Stoicism

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Re: Stoicism

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:53 pm

I assume that is not directed at me as it is an admonition not to cling to the old as such recalcitrance presents dangers and misleads one; or at least to not cling to "ancient tools" intended for their future purpose: the Hagakure had no future purpose, rather, it was guidance for a time when history was viewed as cyclical and the past, not the future, was viewed as superior and ideal. Only in the bakumatsu period were linear, unidirectional, and progressive conceptions of time widely embraced. There is no evidence that the Hagakure, for example, has led to anything positive (perhaps this is natural, as it was written without evidence of conviction). Rather, it has been twisted and abused as mentioned above.

As I stated, I don't have beef with Musashi as I don't know enough about him aside from his writings.
Last edited by Ian C. Kuzushi on Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby Finny on Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:57 pm

IIRC Musashi wrote dokkodo just before he wrote Gorin no sho, for the Lord Hosokawa. He wrote Gorin no sho for one of his disciples, who Hosokawa prevailed upon to provide a copy; which is why we have the book of five rings today. From what I've been told the gorin no sho is actually closely linked to Musashi's Niten Ichi Ryu hyoho - much of what is viewed as abstract philosophy is in fact coded reference to sword forms he taught.

Dokkodo was apparently the more philosophical advice type writing, as the name implies.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby grzegorz on Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:35 pm

Ian C. Kuzushi wrote:Ah, the Hagakure, dictated by Yamamoto Tsumetomo, a man who never faced combat in his life. He also broke with tradition and didn't commit junshi (ritual suicide following one's lord in death) because his lord supposedly held disdain for the practice. He then, well before dictating his treatise on loyalty and embracing death, had to move into exile after a prolonged disagreement with his new lord.

Strangely, the Hagakure was then used in the Meiji Restoration as well as the attempted Shōwa Restoration as an excuse to embrace ideologies and carry out activities that embodied the exact opposite of loyalty.

Yeah, I agree studying the strange origins and utilization of the Hagakure is interesting, but it's largely misrepresented both in Japan and in the West.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with the post from Musashi's work, which I can't really comment on as I'm not sure how much of what is written on Musashi is based on reliable documentation.


The fact that he never faced combat gives me more respect for him. I think the American fascination with war and violence is why this country is such a mess. I also think suicide is bull so thanks, I have even more respect for the writer.

Hagakure is no bible or guide to me any more than the works of Carlos Castaneda which may or not fiction as much as these works offer an interesting perspective in times where almost everything is about self-gratification. I don't see the man as someone to be worshipped as much as someone who wrote down what he was being taught and told at a certain period of Japanese history.

I am no samurai and never wanted to be although some may call me a social justice warrior.
Last edited by grzegorz on Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby grzegorz on Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:41 pm

fuga wrote:I am reading the Obstacle is the Way. Good little book.


I am halfway through and it is awesome!
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Re: Stoicism

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:31 am

grzegorz wrote:
Ian C. Kuzushi wrote:Ah, the Hagakure, dictated by Yamamoto Tsumetomo, a man who never faced combat in his life. He also broke with tradition and didn't commit junshi (ritual suicide following one's lord in death) because his lord supposedly held disdain for the practice. He then, well before dictating his treatise on loyalty and embracing death, had to move into exile after a prolonged disagreement with his new lord.

Strangely, the Hagakure was then used in the Meiji Restoration as well as the attempted Shōwa Restoration as an excuse to embrace ideologies and carry out activities that embodied the exact opposite of loyalty.

Yeah, I agree studying the strange origins and utilization of the Hagakure is interesting, but it's largely misrepresented both in Japan and in the West.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with the post from Musashi's work, which I can't really comment on as I'm not sure how much of what is written on Musashi is based on reliable documentation.


The fact that he never faced combat gives me more respect for him. I think the American fascination with war and violence is why this country is such a mess. I also think suicide is bull so thanks, I have even more respect for the writer.

Hagakure is no bible or guide to me any more than the works of Carlos Castaneda which may or not fiction as much as these works offer an interesting perspective in times where almost everything is about self-gratification. I don't see the man as someone to be worshipped as much as someone who wrote down what he was being taught and told at a certain period of Japanese history.

I am no samurai and never wanted to be although some may call me a social justice warrior.


::)

I was simply pointing out the historical background, as you seemed to be lumping the works of Musashi (a warrior who faced combat many times) to those of Yamamoto (a bureaucrat who never faced combat). Strange that you would say you are even more enamored by Yamamoto. To be clear, he didn't face combat because there was no combat for him to face, not because he was above it. As for you, "not being into suicide:" that's nice, but if you had read the Hagakure, you would notice that Yamamoto clearly was keenly focused on death and junshi would have been the natural course of action for someone of his standing and socio-cultural position. My point was that his actions didn't jive with his words. I mainly brought it up because the Hagakure is often taken out of context (much like Nitobe's Bushido, which was actually written in Montery, CA) and placed in the same sphere as Musashi's work. I think there is a distinction.

Of course you are not a samurai. There haven't been any samurai since the early Meiji period, period. And, samurai were certainly not generally considered to be social justice warriors...
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Re: Stoicism

Postby grzegorz on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:00 am

No offense but I really couldn't give a damn. I live in 2017 and I appreciate that someone wrote down what he was being taught. It could have been a transvestite geisha girl who hated sushi and my opinion of the work would still be exactly the same.

As a history nerd we seek primary sources not judgements of character.
Last edited by grzegorz on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:17 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:18 am

grzegorz wrote:No offense but I really couldn't give a damn. I live in 2017 and I appreciate that someone wrote down what he was being taught. It could have been a transvestite geisha girl who hated sushi and my opinion of the work would still be exactly the same.


Understood.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby vagabond on Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:32 pm

I'm always a little wary of stoicism, and people who want to talk about stoicism. It always seems to be relatively well to do white dudes who consider themselves 'creative' but whose work commands real dollars and is suitably macho, i.e. programmers, high end carpenters, etc. I remember a friend of mine, dude I really like to be clear, telling me about how I could consider my work (line cook) to be an excercise in personal betterment, I think he had some kind of sushi chef or Michelin starred artiste in mind. Regardless, his words made it perfectly clear he'd never changed fryer oil, let alone cleaned out a grease trap.

I wonder how stoicism would look if slavery back in the day had been chattel slavery, rather than the Greek variety which allowed you to purchase your freedom, and slaves of your own.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby Mr_Wood on Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:18 pm

Im a carpenter but not high end or particularly wealthy. I had a look at stoicism purely because I find philosophy interesting and hadn't read anything on it before. Stoicism didnt really resonate with me so much, seems kind of emotionless and demanding, ecouraging you to analyse how you respond to each and everything in a fairly dull, overly serious way which just isnt in my character. I guess thats why they sometimes refer to people who show little emotion as being stoic.

I do like the way it trys to teach us to lead more humble lives and to not seek unecessary pleasures or indulgence.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:31 pm

Well, depends on what ya'll mean by stoicism. So far, the correlation seems to center around Japanese philosophy. It may be true that that approach is adopted more by White dudes (:)) in the west than by Japanese, especially when it comes to ancient warrior traditions. However, western stoicism was named such by ancient Greek White dudes (:)) like Zeno, and he advocated a philosophy which might remind some of the old TCC saying "Though Mt. Tai might fall in front of me, my expression would not change." Some in the west equated stoicism with indifference to pain or pleasure, but it could be applied to life and death, or just life. There seem to be echoes of that sentiment in many Asian philosophical systems. In the west, though, stoicism gave way to hedonism, capitalism and all the other isms.

Afa the interesting question of the slave in the U.S. I don't think any human just accepts enslavement stoically from his perspective. To the outside observer, though, I think that a slave might appear stoic. Well, the issue of freedom that occupied so many 18th century philosophers was one that defied the validity of stoicism in a society. The signers of the Declaration could not be stoics. Neither could the people they owned.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:12 pm

IINM, Ashe is reading the Meditations right now. Maybe he can comment?
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Re: Stoicism

Postby grzegorz on Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:12 am

vagabond wrote:I'm always a little wary of stoicism, and people who want to talk about stoicism. It always seems to be relatively well to do white dudes who consider themselves 'creative' but whose work commands real dollars and is suitably macho, i.e. programmers, high end carpenters, etc. I remember a friend of mine, dude I really like to be clear, telling me about how I could consider my work (line cook) to be an excercise in personal betterment, I think he had some kind of sushi chef or Michelin starred artiste in mind. Regardless, his words made it perfectly clear he'd never changed fryer oil, let alone cleaned out a grease trap.

I wonder how stoicism would look if slavery back in the day had been chattel slavery, rather than the Greek variety which allowed you to purchase your freedom, and slaves of your own.


Marketing is what it is but I believe as a martial artist you have probably been practicing certain aspects of Stoicism without realizing it. For me these books aren't so much life changing as much as an affirmation of certain things I have already been doing from martial arts for example Holiday discusses how heated things can get when a boss criticize or yells at us and yet in truth if we ask ourselves, "What is the worst that can happen?" We realize that there is no or little point in getting emotional.

My own personal example is driving. I always get a kick how angry people get when they almost get into an accident (at the other driver) when in fact they should be grateful to be alive. To me this is a good example of stoicism, seeing things as they are instead of how we perceive them to be.
Last edited by grzegorz on Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby Mr_Wood on Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:55 am

Driving is a funny one. I am forvever having to remind myself not to lose my shit and calm down after some fool cuts me up or attempts to engage in road rage. Its actually a very good practice for self control. Or when someone purposely rubs you up the wrong way to get a desired reaction and having to modify your reaction so you dont fall into their trap.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby grzegorz on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:01 am

Yeah driving is a good time to practice controlling your emotions.

It is funny because I sort of realized this in China where everyone drives crazy but they rarely make it personal or get nto road rage incidents unless there is an accident whereas here you have road rage accidents because there was almost accident. LOL!
Last edited by grzegorz on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stoicism

Postby grzegorz on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:26 am

By the way I wasn't clear on what is the worst thing that can happen at work. What I meant was that even if the worse happens in the end it is an opportunity to find another or perhaps even better job. I can remember all the stress of dealing with a horrible boss when actually I should not have been stressed because eventually I would leave those jobs for better opportunities yet at the time I acted as if this was only job in the world I could do. Like driving, it is important to realize that feuding with a boss doesn't help the situation if it goes beyond standing up for yourself that is.
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