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Way of the Peaceful Warrior Summary

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Way of the Peaceful Warrior PDFA Book That Changes Lives

If we have only one word to describe this book, that would be – Wow!

We are really honored to be a part of such amazing, and life-altering masterpiece.

Everyone should take the path of the peaceful warrior, and oppose the egoic sensations which seem to gain momentum.

Who Should Read “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”? And Why?

Well, it would be ignorant of us, to conduct any classification and choose a target audience to which this book would seem more appealing.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior is one gem of a book; Dan’s interpretations are out of this world, and as such we believe it’s suitable for everyone.

Dan Millman Biography

Dan MillmanDan Millman is the real warrior, born on February 22, 1946. He is the author of many books, but his life-journey revolves around Socrates’ pure wisdom and insights.


Way of the Peaceful Warrior is part-autobiographical, part-fictional bestseller, which since its first publication in 1980, appeared on many top-books lists.

Dan Millman is in the spotlight, a junior at the University of California – Berkeley, who seems successful and happy. The storyline and all the subplots are tied up, all lead to a mind-blowing outcome. It all happens in the 1960s; Dan is a college gymnastics star, who continues to do well in all fields except one.

Although he expands his collection of trophies day by day, he starts to feel lonely and lost.

The life-adventure is also spiced up with his girlfriend Susie, who eventually can’t cheer him up. As a matter of fact, each night he has a hard time falling asleep and wakes up drenched in sweat.

Regardless of how successful he seems on the outside, on the inside, his world is crumbling with each passing moment.

At first, Dan is not prepared to admit the problem. Nightmares haunt him, and the fear of death overwhelms him.

In the recurring dreams, one particular face stands out, a white-haired person, who can unravel the knots. He believes that this man, whoever he is, can help him interpret his dreams, and put an end to the nightmares that make him go crazy at night time.

The meeting between these two personalities is very emotional and touching. The movie version of the story puts us into a dilemma, and disbelief – how something so powerful exists, and yet we neglect it, because of our egos:

It all happens at a nearby gas station, where Dan suddenly lays eyes on “Socrates” – a name which Dan gives to his new white-haired friend. This wise-old-man is both the problem and the solution according to Dan’s perspective.

Each night is tougher than the last one, waking up in a cold sweat is becoming a psychological routine, something that Dan can’t figure it out. Socrates, offers his guiding hand, to lecture him about the real priorities of life, and melt his ego, like ice in hot water.  

The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

On many occasions, Dan shows lack of understanding and shallowness, but that doesn’t seem to bother Socrates. He insists on learning Dan, that all problems lie in the future and the past, from a state of total awareness, there’s hardly anything to be unhappy about.

Socrates, place emphasis on the value of the present moment, what does it mean, and how to be fully into it.

Dan is on the fence, whether to go for Socrates’ life wisdom or to follow a conventional path, which yields positive results and elevates his ego to the top of the heap. All of a sudden, he feels stranded on a deserted island and isolated from his classmates.

Left with little options, Dan accepts to follow the path of a peaceful warrior. In the meantime, he develops a crush on Joy – another Socrates’ student who visits him from time to time.

They share various encounters and spiritual experiences, which Dan can’t absorb, and from the perspective of personhood, he is unable to dig deep into his own self and find the real core of existence.

You have to lose your mind before you can come to your senses.

A motorcycle accident puts his training on hold and kicks him out of the Qualifiers for the Olympics.

Socrates explains that each setback and disaster has a deeper meaning than the one appearing on the surface. Uplifted by words of real wisdom, Dan decides to come back stronger than ever by following a strict life-routine manifested through diet, physical training, mental training, alertness, etc.

Dan begins to explore the wonders of the cave and is finally able to see what Socrates has been telling him for so long. Dan somehow manages to convince the Berkley’s Gymnastics Head Coach to join them for the national collegiate championship. Thanks to Dan, they win the first place.

His reactions about the achievements are not the same as they once were. He is quiet and doesn’t make too much noise because from within, he is aware that victories are not the path leading to full happiness and bliss.

The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination.

On the spur of the moment, Dan quits gymnastics. After finishing his education, he realizes that he needs Socrates now more than ever.

Nonetheless, the old-man keeps Dan at a distance, by telling him to start looking answers somewhere else for the time being.

Dan unable to find the courage, plunges into psychological war with himself, and rather than pursuing wisdom, he gets trapped in the “boring” life-cycle. A failed marriage added to work disappointment makes him eager to dig up the end of the story.

He recalls Socrates’ words – What am I doing? – What would Socrates say about this? He ends up selling everything, and heads towards the mountains, to run into happiness and lay fingers on his new sense of self.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior Epilogue

On the way over, Socrates appears out of nowhere, leaving Dan in shock. Surprisingly, Dan somehow knew that he would bump into Socrates, he felt it, it was the only option one can think of. Dan admits that it took him awhile to embark on this adventure.

Socrates makes the final test, by taking Dan to a cave with an idea to examine his willingness to live the life of a warrior.

There, Dan witnesses his own death and realizes that he is not the body, but the soul. The temporary self – is just a masquerade, and there’s another reality which we can’t see.

Dan realizes that nothing is worth the tears and the discontent. This life is not about suffering, but about discovering your eternal self, which radiates blissfulness. He ends up marrying Joy, – and living in joy!

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“Way of the Peaceful Warrior PDF Quotes”

If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Click To Tweet A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds the love in what he does. Click To Tweet Everything you'll ever need to know is within you; the secrets of the universe are imprinted on the cells of your body. Click To Tweet You can live a whole lifetime never being awake. Click To Tweet I had lost my mind and fallen into my heart. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We are inclined to agree that we all have quarrels with ourselves, and the path to enlightenment is paved with pure heart and wisdom.

If you are leaning towards the pleasures of this world, that’s fine. In reality, if you don’t know who you are, nothing can make you happy.

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