The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Musashi #9: Do Nothing Which Is of No Use

Musashi #9: Do Nothing Which Is Of No Use

In other words, DON'T WASTE YOUR


Finally, we're at the end of Musashi's

core principles. If you interpret them

properly, you'll notice that each and

every one of them is merely re-stating

the same idea in a different way.

More importantly, perhaps, each of

them is actually pointing to a principle

that cannot be expressed precisely in

language. If you were to create a circle,

with each of the different principle

pointing toward the center, what

would the center be?

To try to communicate this differently,

think of instances in your life when you

have used each of the nine principles,

or should have used them, or witnessed

someone else using or notably failing to

use them.

Remember the principle to "see those

things that cannot be seen?" Read

between the lines. The deepest truths

about human existence tend to evade

direct definition. Why? Well...words

are symbols, and the most important

things in life are direct expressions or

experiences. No matter what anyone

tells you, nothing can quite prepare

you for the first time you hold your

newborn child, or watching your

mother or father take their last breath.

Doors of perception open at such moments

that are both qualitatively and

quantitatively different from anything

else you have experienced, and they

change you forever. To understand

what Musashi is trying to say, what he

has said to generations of seekers, you

must apply them to your life, and think

back over your life experience, and

delve into the life experiences of others.

Use these memories to help you detect

arenas of your life where you can apply

these principles. All success principles

are merely "fingers pointing to the moon."

Zen Koans do not contain truth, they

point one toward a mode of thought

that contributes to direct perception

and dynamic action. It is in the action

of meditation, combat, creation,

lovemaking, or life itself that the truth

of things is revealed.

Do not read of Musashi's dictates. Live

them. Walk the Thousand Mile Road.

And in action, is truth. Mere speculation

without application is useless. And

please, nothing which is of

no use.




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