Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Dream Of Tomorrow

We dream a dream in which we move about through the course of our lives, buying, selling, working, training, acquiring an education, forming and maintaining families, all by dint of our power, the will-to-power. We dream a dream and imagine ourselves the captains of our fate, masters of the universe we survey. We fancy that we are in control and manage risk to the level of our taste. It is a dream and as such, finds no basis in the real. So it is of combat. We think we manage the innumerable combinations of possibilities by the power of our practiced skill. However, the strong are often conquered by the weak; a giant fell to a boy wielding a strap of leather and common stones. The truth is simply ignored. The dream casts its pall and we throw ourselves headlong into the unknown with blithe indifference. But, eventually, the unpleasant reality of the objective intrudes into our subjective stupor. Our true relationship to the objective is not one of power. "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14 Can a vapor rage against the storm and bend it to it's infinitesimally small power? Hardly. Whether you care to recognize the fact or not, you have your life only so long as Providence deigns to extend it. It is by Him that we live, move, and have our being. The management of risk, ultimately, is illusory. We must proceed by faith or not at all and live in harmony with the Divine Will. Man's purpose is to do the will of his Creator. In this path, the true Shinobi finds peace and contentment. For what is life and death to the man who moves by the Divine Purpose, having found peace with God through Christ our Lord?

The unpleasant truth is that we only have now. Mu shin--no mind, teaches this. By it we come to understand that what we do now we must do with full concentration in the present. What of the past? What of the future? In view of the limited sphere of our influence we should give ourselves over wholly to the task at hand. Bend the full resources of your mind to the accomplishment of the goal in full understanding the the accomplishment is resultant of the Divine prerogative. But in view of the end to which we all proceed, we aught to give deep thought to our relationship to God--the ultimate ground of reality.

In light of complete uncertainty, how do rational beings maintain sanity? One may simply ignore the nature of one's existence and dream on until the day of harsh awakening; or, one may meet the vicissitudes of life with faith. "For that ye aught to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that." James 4:15 In this we find the absolute measure of our lives: if the Lord will. In this is complete assurance. Here, the warrior may find complete peace and preparation for the uncertainties of battle and the finality of death. Only in recognizing the reality of the Divine hand of Providence can one meet reality rationally, as a man.

Tomorrow is the dream. You may meet the reality of eternity within the next moment. Burn an incense and carefully observe the tenuous curl of smoke. In the sinuous coils, see the span of your life.

"There is a poem from martial arts' history which reads: 'People think they perform their techniques themselves...unaware that their bodies are guided by the gods.' Those intent on 'putting on' techniques or becoming more skillful are sure to fail in the long run. It is more important to move in step with the gods, maintain an disinterested attitude, keep control over one's own emotions, and retain a sensibility which goes beyond the everyday." Masaaki Hatsumi, Soke