Saturday, November 5, 2016

Attaining great function in life

The great book "The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War" by samurai Yagyu Munemori gives a shrewd account of what attaining great function is:
"When marvels come forth immediately and naturally at the appropriate time because the potential is always there within, this is called great function."
"Encountering someone with the great potential ia like a mouse running into a cat." In the warrior's view, the mouse is mesmerized by the cat.

Have you ever encountered someone with great charisma, with stalking power?

Not talking about physical beauty and prominent features here, but that someone with an aura of seducing strength, warmth and comfort. Someone that's still in your mind long after they're gone. Where does that come from ? That comes from "great functionality" and the samurai tells us "All the great positions, grabbing a blade, kicking someone down, are great function when you attain independence, beyond what you have learned." 

In the battlefield,  "It is the swordless art of not getting killed when you have no sword."
If you have no sword, than what do you have ? You do have your mind, presumably. What kind of mind ?

"It is the mind,
That is the mind,
Confusing the mind,
O mind,
To the mind." -P. 101

This riddle of "no mind" can also be described as the flow mind or non-attached mind. "If your mind stops and stays somewhere, you will be defeated in martial arts."-page 105 

Do you have the "quiescent" sword ? 

"When you stabilize the spirit in situations where swords are quiescent, thereby all sorts of marvels appear in the hands and feet, causing flowers to bloom in battle.
The spirit is the master of the mind. The spirit resides within, employing the mind outside. This mind, furthermore, employs psychic energy. Employing psychic energy in external activities for the sake of the spirit, if this mind lingers in one place, its function is deficient.
Therefore it is essential to make sure that the mind is not fixated on one point."

It seems the mesmerizing mind is the "no-mind", not fixed to any particular destination, outcome or spatial thing. Can this be applied in today's world ?

If you read Jeffrey Pfeffer book "Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don't", power in the corporate world needs to be taken decisively, with self promotion and engaging networking effects as tools. Since we live in an ultracompetitive world, I tend to agree with that. The question is, can the "mesmerizing", unmovable mind of the samurai help to attain that power in society and life in general ? Moreover, since [most] people are not trained in martial arts and are certainly not living in the killing fields of ancient Japan,  is it possible to develop the "no mind" functionality described in the ancient text ?

I want to have that "no mind" power if it can advance my career. More on that: Part 2 is for email subscribers only: subscribe to my newsletter to get it.

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