sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Meditation

The purpose of this walkabout is to sell a few assets and to shift their value to the newly founded compound. Not being the beneficiary of family wealth or other extraordinary means, this is simply what one does. F. Scott Fitzgerald said that you could be either rich or fascinating. He didn't say what happened when you were neither.

In between the hassle of business, I thought about that. The rich do things for a thrill for the sake of the thrill, not for the sake of purpose or the demand of state. They are above the crude discipline that is required of warriors because of the nature of the game. 

You can still be a warrior and past your prime. At least that's what I tell myself. It's more of an attitude than it is a condition if you take the whole thing seriously. I don't know how serious I am about it. I never did the knife hands conditioning thing where you turn your knuckles into calcified rocks and your fingers literally into knives. If I had done it, I'd have been stove up with arthritic hands by now...get my point? How much of a warrior am I really? It's easy to talk about but committing to it is more challenging.

The great samurai, Miyamoto Mushashi said that it was necessary to lose self and become one with Mu, the emptiness at the heart of existance to which everything returns. Thus the warrior finds life in death. The experience may be sort of a Nietzche thing where, "when you look too long into the void, the void also looks into you." However it's true that warriors can not worry about their lives and still be effective. Maybe that is what Mushashi was alluding to? Skydiving at night offers that leap into the void, gripped by gravity's tug. Civilians don't jump out of airplanes at night. It's an activity that is only taken by warriors. I did it over Brown Field with Tijuana on one side and San Diego on the other with the lighted border fence as a demarkation line. As interesting as that is, the Mu event is jumping out of an airplane over the ocean at night. Twelve and a half grand above the featureless ocean, and even if it's a platoon going off the ramp, you still feel as if you're the only one.

The way of bushido requires that the warrior divorce himself from desire. Meditation provides the connection to the egoless self. In Hagakure, Tsunetomo writes that there is deep power in the solitary man. I've heard it said that you need to lay on the beach and match your heartbeat to the breaking waves.  I tried it. The zen of the thing is to try and find space between spaces.

But what happens when you find it? My Buddhist friend (a hermit of sorts) lives in a cave in the Mojave Desert and is building a shrine to emptiness or some such. Is that what you do when you find space between spaces?

Walkabout continues.

20 comments:

  1. Now that all of that warrior stuff is in your past, now is the time to grab a big, meaty slice of pizza (Gino's East), pull up a comfy Lay-Z-Boy and tune in to the Bears vs Green Bay game.

    I wonder what the great samurai Miyamoto Mushashi would say about my suggestion? I suspect he would punch me in the throat with his knife hands and think nothing more about it.

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    1. He might behead you because it's easier to simply wipe his sword than to sanitize his hands. It's difficult to say at this point because Mushashi isn't around to comment.

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  2. Good meditation. I suspect you're right about it being possible to be a warrior still. I suspect wisdom can only make a warrior better. Young, hard men are really only better during that collision of muscle and metal and bone that happens when the ammo's out. So, if you can get a couple of THEM to carry your ammo, you're in business. Even better if you can find some cute "ammo girls."

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    1. Ah, like the great white hunter, the Sahib astride an elephant, followed by a train of bearers behind with beaters driving the tiger in front.

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  3. Thanks for that and, of course, you're still a warrior (Regimental Horse Sergeant Major, RHSM, which is pretty exalted). Essence and existence are one, but only for God.

    And curious factoid -- the great satanist, Crowley, was something of a Buddhist. There's a caveat in that, somewhere.

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    1. True the RHSM honor exceeds all and would hope for a 21 gun salute as I strut though the Pearly Gates, swagger stick under my arm.

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    2. I expected you to share a Harambe meme...

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  4. Each of us handles those things in our own ways... But one still is NOT advised to piss off the old man... :-)

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    1. In a world where the good die young, beware the old man.

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    2. +1. There are warriors who go forth to do battle, to challenge their limitations, etc. There are warriors who defend family, kin and home. Those you shouldn't f#$k with.

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    3. Messing with any of them can be hazardous.

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  5. Larry's getting all thoughtful. What the hell is a shrine to emptiness? That sounds about as exciting as a non alcoholic cocktail. You can get all that kind of zen when you go to kip. You can't quell the essence of what you are without hideous consequence ergo, "Keep focussed and carry on warrior!"

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    1. It's not me building the shrine to emptiness. It's a Buddhist thing and I'm not a Buddhist (except that I may have been Napoleon in a previous life?)

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  6. Charles Terry's translation of "Musashi", by Eiji Yoshikawa is excellent, if you have not read it.



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  7. I'm most likely taking it out of context, but a warrior without desire doesn't work to my mind.
    But, zen what do I know of warriors...

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    1. Bushido requires that a warrior be the perfect weapon and not that he desires gold or lands, but that he focus on the task at hand. Clearly I don't fit the bill since I like the concept of conquest and booty. Maybe the Capitalist system has soiled my chi?

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    2. If his sole focus is on the task at hand, is that not the desire to see the task completed?
      You are your own style of warrior, desires change...

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    3. Me, sure.

      The Samurai must live in the moment, live to see one enemy hacked to pieces before he turns to the next. Generals are there to handle the big picture, yada - yada - yada.

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