Please note: I use the masculine pronoun to describe the Champion of the Soul here, but it is merely for convenience.
The idea of the champion goes way back into pre-history. The champion was brave, strong, ready to fight, and always, always male. He knew how to be tough, and he knew that expressions of emotional vulnerability were unacceptable. The champion won the applause of the people by fighting for them, or standing up against tyranny. There was an ethical code, of course. The most loved champions were moral. They knew the difference between right and wrong. Hitler, Sadam Hussain and Attilla the Hun were all very brave men. But they were also demonic. They crossed the line, and had little or no sense of justice. They lacked compassion.
The Champion lives on, of course. You see them at the cinema, in video games, TV shows, and in modern sporting contests. Much bloodied and fatigued, they fight on till their bodies can fight or play no more.
There is much to admire in the traditional champion. One cannot help but admire the bloody-minded, determined heroism of Russell Crowe’s Maximus in the movie Gladiator. Despite living in a hostile world where his life was in constant threat, and his body was regularly battered by opponents and life itself, he soldiered on.
Yet the world, and humanity has changed, and it will continue to change.
The traditional champion is a product of our evolutionary and cultural past. The champion’s game is a life and death struggle for survival. He lives in a threatening environment which can claim his life at any moment. There is no time for an inner journey for him. It is fight and kill, or be killed.
For most of us in developed cultures of the modern world existence is no longer a life and death struggle. There is struggle, yes, but for most of us life is not in immediate danger; there is the mere struggle to “get ahead” financially, materially and career-wise. Prosperity in the modern age has freed vast numbers of people from more mundane pursuits and immediate imperatives such as the need for food or shelter. Millions are seeking transcendence of the mundane, even self-realisation. In his book A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink argues that self-realisation is now a quest for the vast majority of the population. This has led Pink to suggest that "meaning is the new money".
In this situation we have more choices. One fundamental choice is whether we are going to allow the story of our lives to be drawn from society and its ego-driven agendas, or whether we are going to listen to the call of Spirit. The latter does not require a withdrawal from society, but it does require disengaging from its dominant narratives, including the story of the traditional champion.
The Champion of the Soul is different from the traditional champion. Overall, his energy is softer and more balanced, but he still retains “masculine” energy. We can also note the following qualities in him.
A Champion of the Soul:
• Understands that he is not his personality/ego, but that there is a deeper essence within
• Is completely responsible for his emotional energy
• Can distinguish between the desires of the ego, and the genuine needs of the soul
• Knows when he is being manipulated and controlled by social, cultural and commercial pressures
• Can sense when he is being controlled and manipulated by others, and sense why this is so
• Can see through the veneer of personality and sense the emotional and psychic energies and motivations of others
• Is either undisturbed by events in his life, or is able to effectively process his emotional responses to life
• Is free from drama, which emerges from the unconscious projections of the psyche – typically judgment, blame, shame, moralisation, and the need for attention
• Knows his soul aptitudes (his gifts), and works to express them in the world
• Knows what his Soul Issues are, and works to take responsibility for them and where possible, to heal them
• Surrenders desire and expectation to Spirit.
• Exists in presence at will, and chooses carefully how and when he moves into the intellect/mind
• Knows how to responsibly express masculine energy, including anger
• Knows when to “fight”, and that fighting need not require psychological projection
• Is able to permit the opposite sex to express their empowerment (by taking responsibility for his ‘issues’ towards that sex)
• Lives with an attitude of gratitude and appreciation
• Is free of the need to seek the approval of others
• Does not take the results of his actions, or the actions of others, personally
• Can sense the right actions to take, and the correct timing
The focus of the journey for the soul champion is necessarily an inner one. Instead of seeing the world as ‘real’, he turns his attention to the space where perception and thought arises within himself. It is in this inner space that true empowerment is found.
As noted, I have used the masculine pronoun to here describe the Champion of the Soul. However, women are very much part of this story, and the “feminine” energy is central. The requirement is thus for men to permit the greater expression of their softer or feminine side; the anima, as Jung described it. Yet this does not mean that the male energy is repressed. In this modern world the male energy is definitely required. We need to stay in touch with the powerful masculine side of ourselves, or the danger is that we will be too easily pushed around by less responsible souls. To put it crudely, sometimes we even need to say “Fuck you!”, although this is often best expressed as an inner exhortation! Women in western countries have been encouraged to express their animus, or male energy, since the development of the feminist movement about 100 years ago, yet Asian women may need more work on expressing their 'masculine' side.
This rebalancing of the masculine and feminine energies is central to becoming a soul champion. It is for this reason that it is ideal for men and women to work together to assist each other in the journey. In the Champion of the Soul Workshops (which I conduct), it is good to have both men and women in approximately equal numbers, as their energy works off each other. Unfortunately many spiritual development groups have markedly more women than men. A mistake which then sometimes occurs, is that there is an unconscious repression of the male energy of the group. By bringing forward the consciousness of that repression, the group can grow in its understanding of the way that men and women disempower, manipulate and control each other. This does require a high degree of spiritual maturity, as the tendency is to want to ‘beat up’ the opposite sex, and political correctness suggests that it is the men who should be taken out the back and whipped first! In my own training with spiritual teachers, I was lucky enough to have some very enlightened women teachers who understood this, and encouraged the expression of male empowerment in equal degree to the feminine.
A champion of the soul is able to stand in his/her own power as a man or woman. That empowerment is a blessing for all humanity, and especially those who follow in their footsteps.