want to hit me? (Slaps him again, harder)

Dan- I don't want to hurt you.

Socrates- I guess I'll just have to keep slapping you then. (Socrates moves his hand to slap Dan who catches hold of it and tries to hit Socrates who in turn uses Dan's own force to push him and he falls on the ground) Did you notice how the right leverage can be very effective? What if I were to tell you that's what your training, even your life, is about? Developing the wisdom to apply the right leverage in the right place, at the right time. Take out the trash. 
Dan- You take out the trash.

Socrates- The trash is up here. (Pointing to Dan's head) That's the first part of your training, learning to throw out everything you don't need in here.

Dan- How? 

Socrates- Meet me tomorrow on campus. Strawberry Creek bridge.

Next day......
Dan- Soc! Soc! Listen. I totally forgot about this. Now, I got this thing at the gym. It's pretty important. Can we make this quick?

Socrates- Sure. (He pushes Dan off the bridge and into the river and walks off)

Dan- Hey! Hey! I'm talking to you. What the hell is wrong with you? 

Socrates- You said you were in a hurry. 

Dan- So you pushed me off the bridge? 

Socrates- I emptied your mind. 

Dan- You what? 

Socrates- I emptied... 

Dan- No, you didn't. You threw me into the river.

Socrates- And while you were falling, tell me, Dan, what were you thinking of?

Dan- I don't know!

Socrates- Were you thinking about school? 

Dan- No! 

Socrates- Grocery shopping?

Dan-  No! 

Socrates- This thing you had to hurry off to?

Dan- No! I was... 

Socrates- The present. Devoted 100% to the experience you were having. You even had a word for it. Aaaaaaaa!

Dan- You're out of your mind. You know that?

Socrates- It's taken a lifetime of practice. We want you out of your mind, too, Dan.

Dan- What is that you do? Some kind of martial arts move? I didn't see it coming. 
Socrates- You weren't paying attention. Even now you're not. Your mind's filling up again. You're missing out on everything that's going on. 

Dan- There's nothing going on. (At this point Socrates grabs Dan's shoulder from behind and Dan sees everything happening in slow motion and very vividly. He sees a group of people laughing, observes their full facial expressions, a woman throwing a frisbee to a dog, notices the bright color of the frisbee, the dog jumping and catching it mid air and running back, its whimpering and its tongue licking its nose, a man reading a book, turning the page and hears the crisp sound it makes, an insect- beetle walking over a leaf and the scratchy noise it makes, two lovers kissing and he hears their breathing too...All this in slow motion and very vividly and then he comes back to normal.)

Socrates- There's never nothing going on. Take out the trash, Dan. The trash is anything that is keeping you from the only thing that matters, this moment. Here. Now. And when you truly are in the here and now, you'll be amazed at what you can do and how well you can do it.



Dan-  Soc! Hot damn! I wish you could've been there. You would've loved it! I used your trick. I used your mind trick and it worked. It totally worked. I was awesome. 

Socrates- It's not a trick. 

Dan- Yeah, well, whatever it is, I used it. I took out the trash, and I mean Trev? Trev's the one guy I'm always going up against. You should have seen me. I demolished the guy. You know, I wasn't worried about what did happen, or what might happen, what could happen. I just got up there and I cleared my mind. And I was flawless. Listen, I'm jumping in with both feet. All right? Whatever you tell me to do, I'm gonna do. No beer, no meat, no girls, no problem. 

Socrates- How long did you stay that way, clear and flawless? "I demolished that guy. You should have seen me. " You're in the past. Gloating. You're not in the now, living. You haven't learned anything. Go home. Training's over for tonight.

Dan- Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

Socrates-  Go home, I said.

Dan goes outside but waits and follows Socrates in the morning......Socrates goes straight to the place where Dan trains everyday....Dan enters behind him and sees that he is sitting high up...

Socrates- Hey, Dan. 

Dan-  Why do we have to be all the way up here, where we could kill ourselves? 

Socrates- I was hoping you could tell me. 

Dan- They're talking, but their lips aren't moving. Am I reading their minds? ( They can hear all of them thinking different things)

Socrates- Maybe you just never really listened to them before. 

Dan-  You gotta be doing this. Otherwise I'm losing my mind. 

Socrates- Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you come to your senses. 
(Just then they see from above that Dan is walking in to join the others in practice. He also looks up at them once and on this, the Dan sitting above who is leaning in to take a good look at this 'Dan', falls down. It is then seen that he fell down in Socrates' service station only.....he had been there itself all this time)

Socrates- Go home, I said. 

Dan-  What did you just do to me? 

Socrates- You have to be strong if you're gonna do this, Dan. 

Dan-  What did you do? 

Socrates- Where I'm gonna take you, some of the things I'm gonna show you, you're gonna need strength. And you're gonna need to trust me. 

Socrates- How we doing tonight? 

Dan-  How am I doing? I'm tired, I'm hungry and I'm horny. How are you doing? I need some answers tonight. I need to know that this... That this is all going somewhere, and I need to know it right now. I mean, what kind of a warrior trains by sitting around scrubbing toilets? 

Socrates- When you become a warrior, you learn to meditate in every action. 

Dan-  Scrubbing toilets? 

Socrates- Letting go of attachments. Like your pride. Giving up your addictions. 

Dan-  Yeah, name one thing I'm addicted to. 

Socrates- Talking. Especially interrupting. Knowing everything, when in fact you know nothing. 

Dan-  You really think that this is going to expand my awareness of anything? My game is off! My coach probably thinks that I'm on drugs, and I'm thinking... I just don't have any more time for you right now. 

Socrates- All you have is right now, Jack. 

Dan-   Did you just call me a jackass again? 'Cause, you know, I'm really starting to wonder how someone with the life that you've managed to put together can teach me anything. I mean, are you really happy? Maybe you're just a case of someone who, not having made much of themselves, says that the world is lost and all these things don't matter. Be happy with less, right? Less than what? Less than nothing? 

Socrates- I call you a jackass when you act like a jackass. Like now, Dan, when you're letting your emotions control you. 

Dan-  This isn't emotion! This is common sense! You know what? Let me tell you something, whatever your name really is. When I get what I want, I'll be happy. For real and forever and anything else I say it'll be. 'Cause I will make it happen. 

After this, Dan goes back to his old lifestyle. One day while going fast on his bike, he has an accident and breaks his right leg and ends up in hospital where they have to insert a metal rod in his leg.)
Later he goes to visit Socrates who is trying to start a car, Dan sits in the driver's seat and gives the ignition to try and start it

Socrates- Go. Again. (The car doesn't start)

Dan-   I don't know what to do now. 

Socrates- First realization of a warrior. 

Dan-  What is? 

Socrates- Not knowing. 

Dan-  What's happening to me? I don't cry. 

Socrates- Apparently, you do. 

Dan-  It's embarrassing. 

Socrates- Emotions are natural, like the passing weather. 

Dan-  What do you do if you can't do what you were born to? 

Socrates- Everything has a purpose, Dan, even this. And it's up to you to find it. 
Go.(He gives the ignition and car starts)  
Your training can now move to a new arena, an arena where you find your answers from within. That old Plymouth. Sit on it till you have something of value to tell me. 

Dan-  That's it? 

Socrates- I don't hear from you until you have an insight worth sharing. 

Dan-  That's all? 

Dan-  Anger, hatred, violence, they're really all just fear. 

Dan-  Fear, then, not money, is the root of all evil. 

Dan-  Chaos Theory is correct except that chaos is actually not chaotic at all but perfectly controlled. 

Dan-  If you lend somebody $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it. 

Dan-  When making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you must first apply the peanut butter, not the jelly, to the bottom half of the bread. 

Dan-  The people that are the hardest to love are usually the ones who need it the most. 

Dan-  Hmm? 

Dan-   There's never nothing going on. There are no ordinary moments. 

Socrates- Yeah. Welcome back. 
(Socrates takes Dan outside where they have a drink.....)

Dan-  You gotta be kidding me. This isn't another vision, is it? 'Cause I don't see how this could be happening. (Socrates now starts smoking  a cigar) What the hell are you doing? 

Socrates- Something wrong? 

Dan-  We don't do this anymore, remember? We know better. 

Socrates- We're better than everyone who doesn't know what we know or live the way we do? Is that what you mean? 

Dan-  Not better, maybe. Smarter. 

Socrates- There is no "better. " You will never be better. Same way you'll never be less than anybody else. The habit is the problem. All you need to do is be conscious about your choices and responsible for your actions. 

Dan-  Is that why, out of all the people you could have taught, you chose me? 

Socrates- You done flattering yourself? You chose me. 

Dan-  Why should I believe you? You taught me yourself to only listen to my own intuition. 

Socrates- How do you know that I'm not your own intuition speaking to you right now? 

Dan-  You mean maybe I made you up? Don't mess with me like that. 

Dan-  Every what has its what? 

Socrates- Every action has its price and its pleasure. Recognizing both sides, a warrior becomes... 

Dan-  ...realistic and responsible for his actions. 

Three people reach there who want to steal from them..One of them says - Boy sounds bad over there, man. 

Dan-  You gotta be kidding me. 

One of them- Money, boys. 

Dan-  Picked the wrong guy to pull this shit on, boys. Little leverage, at the right time, at the right place? 
(At this point Socrates throws his wallet to them)

One of them (To Dan)- Yours.  (He doesn't give and is staring at Socrates in surprise)

Other guy (To Dan)- We can ramp this up a little, tough guy. (He has to give)

One of them- Thank you and good night. 

Socrates- Didn't you forget our watches? 

Dan-  This is where you give it to them, right? 

Socrates- Now, maybe I should have said Dan's watch. I don't wear one. 

One of them- Give it. 

Other guy- Thanks, old man. 

Socrates- What are you, a medium jacket? 

One of them- Is he a what? 

Other guy- I'm not taking your jacket. 

Socrates- It's a good jacket. Nice warm lining. 

Third guy- I'll take it. It's a good jacket. 

Socrates- You. You're about Dan's size. (Dan gives his jacket)
What size shoe do you wear, Dan? 

Dan-  Are you kidding? Christ, Soc, how far are we gonna take this? 
(Later we see that they have given away everything and are going back in their undergarments)
They could have killed us! They could have killed us! You could have kicked every single one of those guys' asses. Instead, we're probably gonna get picked up for indecent exposure. You think that's funny? Do you? You think that's funny? You could have laid out every single one of those guys. Tell me. Tell me what the hell you were thinking. 

Socrates-  That the ones that are hardest to love are the ones that need it the most. That knowledge is not the same as wisdom. Wisdom is doing. 

Dan-  They could have killed us. 

Socrates- It's a transformation. 

Dan-  Death? 

Socrates- Yes. It's a little bit more radical than puberty but nothing to get particularly upset about. 

Dan-  What the hell are you talking about? 

Socrates-  Death isn't sad. The sad thing is most people don't live at all. 

(At their place now....)

Dan-  Took for granted what I could do. I was sloppy with my life. I'm scared, but I feel like I got rid of all the old stuff, and... I think it was the right thing to do. 

Socrates- When you feel fear, use the sword. Take it up here and cut the mind to ribbons. Slash through all those regrets and fears and anything else that lives in the past or the future.

Dan- I want to be able to do that. I think I'm ready.

Socrates- Ready for what?

Dan- Devoting my life to a higher purpose.

Socrates- Really?

Dan- Service to others, right? That's gonna be me, now. I'll do whatever you think I should.

Socrates- All right. 

Dan-  All right. 

Socrates- I think you should continue your training as a gymnast. A warrior does not give up what he loves, Dan. He finds the love in what he does.

Dan- Look at me! Look at me. I have a metal rod in my leg.

Socrates- A warrior is not about perfection or victory or invulnerability. He's about absolute vulnerability. That's the only true courage.

Dan- What kind of training you think I could do? Huh? I just had an accident.

Socrates- The accident is your training. Life is choice. You can choose to be a victim or anything else you'd like to be.

Dan-  Just ignore what happened to me? 

Socrates- A warrior acts. Only a fool reacts. 

Dan-  What if I can't do it? 

Socrates- That's the future. Throw it out. 

Dan-  Well, how would we start? 

Socrates- There is no starting or stopping, only doing. I want to show you something. 
(Socrates has made up all the arrangements for practice with the rings and all that)

Dan-  When did you do all this? 

Socrates- When you were lying in that hospital. 

Dan-  While I was what? 

Socrates- Now we can really go to work. 

(Dan meets his coach who thinks that since he had an accident and doctors told that he wouldn't recover completely so doesn't consider him for Olympics even a bit even after Dan tries to convince him)

Socrates- Nearly all of humanity shares your predicament, Dan. If you don't get what you want, you suffer. And even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold onto it forever. 

Dan-  He thought I couldn't do it. 

Socrates- Doesn't matter. 

Dan-  He doesn't know that I'll be there 100%. 

Socrates- You don't need him or any letter to get up on those rings and do what you love. 

Dan-  Yes, I do. All right? I'm talking about getting up there and winning the gold right now, so, yes, I do. 

Socrates- The gold is a craving. "If only I had it, I'd be happy. " Can't you hear it in there? 

Dan-  It's a dream, Soc. All right? I can't think that dreams are bad. 

Socrates- You don't surrender your dreams, Dan. You surrender the one thing you never have and you never will, control. Accept that you don't control what will happen to you. That you may or you may not compete in the Olympics. That you may or you may not, Dan. And that you are something exceptional either way. 

Dan-  I was ready to give this all up, but you stood here and you told me that you wanted me to train again! 

Socrates- I told you a warrior does what he loves. 

Dan-  And this is what I love! 

Socrates- Chasing gold? Living in fear that you might fail? That's what you love about it? 

Dan-  No! Dreaming of standing up there and winning this thing! Of doing what has always felt like the thing that I was put here to do. I've been on a trampoline since before I could ride a bike because I loved it. 'Cause it was the first thing that I was sure that I loved. I'm sorry. Okay? I'm sorry. I thought I was strong but I'm not. 'Cause I really tried to give this whole thing up but I can't. 

Socrates- Tomorrow morning, bring your hiking shoes. I've got a place I've wanted to take you since the first night you walked in here. It's a long hike but I think... I think you're finally ready to see it. 

Dan-  Three? 

Socrates- Three. 

Dan-  Life has just three rules? 

Socrates- And you already know them. 

Dan-  Paradox, humor and change. 

Socrates- Paradox. 

Dan-  Life is a mystery. Don't waste time trying to figure it out. 

Socrates- Humor. 

Dan-  Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure. 

Socrates- Change. 

Dan-  Know that nothing stays the same. 
Dan-  Hey, please tell me we're getting a little closer. Come on, Soc, it's been three hours, man. 

Socrates- Now, we're here. 

Dan-  We're where? 

Socrates- At what I came to show you. 

Dan-  What, the view? 

Socrates- There, next to your foot. 

Dan-  The flower? 

Socrates- No. 

Dan-  Better not be. 

Socrates- The rock. 

Dan-  There's something... There's something special about this rock? 

Socrates- Something wrong? 

Dan-  Come on, Soc! This is what I was finally ready to see? 

Socrates- Well, the whole trip up here, you were excited, you were happy. 

Dan-  Yeah, because I thought I was gonna see something! 

Socrates- You were like a kid on Christmas morning. You said so yourself. The whole trip up here, it made you feel good. 

Dan-  Because for the past three hours I've been waiting to see this wonderful thing. 

Socrates- Well, what changed? 

Dan-  That there's nothing here but this rock! 

Socrates- I probably should have told you that before we left, huh? But I guess I wasn't sure what we'd find, either. Never am. Sorry you're not happy anymore. 

Dan-  (Now realizing) The journey. The journey's what brings us happiness not the destination. 

(Dan then demonstrates in front of the coach and others in spite of them trying to prevent him from doing so....but he does really well and they have to send him in the Olympic team.Before going for that, Dan along with others goes to visit Socrates on the way, but he sees that Socrates is not there and there is some new guy who just came in from that day onwards and he has made it self service for filling gas etc. Dan and others leave. Dan now is performing there and we hear-)

Socrates- Where are you, Dan? 

Dan-  Here. 

Socrates- What time is it? 

Dan-  Now. 

Socrates- What are you? 

Dan-  This moment. 

( It says Dan Millman and the Berkeley team later went on to win their first national title. Dan became an author whose books have inspired millions of people around the world.)
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