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MU not KU

Musashi’s Book of Five Rings

The Definitive Interpretation

Hanshi Stephen F. Kaufman

In my version of Musashi’s Book of Five Rings, I use the term ‘mu’ rather than ‘ku’ in the last section I refer to as No-Thing. Since the first publication of my version, in 1993, and having sold over 1.3 million copies, making it the best-selling version extant, I constantly receive queries from readers from around the world as to why I use ‘mu’ rather than ‘ku,’ since all other versions, interpretations and translations refer to The Void as ‘ku’ and misinterpret void with heaven and being. Understanding ‘mu’ rather than ‘ku’ will significantly enhance a practitioner’s skills to the highest levels of excellence and coincides with the complete statement, ‘the sword is the soul of the samurai only when the samurai is the soul of the sword.’ To fully understand why I use the term ‘mu,’ read my version, which gives the complete explanation. To avoid in-depth explanations for brevity’s sake, here it is in simple terms.

Ultimate ‘is’ ness has nothing to do with heaven.

Nothing, ‘ku,’ is something by definition.

No-thing, ‘mu,’ is beyond conception.

Musashi knew this; his interpreters did not.

Hence, ‘mu,’ not ‘ku.’

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Your Divine and Earthly Right to Live in Joy and Freedom

Practicing Self-Revealization Acceptance®

Week 52 – My Commitment Is Complete

I proclaim my oneness with the Creative Power of the Universe and accept myself as a complete human being ready to move ahead with my life as I demand more and better in all things I am and desire. I know I am in complete charge of the events I want to experience and carefully define the results I will to experience; I watch as the universe delivers all to me. I accept my good bounty with ease and grace as part of My Divine and Earthly Right to Live in Joy and Freedom; I acknowledge what happens to me, through me, and as me, I consider all aspects of what I accept into my life and continuously recognize my oneness with all as I empower myself to do more for the benefit of all concerned with me as the primary recipient of good. Aware of the omniscience and omnipotence of the Creative Power of the Universe, I relinquish all fears and doubts of ascension as the Spirit of the Thing Itself delivers exactly what I call for. I perceive the future and continue to experience and enjoy, with meaning and substance, the things I desire. I meet my obligations, I have food on my table to nourish me, sincere friends, robust health, work that I love, and meaningful relationships that fulfill my every need as I satisfy those in return. I work in harmony with all of my endeavors to realize my dreams and desires as I accept the authority of my Self-Revealization Acceptances made manifest by the profound Spirit of the Thing Itself so named. I do not fear to explore new avenues of expression and I welcome new thoughts and new people into my life that are empathetic to my way of living. I maintain, without any mental reservation, an attitude of eternal thanks, praise, and gratitude to the Creative Power of the Universe. I accept my true self as I ascend to the highest planes of commitment.

© sfk / hwp 2/2021

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On Controlling All Aspects of the Realm:
The Shogun Scrolls of Hidetomo Nakadai,
Court Counselor to Minamoto Yoritomo, 1st Shogun of Japan

The Proper Application of Cruelty and Evil
hapter 8

When a man aspires to greatness, he must inevitably use cruelty to attain his ends. This cruelty must be wisely applied. Not to use cruelty indicates a lack of purpose. The proper use of cruelty can be used to turn defeat into victory and the intelligent application of cruelty explains things to others without the need for debate.
Cruelty takes many forms and does not always have to be physical. To indicate your attitude of expected behavior from your subjects, the possibility of severe punishment must be in their consciousness. Mental cruelty, if not properly dispensed, can provide an enemy with an avenue of retaliation. The development of previously unknown character traits can help him to depose you.
Torture should never be dispensed with an attitude of arrogance. Physical torture can destroy a man and should be used when applicable. It should be used immediately if no worth is seen in the recipient. And, as with all things, timing is essential. It might be fortuitous for you to be patient and wait until the right time. This requires contemplation.
The application of cruelty and evil also requires an understanding of men, which is something that certain shoguns of old did not know of. Known throughout his realm as a man of severe intemperance, his subjects were always under a threat of physical torture — evidenced by his handling of any disobedience. He would not think twice when it came to dealing out what he considered to be just retribution and would unconscionably order court suicides and executions that included anyone associated with the person he was angry with. His people greatly feared him and would do anything they could to assuage his anger. They began to lie, give unverifiable accounts of the province, and generally not care for anything related to him. He was eventually decapitated by one of his inner guard.
Your understanding of, and ability to apply cruelty shows your determination to ascend to the highest levels of greatness, with or without the recognition or assistance of your subjects. This includes your immediate entourage and inner guard. They too must realize the virtue of intelligent cruelty and thereby, will prefer to concur with your wishes. If they decide to abandon you they must know you will use whatever means are necessary to exhort retribution, while at the same time you will maintain the gratitude of those not being injured, regardless of their relationship to the offenders.
You must be sure to be constant in your convictions, and you must be capable of acting on those convictions without hesitation. There are no friends when one attains to the summit; there are only those who will assist if they are guided accordingly. When you seek friends with minds like your own, you are seeking acceptance by those empathetic towards your aspired greatness. This will cause you to weaken yourself.
Dispensing cruelty must be considered a form of virtue, otherwise the act will lead to arrogance, conceit, and false pride: the deadliest of errors in self-definition and self-determination. This is to be construed as truly evil and must be guarded against, lest your subjects act on your orders through exaggerated fear. Cruelty should only be applied when it will gain you an advantage. You must be careful not to permit the application of torture to become a personal pleasure. If it is used callously it will become a device without meaning except to generate terror among your people. You will lose their enthusiasm toward your ambitions.
Torture can be applied in ways other than to the physical flesh. It can be the removal of properties and the restriction of armaments. There are also methods of creating poverty. Once a subject has been deprived of the things necessary for him to conduct his affairs, he will have a hard time persuading others to lend him support to regain his position. The application of torture must permit the shogun to sustain his authority. Cruelty must be used to indicate that your actions are just and that those who would assist the deposed will suffer the consequences.
Once you make the decision to apply restrictions to a subject, he must never have the opportunity of enjoying a reversal of your decision. This will accomplish nothing and will show the rest of the domain that your leniency can possibly turn to indulgence. This will cause the people to seek to overthrow your authority. You must rule with an iron fist. Compassion should only be used when it is appropriate, perhaps based on the possibility of misunderstanding that can only be excused once. You must be wise and have deep intuition.
There is a great difference between cruelty and evil. They should not be confused with each other. Savage and barbarous acts do not enable a man to be counted among the truly excellent and wise. While it may be necessary to depose the non-sympathetic by any means, you must differentiate between gaining control through terror and being respected by your subjects. This is accomplished through elements of fear or cruelty and not through acts of barbarism that will perhaps temporarily enable you to maintain control. If you are unwise in dispensing justice to your people, an avenue will eventually present itself for your overthrow by underlings, which can result as a reversal of your own fortune. Here is an example.
The daimyo of a western province, during the Tokugawa era, is a perfect example of not respecting his own domain and causing his own downfall. It was the most foolish of situations that brought him down. The Lady Hana, his consort, was indiscriminate in one of her alliances and news of her unfaithfulness reached the ears of the daimyo. He reacted in a most hideous way by having the Lady strangled publicly in front of her clan. He then ordered her body to be left on display in the poorer section of one of his villages. I do not have to elaborate on the manner in which her body was disrespected. He continued to publicly disgrace everyone in her clan until finally, the Lady’s cousin took revenge and had an assassin decapitate him. It would have been much smarter for the daimyo to have her hair cut off and then banished to a monastery where the punishment could have been less physical but certainly more severe and lasting.
Deception is not considered evil unless the means by which it is employed destroys the foundations of the newly acquired clan and its environs. This is not self-serving to your cause. Although deception is necessary to instill obedience, you must be sure to maintain the good faith of your subjects. Random and senseless acts of killing those not in agreement with you should be restricted to those indicating overt gestures of rebellion. Actions must never be gratuitous. Such behavior indicates a weakness of character. The need for evil increases instead of lessens, as it must, unless the correct application of controls is established early at the outset of an acquisition.
One way to bring corrective measures to the new domain is to recognize and acknowledge the injustices perpetrated by the old regime. That these injustices must be alleviated is essential, and it must be shown to the people that they were evil. This reinforces your position by maintaining ease of control at the outset, when the people see you are sincere in alleviating their hardships. Your actions on their behalf must be carried out as quickly as they are determined to be detrimental. This reduces the fear that occurs if correcting conditions take place over a long period of time. If it is done correctly it will throw the people into a state of chaos, and they will see the advantage of following you. If you are not swift in your decisions it will be necessary to maintain a defensive position at all times. If your actions do not fall into sensible patterns of conduct, your ministers will wonder when your wrath will fall on them and they will act accordingly. It will also permit those being acted against to forewarn others to take up arms to protect themselves in the eventuality of your vengeance or instability.
It is better to have change over and done with quickly and suffer the anxiety of the moment, rather than needlessly tormenting the people over a long period of time. When punishment is meted out over a long period of time, those that feel they may be in line for corrective action will become clever in their attempt to cover themselves. When punishment is meted out too late the results are never virtuous. Do it all at once and get it over and done with. The resentment of the people will be short-lived, as they will have no further concerns for themselves. They will believe the new daimyo took care of all the potential problems. They will feel they are fortunate not to have been part of the scourge.
Regardless of your good intentions, and even if cruelty is dispensed intelligently, it will still be considered evil by anyone associated with the receiving end. It will be acknowledged as an unnecessary evil and not the necessary cruelty that your wisdom will dictate.

©Stephen F. Kaufman/Hanshi Wisdom Press

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The Deplorable Evil of our Times and a Call to Arms by any Other Name

Hanshi Stephen F. Kaufman

We are witnessing the destruction of American society as we have known it for most of our lives. It is a horrific realization that those in power, regardless of how they got there, are completely bent on our society’s destruction. America has been the most powerful country on the planet through many long years of victories and defeats because of an inherent and vital document, the Constitution. This document has been copied over and again by most of the countries in the world and looked upon as the mainstay of an intelligent and free society that insists on its people being able to ascend to any level of success in their lives as defined by themselves. However, due to the recent catastrophe of a failed coup being imposed by neer-do-well groups, we are in the throes of demise that may not be able to be resurrected for the future well-being of our nation. We are not a socialist country, nor shall we ever be if We, the People do not permit it to happen.

            Calamitous and destructive intervention by individuals and groups with nothing else on their agendas but to ruin our way of life have taken it upon themselves, (they have been granted this authority by the electorate in its ignorance) to overturn any semblance of sobriety in obvious acts of sedition, treason, and insurrection. The dismemberment of major American cities, unchecked rioting and violence in our streets, absurd notions of political correctness, and many other obvious and devious acts, have culminated in the theft of the presidential election and the utter obnoxious behavior of the elected congress. Individual state and city government officials have also thrown their two-cents into the debacle with the unmitigated compliance toward lockdowns, terrifying disease fraudulence, forced behaviors including the wearing of masks and eventual mandate of vaccinations, extraordinary wastes of money for meaningless projects that are only aspects of criminal money laundering, rampant disregard for any real truth by the media, the dumbing down and brain-washing of our children, bogus gun control bills, meaningless college degrees in all disciplines, the carte blanch release of felons, the disregard of actual needs of our citizenry. Add to the list the explosive burgeoning of ‘printing money’ that has no foundational basis other than ink and paper, hideous amounts of money being given to organizations and governments in alignment with our demise, etc. The list is becoming endless.

On top of all that, the pseudo-president, acting as puppet for his masters and with absolutely no concept of leadership, is working toward enacting a bill to permit 11,000,000 (million) illegal aliens, or properly termed, ‘criminal trespassers,’ into our country without any vetting process and, regardless of how it is termed or described on paper, will issue ‘green cards’ to everyone with the stipulation that they proceed with legal requirements until they are legitimate citizens; they will then have up to eight (8) years to comply while more than likely being on the dole for that amount of time receiving benefits that exceed the mean standard of living for most legitimate Americans. This indiscriminate idiocy must be stopped by any means necessary including action: legal or otherwise, demanding these changes be stopped and must be backed with specific actions to ensure the safety and sanity of our nation.

Total recall of elected officials must be demanded. We, the People must force these demands through the various governmental assemblages with the realistic threat of non-compliance with any mandates by the current governing forces. The government may threaten with retaliation via National Guard, but do not be so sure the National Guard will comply. Those units are made of people like ourselves. As well, if you remember the Russian revolution in 1917, many soldiers turned on the government.

We must be very clear in our actions and act in professional manners to ensure success. Insurrection, violence, or civil disobedience such as rioting, looting, and destruction of property is not being suggested and must not be tolerated. There are ways, however, that can totally get the message across though it would take extreme courage to do so under the current threat of governmental reprisal. It must be something those in power and authority would understand because we will have gotten their attention. These actions will undoubtedly sound ultra-radical and be cause for much discussion and dissension even among us, but once started the movement cannot be stopped until the usurpers are impressed enough for them to shut down. The measures to be taken must be instigated by those with the least to lose and then as it progresses, to the top echelons of the financial communities. By started to revolutionize at the bottom, it will eventually force those in higher security brackets to also comply as they are also losing their dominance.

            All money must be withdrawn from the banks before the government imposes restrictions for control, and they will if you follow the behaviors of the current administration. Credit cards must be maxed out and minimum payments should be made until they default for non-payment of exorbitant interest charges and fees. This will bring the banks to their knees and cause Wall Street to lose control of an inflated market based on numbers on paper that they manipulate at their whim. As the banks and other lending institutions attempt to collect their outstanding receivables, the courts will be profoundly overwhelmed and back up until it is completely incapable of dealing with anything at all. Courts will have no recourse other than to dismiss all charges. Most judges will simply walk away by passing the buck.

            Cease paying federal, state, local taxes, cleverly included excise taxes and imposed taxes that have no basis in reality except to force control over the lives of citizens. By using cash, buyers can readily undermine the taxation issues by demanding suppliers to sell goods tax free. If they do not, you simply move on to another source that will. Embedded taxes such as those in services and utilities can also be alleviated by paying only for the services rendered and demanding, by legal means, those services be supplied. Should suppliers of essentials such as electric, gas, and water threaten to shut down individual services, an alliance can be formed, and additional legal harassment can prevail. To do these things takes courage and cannot be done individually. They must be done en masse; the action must be organized, not random hit and miss. Specific actions can be designed for individual needs.

            These remedies are very viable, but if the citizenry continue to act as lemmings, total societal breakdown will occur. These measures will be more frightening to ‘them’ than theirs is to us, but only if We, the People take matters into our own hands and demand our Constitutional rights be adhered to by any electorate.

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author authors Book of Five Rings books bushido business strategy Hanshi Stephen Kaufman Japanese history karate martial artists martial arts martialism military strategy Miyamoto Musashi Musashi nature nature photography novels personal growth philosophy photography poetry quotes reality facilitation reality manifestation religion samurai self-defense Self-empowerment self-help self-improvement Self-Revealization Acceptance Spirit of the Thing Itself spirituality sports Stephen F. Kaufman Stephen F Kaufman Strategy Sun Tzu taoism The Art of War training wisdom writers writing

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Hanshi Kaufman – Author of world’s best-selling version of Musashi’s Book of Five Rings

 Improvisation and Performance in Hebi-Ryu Kata

In the execution of a downward deflection, (erroneously called a “block”) followed by a punch there is always a slight hesitation. Everyone has experienced this moment—there is a deflection, a miniscule hesitation and then a punch or strike technique. Hesitation is the first problem to be overcome. There must be no hesitation when moving from one move into the next and movements must be accompanied by proper and dynamic breathing technique in synchrony. It should be understood from the outset that strength and speed as applied to execution of technique always limits technical efficiency and effectiveness until control occurs at which time the deflection is activated, and the strike instantly follows—one motion. The same applies to movement in the kata forms themselves. There must be no time lag between sequences especially in directional changes. This is easily overcome if the student attacks with the body and uses arms and legs as extensions and not as separate entities. It is essential to understand that you do not kick with your arms and you do not punch with your legs. (This is not intended as a pun. Too many practitioners use arms for leverage in kicking and legs in emphasis of executing a punch.)  Conviction is implied in the attack and a natural flow of energy ensues. Breathing is not an “addition” to technique as it is so often mistaken to be and should NOT be considered as part of the “ki” as a separate component. The obvious oneness of self and body must be constant. Breath must flow with the movement of the body and be coordinated with the actual techniques. “Ki,” on the other hand is an aspect of “will,” not will power.

Fluid motion is a significant factor in the ability to function correctly. The ONLY way to move is with the entire body. It is an unsteady and unstable act when you move with the arms or the legs and then to follow up with the torso. The same goes for leaning in or leaning out during execution of technique. PROPER FORM IS ESSENTIAL! This is requisite especially when using deceptive tactics. Moving with anything less than the entire body indicates a weak commitment to the attack. Also, in an attack scenario you should not “throw” lots of punches and lots of kicks. Generally, only one attack with any number of realistic extensions of technique will suffice if it is done properly. Even if an attacker is “stoned” and supposedly feels nothing, a well-placed focused execution is all that is truly needed. Keep in mind that karate is not for fighting in the ordinary sense of the word; it is for stopping an attack—only and thoroughly. This idea will be explained in depth throughout the text.

When you move to attack and do not include your whole being, an amount of resolve is lacking, and you will not be able to execute correctly. As a person, you are finite, and therefore even in the best of cases, you are limited in ability. Not understanding this, with concerted effort, is why most people cannot punch or kick effectively much less deflect an attack regardless of “rank” or the ability to hurt someone. It is not enough to be proficient with technique. You must develop and accept contempt for death. The intention of every attack must be considered as an act of finality regardless of the technique used: kick, punch, etc. There should be no difference in the definition of any extension emanating from the spirit through the body.

You must go into the attack with your whole being. The arms and legs performing the “hit” must accompany the torso. Not the other way around, and not to do so is like arriving at your destination and then calling for your car. Think this over carefully. This is a major consideration in proper warrior attitude.

The warrior attitude is based on the belief that constant practice will eventually enable you to overcome your own personal limitations with everything. Kata must be practiced over and over again until it is first nature NOT second nature at which time you will understand the futility of the martial arts, become enlightened and really be able to use technique when required by never having to do so. Think about this!

Most people will not attack in this manner because they are considering the possibility of themselves getting “hit” during the encounter. This mentality creates hesitation and deprives the spirit of the thing itself of its “beingness.” Not being committed to the attack means you are thinking of “things” that have nothing to do with the implied purpose of your actions in the first place. When you drive into an attack, you are physically and psychologically “pumped” relative to the amount of devotion you have given to the reason for your attack. Getting hit should not be a consideration to deter you from the intention and objective of destroying the enemy.

Karate is not about who hits harder, but who attacks with the most commitment. This is the “warrior” attitude and must be maintained throughout the entire attack to provide a totally unified action. This includes deflections, kicks, punches and breathing as well as timing, rhythm, and definition of the moves, which include balance and posture. It results in an attitude of technique not having to be thought about, a mindlessness, (not to be confused with being mindless) and oneness in delivering the specific technique for the desired result. The goal is to “hit” and not “make a hit.”

If you are studying the martial arts with the idea of getting a blackbelt then that is what you will do—get a blackbelt. You will then HAVE a blackbelt. You will not BE a blackbelt. Understand the significance of this difference. Karate may first be an intellectual process and then visceral, or vice-versa, but eventually, and with enough practice, it becomes “no-thing” as you become the thing itself and the thing itself becomes you. If teachers do not teach this mentality it is because they do not understand it and have no right to be teaching in the first place—language limitations notwithstanding.

Improvisation of the kata form allows for additional movement such as might be used by any artist or musician to effect communication with either a viewer, an audience, or in the martial arts, a target; an enemy.

Hebi-do kata are well thought out and are proven in practice and combat. Following specific and original forms of the kata is a vital first step in developing fluidity and growth within the art itself. After the basic kata have been mastered and fully understood, it is quite possible for the practitioner to create personalized forms and to develop improvisations of their own. It is assumed that if you are reading this you know fundamental techniques such as a lunge punch, round house kick, etc.

The concepts and theories presented here are not limited to the specific Hebi ryu kata. They can be applied to any kata from any style from any school. I have composed these kata because they satisfy a personal need for constant practice and simplicity in transmission of the knowledge of karate. They also give me the ability to extend form and function into full-blown combat technique of a more elegant style.

©SFK 2005

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Everything is becoming ‘old hat’. The news is continually redundant. Overwhelming amounts of information are leading towards insipid brainlessness. The war is boring. The economy is boring. The same stories repeated over and over are leading to a complete breakdown of interest and an ever-increasing rise of apathy. The information entertainment industry has become a soap opera scenario with more emphasis on the personalities reporting the slanted stories rather than the actual news that should be of concern to everyone. The devolvement of incomprehensible rules and regulations, the fears of identity theft and privacy violations, the fears of liberty being subtly removed from consciousness by the ‘machine’, the meaninglessness of politically correct morality, etc, are all leading to a complete breakdown of individual responsibility that is leading to a state of hopelessness further enhanced by the lies being told to us that insist that the reverse and opposite is true. The continuing downward spiral of innocuousness is leading to a thorough contempt for everyone and everything who with any semblance of authority is not only being questioned but is being held in contempt for having values that differ from the distressed outcries. We are becoming more and more an Orwellian society and the manner in which it is being foisted on the whole world is taking the awareness of it further and further away from universal awareness. Sounds scary, right? It is!
It seems that nothing relevant is of value. We are becoming a global society of personal assertions rather that representatives of fact. Everything is open to interpretation and with that license available all of the morons and cultural refuse are crawling out of the walls. Everything new is a redefining of the old. The void is becoming unrecognizably unrecognizable because it is becoming recognizably recognizable. (Aha, the old Zen game.) As for education (whatever the hell that now means,) we are losing all respect for substance and valuing the credential, wherever it comes from, rather than the knowledge. To even attempt to fight it all is futile. Therefore, in this writer’s view, it is now more than ever essential to raise the banners and charge ahead into the past. (I was going to say, “rally round the flags” but that would definitely be misconstrued.)
People, for the most part, do not understand the language they speak or the words they use. That is why the ancient masters always suggested that if you can’t say it in simple terms you should keep your mouth shut because you probably don’t know what you are talking about. And, because they are lemmings, their own opinions are usually based on the so-called authoritarian voices they listen to. No one is above and beyond this reality. A truth that is in essence the fundamental requirement of saving a society that is bordering on its own extinction must go back to its roots. Now, more than ever, we need to turn back to the values that have enabled us to grow and prosper regardless of the envy of the world. Not to do so is sheer folly.

Hanshi Stephen F Kaufman from The Hanshi Forum, November 19, 2004

#fearoresponsibility #firstamendment #freedom #hanshistephenaufman #hanshistevekaufman #leadership #life #mindfulness #newamericaneagle #wethepeople

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THE LIVING TAO by Stephen F. Kaufman

Poem Number 13 speaks of ruling the people and how the realm should be maintained to continue peace and prosperity. To learn more about this illuminating work and to buy an autographed copy visit: http://the-living-tao.weebly.com

Poem Number Thirteen

“Only he should rule who understands all people are the same. Only he should rule who loves all men as himself. Only he should rule who understands the unity of separateness. Bestowed with pride, he falls from Heaven’s grace. From disgrace, he arises owning nothing but himself. Owning nothing, he gives with an open heart. To be in favor and to be in disgrace are the same. To fall from favor and be lifted from disgrace are the same. A man who sees the difference sees the same thing. He who does not see the same thing is confused by both wishing to be availed of only favor. Expecting the bounty of the universe to not show him special favor, his special favor is himself.”


  The egotism involved with ascent through arrogance, conceit, and false pride is such that guard must be taken against its expression. The more you practice to become a perfect example of all, the easier is the acceptance of the Divine Beauty of all life. When loss of position comes, it is difficult for the man who thinks his rank was granted by himself to reassert his position in the world. Seeing rank as an extension of his own mind, he understands that there is never anything to lose because there was never anything to be gained. He is at peace with himself and walks in harmony with every man. He uses the value of his rank to become more valuable to the Spirit of the Thing Itself.

    The wise man gives with an open heart knowing that all is granted from heaven as a special gift that he desires to experience. Should he lose his composure about such things he will quickly fall into the depths of terror brought about by his own thinking that he is all that matters. Lifting himself from his morass of negativity, he sees the specialness of nothing except himself and he is able to guide himself and to guard his domain without effort.

    Being a man of wisdom, he sees being special as holding nothing of merit and does not become vulnerable. He understands that he can be trusted. Even though his rank and authority are treated as extensions of his own soul, he can walk in peace knowing that the hideous weight of responsibility is governed only by heaven, and that his acknowledgement of It is what protects the realm of his mind. His burden to himself vanishes and he lives in joy.

Learn more and buy: http://the-living-tao.weebly.com

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author authors Book of Five Rings books bushido business strategy Hanshi Stephen Kaufman Japanese history karate martial artists martial arts martialism military strategy Miyamoto Musashi Musashi nature nature photography novels personal growth philosophy photography poetry quotes reality facilitation reality manifestation religion samurai self-defense Self-empowerment self-help self-improvement Self-Revealization Acceptance Spirit of the Thing Itself spirituality sports Stephen F. Kaufman Stephen F Kaufman Strategy Sun Tzu taoism The Art of War training wisdom writers writing

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Death does not exist and only reveals nextness Wisdom does not permit the end of itself A man can only learn to move forward in any direction Not being concerned with what went before He should not care for the rewards of the day Seeking only that which can enhance his own reality He does not consider the rewards of his work By not considering the results of his work They are perfect and cannot be made better

            Nextness is what happens after a man leaves his body, or, that which was behind him, not caring to carry it along to his next destination on earth or anywhere else. When nextness is reached, Allness is released according to the conventions a man uses in his own thinking through personal contemplation of the Spirit of the Thing Itself. All is accomplished because the Spirit of the Thing Itself is expressed to the level of the man’s ability to understand and accept Its profound gifts. These gifts are made manifest in the world as a result of a man’s work and desire to attain perfection. If a man is enlightened, he will see these things as something beyond what he could ever imagine. This must not be confused with objects of physical possession that can be touched and held. These are only things that in time will cease to be in the form they now possess. Imperfection exists only because man cannot identify the Spirit of the Thing Itself as the means of Heaven’s and man’s natural existence. Heaven and man must coincide with each other. 

© Stephen F. Kaufman

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