Persevere Against All Adversity

Ever wanted to face the adversity in you life with indomitable resolve, overcome all obstacles, have nothing catch you up? Many believe it can’t be done, they create their own little hell within which to dwell in their own dramatic narcissism.

Just think for a second, out of all the disasters that have befallen this planet, all the wars that we’ve faced, all the violent, immoral, and simply selfish behavior that has brewed across this crust for at least the past 14,000 years (since the earliest estimated beginnings of civilization), humanity has survived. Not only survived, but there have been countless examples where an individual has come out of terrible hardship, conflict, and danger only to be stronger than they were before (See my writing on “Coping Mechanics of the Ninja“).

The 32nd headmaster of Togakure-Ryu ninjutsu, Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu wrote a series of ethics for the purpose of enduring hardship back in 1890. This was titled Bufu Ikkan Kun (rules for persevering like the martial wind; 武風一貫訓) and was the rules of his Dojo.

忍耐は、先ず一服の間とぞ知れ
Learn first that whatever hardship you may have to endure is but temporary.

人の道は、正義也と知れ
The way of man is that of justice.

大欲と楽と依怙の心を忘れよ
Do not fall prey to avarice, indulgence, or egoism.

悲しみも恨みも自然の定めと思い、唯だ不動心の悟りを得可し
Sorrow and hate are both part of life; understand that they too are gifts from the gods.

心常に忠孝の道を離れず、深く文武に志す可し
Never stray from loyalty and filial piety nor the spirit; be deeply ambitious in both the brush and sword.

For one to embody the above five ideas, is to not be dragged down by life’s petty things and be prepared to face the worst. It is through principles like these that humanity has endured everything thus far, we can really thank our current existence to these ideas.

Understand that no matter what tough times your facing, they will not last. Even if you die from it, you than get to rest.

The human heart craves peace, it craves harmony. the only thing that stirs people to commit acts of violence and selfishness is their own insecurities. Their ego drives them to a situation of fear, pressure, anxiety. They pressure themselves into acting out. To follow what is right, not just what is right for you, is the very seed that blooms into a sense of personal security, harmony with yourself (which in turn creates harmony with others), and gives you the perfect groundwork with which to lead a fulfilling life. This is Natural Justice.

Giving into greed will only draw out the selfishness in others. Indulgence will weaken your nerves and invite illness mentally, physically, and spiritually. Being driven and controlled by your ego will only bring misery to you and those around you. The Ego’s greatest lie is “I am you” (as per “id“). Know your ego to be your subject, not your counselor. Keep these three sins in check and external forces will not control you.

As long as you seek happiness, you’ll also invite sorrow, when you love conditionally, you’ll hate conditionally. This is the nature of living in duality. Instead, one may chose to perceive all things as interconnected, to not pursue extremes, and to see things for what they are without expectation and condition.

Hold your friends close, knowing that they may not be there for you when you need them, but be there for when they need you. This starts the ripple that may one day save your life. Being deeply ambitious in both pen and sword means to not only pursue one and avoid the other. Some turn to violence to solve their problems, while others prefer diplomacy. Neither are the cure-all, as one will overcome thew other in different contexts. See how they are inseparable, how a war of words and a polite discussion with a dagger are one and the same. Send the enemy away in better condition than you met.

This may all sound brutally complex, but it is simple principle. and principle overcomes strict technique (context specific answers), just as the soft overcomes the hard.

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