Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
Re-reading this makes me wonder how much of this is like Ben Franklin's Autobiography ( trying to inculcate and coming across as unbelievable that Ben practiced these things until he died ). However, in this case, I choose to believe.
The only shame in dying incorrectly is to die a stupid and meaningless death.
To study the sword you study war, weapons, and men. to study craftsmanship you study the project, the tools, and men.
The supervisor of a job should circulate among his men to appraise their strengths and weaknesses. He must praise them where they earn praise and admonish them when they do not fulfill the requirements of the job. But he must praise and admonish equally or there will be a loss of morale and the job may not be finished correctly. Likewise, a commander must walk among his men if he is to expect a certain level of performance. If he is unaware of the skills of each warrior, how can he know to whom to assign tasks?
It is simply not possible to get good results without the necessary respect for one's tools or one's weapons. Time must be devoted to training, practicing, and maintaining one's tools or weapons, however gifted a man may be.
Masters plan for contingency even when it appears that they are only improvising.
To know ten thousand things, know one well.
- Think honestly within yourself in your dealings with all men.
- Constant training is the only Way to learn strategy.
- Become familiar with every art you come across.
- Understand the Way of other disciplines.
- Know the difference between right and wrong in the matters of men.
- Strive for inner judgment and an understanding of everything.
- See that which cannot be seen.
- Overlook nothing, regardless of its significance.
- Do not waste time idling or thinking after you have set your goals.
Walking is walking, whether in an excursion to the park or in a combat maneuver.
Remember, the main idea behind becoming a warrior is learning how to destroy the enemy. Without destroying the enemy you are playing a child's game.
There is nothing wrong with escaping from combat if you are overpowered and honestly cannot win the fight. Get out and make sure you have provided a means to get out.
How do you feel about going into combat? Is your spirit correct at all times? Are you feeling strong? Do you feel slightly uneasy? It is important that you understand yourself ...
When you have scared the enemy and his rhythm is confused, you can easily go in for the kill.
In combat you are not in a contest of strength and you are not in a race. You are there for the only purpose there is to be in combat -- to kill the enemy. Showing extra strength indicates a weakness in your technique. It also shows a lack of control on your part because you are depending on something outside of your true self. Your own preconceived ideas of what being "strong" means is not the Way of the warrior.
The spirit is no-thing-ness means that there is no such thing as relying upon anything at all outside of your individual mind.