Voevodin Alexey

Strategy

武士道

The chapter # 60

 

The Warrior’s way

 

The invincibility is inside you yourself;

the possibility of the victory depends on your enemy.

San-Tzu “The Art of war”

 

This stratagem is situated rather separately from others. It is not composed of specific methods. It can not be used once or several times. It is impossible to apply this stratagem in practice. It is impossible to imitate it. A purpose and a way both are united in this stratagem. This stratagem is an original value.

The most suitable term for this stratagem is “Dao” – a way.

 

All the peoples passed through wars in their own history; they all had professional soldiers, military customs and traditions. Some peoples lost their warlike character but others kept it through ages.

Vikings, spreading terror on Europe, settled in Iceland and became kind and peaceful in several centuries. Descendants of Greeks and Romans lost almost all their aggressiveness in the 21st Century. Mongols – the Chengiz-khan’s tribe, do not make anybody fear them today.

But Japan, for example, managed to carry all the military caste’s ideology through ages.

One of the most Japanese authoritative, bright and full source containing warrior’s ideology is the Bushi-do of samurais.

Warrior’s way – Bushi-do in its Japanese classical version contains numerous rules and instructions. One of the most authoritative transactions in this sphere is “Hagakure” (“Hidden in leaves”) - monk Jamamoto Tcunatomo’s  (the samurai of Saga clan) dissertation, devoted to the Bushi-do Code, consists of eleven volumes.

 

Human’s force is founded on two factors – Spirit and Intellect (mind).

Spirit without intellect is blind.

Intellect without Spirit is feeble.

You may be a great warrior but if you are liable to your (or somebody’s) emotions, or you have no necessary knowledge, or you allowed your own arrogance to overcome you - then your spirit and your energy will mean nothing and you will become a pawn in a strange game.

In what particular way may it happen?

For instance, through one of the 69 stratagems presented above.

 

The most significant qualities of character that determine the strength of mind are:

-estrangement, absence of fear, ability to self-mobilization in a moment of the conflict or the battle;

-insistence in achievement of the assigned task; ability to get up again and again after the defeat and follow by the chosen way;

-unshakeable belief in proper strength and ability to overcome obstacles and to come to assigned object;

-independence of the inner world from mob’s opinions and appreciations, capacity to hide proper plans, emotions and feelings;

-strong moral basis, traditional Busi-Du qualities (faithfulness, politeness, courage, truthfulness, honour, justice, simplicity);

-ability to change oneself – most complicated and awkward quality.

 

But your virtue may turn into its own opposite if your mind is absent. Your persistence in the achievement of your goal may not allow you to recognize a wrong way. If you ignore other opinions you may make a mistake appraising the situation. If you overestimate your own power you may come to your own death.

 

One of the main ideas of Busi-Do is the idea of Death.

Yamamoto Tsuentomo: Busi-Do, the warrior’s way, means Death. A questions automatically comes: “Why do I have to die if it is unprofitable for me?” These is an ordinary reasoning of selfish people.

When you have to make a decision, you must not allow your ideas to shake you. We all prefer to live not to die. Our preference determines our choice. Seeking a profit, you may suddenly make a mistake. Think about the disgrace that may overcome you in case of your failure. Think about the miserable fate of the man who could not get his purpose and continues to live with it.

If you came to grief in your intentions and paid for your mistake by your death – your life was pointless. But you must remember that your death will not lose your dignity. Death does not disgrace.

Every morning and every night you have to think about the death. Train your mind. When your mind always will turn around the idea about the death, your course of life will be straight and simple. Your will always will perform your. Your shield will become a steel shield. If you can not trace your path with open eyes and your mind, free of chaotic ideas, you will not avoid any mistakes.

Perform your duty impeccably and keep your name unblemished.

The calculating mind. The very calculating mind is regrettable. To compute means to weigh the pros and cons and remember what you may loose and what you may gain. The calculating mind will never rise over the thought about a profit and a loss.

What the death means? The death means the loss. What the means? The life is the profit. The man who calculates is mercenary, because this man works only for mercenary ends – to stay alive. It means that this man is a coward.

The man who studied science has a free and sharp tongue. But a witty remark of this man is a mask for his weak mind. His tongue protects his calculating mind. His wit misleads peoples and his tongue distracts their ears.

Choice. Sida Kitinosuke, one of His Grace, said: “When the life an the death both a honest equally, choose the life”. But he wanted to express a contrary idea. In other case he noticed: “When you can not decide: to go or not to go – better do not go”. He added: “ When you can not decide: to eat or not to eat – better do not eat. When the question: to die or not to die torments you – better die”.

Death visits everyone – great and small people. Death approaches you and does not take into account are you ready to die or not. Not everyone is ready to face the fact of the death. You incline to believe that you will outlive everyone. This idea misleads as you as others. Death will steal up to you before you yourself will know about it. Meeting Death you must be sure that you are perfectly ready.

When the death comes. Busi-Do, warrior’s path, orders to fight. Naosige (from Nabosima clan) said: “You have to appreciate any enemy you fight with as such a strong one that even ten persons could not manage with him”.

 

Do not think about your prince. Do not think about your parents. The warrior’s path means only one thing – to fight to the bitter end. Only going by this way you will do you duty before your lord and before your parents.

 

Tayra Shigesuke: “Human’s life is like a night dew and morning’s frosts, a fragile twig or an ephemeral breath. All living is temporal, but the warrior’s life is especially short.

…Only that person who can comprehend that today is not always become tomorrow;  only that person who comprehends that any lord’s assignment may be the last one in this life; only that person who will step over the threshold of the paternal home and embrace his parents as he sees them for the last time, - only that one will become an obliging and devoted servant of his lord and attentive and caring to his parents.

…Only that person who has a passionate desire to live realizes that he may pass away in any moment.

 

The idea of the death is clear not for each European. For some people this idea looks like any idealistic form that cut off from real life (something destructive calling to unwarranted loss and sacrifice.

In reality the idea of the death is constructive. This idea frees the warrior from fear and allows him to use efficiently his fighter’s quality and his human potential. It is difficult to explain it but it is possible to feel. But most people do not realize and they will never realize how to live without fear of death.

Usuegy Kansin: “Those who cling to life die, but those who are not afraid of fear of death continue to live. Your spirit decides everything. Understand your spirit, capture it and you will understand that you have something that above the life and the death”.

 

The story about Yague Munenory (1571-1646), teaching three first shoguns of Tokugava clan to the art of fencing that was written by Murakava Soden (master of the sword in Sinkage’ school): “Once one of segun’s assistants visited Yague Munenory and asked him to learn the fencing art. Yague Munenory looked at him and said: “What are you talking about, mister? I see you already wield one of the fencing schools. I accept you such as you yourself are. You do not need to go to my school but you may consider yourself as my follower.”

“But I never learnt the art of fencing, master!” – he answered.

After that Munenory asked: “May be any enlightenment made you such as you are?”

“Once when I was a child, I heard that everything what a real samurai  needs is to despise his own life. I thought about it/ Some years passed and the main idea became clear for me. Since I do not think about  the death.”

Munenory was touched a lot. “Now I understand that all the art of fencing consists just in this thing. I have hundreds of followers but no one of them had  the Diving Principle. You do not need to take a sword in your hand. You have achieved perfection yourself!” And Munenory immediately gave him the appropriate certification”.

 

Not only samurais distinguished themselves by their defiance to the death. In accordance to the rule, existed in medieval Japan, any new made sword had to puss through a special acceptance. Only after this procedure it received a handle and could become a real sword. New blades had been tested on dead bodies executed men, but sometimes living peoples were used for this purpose.

There is a documentary story about the sentenced thief. Before the execution he noticed an expert and some other persons who were going to test the new sword.

“Are you going to test the new blade on my body?” – the daring criminal asked.

“Yes. I shall cut down from your shoulder”, - the answer was.

“It’s pity that I was not notified. I would swallow a lot of stones and spoil your sword”.

 

There is a special formula that discovers the regularity of victory and your invincibility. In Russian this special formula sounds like this:

Strong by ear.

Offensive in outward appearance.

Exceeded by mastery.

 

“Strong by ear”.

Imagine a gigantic packed audience. The ring is in the center of the hall. You appear at this ring. The announcer says: “The first boxer appeared. He has the second juniors’ s category of an athlete”. Some weak claps will hail you in the hall.

The second boxer appears after you. The announcer solemnly says: “Alexander Ivanov, Champion of Europe and the World, great master of the international class, appeared at the ring!” The storm of applauses will greet this appearance.

As soon as you believed that you competitor is a great champion, as soon as you heard and let these applauses under your skin, you already lost 50% before you entered the battle.

 

You lose 50% of your possible victory if you believe their titles, ranks and their former victories.

 

“Offensive in outward appearance”.

Let’s return to the same situation before the fighting. You see photos of your competitor. Your see how he receives champion’s awards. You see how strongly he beats makivaras, how he won another athlete. You see his powerful muscles.

Again, as soon as you believe that you competitor is a great champion, you lost other 50% of your possible victory before you entered the battle.

And you will always lose a half of your possible victory to your enemies it their offices, cars,  shoulder straps, pistols, expressions, warrants (and any other attributes which you will perceive with your own eyes) would influence on you.

 

“Exceeded by mastery”.

The third conclusive part of the formula dialectically associated with others.

That one who is “Strong by ear” and “Offensive in outward appearance” will always exceed your own mastery and win you (as a result).

Practical recommendations.

There is a special psychotechnology: this formula (“Strong by ear” – “Offensive in outward appearance” – “Exceeded by mastery”) you have to repeat permanently and endlessly to yourself. Eventually it penetrates into you sybconsciousness and, as a result, may assist you to release yourself from the external pressure and from your own fear. But the man must be ready to the struggle/ He has to have a trained body and a spirit. If you want to get it you have to study any oriental marital arts or any other kinds of martial arts.

 

Select few may really realize that one who goes by the Warrior’s way. He may look absurd and stupid for someone. Sulla, one of the great military leaders of Ancient Rome, put the end to the civil war and became a dictator in 79 b.c. Then he restored the authority of the Senate, arranged the free elections, hung over the administration to the Senate  and retired.

Sulla’s decision was unexpected for his supporters and incomprehensible for antic historians.

 

Anecdotes about Chukchi are very popular in modern Russia. But few people know that Chukchi were only one Siberian nation who were not conquered by the Russian tsar ii eighteen century. Several military expeditions arranged by the Russian government (in alliance with other Siberian nations – Yakuts, Yukagirs and Koryaks) were failed. At last the peace treaty was concluded. In accordance with this treaty Chukchi received unprecedented rights. Chukchi were not weak but they agreed to conclude this treaty only when they tasted tobacco and tea. But only Russians could give them these things.

So, the victory was won with the tobacco and tea dependence, not the power of the Russian weapon.

 

The battle of Fermopilas took place In august of 480. The composite detachment of Greeks confronted the big army of Kserks, the Persian tsar. After the three-days battle Persians were failure. But then the traitor told them about the bypass. Persians used it  and made an outflanking movement.

A further resistance became useless. But three hundred warriors of Sparta headed by Leonid, their tsar could not retreat because Sparta’s customs forbade it. So, 300 warriors faced the hole army/ All of them were destroyed.

In march of 2000  in Argun’s canyon (Chechnya) 91 paratroopers of the 104th  regiment (from 76th Chernigov’s airborne division) repealed the attack of 2500 bandits. They were suggested to allow bandits to pass. It was evident that they could not wait for any assistance. Paratroopers knew that they will fall in the battle but they refused to retire. 84 paratroopers were killed. Their commander called an artillery fire on himself.

 

Gay Sallyusty Krisp:

“All people who would like to differ from others must not live obscurely like an animal. All our power is in our spirit and our body. The spirit mainly is a sovereign, the body is a slave; the first one is similar with Gods, the second one is similar with animals. Therefore, it seems to me that the most rational way to look for your glory using  your intellect not the body. Our life is short, so we have to leave a long good memory behind.

So, the glory given by the wealth and beauty is short and fragile, but the valour is brilliant and eternal”.

 

There is another point of view about the Great.

An extract from fairy tales of M. Saltikov-Schedrin, the famous Russian writer.

The sitting of the court. Liberty is prosecuted. Pig, the witness, disproves Liberty with these words: “Real liberty is in our pigsty. If I want I put my nose into the trough or may somersault into manure!”