We don’t want to underestimate the utility of establishing a bounded relationship with the warrior’s ethos; attempting to live with at least some nobility in relation to the virtues while aiming at the highest ideal.
There is nothing about it that is trivial or weak. It orients us towards some aim. It takes courage and discipline, which strengthens us and its exactly what we need when facing Ginnungagap: the chaos, darkness, uncertainty, frontier of the utangard in life.
It is this acceptance of facing the unknown and challenges -learning and thus bringing innangard (order) – that defines our warrior’s path.
I’ve asked my self this question many times throughout my life. It’s quite complicated. I think first you have to divorce it from any specific manifestation. In animals the manifestation is in other animals of your species, not some abstraction. But it’s that ability to abstract it that separates us from the animals. It’s those abstraction which becomes principles or virtues.
Through out the centuries we have tried to abstract out the core of the guiding principles of any given path and put them into a pattern of being.
That’s ok because we are trying to figure out the essence of what it means to pull out those core principles of what the path means to be a functional being within that role.
But in order to figure it out we first need an embodiment that encompasses those ideas of what they mean that is separate from us. This is where the great hero’s of myth come from and it allows us to act out that embodiment.
Any philosophical or principle abstraction must first manifest itself as a concert pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a single individual. Then that becomes a set of individuals. It’s then it can be abstracted from the individual or individuals leaving us with the abstractions that becomes principles and/or virtues.
However never confuse the specific manifestation with the principles/virtues of the path. In this way we always remain subordinate to the path itself.