There is an apparent contradiction in don Juan’s teachings regarding the warrior’s life; but it really is not a contradiction, only a paradox. He tells Castaneda that a warrior is fluid, flexible, and unpredictable. A warrior has no routines. In fact, the warrior intentionally disrupts any routines that happen to form.
On the other hand, he was training Carlos to have “unbending intent.” He said, “The average man’s connecting link with intent is practically dead, and warriors begin with a link that is useless, because it does not respond voluntarily. In order to revive that link, warriors need a rigorous, fierce purpose — a special state of mind called unbending intent.”
Unbending intent is like discipline but even deeper because it is a way of reviving our link to Intent, Spirit, Will, and Power. With the warrior’s discipline of unbending intent, she becomes impeccable. She no longer wastes energy. “A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions.”
An impeccable warrior with unbending intent strategizes everything. From the perspective of a warrior, life is too short to have one’s time wasted by others’ dramas and crises. The warrior does not allow herself to be drawn into those dramas, crises, or dysfunctional patterns, unless for some reason it serves her strategy.
When a warrior has developed her impeccability and unbending intent, she can be fluid, flexible, and unpredictable, disrupting her routines, without becoming a flake at the mercy of the wind.