Most people do not have firm convictions regarding good and bad, right and wrong. Without a clear understanding of good and evil one cannot be a samurai. He must avoid negative forces by being disciplined and focusing his energy on positive things. A Warrior must be clear about what he needs, cast off the excess, and simply live. Once he has answered the questions of his heart, his spirit will be unwavering.
Certain qualities make people strong and others make them weak, but they should be able to consciously discard the latter. Those who have succeeded in this exist in another dimension. Program your mind.
When speaking of Bushido, the three qualities considered essential are Loyalty, Integrity, and Courage. When these three virtues are perfectly combined in one man, he is called a samurai of the highest quality.
One should always comply with the code of honor. Hence, a noble man never experiences fear or anxiety.
A Warrior would not compromise his honor even for all worldly blessings.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi: Raiko Oeyama iri no zu (Raiko is severing the head of the Shuten-doji, which springs in the air, while his followers destroy the other demons)
There are differences between benefit and goodness. People are inclined to chase the former and ignore the latter. After all, anything could seem beneficial. Especially a trap. Therefore, a warrior should gain insight into the nature of things to understand the subtle distinction between benefit and virtue. He must strive for virtue, the key element. Freedom, life, health, love. . . these are what he must strive for. Should he fall prey to the lure of false values, he will be lost in confusion and pay a steep price.
Defining limits is easier than cultivating the moderation necessary to abide by them. It is not simple to develop a complete system where specific words trigger thoughts; something important might inevitably stay unnoticed just like one of the stones in the Ryoanji* garden. But it is possible that some knowledge slips in subconsciously. For this to happen, all elements in a structure must complement and synergize each other. Its multi-faceted nature makes harmony and integrity a challenge, because chaos is only one rogue component away. Everyone has the power to find their missing element and restore it as cornerstone of the pyramid in their mind.
By cutting himself in two with his sword and reuniting the parts, a man becomes a Master. He understands the common characteristics between humans and animals. He is able to take advantage of either but he is certainly above them.
While a samurai understands compassion, he never feels sorry for anyone. He knows that only the weak pity themselves. His secret for his overwhelmingly stable mind is his unemotional attitude. A samurai respects his peers because he respects... Read further in Samurai: Spirit of the Warrior
This an abstract from the chapter "Distinct Morals" from Spirit of the Warrior by A. R. Berg