The noteworthy, at the same time common on these masters' records, is that these records shows that these Martial Arts masters became almost like philosophers of human beings' most important subject, life and death. Many principles came from Buddhism concepts. Musashi has his record. He stopped fighting at his age fifty. He lived in a forest. He painted several paintings. All of them are masterpieces. He wrote about his bio, history, and state of mind in fighting. The document is called "Go-Rin No Sho" in Japanese. English translation of the title is "Book of Five Rings".
"Five Rings" represent five basic factors, which forms the universe. They are "CHI - earth", "SUI - water", "KA - fire", "FU - wind", and "KU - sky or emptiness". The book talks about his own life and history in "CHI", basics on sword art skills in "SUI", principles on fighting in "KA", about swordsmanship overall in "FU", and the nature of Martial Arts in "KU".
Musashi did not attribute his winning record to his strength or his own power and skills. He mentioned own history of fighting was his "fate". His winning was only by "God's help". He mentioned that he remembered he would not win any fight if he did not have "God's help". He continued that none of his winning was the result of his strength overcame his enemies. He remembered that he could have lost and killed in any of his sixty times of duels.
Why could he continue to win? He explained that he had "God's help". How can one establish "God's help" to achieve his kind of strength? He continued to teach. He said, "Respect God". He further said, "But, do not ask God for help." His book does not describe exact meaning behind his words of wisdom, unfortunately. Many people have interpreted his words. The closest interpretation would be, "Respect God. Keep one to be clear and pure so that he could establish his relationship with God. Cherish the relation with God." "Do not ask God for help him to bring him a victory." Instead, leave everything to his God. Try to communicate with your God, "All of me is yours. Please take me and bring me whatever He would bring to me." One could call it faith or unconditional trust that one's God will bring goodness to him, always. This could be called as "Unconditional Acceptance". This helps the swordsman to achieve peaceful and stable status of mind. Many masters in history called such status of mind "KU - emptiness".
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