What ‘The Dancing Paladin’ Means

Historical paladins pledging their allegiance to Charlemagne.

A couple of people have casually asked me what the title of my blog, “The Dancing Paladin,” means or implies.   It implies quite a lot, actually, and, I’ll devote this post to talking about it.  In a nutshell, it is, for me, an idealistic, romantic symbol of how I aspire to live.

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What Is True Strength? (Pt. II)

Today I  answer the question that I began in my last post.

This is actually a topic that I could easily fill an entire book in order to  fully explore it in all its subtleties and ramifications, so, if anything, this post is only an introduction, not a complete exposition of my personal vision of True Strength.

As I suggested in the previous post, True Strength is not mere physical might or stamina.   You could lift a horse and still be a wimp when it comes to True Strength.

It is not mere aggressive behavior. Go ahead, flare out your feathers and act like the Alpha Male (if you’re a guy), but unless you cultivate True Strength you are, in the big scheme of things, an Omega Male (i.e., the male at the bottom of the pack).

My, such Big, Strong Men with Big Sticks they are, ganging up on an unarmed civilian.(http://www.flickr.com/groups/freekashmir/)

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What Is True Strength? (Pt. I)

Strength.

Since time immemorial humankind has bent its knee to strength, or at least a certain vague notion of  it.  Incalculable amounts of effort and toil have been expended by countless individuals, armies, kingdoms, governments and corporations in the pursuit of this amorphous idea of Strength.  Actually, power is the end result they all sought, but Strength was glorified because it was seen as  the ultimate prerequisite for power.

Might makes right... uh, right?

We live in a world that has always valued Strength above all other qualities.  So much so that it has been deified and worshiped (hence I capitalize it to emphasize this cultural deification).  In Greek mythology, the Titans were the gods who ruled before the Olympians (Zeus, Poseidon, etc.), and Cratus was the Titan of Strength.  In fact, in words that reference social power like aristocracy and theocracy, the –-cracy part comes from the name Cratus which means “strength” or “power,” so the deification of strength is embedded even in our language. Continue reading

What This Blog Is About

Given that this is my first official entry for this blog, I thought I’d elaborate a little more about what the blog will be about in ways that the “About” page, in the name of brevity, does not.

I have already written, on my “About” page, about how The Dancing Paladin is about my philosophy of living a life that is both successful (in whatever sense you want that word to mean) and highly virtuous.

I can't say that the unexamined life is not worth living, as Socrates claimed, but I CAN say that the examined life is very worth living indeed. (image: Rembrandt, "Philosopher in Meditation," oil on wood, 1632)

The ideas that I will be writing about here are a result of a lifetime (so far, relatively short, I admit) of non-stop searching, reading, thinking, experimenting, changing and adapting. Most of it will be my original content.  Occasionally, some of it may be material by others that I want to share.  Some of it will be actual, practical tips; some of it will be just ideas that will be for you to decide what to do with. Continue reading