Some time ago I stumbled upon one of the writings of Yagyu Munenori (1571-1646) as translated by Thomas Cleary and published by Shambhala Classics here. When Yagyu Munenori was barely 30 years old, he became the official shogunke heiho shihan, or Martial Arts Teacher to the Family of the Shoguns. Munenori completed The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War in 1632.
In seeking understanding; Munenori’s writings are similar to America’s Thomas Jefferson’s writings when he wrote personally on “eternal truths”.
Munenori’s attempt to describe “the Way” has TRUTH which can aid we “modern” Judeo-Christian followers on our own spiritual journeys. Especially when we “moderns” are surrounded by so many who are misdirected (whether of their own accord or as a result of indoctrination).
. . . The spirit is within, the wonder manifests outwardly; this is called the inscrutable marvel.
. . . even though you cannot open up the body to see something you may call the spirit, it is by virtue of the existence of the spirit within that you perform various actions.
. . . The spirit is the master of the mind. The spirit resides within, employing the mind outside.
. . . People who write and people who preach just write and preach based on traditional religious writings and lectures; those who have realized the “mind” at heart are rare.
. . . When the “mind” has found its proper place and position in the body and is settle where it ought to be, one is free in all paths.
. . .
When people are awakened, everything they do, all their physical actions, will be direct. If they are not upright, they can hardly be called enlightened people. The direct, upright mind is called the original mind, or the mind of the Way. The warped, polluted mind is called the false or errant mind, or the human mentality.
People who have actually realized their own original mind, and whose actions accord with that original mind, are a fascinating phenomenon. I do not speak such words from my own understanding. Although I speak like this, it is hard for me to be direct and straightforward in Mind, and to behave in a manner consistent with a direct mind; nevertheless, I write of it because it is the Way.
It is difficult for those of us who are “good” to accept the fact that Evil exists. In fact Evil will not only never seek goodness, but will continuously seek to destroy “good” at every opportunity. Evil is always here. If you do not “see” Evil, rest assured Evil is merely cloaked in “beauty and desires”. “Good” cannot understand Evil. Evil cannot be negotiated with.
Oftentimes “good” will;
- not recognize evil, or
- ignore evil, or
- close our eyes and consciously choose not to accept evil.
When you recognize Truth, accept, learn from, and illuminate her. Similarly, when you recognize un-Truths, accept them too. Then illuminate Evil so the Good around you may understand, help, and protect one another from Evil’s destruction and desolation.