Modern Gladiators and Samurais

Today, living has become tough, heartless, and dominated by intellectual indifference.

Few things can cheer us up, however all kinds of difficulties clutter up the mind, preventing a clear vision, draining our energy, and provoking discouragement.

We see ourselves standing before innumerous options, countless things to remember, many tasks to carry out, and an overwhelming number of events to attend. There are just to many people to keep in touch with. And, there are just too many demands to be fulfilled. How does one survive in this frenzied and challenging arena maintaining your distance from the chaos, conserving your personal energy and channeling it for your priority life goals?

Hyrum W. Smith, offers us some recommendations in the book “The Modern Gladiator”: “In the modern arena we have to define our mission as professionals and human beings, drawing up a plan for our careers and our personal life, seeking to attain success with dignity and with the support from all those that surround us”. (Foreword from the above mentioned book).

Humans should continually seek for survival and the best way to live. Maximus, (from the film ‘The Gladiator’) the general of an Imperial Roman legion, was the victim of a power-takeover conspiracy. He was enslaved and fought in the arena as a Gladiator, with his discipline and leadership; he drew up a plan of action and won the confidence and the support of the people. “If we stay together we can survive…”

Modern day Gladiators are trying to survive in a highly competitive world with constant changes. It is necessary to have a wider view of everything that is happening in our chaotic surroundings. You have to know how to motivate your companions. Apply your training and acquired knowledge constantly…

Television, e-mails, mobile phones, meetings, people and reports continually bombard us. They are many urgent tasks. We have to look at all this with clarity and simplicity to be able to concentrate on what really matters in our lives. It is vital that we keep our inner peace and control our lives, using our intuitive reflection.

Sensei Jorge Kishikawa offers us another book that refers to the film “The Last Samurai”, stressing the importance of principles in an age decadent of values. For Sensei Jorge, we are now living in an age where there is a general loss of values, mistrust of institutions, and an absence of ideals. The people have become indifferent to politics. In the spiritual sphere, this indifference translates into the advance of materialistic cults and extremist’s doctrines, in detriment to the better-known religions that cannot manage to offer answers and comfort the billions of followers. The young people do not respect the elders. Man destroys nature: polluting the sea and the atmosphere.

Each morning, when we get up, we should keep in mind the good that we shall do this day. Courage, determination, honor, altruism, compassion, discipline, respect the masters, defend the truth, and the lacking values the global society at the beginning of the third millennium, all of them integrant with the ethics of the Samurai.

“I have not yet found a Brazilian Samurai that did not relax at some given moment after a great battle, despite the on-going war. The majority feels that they have the right to slack off and loosen the strings of their helmets after the battle. They are not ready for a counter attack.”

“The westerners are educated people, they read lots of books and think a lot. I believe that they get so confused that they are unable to be plain and simple anymore. The Samurai, a man of action, cannot be confused or undecided in the middle of the battle.”

“While many spend their time criticizing, use yours perfecting yourself. Desiring improvement in what you do, you shall be elevating your spirituality and your abilities, staving off negative thoughts of envy, insecurity and hatred of your competitor.”

“As long as there is a Samurai in the company, there will always be someone that will be fighting for it 24 hours a day.”

“Gets up early and pick up your step as you walk during the day. Whilst there is sunlight, and the sun has not set, there is not a minute to lose on the Path of Life.”

(excerpts from the book: “ Shinhagakure - Thoughts of a Modern Samurai”)

What lesson can we learn form all this? What should we learn from the Gladiator and the Samurai?

At this afflictive time of humanity it has become necessary to sharpen one’s senses, improve one’s physical conditioning, have courage, self-control, and discipline. All this should be applied in studying the Laws of Creation and carry them out with humility, to walk favorably accompanying the flow of life, building and benefiting, and not in the opposite direction, destroying and messing up the world. Humans should be stimulated to do their best in all they do.

The example of these warriors should enable us to act with assertiveness. The main weapon to be used must be the energy of our spirit, an intuitive wish strengthened by the Light of the Truth. It is only by doing this that we shall get a completely encompassing view on life, enabling us to act with clarity, simplicity and naturally, amidst the reigning chaos of disharmonious events, relationship difficulties, afflicted people, and difficult traffic.

It is important not to loose one’s focus, the vision of what is really important in our lives. However, the determination of what is really important must not come from the brain of the intellect, manipulated by the multiple external influences to which it is subject to, but it must in fact come from within, from intuition that manifests our true desire, originating from the inside coming out.

Benedicto Ismael Camargo Dutra