A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy by Miyamoto Musashi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I can't believe I never read this before now, but damn, HAVING read it now, I also appreciate it more.
Huh? Am I learning the way of the blade, wanting to defeat my foes from first principles and needing someone from many hundreds of years ago to tell me to EXPLORE THE PRACTICE DEEPLY? Yes? Practice it a LOT?
No. I'm not picking up a blade, and I'm not reading this from the PoV of some modern businessman wanting to get one-up on my competition, but I sure as hell got a LOT out of this.
You can say that it can be distilled down into a version of Buddhism, or you can say the essence is Fire, Wind, Water, and Stone, plus The Emptiness. But saying so doesn't explain a damn thing, nor does it teach anyone what is really beneath the words in this very clear text.
It does, however, lend itself WONDERFULLY to metaphor. Analogy.
I mean, of COURSE you're supposed to aim for the face. It always makes them flinch.
Of course you're supposed to dominate the battlefield with your own timing, never losing momentum, and always face your opponents with courage.
Pay attention to everything. Use everything.
But above all, heed the path of the Emptiness. Stop assuming shit! Learn your lessons well, always be honest with yourself, and never stop facing -- absolutely everything.
I think I'm going to buy this in a very nice edition and place it within my reach everywhere I go. It's that good. After all, minds ARE blades.
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