This book is a prequel of sorts to the Peaceful Warrior books. I was quite excited when the book was announced and I haven’t been disappointed. I’ve now read it multiple times. Beyond his exceptional ability as a storyteller, Dan Millman succinctly captures the essence of our modern yearnings for lives that make sense, embrace sanity, and cultivate warriors.
The book is set in Tsarist Russia and follows the life of Sergei Ivanov from early childhood through his adult years. He is the one who is called Socrates in the other Peaceful Warrior books. there is a blend of culture, tragedy, violence, mysticism, and martial technology that keeps the reader fully engaged no matter what their preferred genre.
More than just a novel, The Journeys of Socrates can be viewed as a parable or metaphor for living in today’s complex world. Sergei learns many lessons (most of them the hard way) and they have definite application in our current society.
One of his mentors, Serafim, was a monk. Sergei sought him out because he had previously been a great warrior and master of the martial arts. Serafim obviously believed in experiential learning, but occasionally dispensed words of great wisdom such as this, “In an instant a life may turn around; a heart may open in a moment of grace. But preparing for that moment can take a lifetime.”
The following quote is listed as being from Socrates’ Journal:
“When I was young, I believed that life might unfold in an orderly way, according to my hopes and expectations. But now I understand that the Way winds like a river, always changing, ever onward, following God’s gravity toward the Great Sea of Being. My journeys revealed that the way itself creates the warrior; that every path leads to peace, every choice to wisdom. And that life has always been, and will always be, arising in Mystery.”
For more information about Dan Millman’s work check out www.danmillman.com.