The Practical Foundation of The Numinous Way, and The Way of The Warrior

The Meaning of Honour

Honour, according to The Numinous Way, is a specific code of personal behaviour and conduct, and the practical means whereby we can live in an empathic way, consistent with the Cosmic perspective of The Numinous Way. It is thus a means for us to cease to cause, and to alleviate, suffering to the other life which exists in the Cosmos. Honour is how we can change, and control, ourselves in a moral way, and it is the moral basis for giving personal loyalty (or allegiance) and undertaking obligations relating to one's personal duty, which duty we pledge (or swear) to do on our honour. One of the most obvious outward expressions of living by honour is the possession of personal manners.

As mentioned elsewhere:

"Honour means we respect people - we are well-mannered toward them; we treat them as we ourselves would wish to be treated, and are aware of them, as unique individuals, as fellow human beings, who feel pain, anguish; who love, and who can know joy, sorrow and happiness. That is, we have empathy toward them, and this empathy - this awareness of their humanity - should incline us toward compassion, which is an expression of our very humanity, of our ability to know, to be aware of, the feelings, the suffering, of others. In effect, compassion and empathy provide that supra-personal perspective which makes us truely human and civilized.

Thus, honour, empathy and compassion are all related. Honour means we know, we feel, what true justice is - it is individuals being fair, being reasonable. Honour also means what we strive to do what is right, and are prepared to act, in an honourable way, if we see some injustice, some dishonour, being done." Compassion, Empathy and Honour: The Ethics of the Numinous Way

Honour, in essence, is a manifestation of the numen of our human life, and when we act or strive to act with honour we are presencing the numen: we being a natural, human, nexion to the numinous itself, and thus re-present the qualities and virtues of what is numinous.

Understood thus, honour is only and ever personal: that is, one can only have honour, and be honourable, toward, living-beings. Thus, for us as social human beings, honour means and implies one has certain duties and obligations toward other human beings, and that we can only give our loyalty to individuals - to a living being - whom we personally know, and not to some abstraction, or to some human manufactured causal form, or to some perceived or assumed ideal. Similarly, we can only have a duty - given by our obligation of loyalty - toward another human being whom we personally know, and not toward some abstraction, or to some human manufactured causal form, or to some perceived or assumed ideal.

Hence, while honour in general beholdens us to act in an ethical, well-mannered, way toward others with whom we come into contact, whether or not we personally know them, loyalty and duty - according to The Numinous Way - are personal, and require a personal knowledge of, a personal contact with, the person or persons to whom one pledges loyalty and to whom one has an honourable duty. This is so because honour depends on empathy - on a personal knowing, on direct personal experience. All abstractions, all categories, all ideals, all human manufactured causal forms and concepts, all separate us from empathy: from that natural perception of - and that feeling for - other living beings. Thus, in a quite important sense, empathy and honour express, and can return us to, our natural human nature, and enable us to know - to be - that natural connexion to the Cosmos which we are and which we have the potential to evolve. Abstractions, ideals, categories, causal forms - all such constructs - conceal, undermine, or destroy, this connexion.

What this means in practical terms, is that honour commands us to act, toward other people, in a polite, fair, well-mannered, unprejudiced way, and that - initially - we give individuals "the benefit of the doubt". Thus do we strive to view individuals as individuals, and our judgement of them is based upon a direct interaction with them; on a personal knowledge and experience of them. That is, we do not project onto them any abstract category; do not judge them according to some "label" or some concept or some term - whether political, social or religious (or whatever). Instead, our judgement is based upon empathy, upon a direct connexion to another human being, a connexion which - as mentioned above - any and all abstractions, ideals, categories, and causal forms, at best interfere with and at worst disrupt or destroy or are the genesis of, or a manifestation of, prejudice.

The discernment of empathy means that we do not judge an individual by their outward appearance, or by some category which others, or even they themselves, may have appended to their being. Thus, and for example, their known or stated or assumed "political" views and opinions are irrelevant to an empathic knowing and understanding of them, just as their known, stated or assumed "religion", or their known, stated or assumed ethnicity, culture or social "class, are all irrelevant to an empathic knowing and understanding of them. Similarly, whatever is known, stated or assumed by others to have been done, by them, in the past is also irrelevant, for we judge them - interact with them - as they are now, in the moment of that personal contact, that immediate personal knowing, and not on the basis of rumour, or allegations, or even on deeds done, by them, or alleged to have been done by them, in their past.

The Numinous Way: Way of the Individual Warrior

Honour is the Way of Reason, Culture, and of Warriors, for a code of honour specifies how we can behave in a reasonable, fair, human way, and such a reasonable, fair and human way is the genesis of all human culture, and of all honourable human communities which such culture arises from and depends upon.

In addition - and expressed simply - a warrior is someone who strives to live by a specific Code of Honour; someone who values honour, loyalty and duty, and, most importantly, is prepared to die rather than be dishonoured, or be disloyal, or shirk a duty they have pledged to do. That is, they value honour above their own lives.

What is both interesting and important about the Code of Honour of The Numinous Way is that it expresses the fair, and human, attribute that tolerance, and compassion, have certain ethical limits, and it is these setting of human, and ethical limits, which in one way serves to distinguish and separate The Numinous Way from other ethical philosophies, such as Buddhism, based upon compassion and upon a desire to cease to cause suffering.

Thus, while honour demands that we are fair and tolerant and unprejudiced toward others, it also allows for not only self-defence, but also for the employment, if required, of the use of violent force (including lethal force) to defend one's self and those to whom the individual has given a personal pledge of loyalty and who thus come under the honourable protection of that individual. Hence, if one is attacked, it is honourable to defend one's self, and if the circumstances require it, ethical to use such force as is necessary, even if this means that the attackers or attackers are injured or killed.

Some simple examples will serve to illustrate this most honourable of ethical principles and also the attitude, the nature, of the warrior. Consider that an individual is threatened with robbery: if the robber cannot be reasoned with, then the individual has an honourable duty to use whatever force is required to rout, and if necessary, disable, the robber. To accede to the demands of the robber would be a dishonourable act. Consider that a person demands that you do whatever that person says, and is prepared to use, for example, force or some threat to get their own way; then the honourable thing is to refuse such a dishonourable demand and to, whatever the risk, attack or otherwise rout such a dishonourable person. This applies for instance in the case of unarmed individual threatened by someone with, for example, a gun who demands that the unarmed individual do certain things; the honourable individual refuses, and - even if it means their death - tries to attack the armed individual, for to "give in" would be an act of dishonour, and the honourable individual would prefer death to such dishonour. Consider that a person encounters an individual (or several individuals) attacking a lady; the person comes to her defence, and uses whatever force required to rout the attacker (or attackers). Similarly, if a person of honour sees several individuals attack one individual, man or woman, then the honourable thing to do is to aid such an attacked individual.

As should be obvious from the foregoing examples, the individual of honour - the man, of woman, of honour, the individual warrior - would be trained and prepared for such situations, and either carry a weapon to defend themselves (and others, if necessary) and/or know how to disable and rout an armed attacker. In addition, the individual of honour uses their own judgement - and honour itself - to decide how to act and react.  That is, they rely on themselves, on their honour, and not upon some external authority or upon some abstract un-living "law" or some abstract un-living concept of "justice". For true, human, law and justice resides in - and can only ever reside in - honourable individuals, and to extract it out from such individuals (from that-which-lives) into some abstraction is the beginning of, and the practical implementation of, tyranny, however many fine sounding words may be used to justify such an abstraction and to obscure the true nature of honour. For individuals of honour understand - often instinctively - that honour is living while words are not; that honour lives in individuals, while words  thrive in and through dishonourable individuals in thrall to either their own emotions and desires or to some abstraction.

Furthermore, the individual warrior of The Numinous Way is quite different from the soldier, for the warrior of The Numinous Way is a new, yet ancient, type of human being whose only loyalty and duty is to individuals known to them personally. That is, such warriors fight only if necessary in defence of their own honour; or in defence of someone attacked in an unfair situation by a dishonourable person or by dishonourable others; or in defence of and as a duty to another individual to whom they have given a personal pledge of loyalty and whom they personally know and respect and regard as honourable. Such a warrior would consider it dishonourable to be part of any modern army or armed force, who and which fight on behalf of some political abstraction (such as a State or a nation) or in perceived loyalty and duty to some "leader" or President (or whatever) whom they have never personally met and whom thus they have never been able to judge for themselves as being worthy of such loyalty.

Thus, The Numinous Way is the Way of the thinking, honourable, individual warrior: of the individual human being who has perceived the abstractions of the past for the unethical hindrances that they are, and considers such abstractions - and all that derive from them - as not only restrictive of that true freedom which is our human nature but also as greatly detrimental to our evolution, as human beings. These abstractions include such things as The State, the nation, "race", social "status" (or class), all political -isms and theories, all religious dogma and theology, and all social doctrines, theories, isms and categories. It even includes many - if not most - of the philosophical and metaphysical doctrines, theories, isms and categories which have been posited in an attempt to explain and "understand" the world, and ourselves, but which, in truth, have been manufactured and them projected onto - interposed between - ourselves, others and "the world", thus obscuring the numinous and thus distancing us from our faculty of empathy.

However, the only ethical, honourable way - consistent with The Numinous way - to counter such social, political or religious abstractions, is to live in an honourable manner; to be part of, to strive to create, new communities based only upon the law and ethics of honour. By so living, we are using, and developing, our natural faculty of empathy, and thus living as human beings, and striving, in an honourable, empathic, compassionate way, to develope and further evolve ourselves.

Thus, as stated elsewhere:

"In respect of change, what is required, by the ethics of The Numinous Way, is a self-transformation, an inner change - a living according to the ethics of The Numinous Way. That is, compassion, empathy, honour, reason - the cessation of suffering, and the gradual evolution, development, of the individual...

This is a personal change, and a slow, social change. The social change arises, for example, when groups of people who follow such a Way freely decide to live in a certain manner through, for example, being part of, or creating, a small rural community. The social change also arises when others are inspired by the ethical example of others.

All this takes us very far away from political or violent revolution - very far away from politics at all. So no, a violent revolution, the overthrow of some State or some government, is not the answer; instead, inner personal development and ethical social change are answers." A Numinous Future - Beyond The State and The Nation

The Code of Honour of The Numinous Way

The word of a man or woman of honour is their bond - for when a man or woman of honour gives their word ("On my word of honour...") they mean it, since to break one's word is a dishonourable act. An oath of loyalty or allegiance to someone, once sworn by a man or woman of honour ("I swear by my honour that I shall...") can only be ended either: (i) by the man or woman of honour formally asking the person to whom the oath was sworn to release them from that oath, and that person agreeing so to release them; or (ii) by the death of the person to whom the oath was sworn. Anything else is dishonourable.

A man or woman of honour is prepared to do their honourable duty by challenging to a duel anyone who impugns their honour or who makes dishonourable accusations against them. Anyone so challenged to a duel who, refusing to publicly and unreservedly apologize, refuses also to accept such a challenge to a duel for whatever reason, is acting dishonourably, and it is right to call such a person a coward and to dismiss as untruthful any accusations such a coward has made. Honour is only satisfied - for the person so accused - if they challenge their accuser to a duel and fight it; the honour of the person who so makes such accusations or who so impugns another person's honour, is only satisfied if they either unreservedly apologize or accept such a challenge and fights such a duel according to the etiquette of duelling. A man or woman of honour may also challenge to a duel and fight in such a duel, a person who has acted dishonourably toward someone whom the man or woman of honour has sworn loyalty or allegiance to or whom they honourably champion.

A man or woman of honour always does the duty they have sworn to do, however inconvenient it may be and however dangerous, because it is honourable to do one's duty and dishonourable not to do one's duty. A man or woman of honour is prepared to die - if necessary by their own hand - rather than suffer the indignity of having to do anything dishonourable. A man or woman of honour can only surrender to or admit to defeat by someone who is as dignified and as honourable as they themselves are - that is, they can only entrust themselves under such circumstances to another man or woman of honour who swears to treat their defeated enemy with dignity and honour. A man or woman of honour would prefer to die fighting, or die by their own hand, rather than subject themselves to the indignity of being defeated by someone who is not a man or woman of honour.

A man or woman of honour treats others courteously, regardless of their culture, religion, status, and race, and is only disdainful and contemptuous of those who, by their attitude, actions and behaviour, treat they themselves with disrespect or try to personally harm them, or who treat with disrespect or try to harm those whom the individual man or woman of honour have personally sworn loyalty to or whom they champion.

A man or woman of honour, when called upon to act, or when honour bids them act, acts without hesitation provided always that honour is satisfied.

A man or woman of honour, in public, is somewhat reserved and controlled and not given to displays of emotion, nor to boasting, preferring as they do deeds to words.

A man or woman of honour does not lie, once having sworn on oath ("I swear on my honour that I shall speak the truth...") as they do not steal from others or cheat others for such conduct is dishonourable. A man or woman of honour may use guile or cunning to deceive sworn enemies, and sworn enemies only, provided always that they do not personally benefit from such guile or cunning and provided always that honour is satisfied.


The most acceptable and civilized form of duel is by pistol, and those abiding by the Code of Honour are expected to use this form as and when necessary.

A formal challenge to a duel must be personally issued, by one party to the other, at which a date, time and place are specified (Dawn is traditionally favoured). Each duellist must be accompanied by a Second, to ensure fair play and an honourable outcome, as there must be a referee.

At the appointed time and in the appointed place, two revolvers, pistols or duelling pistols, as similar as possible, are checked and prepared by the referee, (ideally a man of honour should keep or have access to a matched pair of pistols specifically made for duelling, capable of firing one round and one round only). These revolvers or pistols, and the bullets, are also checked by the duellists and their seconds. [Note: whatever pistol is used it should be loaded or so adapted that one round and only round can be discharged from it when the trigger is pulled.]

The referee then allows the duellists to choose a weapon. The duellists stand back to back. At a sign or word from the referee they then walk a set number of paces agreed beforehand (ten being usual) before turning to face each other. The referee then says: "Take aim!" at which they take aim. The referee then says: "Fire!" at which they discharge the weapon. It is considered dishonourable conduct to aim and/or fire before the referee gives the signal to so do.

Should one person fire and miss, or hit and injure, the other duellist before that duellist has also fired, then the person who has so fired must wait, without moving, until his fellow duellist has also fired, if he is capable of so firing.

Honour is satisfied if the duel is undertaken in the above manner.

Some Notes On Duelling

There are four things which need to be understood about personal duels of honour.

(1) The etiquette, or rules, of duelling must be followed, for it is these rules which make this encounter between two individuals a civilized and thus an honourable encounter. A duel of honour is not a brawl, or merely a fight between two individuals - it is a dispassionate meeting of two individuals who use their own will, their own strength of character, to fight in a particular way.

The rules, the etiquette, of duelling make it such a dispassionate encounter - for a duel is a test of courage, of nerve, of character, of personal honour itself. Any and all conduct which is against the rules is dishonourable, and as such the person who does not abide by the rules is not an honourable person, and thus forfeits their honour and their honourable reputation.

If the rules are not followed, it is thus not a duel of honour.

(2) In a duel of honour, deadly weapons must be used. It is the deadly nature of the weapons used, with the possibility of death, which makes the encounter an honourable one. Deadly weapons include pistols, swords and long-bladed fighting knives of the Bowie type.

(3) The duel is a private affair between the two individuals concerned. As such, only the nominated Seconds, and a referee - acceptable by both sides - must be present. It is against the etiquette of duelling for any other people to be present.

(4) A person challenged to a duel must either personally accept the challenge, or decline the challenge. It is dishonourable and cowardly conduct to ignore a challenge once it has been formally issued. If a person who is challenged declines the challenge, then they must issue a personal apology, and if necessary, or called upon to do so, a public apology.

A man of honour will only challenge to a duel those individuals whom he believes can physically defend themselves and their honour with deadly weapons. Thus, it is dishonourable and cowardly if someone who is challenged to a duel tries to get someone else to fight the duel on their behalf.