The first vanguards we encounter are those who brought us into being; our parents. They nourished our bodies in order to preserve our one cardinal value, our lives. If we were fortunate, they nourished our minds also, training us to carry on the life-process independently. The wave of guardians that followed were those whose intent was to shape us cognitively; our teachers. With the effort of comprehension, we found mentors wherever knowledge was to be had. It was their contribution that taught us how to carry out a rational progression from 2+2=4 to understanding the wavelengths of light, and to convey that knowledge. They fostered our ability to identify what is and what isn’t a correct answer, in order to make decisions wisely in any context of our future lives. In school, the right answers and actions led us to good grades. In life, the right answers and actions lead us to prosperity. If they taught well and we paid attention, we then join the world of production, the “real world” of the life sustainers where one’s capacity for profitable actions is put to the test. We gain full competency by emulating the vanguards who do their jobs well. Upon mastering the realm of sustenance—which is to maintain profitability by outpacing what one consumes—we are free to rise to the limit of our ambition. Then webecome the vanguards automatically by doing all that is required of one;by setting a sound example.

There are clearly a lot of should be’s and if’s in the above paragraph. Those who should be our protectors are often our corrupters. Some of us owe our very existence to a knee-jerk response in our parents, who sought children as a neurotic aversion in an attempt to fill the void of purpose. Lost on their own, such parents aren’t aware of what kids need cognitively, and as a result can be abusive and neglectful. We all know of the dreadful records our public schools have, risking the quality of their lives and the future of America by putting a child’s emotional state ahead of his cognitive structure (his very means to achieve self-affirming emotions). Executives and workers are often as inept as they are intelligent. It is quite common that we serve as a physical and spiritual punching bag for another’s subhuman frustrations instead of receiving any healthy training; and upon ourindependence day, our ambition is all but dead on arrival. But it remains true that the role of parent, teacher and life generator are all meantto be the developmental guardians of the human race. Their contributions are essential and we must be forever cognizant of their impact, as they give structure to an individual’s potency for the next levels of living.

Our most treasured response to existence, our purpose in life,parallels and motivates our highest intimate response to another human being; a romantic relationship. The charge we get from pursuing our dreams and winning, drives the need to express our deepest loving power. A romantic relationship is our greatest social experience and release; our most precious spiritual vanguard. We work conscientiously to develop and maintain our attractiveness to deserve the same in return—the best a spouse can offer. We practice wholesome values because we want the elation of true love, and with integrity, we haveearned it. When we find someone who shares our style of living, our resulting fulfillment is priceless. But sometimes we have to spend years alone, and watch the passion we generate die on the vine. Popular psychologists tell us we shouldn’t need anyone to be happy. So why are theyall married? A relationship is not a dependency, it is a confirmation. Don’t kid yourself; no one can keep his or her spirit fulfilled without personal intimacy when its potentiality is aroused by every passing smile. Love is a sacred reward.

Still, finding a suitable mate is rarely a cooperative pursuit, and can be a heartbreaking challenge. The torture of loneliness can drive us into the arms of those who harbor many unsettling characteristics. With foolish generosity we grant them faith, unable to believe their views on life could mean what they seem to mean. Slipping into an intellectual coma, we give our love completely (the only way we know how) and then tragically discover that the mate we’ve committed to isn’t drawn to our hard won identity or any of the splendor we can create together, for any number of reasons. Here’s one: They cling to you due to the shear, naked fear of facing life independently. You have been reduced from the sense of a gallant romantic partner to being a source of food. Confronted with the appalling reality that you aren’t special to them at all—that the concept “special” is incommunicable to them—you fog out the knowledge that their favor could’ve been had by anyonewilling to pay their deficit. With your last remnants of faith (they’ll change), you continue to pretend that their mental range isn’t one meal away from death. Equating your tolerance with weakness, they lose respect for you and attempt spiritual domination to secure their position. This leaves you to question: How does the one who professes to love me, consistently take actions of hate? Hmmm…A being spurred into action by negativity, yet passively indifferent to intimacy…

Or maybe they didchoose you for your personal attributes, but furthering no life purposes of their own, seems to exert his or her greatest passionate response to you by relishing your physical or emotional pain; seeing your desires in life and in the relationship frustrated. They are so slow to provide comfort and so eager to help confirm your impotence in life. The worst default is your silent resignation to endure such hell out of romantic starvation; even though they have turned on you. Who turned on you first?

There will always be Spirit Murderers who seek to steal our potency. It is up to us to stay aware of who the realvanguards are; those who uphold justice and foster progress, privately and publicly, physically and spiritually, and who the impostors are in every context of our lives. Many claiming the title of vanguard are just the opposite. Both become easy to spot with the right tenets, to be fully spelled out in the following sections. But for now, understand that an imposter’s energy is used to justify his own impotence, and his life’s frustration exudes negativity. His focus brings about a sense of strain in those burdened by his presence; a sense of painful contradictions. In his life, everything is your fault; that is unless he runs into someone even more accomplished. Then it becomes theirs. When you cross paths with him, you breathe a sigh of relief when he is out of range.

A true vanguard carries around almost no negativity. He uses his energy to fulfill his dreams of which you may be a part, and his pride and peace exudes good feelings. When you pass himin the street, you can feel lifewalking by.