Friday, January 13, 2012

The Book of Void

In the Book of Void, Miyamoto discusses nothingness. It is definitely the shortest book in the Book of Five Rings, spanning to (really) a full page of text. The book is so short, that I will just quote it here for you.

In this Void Book, I will record the Ichi Way of Strategy.
The Void is where there is nothing or any form. Man cannot have knowledge of this because it is nothing. Since we have knowledge of what is, we therefore know what is not. That is the Void.
People sometimes think that which they do not understand is the Void. This is not true. This is confusion.
Military strategists and those who study war sometimes think that whatever they do not understand is the Void. But this is not the true Void.
In order to master the Way of Strategy, you must study the other martial arts, and you must not abandon the Way of the warrior at all. You must set your mind upon practicing every single day, hour by hour. You must develop the double spirit of the heart and the mind. And you must appreciate the two-fold use of perception and eyesight. When your mind is clear, and there are no clouds of confusion, this is the True Void.
Before you understand the True Void, you may think you have gained understanding either through Buddhism or through everyday thought. When you realize the true Way, you will understand that each of us sees the various ways through different eyes. Seeing these other ways is to reject the true Way.
Make sure you base your practice on a wide foundation, and learn a large number of martial arts. This way, you will understand the Void as the Way, and you will see the Way as the Void.
The Void is good, and contains no evil.
I believe that Miyamoto is saying that in order to understand the Void and also to understand the Way, we must concern ourselves with the study of all things. In that way we understand what is and what is not. The Way is, of course, the way of the warrior, which narrows down the broader sense of the Void a little, as we concern ourselves with the Way of Strategy and the Art of War which can only be learned through experience and study of Miyamoto further.

In understanding all things we are less judgmental and also are able to understand people and our surroundings. I think that is primarily what Miyamoto is getting at; with understanding comes a sort of knowing, allowing students to further their advantage in winning in all things whether it be battle or in whatever way they choose to live their lives...

Follow the links below to buy your book today. Though I have summarized the chapters here on my blog, I know that this book is invaluable to any serious martial artist. It goes over strategies read here as well as more that didn't make it into my posts.

For instance:
  • posture
  • holding your sword
  • as well as numerous other techniques when in battle... or just having a friendly sparring match.

This version of Miyamoto's book is a modernized version. Some of the original text is a little hard to understand, so if you want an easier read, I recommend this one. It has everthing the original has but in more modern terms. Follow the links to find out more. Thanks again for reading!

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