The Master Greets You
My name is Miyamoto Musashi. I have beaten over sixty battle-tested warriors in personal combat and duels. As I approached my sixtieth year, I took a step back, and, reflecting upon my life, and, in a flash of insight and wisdom, came to understand my great success. Having been virtuous and especially gifted was something that never fazed me as to my abilities, in as much as the probable reason for it to have manifested in my life. Regardless of the thoughts of others, the good or bad aspects of their study and training, even possibly simple good luck, may or may not have had anything to do with it. What I believe was the main reason for my personal growth and ascension was simply that I willed it, demanded it for myself, and constantly studied and practiced from dawn to dusk, even into the night. I had only one thing in my mind, and that was to become the consummate practitioner of my art.
In this little book I am going to teach you the why and wherefore of all profound accomplishment. At times, you will think that I am simply repeating myself, over and again, and it is good that you recognize that. It is for the express purpose of enforcing my teachings upon you until they are part of your psyche and become irrefutable. By constant repetition, you will learn the reality of my strategy, and I will not leave it to you to grasp my meanings in a superficial manner.
I give you The Book of Five Rings in five sections called Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and No-thing. The fundamental basis of my teaching is in the book of Earth, which lays the foundation and groundwork for the entire, practical philosophy of strategy. Water explains the natural flow of things; Fire, the passion for accomplishment; Wind, the ambiguities of meaningless presumption and, finally, the way of No-thing-ness as the true nature of being.
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