Helping men who feel something missing in their lives

The Disquiet in Men

Helping men who feel something missing in their lives

Do you remember war movies?


It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon and in the east, we are hunkering down for a major storm. I love rainy Saturday afternoons. It reminds me of when I was a kid, I loved flopping on the couch and watching war movies. There was nothing better.

Somehow I feel like that should be a secret. It’s like that somehow detracts from my often-stated personal values and is not what I should be enjoying for entertainment.

Now, I look back on that great memory and I am a bit embarrassed. I have to admit I still love the idea of a war movie marathon. It doesn’t exactly fit with my commitments to ease suffering and interests in personal development and freedom, but it’s the truth.

I will defend it though – these days I am more interested in movies that explore the cost of war. I’m not as caught up in the action anymore as much as the fascination on why we wage war. I feel more like an alien anthropologist or one of Captain Kirk’s landing team observing a race of being doing something so curious as waging war.

So my tastes these days run more to movies like Flags of our Fathers , The Patriot or Saving Private Ryan.

And yet I do honor what I learned from the movies as I grew up. I learned about bravery, sacrifice, service, comradery, patriotism, team work and the value of training and obedience. I can name lots of examples where they informed how I operated in real life situations while serving my country. Just like the trips with my dad to the hardware store, garage and barbershop placed me in the front row to learning how men are men with each other (read my article, “Man Space“), I picked up a lot of wisdom that serves me now.

Even my understanding and how I work with the Disquiet owes a nod to these movies and what I learned from them.

So in that vein, I offer a tribute:  Here is a Saturday afternoon war movie marathon about the Disquiet. It’s a triple header, so grab a beer, pop some corn and stretch out on the couch. And snoozing is allowed – some of my best learning was by osmosis through closed eyes!

We’ll start the triple feature right here with an earlier article I wrote that takes battlefield wisdom from an Israeli paratrooper and applied it in working with the Disquiet. It’s called “How to use a battlefield tactic to engage your Disquiet. And it’s a classic! 🙂

The next two articles will carry this theme.


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4 Responses to “Do you remember war movies?”

  1. Mark Silver Says:

    Hi Dave,

    I, too, enjoy war movies. And, for all of pro-feminist, pro-human, pro-spirit values, I too have been wracked with guilt at times for it.

    But, I’ve let go of that guilt (mostly) because of all that I’ve learned.

    I think there is also an interesting balance here, that I think plays directly with the disquiet.

    My spiritual tradition teaches the sanctity of human life, and that killing is a sin. And it also teaches about the impermanence of physical life, how brief it is, and not to hold onto it too closely- that there are better things worth attaching to.

    It’s an interesting dichotomy. Sometimes the anti-war voices can attach to life so…. greedily, that there is no understanding of something worth dying for. Or something worth being in conflict over.

    I should say that I’ve never been in a war. But, I have been a paramedic, and I’ve seen I don’t know how many dead bodies, including many who died from inflicted violence.

    Not one of those violent deaths is one that I can imagine condoning. And yet, they happened. It’s a tragedy, we should work to prevent it.

    And, what if there is yet a larger Truth that also encompasses the possibility of a noble death?

    Thanks for getting me thinking about this.

  2. Dave Schoof Says:

    Mark – great questions. And you are right there is a balance – like the middle way. That seems skillful.

    I am glad you see the connection to the Disquiet.

  3. Adam Kayce : Monk At Work Says:

    Oh man, me, too.

    But my secret pleasure isn’t war movies; it’s kung fu/martial arts movies.

    My wife has come down on me a few times, talking about the violence and such — again, seemingly ironic, since I teach spirituality, love, and peace. Ha!

    (I’ve even got a page on my site about my favorite kung fu movies…)

    But what I’m also finding (aside from the fact that my tastes are changing, from more action-centered to more plot-centered) is that it’s not about the violence, the action, or the inflicting of cinematic blows…

    It’s the underlying themes of “seeking to be one’s best,” and “triumph over challenge,” and the most basic, “the triumph of good over evil.”

    I’ve seen a few ‘hack-em-up’ martial arts movies, and didn’t care for them a bit. I never watch horror movies, or movies that just get violent for the sake of violence.

    But in martial arts, there is art. The quest for elegance, perfection, and the noble pursuit of self-development. And those themes are what attract me, more than anything else.

    I also find I’m attracted to watching those movies when I’m in need of an “inner morale burst”, as well.

  4. Dave Schoof Says:

    Well said – I learned so much about the nobility of the true warrior.

    We all need some chest-swelling every once in a while.

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