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The Warrior Priest Podcast

The Warrior Priest Podcast

By Warrior Priest
Standing at the intersection of conflict and belief to better understand the human condition.
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047: Midweek Debrief - The Final Revolution
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
January 15, 2021
046: Midweek Debrief - Focus on Fundamentals
What does it mean to focus on fundamentals as a martial artist, citizen, in our vocations, and for ourselves? 
January 7, 2021
76: Kevin Ross - Just Have Faith
It's always hard to understand things while we are in the middle of them. It's only when we look back that these things become clear, if ever. Just hold  onto God, know that whatever you are going through He can help you through it. He can use it for your benefit as well as others, just have faith. Kevin Ross' website:
January 3, 2021
75: Jordan Peterson - Carry That Weight
“You don't want to be in a place where there's no challenge. You might even quit your job if there's no challenge. Say, 'Well, that's a good job. It gives you security,' and you think, 'God, I can't stand this. It's eating away at my soul. It's all security and no challenge.' So why do you want a challenge? Because that's what you're built for. You're built to take on a maximal load, right? Because that's what strengthens you, and you need to be strong because life is extraordinarily difficult. "(Why is that?) Because the evil king is always whittling away at the structure of the state. And you have to be awake and sharp to stop that from happening so that you don't become corrupt. And so that your family doesn't become corrupt. And so that your state doesn't have to become corrupt. You have to have your eyes open, and your wits sharp, and your words at the ready. And you have to be educated. And you have to know about your history. And you have to know how to think. And you have to know how to read. And you have to know how to speak. And you have to know how to aim. And you have to be willing to hoist the troubles of the world up on your shoulders. And what's so interesting about that, so remarkable. And this is something that's really manifested itself to me as I've been doing these public lectures. I've been talking about responsibility to people, which doesn't seem to happen very often anymore, and the audiences are dead quiet. And I lay out this idea that life is tragedy tainted by malevolence, and everyone says, 'Yeah, well we already always suspected that, but no one has ever said it quite so bluntly, and it's quite a relief to hear that I'm not the only person who has those suspicions.' "Then the second part of that is the better part, and it's the optimistic part, which is despite the fact that life is a tragedy tainted by malevolence, at every level of existence there's something about the human spirit that can thrive under precisely those conditions if we allow that to occur, because as difficult as life is – and as horrible as we are – our capacity to deal with that catastrophe and to transcend that malevolent spirit is more powerful than that reality itself. And that's the fundamental issue. I think that's the fundamental issue of the Judeo-Christian ethic, with its emphasis on the divinity of the individual. "As catastrophic as life is – and as malevolent as people can be, and that's malevolent beyond belief – fundamentally, a person has, in spirit, the nobility to set that right and to defeat evil. And that more than that the antidote to the catastrophe of life, and the suffering of life, and the tragedy of life that can drive you down and destroy you, is to take on exactly that responsibility, and to say, 'Well, there's plenty of work to be done, and isn't that terrible? "There isn't anything so bad that we can't make it worse, but I have it within me to decide that I'm going to stand up against that. I'm going to strive to make the world a better place. I'm going to strive to constrain the malevolence that's in my own heart, and to set my family straight, and to work despite my tragic lot for the betterment of everything that's in front of me.' And the consequence of that – the immediate consequence of that – is that when you make the decision to take on all of that voluntarily – which is to stand up straight, by the way, with your shoulders back – to take all that on voluntarily, as soon as you make that decision, then all the catastrophe justifies itself in the nobility of your striving. And that's what it means to be an individual.” - Jordan Peterson
December 20, 2020
045: Midweek Debrief - Rise, Rebel, Resist
What are we willing to do, and suffer, for the sake of a hit of dopamine? What are the consequences of failure to distinguish concrete reality from virtual reality? What must we do to stop giving bullies our lunch money?
December 16, 2020
74: Violence and Overcoming Emasculation
Despite the fact that fighting is supposed to enable the men in Fight Club to rise beyond their innocuous existence, it in fact reinforces social order and power relations. Fight Club & Nietzsche: Overcoming Emasculation:
December 13, 2020
044: Midweek Debrief - Searching for a Friend for the End of the World
How do we define family and friendship? What are the consequences when we don't have people we can call on when we're in trouble and need? How can we create and nurture relationships that strengthen, encourage, and empower others?
December 9, 2020
73: Steven Pressfield - The War Inside Ourselves
Before we decide to go to war with the world, maybe we should take a hard look at ourselves...
December 6, 2020
043: Midweek Debrief - Get Up, Stand Up...
The Great Reset, the morals of multi-national corporations, and the question, "Who's going to stand up and fight back against injustice?"
December 2, 2020
72: The Fifth Jiu-Jitsu Debrief
Very often people will ask me about the effects of body type on jiu jitsu. It appears that many people hold the belief that there is an optimum body type in jiu jitsu that confers advantage over other body types. Even a moments reflection will reveal that this is false. A look at the medal platform at the world championships will always show a wide variety of body types which are represented in no particular order of success. If I ask you to name for me the five most successful jiu jitsu champions of all time, I guarantee your list will show big disparities in body type. There is no dominant body type on the medal stands. There is however, a dominant body ETHOS. Champions always maximize the ability of whatever body they have been born with to perform the skills of the sport. Whilst there is no one body type that dominates the sport, there is a need on everyone's part to maximize what you can do with your body that will improve your jiu jitsu performance. Everyone's body has an optimal weight and conditioning that maximizes its performance for a given activity. It is your duty to find what that is for you and to maintain yourself close to that ideal (getting closer if competition is near). Thus any body type can win a world championship, but only one way of maintaining that body of yours will maximize your ability to perform the skills you hope to win that championship with. Here are three EBI champions. All three are very different somatotypes - Garry Tonon is a classic mesomorph. Gordon Ryan an ectomorph and Eddie Cummings an endomorph masquerading as a mesomorph. Yet all three have found a way to maximize their very different bodies to perform the skills they needed to win. Thus any body type can win a world championship, but only one way of maintaining it will maximize your chances of doing so. - John Danaher, Body type and BJJ.
November 29, 2020
Thanksgiving Debrief - You Can't Always Get What You Want
When times are troubling, when people abandon us, and when we struggle to move through hardships, is there anything to be thankful for?
November 26, 2020
71: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - Book of The Samurai, part 11
The foundation of a Nabeshima samurai should be in knowing this fact; in being deeply resolved to return this blessing by being useful; in serving more and more selflessly when treated kindly by the master ; in knowing that being made a ronin or being ordered to commit seppuku are also forms of service ; and in aiming to be mindful of the clan forever, whether one is banished deep in the mountains or buried under the earth. - Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: Book of the Samurai
November 22, 2020
042: Midweek Debrief - Preaching Impotence
“Politics becomes even more of a magnet for self-aggrandizing sociopaths and liars than it already tends to be by nature, and men with no meaningful political power or authority waste their time and energy trying to convince complete strangers to convert to their way of thinking, even when those strangers have different group identities, different religious beliefs, and completely incompatible or opposing ideas about what is good or “best in life.”  ― Jack Donovan, Becoming a Barbarian
November 18, 2020
70: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - Book of The Samurai, part 10
Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one’s master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead.
November 15, 2020
041: Midweek Debrief - The Empire of Nothing
The Empire sells superficial identities that are fleeting, synthetic, empty and unsatisfying. In a world of single, spoiled boys who have been able to walk away from any commitment or association — lifetime brotherhood is a radical idea. Collective honor is a radical idea. Working to help people you know and care about instead of strangers is a radical idea.
November 11, 2020
040: Midweek Debrief - Retain Faith, Confront Facts
“You must retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties. AND at the same time…You must confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” U.S. Navy Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, originator of the Stockdale Paradox
November 4, 2020
69: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - Book of The Samurai, part 9
The man who shuts himself away and avoids the company of men is a coward... Hagakure online:
November 1, 2020
069: Midweek Debrief - Heroes and Victims
Ancient societies gave the highest status to their heroes. Our society gives the highest status to victims. How did we get here? What defines a hero, what defines a victim, and why is the latter more popular today than ever?
October 28, 2020
68: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - Book of the Samurai, part 8
To be prideful about your strength while your mettle is not yet established is likely to bring you shame in the midst of people. You are weaker than you look.
October 25, 2020
038: Midweek Debrief - Burn Like Oak
A noble man should be silent, thoughtful, and bold in battle - Havamal 15
October 21, 2020
67: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - Book of the Samurai, part 7
Kyuzaemon has always been a severe man, and even if I were cleared by the investigators, he would probably have me executed as a coward right before his eyes. In such a case, dying with the bad reputation of having run away from a place would be extremely regretful. The Hagakure:
October 18, 2020
037: Midweek Debrief - Be Prepared Or Be Overrun
What do we do every day to prepare for the next challenge or crisis? How does our preparation help us to not be overwhelmed when the moment comes that we need to react to things out of our control?
October 14, 2020
66: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - Book of the Samurai, part 6
What is called winning is defeating one’s allies. Defeating one’s allies is defeating oneself, and defeating oneself is vigorously overcoming one’s own body.
October 11, 2020
036: Midweek Debrief - Love Enough to Stand Up...
Do we understand what true love is? Are we willing to do whatever is necessary to love someone for their good? 
October 7, 2020
65: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - Book of the Samurai, part 5
It is good to breathe these things into their ears even when they are too young to understand.
October 4, 2020
035: Midweek Debrief - Why You Want Cops to Have a Warrior’s Mindset
Why You Want Cops to Have a Warrior’s Mindset by Ayman Kafel Over the past several years, the term “warrior” has been used, labeled, demonized, idolized, and applied to all kinds of professions. These days when someone mentions the word “warrior,” typically, it is synonymous with members of the military, sports figures, MMA, UFC, and others. The term “warrior” in the law enforcement community has been a taboo title. It went as far and removing the word completely from the culture and replaced with words like “guardian” and “sheepdog.” In the law enforcement community, when the word “warrior” was used, it was referred to as a mindset. The warrior mindset. Political correctness demonized it in the profession and associated it as part of the “militarization” of police. Across the country, that word was wiped out from any curriculum at police academies. It meant that police officers were too aggressive for modern society, it meant police officers will only use lethal force, it meant police officers will think of themselves as above their fellow man. The warrior mindset is far from that. The core beliefs of someone adopting the warrior mindset are discipline, respect, selfless service, honor, courage, and integrity. A warrior mindset, at a deeper level, helps individuals realize the true enemy is not external forces but the internal. Weakness, fear, jealousy, greed, ego, laziness, and many other negative traits are recognized as the enemy of the warrior mindset. Miyamoto Musashi once said, “If you wish to control others you must control yourself.” Think about it, Musashi did not mean literally “control” people, he was referring to the idea of the “self.” To have a warrior mindset is to look inward and defeat those negative traits in our hearts to be an effective officer in the community.
September 30, 2020
64: Yamamoto Tsunetomo – Book of the Samurai, part 4
When the crime itself is unclear, the punishment should be light.
September 27, 2020
034: Midweek Debrief - Cowards Don't Know Peace
“The coward believes he will live forever If he holds back in the battle, But in old age he shall have no peace Though spears have spared his limbs.” ― Hávamál 16
September 23, 2020
64: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - Book of the Samurai, part 3
There is nothing felt quite so deeply as giri, but what is "giri" and what can it teach us about ourselves in the present?
September 20, 2020
033: Midweek Debrief - How to Fight Tired
Every fighter faces total exhaustion in the ring someday. Instead of panicking and getting beat up, you can learn how to fight tired and box your way through exhaustion. The sport of boxing is forever characterized by endurance and exhaustion. To ever be a good boxer, you will have to eventually face the challenge of fighting beyond your limits. Your body will be pushed beyond a point of exhaustion you never thought was possible. Spiritually, you must have the heart to dig deep inside yourself and find energy you no longer have. Technically, you must find ways to fight without exerting energy. If you can do this, you will have successfully learn how to fight when you are tired. - Johnny Nguyen
September 16, 2020
63: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - Book of the Samurai, part 2
Look at the human condition. It is unseemly for a per- son to become prideful and extravagant when things are going well. Therefore, it is better to have some unhappiness while one is still young, for if a person does not experience some bitter- ness, his disposition will not settle down. A person who becomes fatigued when unhappy is useless.
September 13, 2020
032: Midweek Debrief - Self-Talk and Self-Sabotage
The voice tells us not to work today and it gives us a reason. Our daughter’s dance recital starts at seven; this headache is killing us; the boss wants us to organize the Penske file. This is not self-talk, it’s self-sabotage.
September 9, 2020
62: Yamamoto Tsunetomo - Book of the Samurai, part 1
Hagakure is the essential book of the Samurai. Written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo... These philosophies are centered on loyalty, devotion, purity and selflessness, and Yamamoto places a strong emphasis on the notion of living in the present moment with a strong and clear mind. Hagakure Link:
September 6, 2020
031: Midweek Debrief - Where Did The Warrior Ethos Originate?
Where did the Warrior Ethos come from? Why would anyone choose this hard, dangerous life? What could be the philosophy behind such a choice?
September 2, 2020
61: Ayman Kafel - Death of the Modern Day Warrior
The United States is headed down a dangerous road. Without modern-day warriors, who will protect the people?  Who will step up when the citizens need it?
August 30, 2020
030: Midweek Debrief - The Benefit of Killing?
The idea of killing "the enemy" appeals to some people, and is glorified in the entertainment industry in television, movies, and music. But, as horrifying as it is, is there a benefit in killing, or is it all bad?
August 26, 2020
60: Academy of Ideas - The Psychology of Heroism
“Ours is not an age that wants heroes. Ours is an age of envy, in which laziness and self-involvement are the rule. Anyone who tries to shine, who dares to stand above the crowd, is dragged down by his lackluster and self-appointed “peers”.” - Robert Moore & Douglas Gillette, "King, Warrior, Magician, Lover"
August 23, 2020
029: Midweek Debrief - The Power of Emotions in Motion
Emotions have the power to set us in motion, often to our detriment, but it doesn't have to be that way. We can choose to control our emotions, rather than allowing our emotions to control us.
August 19, 2020
59: Aaron Jahn - Too Old to Fight?
How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight? - Tyler Durden
August 16, 2020
028: Midweek Debrief - Which Version of You Do You Meet?
In a battle, you meet many versions of yourself, some old some new. - Johnny B.A.N.G. Reilly
August 12, 2020
58: The Story of August Landmesser - Stand Your Ground
Learn more about the tragic story of August Landmesser, the man who refused to salute Hitler. Link:
August 9, 2020
027: Midweek Debrief - Rage Against the Dying of the Light
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas, Do not go gentle into that good night
August 5, 2020
57: Gratitude Has Pushed Through My Fear
January 22, 2020 TODAY MY GRATITUDE HAS PUSHED THROUGH MY FEARS Today my gratitude has pushed through my fears, as a severely abused child fear of cruelty and threat to life is expected when life gets a little peaceful.  My abusers were narcissist and these deformed people are never at peace and hate to see another in this elusive state they never seem to be able to attain.  The jealousy drives them to disturb those immersed in the gratitude state, those emotionally crippled by thought insignificance scream at the constant insulting consciousness that taunts them, they are in perpetual agitation and grind their teeth psychologically with rage at their incarceration with no release date in sight. My first abuser would attack me and beat me out of my enjoyment of enjoying my presence of being gifted to be alive and in balance with my balanced and well put together anatomy, grooming my mind.  Always when the bruises calmed down their fire and lumps would shrink and lose their presence to my touch, would i hear her breath quicken with words of complaint for some small thing i over looked to keep tidy.  The next thing i knew is the room would change its angles, i would see lights and things would smudge as if what was a painting is now vandalised, my eyes stopped working and then there was a familiar smell of my own blood.  This bomb site i called my life, and it always happened when i was quiet. FEAR was my soundtrack that did not let the better tuned emotions become my music.  This emotion that made my muscles twitch, my jaw flex, and my fists clench, always kidnapped me when things were quiet, as soon as i acknowledged peace, anticipation of what usually happened next snapped me back into the paranoia that something painful was going to happen.  Sometimes i would make it happen so i would not be surprised, but since the age of eight i have strived to enjoy a little peace and today at 55, my work is paying off.  Gratitude pushes through all my bodies muscle memories and i feel all of me relax and give thanks, i give thanks for my muffling of angst.
August 2, 2020
026: Midweek Debrief - Fear Can Make Us Stronger
We're not broken because we survived. We kept getting up. We hoped in the face of horror so that now we don't fear failure. We're challenged by it to grow.
July 29, 2020
56: Kevin Ross - Love, compassion and understanding will free us all
So before you jump to a conclusion and align with a side, take a step back. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, think about these situations happening to you or someone that you love and care for. At the very least, it should give you a more balanced perspective on most situations. Love, compassion and understanding will free us all.
July 25, 2020
025: Midweek Debrief - We Always Want More
Whether we’re striving for a new job, more meaningful relationships, or personal enlightenment, we need to actively want something more in order to live well. In fact, neuroscience shows that the act of seeking itself, rather than the goals we realize, is key to satisfaction. - Olivia Goldhill
July 22, 2020
55: Tim Ballard - Making Sure The Monsters Won't Come Anymore
"As I’m driving, I’m listening to a singer, who is my favorite singer, who, I didn’t know him at all at the time, Peter Breinholt. Right as I was approaching the first off-ramp that would lead me to a life of chasing down pedophiles and sex traffickers, and everything else, this song comes on, that, before this moment didn’t have much meaning to me, it wasn’t necessarily my favorite song that Peter Breinholt sang. It is called ‘Lullaby’. It tells the story of a parent figure who is talking to a child, who is having some kind of nightmare of something bad happening to them. The parent comes into the room, he soothes the child, and then what the parent keeps saying is “They won’t come around here no more, they won’t come around here no more…”, meaning these monsters, the nightmares. I thought “you know what, because of what we did, and, again, I didn’t do anything spectacular on this case, but because of our efforts, the monsters won’t come anymore to this little boy.” - Tim Ballard
July 18, 2020
024: Midweek Debrief - Don't Conform to Mediocrity
Does the average man or woman come across as a strong individual who is armed with the character traits to face up to the challenges of life, or to paraphrase the author Richard Weaver, does “the typical modern have the look of the hunted”? (Ideas Have Consequences)
July 15, 2020
54: Jonas Salzgeber - Keep Your Weapons Close at Hand
Just like a boxer with his fists, try to have your principles ready at all times. Spotter up in-depth tactical solutions: The Little Book of Stoicism, by Jonas Salzgeber: *** I don't know why I blanked on it, but Marcus Aurelius ruled from 161-180. 
July 11, 2020
023: Midweek Debrief - The Fight within the Fight
At that moment, I knew this is where I belonged - in an old, battered, run-down gym with a blood-splattered canvas covering an uneven boxing ring. This was now my home. - Billy Moore, A Prayer Before Dawn
July 8, 2020
53: Michael Kurcina - Hated
Men will find themselves judged, cursed, and crushed for their intelligence and honesty in a world of declining values, declining manliness, and declining desires for achieving a worthy place in the world. Hell, even a dull hell awaits men without courage and a vision, or the objectivity to stand back and understand what every man must pursue. Critics will attempt to publicly injure risk takers and will ask how dare they. Men should never stop trying to become fully developed persons. Attempting to truly live means men will also experience tremendous shocks to the soul, shocks that wound us severely. The delicate instrument of love will close off some of our injuries from further insult but we must have enough courage to see the operation through, and have enough to pursue the path of being alive! Wandering, questioning, doubting, unbelieving and believing, coming, going, dying and growing. We must never stop. Michael Kurcina, We Fight Monsters
July 6, 2020
022: Midweek Debrief - When Boys Are Bred to Be Sheep
We breed boys to be sheep and allow wolves to be shepherds, and if we don't right that wrong, we're going to have a nation of weak hearts when it's time to fight the heartless. Michael Kurcina, We Fight Monsters
July 1, 2020
52: Homer - Don't Serve Too Many Masters
“If you serve too many masters, you'll soon suffer.” ― Homer, The Odyssey
June 27, 2020
021: Midweek Debrief - A Few Questions...
When I open my mouth, am I complaining? Does what someone does outside of my sphere of influence really matter to me, or am I being tricked into feeling a false sense of outrage? If it really does matter to me, what steps have I actually taken to do something about it (besides posting articles on Facebook)? Am I contributing to the conversation in a positive and helpful way?
June 24, 2020
51: Frederick Douglass - Self-Made Men Aren't Self-Made
The lesson taught at this point by human experience is simply this, that the man who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down. This rule may appear somewhat harsh, but in its general application and operation, it is wise, just, and beneficent. I know of no other rule which can be substituted for it without bringing social chaos. Personal independence is a virtue and it is the soul out of which comes the sturdiest manhood. But there can be no independence without a large share of self-dependence, and this virtue cannot be bestowed. It must be developed from within.
June 20, 2020
020: Midweek Debrief - Revolution or Rebellion?
Revolution: A political upheaval in a government or nation-state characterized by great change. Rebel - A person who resists an established authority, often violently.
June 17, 2020
50: Rudyard Kipling - Own Yourself
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” Rudyard Kipling, Interview with an Immortal
June 13, 2020
019: Midweek Debrief - Mind Control
“You have to decide that you are going to be in control, that you are going to do what YOU want to do. Weakness doesn’t get a vote. Laziness doesn’t get a vote. Sadness doesn’t get a vote. Frustration doesn’t get a vote. NEGATIVITY doesn’t get a vote. ” “You are declaring martial law on your mind: MIND CONTROL.”
June 10, 2020
49: Joseph Goebbels - Propaganda Never Rests
Joseph Goebbels presents Nazi propaganda as the model for the rest of the world, calling it the “background music” to government policy because a modern state, whether democratic or authoritarian, cannot withstand the subterranean forces of anarchy and chaos without propaganda.
June 6, 2020
018: Midweek Debrief - BJJ, Equality & Peace
If you want to find a place of equity, where you're not judged by the color of your skin, gender, sexual orientation, political ideology, or religious belief, sign up for jiu-jitsu. GoFundMe for 10th Planet BJJ - Long Beach:
June 3, 2020
48: Martin Luther King Jr. - Loving Your Enemies
There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. “Love your enemies.”
May 30, 2020
017: Midweek Debrief - Choose, Slavery or Love
Why do people act against their best interests and consent to their enslavement? has been common to assume that the masses are purely victims in their enslavement, unable to mount any form of resistance due to the threat of force wielded by those in power. In the 16th century, the French philosopher Etienne de La Boétie challenged this view in his essay The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude. All governments, he argued, including the most tyrannical, can only rule for extended durations if they have the general support of the populace. Not only are those in power vastly outnumbered by those over whom they rule, but governments rely on the subjugated populations to provide them with a continual supply of resources and manpower. If one day enough people refused to obey and stopped surrendering their wealth and property, their oppressors would, in the words of La Boétie, “become naked and undone and as nothing, just as, when the root receives no nourishment, the branch withers and dies.” (Étienne de La Boétie, The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude) Hence mass submission to even the most oppressive political regimes is always a voluntary servitude, one based on popular consent. As de La Boétie explains: “Obviously there is no need of fighting to overcome this single tyrant, for he is automatically defeated if the country refuses consent to its own enslavement: it is not necessary to deprive him of anything, but simply to give him nothing; there is no need that the country make an effort to do anything for itself provided it does nothing against itself. It is therefore the inhabitants themselves who permit, or, rather, bring about, their own subjection, since by ceasing to submit they would put an end to their servitude. A people enslaves itself, cuts its own throat, when, having a choice between being vassals and being free men, it deserts its liberties and takes on the yoke, gives consent to its own misery, or, rather, apparently welcomes it.” (Étienne de La Boétie, The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude)
May 27, 2020
47: Academy of Ideas - Disobedient Virtue
Why do we have a strong tendency to obey those in positions of power? Why do people obey commands that seem both bloodthirsty and stupid? Are those who in the face of corrupt power, who are willing to stand up and refuse virtuous, or villains?
May 24, 2020
016: Midweek Debrief - No More Lies
Brute force is not enough to maintain tyranny, rather a tyrannical regime will only maintain power if they can control the minds of their subjects. Previous podcast on Fear & Social Control:
May 20, 2020
46: Musonius Rufus - Hard, Beautiful Work
When each person strives to outdo the other in devotion, the marriage is ideal and worthy of envy, for such a union is beautiful. “In marriage, there must be complete companionship and concern for each other on the part of both husband and wife, in health and in sickness and at all times, because they entered upon the marriage for this reason as well as to produce offspring. When such caring for one another is perfect, and the married couple provides it for one another, and each strives to outdo the other, then this is marriage as it ought to be and deserving of emulation, since it is a noble union. But when one partner looks to his own interests alone and neglects the other's, or (by God) the other is so minded that he lives in the same house, but keeps his mind on what is outside it, and does not wish to pull together with his partner or to cooperate, then inevitably the union is destroyed, and although they live together their common interests fare badly, and either they finally get divorced from one another or they continue on in an existence that is worse than loneliness.” Musonius Rufus And, for those who don't know... Gaius Musonius Rufus was a Roman Stoic philosopher during the reign of Nero. Rufus is considered the Roman Socrates and was the teacher of Epictetus.
May 17, 2020
015: Midweek Debrief - Thought Boxing
In our thinking, if we can recognize self-defeating thoughts as they come up, block them, and then respond with a productive counterpunch, we can avoid trouble and live a good life.
May 13, 2020
45: Academy of Ideas - Fear & Social Control
How can fear be used as a tool to manipulate others? How do those in positions of power, past, and present, effectively use fear to control certain aspects of society? Transcript: JP Sears, Awaken with JP: Academy of Ideas, Fear & Social Control:
May 9, 2020
015: Midweek Debrief - Pandemic Wisdom
While so many people are eager to express, and act on, their fear and anxiety at this time, what about working to strengthen ourselves both inside and out? To build our toughness and resistance as much as possible?
May 6, 2020
44: Ryan Holiday - Crisis Can Make Us Better
There is always a countermove, always a way through, a path is always there for those willing to look for it then take it.
May 3, 2020
014: Midweek Debrief - Corona Virus, You've Taken Everything I've Worked For
Who decides what's essential? Who are the arbiters of truth and morality? How long do we put the needs of the few before the needs of the many?
April 29, 2020
43: Aurelius & Aesop - Haters Gonna Hate
In this episode of the podcast, Marcus Aurelius and Aesop on hatred and reconciliation.
April 26, 2020
013: Midweek Debrief - Don't Ring The Bell
In this episode of the podcast, encouragement from Admiral William McRaven to never, ever quit.
April 22, 2020
42: Aurelius & Aesop - The Friendship of Wolves
Donavon Riley reads Marcus Aurelius' Meditations and Aesop's Fables and discusses honesty and the friendship of wolves. _______________ The rotten pretense of the man who says, 'I prefer to be honest with you'! What are you on about, man! No need for this preface - the reality will show. It should be written on your forehead, immediately clear in the tone of your voice and the light of your eyes, just as the loved one can immediately read all in the glance of his lover. In short, the good and honest man should have the same effect as the unwashed - anyone close by as he passes detects the aura, willy-nilly, at once. Calculated honesty is a stiletto. There is nothing more degrading than the friendship of wolves: avoid that above all. The good, honest, kindly man has it in his eyes, and you cannot mistake him. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 11.15 ______________ The wolves said to the dogs: 'Why, when you are so like us in all respects, don't we come to some brotherly understanding? For there is no difference between us except our ways of thinking. We live in freedom; you submit and are enslaved by man and endure his blows. You wear collars and you watch over their flocks, and when your masters eat, all they throw to you are some bones. But take our word for it, if you hand over the flocks to us we can all club together and gorge our appetites jointly.' The dogs were sympathetic to this proposal, so the wolves, making their way inside the sheepfold, tore the dogs to pieces. Aesop's Fables, "The Dogs Reconciled with the Wolves," or, "The Wolves and the Sheepdog"
April 19, 2020
012: Midweek Debrief - Self-Discipline Hacked
Donavon Riley reads Marcus Aurelius' Meditations and discusses how failing to exercise self-discipline can help us become better at self-discipline. ______________________________________ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Book 5 “At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? ‘—But it’s nicer here…’ So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? ‘—But we have to sleep sometime…’ Agreed. But nature set a limit on that—as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota. You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.”
April 15, 2020
41: Aurelius & Aesop - Reflect on Who You Are
Donavon Riley reads and discusses Marcus Aurelius' Meditations and Aesop's fables. In this episode, what is the value in moderation? ____________________________________ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 3.6 If you find in human life anything better than justice, truth, temperance, fortitude, and, in a word, anything better than your own mind's self-satisfaction in the things which it enables you to do according to right reason, and in the condition that is assigned to you without your own choice—if, I say, you see anything better than this, turn to it with all your soul, and enjoy that which you have found to be the best. But if nothing appears to be better than the deity which is planted in you, which has subjected to itself all your appetites, and carefully examines all the impressions, and, as Socrates said, has detached itself from the persuasions of sense, and has submitted itself to the gods, and cares for mankind—if you find everything else smaller and of less value than this, give place to nothing else, for if you do once diverge and incline to it, you will no longer without distraction be able to give the preference to that good thing which is your proper possession and your own. For it is not right that anything of any other kind, such as praise from the many, or power, or enjoyment of pleasure, should come into competition with that which is rationally and politically or practically good. All these things, even though they may seem to adapt themselves to the better things in a small degree, obtain the superiority all at once, and carry us away. But to you, I say, simply and freely choose the better, and hold to it. But that which is useful is the better. Well then, if it is useful to you as a rational being, keep to it. But if it is only useful to you like an animal, say so, and maintain your judgment without arrogance. Only take care that you make the inquiry by a sure method. —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 3 (tr Long) __________________________________________________ The Dog & His Reflection A Dog, to whom the butcher had thrown a bone, was hurrying home with his prize as fast as he could go. As he crossed a narrow footbridge, he happened to look down and saw himself reflected in the quiet water as if in a mirror. But the greedy Dog thought he saw a real Dog carrying a bone much bigger than his own. If he had stopped to think he would have known better. But instead of thinking, he dropped his bone and sprang at the Dog in the river, only to find himself swimming for dear life to reach the shore. At last, he managed to scramble out, and as he stood sadly thinking about the good bone he had lost, he realized what a stupid Dog he had been. It is very foolish to be greedy.
April 12, 2020
011: Mid-week Debrief - Fight to Not Fall Back
Donavon Riley reads a reflection by Mia Kang and discusses self-care, depression, and embracing life's dichotomies.
April 8, 2020
40: Norman Maclean - The End of Time
Donavon Riley concludes his reading and discussion of Norman Maclean's book, Young Men and Fire: A True Story of the Mann Gulch Fire. In this episode, last thoughts and feelings, the end of time, and hope.
April 5, 2020
010: Midweek Debrief - I Need A Hero
Donavon Riley discusses the power of nostalgia and the importance of choosing the right heroes.
April 1, 2020
39: Norman Maclean - Slow Time, Art, and Truth
Donavon Riley continues to read and discuss Norman Maclean's book, Young Men and Fire: A True Story of the Mann Gulch Fire. In this episode, we enter a different time zone, of art and truth.
March 29, 2020
009: Midweek Debrief - Are You Afraid?
Donavon Riley discusses fear, adaption, and where to find comfort when we're panicked.
March 25, 2020
38: Norman Maclean - Young Men and Fire
Donavon Riley reads and discusses Norman Maclean's book, Young Men and Fire: A True Story of The Man Gulch Fire. This episode, the nature of catastrophes, how we react to tragedy, and how we can respond to fear and panic.
March 22, 2020
008: Midweek Debrief - I Am Not Myself
Donavon Riley reads and discusses Richard Rolle's 14th-century poem: The limbs that move, the eyes that see, these are not entirely me; Dead men and women helped to shape, the mold that I do not escape; The words I speak, the written line, these are not uniquely mine. For in my heart and in my will, old ancestors are warring still, Celt, Roman, Saxon and all the dead, from whose rich blood my veins are fed, In aspect, gesture, voices, tone, flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone; In fields they tilled, I plow the sod, I walk the mountain paths they trod; Around my daily steps arise - the good, the bad - those I comprise. by Richard Rolle c 1300 - 1349
March 18, 2020
37: The Fourth Jiu-Jitsu Debrief
Donavon Riley discusses developing a competition mindset, the importance of sticking with a gameplan, and finding happiness [even] in defeat.
March 17, 2020
36: Gilgamesh - Confronting Death
Donavon Riley finishes reading and discussing the Epic of Gilgamesh. This episode, Gilgamesh confronts his own mortality. What can we learn from our mortality? How can it change us and our way of seeing others? 
March 15, 2020
007: Midweek Debrief - Are You Trapped by Modern Society?
Donavon Riley reads and discusses, "Are You Trapped by Modern Society," by Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen. Do you feel that you’re not living the life you want to live? The game is rigged and you are going to lose. But, what happens if you just leave?
March 11, 2020
35: Gilgamesh - Life, Death, and Brotherhood
Donavon Riley continues to read and discuss the Epic of Gilgamesh. This episode, Gilgamesh suffers the death of Enkidu. How has the language of brotherhood, so prevalent in ancient cultures, all but disappeared from our relationships at present? How has not contemplating our mortality contributed to the devaluing of life? What is the purpose of our lives? 
March 8, 2020
34: Gilgamesh - Did We Just Become Best Friends?
Donavon Riley reads and discusses the Epic of Gilgamesh. This episode, Enkidu is seduced, Gilgamesh receives visions, and a friendship emerges from conflict.
March 1, 2020
006: Midweek Debrief - Dust Yourself Off
Donavon Riley discusses the consequences of embracing weakness and doubt and using failure to become mentally, physically, and emotionally stronger. Kevin Ross on the Joe Rogan Podcast:
February 26, 2020
33: Gilgamesh - What's So Bad About Being a Savage?
Donavon Riley reads and discusses the Epic of Gilgamesh. This episode, we're introduced to Gilgamesh and Enkidu, civilization and savagery, and the world as it is versus the world as we want it.
February 23, 2020
005: Midweek Debrief - The Philosophy of Inanimate Objects
Donavon Riley reads and discusses an article by Marty Skovelund Jr., "The Philosophy of Inanimate Objects." Also, thoughts on upcoming episodes, moving from self to sacrifice, and what happens when we stop chasing after what everyone else wants.
February 19, 2020
32: The Third Jiu-Jitsu Debrief
Donavon Riley discusses learning to manage fear in competition and what experience can teach us about expecting the worst, losing, and breaking through mental barriers.
February 17, 2020
004: Midweek Debrief - The Pleasures of Drowning
Donavon Riley reads and discusses philosopher and author, Sam Harris' reflection on his experience learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
February 5, 2020
31: Leo Jenkins - You’re Not Entitled to Your Own Opinion
Donavon Riley reads and discusses Leo Jenkin's article, "You're Not Entitled to Your Own Opinion." Is everyone entitled to their own opinions, regardless of the time and energy they've invested (or not) in forming their opinions? How does a sense of entitlement alter our opinions, and our self-identity?
February 2, 2020
003: Midweek Debrief - Everyday Is A Fight
Donavon Riley reads and discusses Elizabeth Fagan's meditation on living the warrior's life. Are you showing you every day? Are you putting your heart into the work? Are you disciplined enough to do the things you don't want to do?
January 29, 2020
30: Sebastian Junger - Sacrifice or Selfishness?
Donavon Riley finishes reading and discussing Sebastian Junger's book, Tribe. This episode, what happens to people in a society that doesn't offer them the chance to act selflessly? How does a lack of connectedness contribute to peoples' selfish behaviors?
January 26, 2020
002: Midweek Debrief - Fear Isn't Bad or Something to Avoid
Donavon Riley reads and discusses Sean Fagen's meditation on fear, "The Only Thing That Scares Me Is A Complete Lack Of Fear." What is your relationship with fear? Do you allow it to control you? Or do you use it to your advantage?
January 22, 2020
29: Sebastian Junger - The Beauty and Tragedy of The Modern World
Donavon Riley continues to read and discuss Sebastian Junger's book, Tribe. What would you risk dying for? What conversations and activities are necessary for the healthy functioning of a society? What is the beauty and the tragedy of the modern world?
January 19, 2020
001: Midweek Debrief - Forgiveness Is Strength
Donavon Riley reads and discusses a meditation from osulifestyle. What happens when we see resentment and hatred as a virus? Why do we not see forgiveness as real strength? What happens when we understand that forgiveness is a weapon that liberates us from resentment and hatred?
January 15, 2020
28: Sebastian Junger - Depression and Suicide
Donavon Riley continues to read and discuss Sebastian Junger's book, Tribe. This episode, why do mental health issues, such as depression, increase as wealth grows? What are the social and psychological causes of suicide?
January 12, 2020
27: Sebastian Junger - Tribe
Donavon Riley reads and discusses Sebastian Junger's book, Tribe. How do we become adults in a society that doesn't ask for sacrifice? How do we become men and women in a world that doesn't require courage?
January 7, 2020
26: Steven Pressfield - Selflessness
Donavon Riley reads and discusses "Selflessness" from Steven Pressfield's book, The Warrior Ethos. What is the difference between living for one's self and living for a group? How can a selfless life benefit us, and more than that, how does it provide us with real wealth?
December 30, 2019
25: The Christmas Episode - Scoti Domeij - The Gifts of Brokenness
In this episode, Donavon Riley reads and reflects in Scoti Domeij's article, The Gifts of Brokeness. This week, it's all about digging down to the roots of Christmas and finding joy in pain.
December 22, 2019
24: Steven Pressfield - Tribes, Gangs and Terrorists, part 2
Donavon Riley continues to read and discuss Steven Pressfield's book, The Warrior Ethos. This week, more thoughts about tribes, gangs, and terrorists. What happens when we choose an enemy that we wouldn't consider worthy of our friendship given different circumstances? Why does adhering to a warrior ethic matter in our daily lives? How does compromising our morals (in order to combat the enemy) affect us?
December 17, 2019
23: Steven Pressfield - Tribes, Gangs and Terrorists
Donavon Riley reads and discusses Steven Pressfield's book, The Warrior Ethos. This week, it's' all about tribes, gangs, and terrorists. What defines a tribe? Are we hardwired to think and behave tribally? What happens when "shadow tribalism" occurs within a tribe?
December 8, 2019
22: Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle Is The Way
Donavon Riley reads and discusses Ryan Holiday's book, The Obstacle Is The Way. This episode, what does it mean to practice objectivity, and why is it so important for us to distinguish between observations and perceptions? 
December 1, 2019
21: The Second Jiu-Jitsu Debrief
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley discuss defeat, injuries, and what can be learned from losing a fight after Donavon's second major competition, and we catch up on Bill's physical therapy following injury and surgery.
November 22, 2019
20: Miyamoto Musashi - The Way of Walking Alone
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley read and discuss Miyamoto Musashi's "The Way of Walking Alone." At the end of his life, having hung up his swords and embraced pacifism, Musashi wrote down a summary of all his wisdom and experience in Dokkodo, The Way of Walking Alone. In theses 1-6, Winter and Riley discuss acceptance, desire, self-control, jealousy, and regret.
November 15, 2019
19: Beowulf - The Final Battle
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley wrap up their reading and discussion of Beowulf. This episode, Beowulf is an old man, but only he has the courage to fight the dragon. So, of course, we talk about courage but also mortality and what our choice of heroes say about us.
November 4, 2019
18: Beowulf - Don't Get Too Comfortable, You May Get Eaten
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley continue their reading and discussion of Beowulf. This episode, Beowulf helps us think about what happens when we get too comfortable and need to be rescued from our prosperity and from true evil. 
October 28, 2019
17: Beowulf - Soft Times and Evil Monsters
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley continue their reading of Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney. This week, we meet Grendel and Beowulf. When times are good and evil attacks who will defend us? 
October 13, 2019
16: Beowulf - Courage and Great Character
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley read Seamus Heaney's translation of the epic poem, Beowulf. This week, they get sidetracked talking about Shield Sheafson, examples worth following, and the problem with weak piety. Beowulf translated and read by Seamus Heaney:
October 7, 2019
15: James B. Stockwell - You Can Only Be A Victim of Yourself
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley wrap up their reading of James B. Stockdale's lecture on The Stoic Warrior's Triad. This week, they discuss good and evil, helping others, and why we can only be a victim of ourselves.  The Stoic Warrior's Triad:
September 23, 2019
14: James B. Stockdale - Good and Evil in Every Human Heart
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley continue their discussion of The Stoic Warrior's Triad, by James B. Stockdale. This week, good and evil, fear and guilt, and the example of Pigeye. The Stoic Warrior's Triad:
September 16, 2019
13: James B. Stockdale - Entering The World of Epictetus
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley continue their discussion of The Stoic Warrior's Triad, by James B. Stockdale. This week, good and evil, what's beyond our power, and our tragic addiction to external things. The Stoic Warrior's Triad:
September 8, 2019
12: James B. Stockdale - Stockdale Introduces Us to Epictetus
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley continue their discussion of The Stoic Warrior's Triad, by James B. Stockdale. This week, we dive deep into why Stoic philosophy just works, what happens when Stoic philosophy and Christian theology are mixed together, and why the Stoics may have become so popular amongst moderns.  The Stoic Warrior's Triad:
September 1, 2019
11: James B. Stockdale - The Stoic Warrior's Triad
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley read and discuss Jame's B. Stockdale's paper, The Stoic Warrior's Triad. In episode one, Stockdale begins his discussion about how Stoicism helped him survive as a prisoner of war for seven and one-half years. The Stoic Warrior's Triad:
August 25, 2019
10: The Jiu Jitsu Debrief
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley discuss fear, honor, and shame after Donavon's first major competition and Bill's first week back on the mats. 
August 18, 2019
09: Inazo Nitobe - Self-Control
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley read and discuss Inazo Nitobe's, "Bushido: The Soul of Japan." This episode, they talk about self control, discipline, and Riley goes on and on (again) about the Stoics. 
August 11, 2019
08: Inazo Nitobe - Honor, Shame, and Moral Dialogue
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley continue their reading of Bushido: The Soul of Japan, by Inazo Nitobe. This week, they discuss honor, shame, and spend a lot of time on the Stoic understanding of moral dialogue.
August 1, 2019
07: Inazo Nitobe - Courage, Courage, and More Courage
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley continue their discussion of Inazo Nitobe's "Bushido: The Soul of Japan." This week, what's the worth of courage in a society that doesn't consider it of much value? Also, what are the consequences for an individual and society when courage is used as a cover to justify evil?
July 24, 2019
06: Inazo Nitobe - Righteousness and Duty
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley continue to read and discuss Inazo Nitobe's "Bushido: The Soul of Japan." This week: What is righteousness? Why is doing one's duty for others important? How does holding to a code of ethics and living a life of discipline affect us for the better? 
July 19, 2019
05: Inazo Nitobe - What Is Bushido?
In season two of The Warrior Priest Podcast, Bill Winters and Donavon Riley read Inazo Nitobe's "Bushido: The Soul of Japan." What is bushido? How can Nitobe's explanation of the "Military-Knight-Way" help us formulate our own code of ethics and morality. Also, what is the benefit of knowing that  "to know and to act are one and the same"?
July 10, 2019
04: Cyrus the Great - Courage, Character, and Good Conduct
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley wrap up their reading of Cyrus the Great, by Xenophon. This week, they discuss the definition of courage, what courage has to do with influencing a person's character, and why there's no such thing as a neutral position in our lives.
July 3, 2019
03: Cyrus the Great - What is Love?
Bill Winter and Donavon Riley read and discuss The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield and Cyrus the Great by Xenophon. The focus of their discussion this week is the question: What is love? What can we learn from a warrior culture about love and how can it improve our relationships today? 
June 27, 2019
02: Cyrus the Great - What's So Important About Honor?
This week, more from The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield and Cyrus the Great by Xenophon. Bill Winter and Donavon Riley dig into the topic of honor and why it's so important to live honorably, with integrity, and develop a good character.
June 19, 2019
01: Cyrus the Great - Shame, Honor, and Love
In this episode, Bill Winter and Donavon Riley read and discuss The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield and Cyrus the Great by Xenophon. The focus of their discussion is on how shame, honor, and love can help us enjoy a good life. 
June 12, 2019