A Warrior and a Monk

Samurai Philosophy

This is a chapter from the e-book Samurai: Legend by A. R. Berg

  • A monk contemplates the world and denounces earthly desires before abandoning them and dedicating himself to spiritual exploration. He gazes at the sky and subdues his flesh, the last thing connecting him to the material plane. Independence from earthly pleasures opens the way to spiritual perfection – the monk’s destiny.
    A warrior has traditionally been considered the antithesis of a monk. Be it Cú Chulainn, Heracles or Arjuna, the story is essentially the same: explosive, sometimes frenzied behaviour, and unwise, instinctive decision-making. Hungry to attain all the fruit earth has to offer, a warrior represents burning passion, colossal energy and a creative, however destructive, power.

    A screenshot from Samurai Assassins

    The contradiction between the monk and warrior archetypes seems obvious, but how logical is it?

    Life is always dialectical, for a synthesis of opposites forms the basis of creation. A true warrior must therefore combine an understanding of the higher laws of priests with the energy of the militant, active spirit. A drop of a hero’s blood is worth all the ink sages use because a warrior of fate possesses all the vital qualities, and is, in fact, the embodiment of vitality. He is up for any task and his mission is to learn to be wise. The wisdom of priests teaches how to control the basic instincts, in other words, how not to be governed by inner animalistic tendencies. But the mould on the walls of a monk’s cell can not desecrate a warrior who understands that the wisdom which steers away from real life is a limited. True wisdom involves striving for force, the life-creating, all-powerful force.

    A monk abstains from sex while a warrior covets women, but he will only become wise when his blind desire matures into true love. Even a monk’s abstinence is nothing compared to the innocence of love. Another difference is that a monk kills no one but his own ‘self’, while a warrior does. If he did it without thinking, he would be fool and a criminal. But he knows it is impossible to create harmony between good and evil so he... read further in the book

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    This is part of a chapter from Samurai: Legend by A. R. Berg
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