Life Is Battle

600px-Armored_Knight_Mounted_on_Cloaked_Horse“Life is battle. It is an ancient truth. Christianity has always known it. Its validity as an essential principle of culture is already implied in our premise that all culture includes an element of striving. Striving is always battle – struggle, that is – the exercise of the will and strength to overcome resistances which stand in the way of the attainment of an aim. Almost all action of the human soul is expressed in terms of combat. One of the most essential characteristics of the living organism is that it is more or less equipped for the attitude of battle. The identification of life and battle is just as adequate in the purely biological as in the spiritual sense.”

From J. H. Huizinga, In the Shadow of Tomorrow, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1936, 1964, p. 113.