We Must Take Fire from History, Not Ashes!

SAmurai Books: spirit of the warrior

  • samurai jisei death poem

    We are all searching for an escape.
    After grasping the ideas of the best thinkers, you can look at civilization the way an architect looks at a city plan, complete with looping streets, dark alleys, and crossroads. They converge in a square filled with exhausted people who have given up on thinking and resigned themselves to the marketplace of simple, cheap ideas. Most are hasty consumers and leave forever; few stay long enough to investigate the borders of human intelligence, and fewer still are those who are able to see the horizon hidden behind the ordinary – the brilliant world of the Samurai. Bushi-Do may be compared to an exquisite crystal; gaze at it long enough and you’ll feel its mysterious power penetrate your consciousness.
    A limitation of human vision is that it cannot see everything in its entirety: something is always left unseen. Only primitive knowledge is discursive (rational) and easily gained. But a human being has more subtle instruments of cognition: his consciousness, spirit, and soul. The Bushi-Do crystal is your spirit and finding it is a difficult task. First, the separate facets or properties of the Spirit of the Warrior must be unified and rooted in your heart. Next you will experience something astonishing – the crystal will flash and the imperishable purifying light of Bushi-Do will reside within you. The crystal’s various facets are arranged so that it turns diffused light into a mighty beam of energy. The Teaching is similar to a magic crystal: it must be handled patiently. Balancing its facets means to arrange them into a single point from which the Spirit of the Warrior emerges. If you look into the crystal, you will definitely find the source of Strength in it and become a concentration of Strength.

    samurai (woodblock print)

    Bushi-Do is really the Way with a capital “W” – the Teaching which permits a person to fill themselves with vital force and achieve the impossible. Providence does not grant Strength to everyone, and if you cannot understand its spiritual basis, it means you will lose Strength and squander the opportunity karma has given you. In fact, if you are strong, it is for a reason; you are different because you are a special kind of human. The word itself reveals this. For instance, the Russian word bogatyr (‘epic hero’) literally means ‘endued with strength by God’.
    On the surface Bushi-Do may seem complicated and contradictory, but it is really noble and humane. While some of the teachings could be seen as ‘negative’ the one thing they surely are not is weak. Courage is at the heart of Bushi-Do. If we were more courageous, our lives would be transformed. We can only manifest our soul’s desires when we are brave enough to act on them. The price of cowardice is a total loss of dignity, self-respect, and psychological wellbeing. Immorality and decay follow. The weak do not inherit the world; they contribute to its destruction. So why act like a weak and lazy rabbit? In any situation, it will run instead of fighting. This is why it is always somebody’s food. Bushi-Do does not subscribe to the idea of fleeing from difficulties.
    Bushi-Do also denounces betrayal and corruption, the foundations of modern society, this absurd pyramid where the masses at the bottom die of hunger and desperation, and the few at the top die from surfeit and boredom. The only options are to plummet or ascend. Anything can be bought and sold in this world.
    People cannot be happy if constantly plagued by hunger, cold, and disease, so they must adapt to their environment. But it is problematic when most people are just trying to survive from the moment they are born to the moment they die. They were never truly living, just existing, like animals. While many resolve this problem, they soon find themselves in a mental trap: they have enough wit to live comfortably, but they continue playing the game on a materialistic level. They oscillate between consumeristic and parasitic mental states because they believe they never have enough. The game is still the same, but changed its face: from need to want. Such people worship material things as idols and are willing to die for them. Chaos, ego, ambition; nothing is sacred anymore. Today’s morality is immorality. Anything considered taboo is easily violated for money and people have lost the lofty principles of existence. Why stick to ideals when they can just submit to the simple logic of satiation, mercantilism, and corruption? Essentially, they are liars, nothing more than subjects of commerce marketplace of the world. Their inability to have high aspirations, which they see as useless anyway, as well as their lack of spiritual development throws them into a personal crisis that money cannot settle. This is why the Samurai considered Purity the highest virtue, indeed a bridge to a different dimension. Look up to the stars, warriors!
    A noble man cannot feel satisfied if he’s unsure about whether he’s living correctly. Is his life illuminated by high ideals, does he serve the cause to make himself and his children proud? This is the Way of the Samurai!
    Certainly, this Way is alien to thieves and clowns. Like the cowards they are, all they can do is ridicule an honest approach to life. Theirs is calculating, cunning, hypocritical, and parasitic. But how are they affecting their children and what kind of world are they leaving behind for them? One led by ruthless, greedy, egotistical people; a depleted natural environment and society on the brink of collapse. Despite this, the masses are obsessed with increasing their consumption.


    Samurai Art by Tatiana Berg
    Samurai Art by Tatiana Berg

    It’s time for people to become wiser and fairer. Learn the best things from the best people from the past because they had a different way of thinking and living. Reflect on their ideas and make connections. Bushi-Do is both agonizing and healing. It also contains many answers to today’s controversial issues. It help us understand that such notions as “honor”, “decency”, “loyalty”, and “Homeland” are not mere words.
    The samurai were faithful to their country and people. They respected the land, the blood that birthed them, and fought to the end. They were not interested in conquering anyone, but they did not want foreigners treading on their land and the dust of their ancestors either. They did not need money; they needed their land and their people.
    Read further in Samurai: Spirit of the Warrior

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    This an abstract from the chapter "We Must Take Fire from History, Not Ashes!" from Spirit of the Warrior by A. R. Berg

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