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Encephalon

The arts of peace and the arts of war

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The arts of peace and the arts of war are like two wheels of a cart that, lacking one, will have difficulty in standing. Naturally, the arts of peace are used during times of tranquility, and those of war during times of confusion, but it is more essential neither to forget the military during peacefu8l times nor to disregard scholastics during times of war.  When the master of a province feels that the world is in peace and forgets the arts of war, military tactics will fall into disuse, the warriors of his clan will naturally become effeminate and lose interest in martial ways, the martial arts will be neglected, the variety of weapons will be insufficient, weapons handed down through generations will become rusty and rot, and there will be nothing of use during times of emergency.  If the Way of the Warrior is thus neglected, ordinary military tactics will not be established; if the military situation were suddenly to arise, there would be panic and confusion, consultation would be unprepared for, and the establishment of strategy would be difficult.  When one has been born into the house of a military commander, he should not forget the arts of war even for a moment.

 

Moreover, if scholastics are neglected during times of war, legislation will not be established, self-interest in government will abound, and, as there will be no real love for the members of the clan or the common folk either, there will be many people who carry grudges.  Even on the battlefield, if one has only hot-blooded courage, he will not be in accordance with the Way; and thus being unmindful of his soldiers, acts of loyalty will be rare.

Samurai Kuroda Nagamasa 1568-1623

 

I posted this as an example of the false dualities that often afflict human affairs.  It seems that in the US the divide between the left and right consists of a failure to recognize complementarity - the right doesn't trust the left to take threats seriously and sees enemies at every corner.  The left doesn't think the right can think anything through before acting in haste.  The warrior-scholar is the fusion of these polarities, awareness being the state of the scholar, readiness the state of the warrior. 

 

In other words, conservatives, try on your neo-cortex for size.  Liberals, hone your warrior skills and stop pretending that all enemies can be reasoned with. 

 

How else do you see this unfold in American life and politics?

 

Edited by Encephalon

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14 hours ago, Encephalon said:

 

In other words, conservatives, try on your neo-cortex for size.  Liberals, hone your warrior skills and stop pretending that all enemies can be reasoned with. 

 

How else do you see this unfold in American life and politics?

 

The scholar-warrior dichotomy is one dichotomy which correlates with the left-right dichotomy.  Others are urban-rural and open minded-closed minded (per OCEAN Big 5).  Now I'm curious to think of more.

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Posted (edited)
On 11/03/2021 at 4:19 PM, Creation said:

The scholar-warrior dichotomy is one dichotomy which correlates with the left-right dichotomy.  Others are urban-rural and open minded-closed minded (per OCEAN Big 5).  Now I'm curious to think of more.

 

How about these dichotomies then:

  • Analytical - synthetical
  • Logical - intuitive
  • Scientific - mystical
  • Deduction - induction
Edited by Michael Sternbach
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15 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

How about these dichotomies then:

  • Analytical - synthetical
  • Logical - intuitive
  • Scientific - mystical
  • Deduction - induction

I don't particularly find those to correlate to the political spectrum, do you?

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On 13/03/2021 at 3:53 PM, Creation said:

I don't particularly find those to correlate to the political spectrum, do you?

 

Well, they correlate to the left and right hemisphere of the brain.

 

I guess the mention of the neo-cortex must have lured me into posting the above in my bleary-eyed state. :D

 

However, this might tie in with different political views as well... 🤔

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Some of the most mythical warriors populating the Olympus of martial arts have become famous not simply for their legendary feats as fighters, but also for the serenity of their spirits.  The descriptions we have of them often coincide.  Calm, relaxed, peaceful men with a genuine love for life.  They walked along the Warrior’s path because it takes an indomitable spirit to be able to live beyond conflict, but once they have reached their goals, the fighter’s intensity was put to rest in order to make room for gentleness. As Nietzsche put it, “I have become one who blesses and says Yes; and I fought long for that and was a fighter that I might one day get my hands free to bless.”

They keep the Warrior’s power handy in case of need, but they lack the rigidity of those who never remove their armor. Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, is perhaps a perfect example.  As he himself declared, “The way of the warrior is the creatin of harmony.”  Within him feminine and masculine were united in a way that granted him unlimited access to happiness’ kingdom.  The Princess had drawn a smile on the Warrior’s face.  Throughout the centuries, many martial artists, like Ueshiba, have been not just fighters, but also poets, healers, painters, artists: individuals full of joy and warmth, inspired by a deep sense of love for life.  there is no contradiction between having a Warrior’s power and tender feelings.  The heart of a Warrior is not made to be fenced in with barbed wire.  His heart is sweet.  This is the main reason to become warriors in the first place: in order to be strong enough to turn our sensitivity into a source of joy rather than of suffering.

Daniele Bolelli – On the Warrior’s Path

Chapter 4: The Princess and the Warrior, the Yin and Yang: the Feminine in Martial Arts.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Warriors-Path-Philosophy-Fighting-Mythology/dp/1583940669/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2IKGFPH9H3LML&dchild=1&keywords=on+the+warrior's+path&qid=1615913392&sprefix=on+the+warrior%2Caps%2C207&sr=8-2

 

I find this resolution between opposite energies, in this case yin and yang, warrior and gentleman, to be profoundly instructive inasmuch as our culture at large, at least here in the US, is especially bifurcated between these two impulses.  Liberalism is trying to adhere to its foundational belief that people are more similar than they are different and represent a community of interests, a Yin emphasis.  The political right as it manifests today, with extreme divergence from classic conservatism, is focused on the superficial differences between human beings and the establishment of distinctions based on worthiness and moralism. It is toxic Yang, a virtual if not actual death cult. 

(The subject of what constitutes a healthy conservatism, and a healthy warrior ethos,  should be a tasty subject for another time and place.)

 

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A bit of a detour but I started watching a Netflix series, Age of Samurai: Battle For Japan. One episode in and it’s quite good for anyone interested in the political and military history beginning in the 16th century. 

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