Thursday, April 30, 2009

The strong is not strong because his strength. Zen - 2

One of the most mysterious but interesting statement in Zen discussion is "Everything is Nothing and Nothing is Everything." There are millions of interpretation on this statement. Think about Roman empire, Mongolian Kingdom, Third Reich, Japan Pacific Empire. Historically, they were there prosperous and strong. They looked like imperishable. But, all of them are gone. Gone as if they were not existing from the very beginning. Still it does not mean all human society was gone. It is still there and benefiting at the same time stressing people.

In this sense, this statement is quite correct when we take a look at history from time length. Then, why the strong is not strong because his sgrength? The entire sentence reads "The strong is not strong because of his strength, but because of his weakness. The strong will not lose because of his weakness, but of his strength". There were very strong clan in 15th century Japan, the time of black age. The name is "Takeda". The head of the clan, Shingen Takeda was smart strategist. One of the early adopter of "Guns" brought into Japan. He trained his gunmen and formed gun unit. His army was called strongest in Japan that time.

After the death of Shingen Takeda, his son, Katsuyori, inherited his army. His army was supposed to be as strong as his fathers. He fought against Nobunaga Oda. (Nagashino War - refer to image left - Public Domain) Katsuyori was so confident that his army with gun unit can defeat Oda. But, Nobunaga Oda studied everything about his gun army unit of Takeda and imported newer guns from Europe to win against Takeda. If Katsuyori's army was not famous for the strength of gun power, Oda would not have been aware of it, and could not study about it. To me, this example is typical on "The strong lost due to its strength." How do you think?

Related post:
http://zheninternational.blogspot.com/2009/04/strong-is-not-strong-because-his.html

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Shaw Funami
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10 comments:

Marketing Unscrambled, learn to earn 14 said...

Shaw, that is like pride goes before the fall. Look at our own country. What could bring us down? Maybe our own leaders thinking that the are so strong as your post talks about. A lot of people do not like our country they would like to bring us down. That might come from inside the country it's self. The story of the lion with a small thorn in it's paw. That brought the lion down. It is small things not the big things. What do we in our time have to be watchful of so that we can keep these kind of things from happening.
Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shaw .. they do say that we learn from strength .. we learn from our elders and betters .. and I guess Oda realised that Katsuroyi had become so self confident .. he didn't keep learning .. and so was overtaken ..

Good idea .. thanks - everything is nothing and nothing is everything ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Shaw said...

Dan and Deanna,

I see your point. I did not think about US when I posted this. But, you are completely right about your analogy for Zen principle viewing US present situation.

Leaders should learn strength can destroy our country in addition to protecting.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Shaw said...

Hi Hilary, As you see, the point is that we should not forget our strength could be the point which can cause us troubles and problems. If viewed that way, one will continue to grow the strength and address weakeness. Then it should be OK. If too confident, as 7 deadly sins go, it will harm you soon or later.

Thank you for coming and thank you for your comment.

Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Marketing Unscrambled, learn to earn 14 said...

Shaw, the leaders should learn from your post. Have a good day.
Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

Shaw said...

Dan and Deanne,

Welcome back! US strength for us to be humbly concious and carefully maintained is the fact that we have wisdom of the world and can help each other. If overly confident, it will backfire us. Thank you very much for your comment.

Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Peter Baca said...

Hi Shaw,

I understand what your saying in your post! My thought is that Oda was a smart man...he knew the opponents strength.

Perhaps he used espionage to get the information on the exact number of men, locations, types of weapons etc. He did his war preparations.

So, with that tactical information he was able to prevail. Katsuroyi was over confident! That is one of the fatal mistakes in war!

Thank you for your post!

Pete Baca
The Car Enthusiast Online

Shaw said...

Hello Peter,

You are absolutely correct. It is not Zen, but ancient Chinese says "Winners win where they can win." This case, Takeda strength was Oda's place where they could win.

Thank you for your comment.
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Believe Achieve - Hugo and Roxanne said...

Hi Shaw,

Great discussions about your posts!
Having too much pride and over-confidence can inevitably become our weakness because the "ego" stands in our way of growing.

If we continue to grow, we're adding to our strengths and our weaknesses at the same time.

Thank you for sharing a piece of Japanese history.

Many Blessings....
Roxanne and Hugo ~ Believe Achieve

Shaw said...

Hugo & Roxanne,

Thank you for your comment. Why one is so confident and pride of something? It was what he was good at. In other words, that was his strength. This is the moment one's strength changes to weakness. And seems to me this is the mechanism.

Thanks again for your coming and your comment.
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link