When you always keep death in mind, when you speak and when you reply to what others say, you understand the weight and significance of every word as a warrior by profession, so you do not engage in futile arguments. As a matter of course you do not go to dubious places even if people invite you, so there is no way for you to get into unexpected predicaments. This is why I say you will avoid myriad evils and calamities if you keep death in mind.
Code of the samurai – Taira Shigesuke
You must meditate on your death to understand the value of your time.
Your death will come unexpectedly. Those who live without death in mind die with regrets. They believe they have time. Time has us. We don’t have it.
A fulfilling life is found on the path. Places off the path, dubious places, offer little to no fulfillment. Fulfillment found off the path is temporary.
Going off path can occur one day per week if needed to recharge spirit. The cheat day. Sinful Saturday.
Dubious places off the path that do not recharge spirit will hinder your progress towards mastery.
Trouble & Respite
This is not to say that going off path is a bad notion–warriors need rest and respite from the path but dubious places, trouble, offer no rest nor respite.
Trouble creates problems off the path that must be solved. Avoid this. The path is where home is. The path longs for you to return when you leave the muse for unworthy pursuits. Dubious places are not based on morality but based on trouble.
Do not spend time with individuals who cause trouble or spend time in places where trouble is likely to occur. A restaurant may be more dubious than a gentleman’s club if the patrons are more likely to stir trouble.
Trouble off the path is useless conflict that does not grow body, mind, or spirit. You will have enough conflict from your paths if you are loyal to them. Growth is suffering but it does not have to be painful. Off-path trouble, drama, gossip, is the siren call that leads well-intentioned ships into the rocks. A siren can turn a break from the path into a breakup with meaning.
The pillars you build must be meticulously maintained and improved upon.
All trouble off the path is futile
There are circumstances where trouble cannot be avoided. Fight your way out of trouble. Get back to the path as soon as possible. Do not think lightly of this.
Trouble creates obstacles that must be overcome, brought on by leaving the path. Trouble has no value to the path. Wasted time wasted life.
Trouble is a problem. Problems will occur on the path in the form of conquest that forces a wanderer to progress farther down the path.
Avoid dubious places to avoid creating problems and setbacks that take you away from the path.
The professional marries his muses. He walks with them. Leaving them is cheating.
Going to a dubious place is going to a brothel to cheat on your muse.
Stay loyal to the path.