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Samurai Philosophy

If a samurai always looks in the face of death, he will not be attached to things and will become a worthy man.

– Daidōji Yūzan

If a man has devoted all of his energy to martial arts for many years, then, even if he has not achieved perfect mastery, he has certainly become quite skilled. This is why it can be said that he has surpassed many others.

– Daidōji Yūzan

By overcoming the idea of death, the samurai developed another view of the world. They acquired the gift of self-perfection given only to those who have overcome death in their consciousness. This is Bushi-Do.

A warrior must learn to watch his Way from the sidelines, to be detached, impartial towards himself and his own deeds. Only in this manner does he save himself from making a mistake, as even a slight deviation from the Way is sure to escalate drastically in a very short time.

A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

Pure and Bright is the Sword.
And everyone sees his reflection in it…
And can see the Stars
On the Waves of Hamon…

A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

Victory and defeat are but ordinary events in a soldier's career, and why should you give up?

– Luo Guanzhong, "Romance of the Three Kingdoms"

A man whose profession is the use of arms should think and then act upon not only his fame, but also that of his descendants. He should not scandalise his name forever by holding his one and only life too dear.

– Shiba Yoshimasa

Every warrior knows that an encounter with real danger is the most effective method to build up strength. The stronger the adversary, the higher the danger, the greater the development. This is a risky but attractive method.
In the long run, the ability to make oneself overcome extreme stress or defeat the adversary is mostly about mastering one’s state of mind – victory over oneself.
In any case, the only adversary is yourself, even if there is a real enemy.

A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.

– Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"

Comprehension generates strength, will, and power. If you understand this, you will find support even in the void, and you will realize that genuine power is inherent in the man.
An human being may have scarce physical strength. But if your will of iron directs all your actions, then your purposefulness will work miracles.

A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

One must possess a mind that frees the mind.

– Zhongfeng Mingben

In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased.

– Miyamoto Musashi

To see the edge of the blade which is going to cut you down is hell, but make a step forward and you are in heaven.

– Takuan Sōhō

The Way of a wise man is inside him…
The truth rests inside. The heart always feels the truth intuitively; you only need to carefully listen to it.
If you have reached understanding – act without delay!

A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

If a man does not have enough courage and determination to fight until the end, he will give up in the time of need.

– Sōhō Takuan

The Way of the Samurai is the formation of will – the resolute pursuit of the call of Force. The will and morality of Force are directed only forward, enhancing the comprehension of Force on their own.
Force is a thing-unto-itself. It is the Energy of the Universe. The comprehension of Force occurs through Force itself. There is no other way.

A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

The past is gone. The future has yet to come. The present is an instant. Live and breathe this instant, the whole life is concentrated in it. Life is a series of instants. In fact, the duration of a child’s life and the life of an old man is the same: an instant.

A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

Although the words "parent" and "lord", "filial piety" and "loyalty", are different, in the sincerity of the mind they are one.

– Daidōji Yūzan

Move ahead and do not look back – this is the philosophy of the warrior. Nothing disappears, and what must occur, will occur.

A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

The death of blossoms;
is not something to grieve on;
but the way of things.

– Asakura Sōteki

Facing death, be sure that you meet it fully prepared.

– Yamamoto Tsunetomo




The article contains quotes from
the book Samurai. Spirit of the Warrior by A. R. Basov

avaliable as an eBook (for Windows, Android, iOS) and a hardcover book (pre-order only).

I will not get lost...
The North Star is shining in the darkness...
The road to Valhalla, straight like a sword, is always in front of me!

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