|Reader's Guide Questions for: Way of the Peaceful Warrior|
1. What, in your view, is a warrior? What is a peaceful warrior? What is the way of the peaceful warrior? How have Socrates's remarks on the way of the peaceful warrior altered or expanded your perceptions? Are you a peaceful warrior? Why, or why not? In what sense are we all peaceful warriors in training?
3. How does Way of the Peaceful Warrior conform to the genre of books about martial arts or sports? How does it deviate from the genre?
4. Who is Socrates? How does Dan describe him? As the story unfolds, do your views of him change? What are some key points of Socrates's philosophy? And how might it compare with that of the Greek sage? What experiences do you think might have shaped Socrates's life? (For his life story, see The Journeys of Socrates,) How is he a father figure to Dan? Is he dangerous? If so, how?
5. As stated in this book, why does Socrates choose to teach Dan? Why does Dan become Socrates's student despite his mixed feelings? Socrates seems to criticize and berate Dan at times. Why might he do this?
6. Why do you think Socrates is such a secretive figure? What purpose might it serve for him to withhold information about his own history?
8. What role do stories, dreams, and journeys play in the book? Why might Socrates choose to tell a story, anecdote, or parable rather than teach a lesson? Is there a precedent for this in spiritual or religious literature? How do dreams shape Dan's thoughts, desires, and actions? How do these vision-journeys influence Dan's development?
9. What pressures does Dan experience on his social life as his awareness and disciplines progress? Is it possible to transform one's inner life without transforming one's outer life?
10. Who is Joy? What's special about her? Is she or has she been a student of Socrates's? Beyond a love interest, what role does she play in Dan's life?
11. "Disillusion," Socrates tells Dan, "is the greatest gift I can give you." What does he mean? What illusions of Dan's does he hope to shatter? Why?
12. What does Dan realize after winning the 1968 National Collegiate Championships in Tucson, Arizona? Do his achievements make him happy? Why or why not? What will make him happy? (What will make you happy?)
13. "Now I realize," Mr. Millman writes in the book's preface, "that I had, in a sense, been sleeping all those years and just dreaming I was awake-until I met Socrates" What does Dan mean? How has Socrates awakened him? What is different about this new waking life?
14. How does Dan change over the course of the book? In the beginning, who is he? By the end, who has he become?
15. "Remain ordinary and you can be useful to others," Socrates tells Dan. What does he mean? Why must Dan remain ordinary? If Dan is ordinary when the book begins and ordinary when the book ends, what has changed?
Other questions to consider for Way of the Peaceful Warrior:
1. In Socrates's world, what is important? (Meaningful? Meaningless?)