Friday, October 20, 2006

The Five Rings

I've been reading the Five Rings. It's an old classic Japanese work about the way of the Samurai. I got an annotated version, which has its upsand downs. The work itself reads pretty well already so the notes tend to have a lot of regurgitating of already established information. On the upside... I can't really think of a significant upside to the "annotated" part, but they're not too bad.

Anyway, the book is cool. There are a lot of basic principles that could be applied to any endeavor or profession in life. So I've been taking notes on excerpts I think are interesting or important. One thing I noted was a little bit about posture.

"In general, you must maintain the fighting stance in everyday life. Your everyday posture must immediately become the fighting stance."

The intensity of this line struck me once I truly considered its implication. The underlying principle is that in order to be a fighter, to walk in the "Way" of this martial strategy, a person has to be a fighter at all times, not just when you fight. Posture, then, becomes not just a good idea and not just something you practice an hour or two a day, but something you make a ceaseless endeavor, an integral part of your identity. My imagination blows me away when I think of how much you could accomplish if you applied that kind of thinking so intensely to everything to which you put your mind.

The book also has a very good emphasis on balance, self-control, and clarity of mind. I am not all that far along in it yet, but I'm enjoying it so far.

1 comment:

cas* said...

I would like to hear more about what you find interesting about this book....*