Peaceful Warrior DVD

I watched Peaceful Warrior the other night. I'd overheard people 
(live, at Blockbuster) give this film strong recommendations.  
Members of a list I read also gave it good reviews. So I went to the 
movie site and checked out the trailers. What I saw there generated 
sufficient interest for me to go out and rent the DVD, which wasn't 
available until recently at my local Blockbuster, due to the high 
demand.  

This is the story of Dan Millman, played by an upcoming young and 
very athletic actor, Scott Mechlowicz. If the movie tells the story 
relatively accurately, young athlete Millman in training for the 
Olympics clearly has a major teacher-student agreement with a gas 
station owner (played by Nick Nolte). The agreement content has to 
with raising Millman's mindfulness about - everything. Who he really 
is, why he does what he does, and what IT's really all about.

At the point at which Millman meets his teacher, who he cynically 
dubs "Socrates," Millman is on top of the world, and at the top of 
his game. He's handsome, an A student, his parents are wealthy, all 
the girls want to sleep with him, and he's a formidable gymnast. Who 
needs mindfulness, or more of what life has to offer, when you 
already have it all?  

NO ONE. Until - Life intervenes, in seemingly irrevocable ways.  
Then it's time to appreciate the inner world of inner riches, while 
you sift through the infinite ruins of a life that promised limitless 
fame and fortune.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The teaching agreement is actually 
activated prior to Millman's life-changing event, catalyzed by 
chronic insomnia. He finds himself at Socrates' gas station at 3AM 
one morning, where he stops to get munchies after a long run down the 
highway from his house.

I found the teachings of Socrates to be straight out of Metaphysics 
101.  

The movie doesn't show you how Millman gets a lot of his insights.  
However, we do see him quoting them back to Socrates as if they are 
sentences being read from a book, the grasp of their content yet to 
be made.

Socrates' methods and manner of instructing young Millman seem rather 
antiquated, and the subsequent illuminations are more than a bit 
hackneyed (probably because for me this was stuff straight out of 
101.)

Suffice it to say that Millman is a rather more-than-less willing 
student, despite having ample reason to descend into the deepest 
dregs of utter, irretrievable bitterness. Speaking of bitterness, we 
don't actually see much expression of that, overall. Sure, there's 
one scene where he considers ending it all, but it doesn't come off 
as bitterness, or even express much as anger. I'd say there's a 
significant piece of character missing here, despite that particular 
scene's revelation of struggle with aspects of self. I'll also add 
here that it's not the actor's fault that the script wrote him in as 
a 2-dimensional figure.

The movie primarily emphasizes the odd relationship between Socrates 
and Millman, and Millman's breathtaking athletic prowess. (I would 
have liked to see more of this.) I didn't think the apparent strength 
of the connection between Socrates and Millman was overly believable, 
being primarily supported by Millman's restless intellectual 
curiosity. One would think that Millman's attachment to Socrates 
might have some ostensible basis in a sense of emptiness, emotional 
chaos, and deep spiritual yearning, but no, the intellectual takes 
stage center. Socrates' character is appropriately aloof and detached 
(no love lost here), and I got the impression that the agreement was 
a tad boring for him, and that he'd rather be playing his mystic guru 
to more substantial forums. Additionally, Millman's changing 
perceptions seem to be more the result of his prophetic dream 
nightmares than what Socrates actually teaches him.

I think, however, given the state of collective public mentality, the 
information in this film will be helpful to a lot of people who 
aren't used to thinking or perceiving in certain ways. As we know, 
the commercial film is a great teaching medium, and subjects 
involving action/ athleticism/ human drama have a major draw.

Millman has written a number of books. Here are some of them:

Everyday Enlightenment
The Warrior Athlete
Quest for the Crystal Castle
Way of the Peaceful Warrior
The Life You Were Born to Live

~Gloria
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