Musashi is one of the most famous samurai who ever lived. He fought many wars and dueled 63 opponents with his first duel occurring when he was a teenager.
Musashi was much more than a Samurai. Many people are ignorant of the fact that Musashi was on multiple paths throughout his life. His primary path was the sword. He created a new style of fighting called “Two heavens as one” or “Two swords as one” because he would fight with a sword in each hand. He followed the Bushido samurai code.
When he could no longer fight to the best of his ability he found a path in caligraphy, which lead to many more paths. Later in his life he became a skilled poet, sculptor, writer, and metallurgist. The paths he followed after the sword were guided by the sword. He applied the Bushido philosophy to all that he did.
He understood that the way is the same in all things. Life and death. Yin & Yang. Beginner and master.
Musashi also taught many students.
He understood the duty as a follower of The Way; passing mastered knowledge to the apprentice so that new students can find the way and hopefully, go father than the master did.
The will of the wanderer is wandering.
Mastery is the repeat process of moving forward, making what is unknown known, then mastered, then passed down. We must help the generations after us go farther than we did. If we do not, we have failed.
The paths of mastery
“I have never had a teacher while studying the Ways of the various arts and accomplishments, or in anything at all.”
The way is the same in all things. Musashi never had a teacher because he understood he is responsible for absorbing knowledge from teachers. They are not responsible for learning, we are responsible for absorbing. Knowledge can come from anywhere, even from making connections within your own mind so it is important to be grounded.
It is up to the student to figure out how to connect new knowledge to existing knowledge–to teach themselves through professions or the path. Continue what works, disregard what does not. Do not test everything; test what passes logical challenges you pose in your head from all directions and without favoritism.
Neurology shows that new information must connect to old information to be assimilated. New knowledge sticks to existing knowledge like the elegant design of the spiderweb growing one weave at a time from existing structures.
The code of the Bushido, the path, taught Miyamoto Musashi how to master anything by connecting new knowledge to existing knowledge, and understanding the way broadly. This allowed him to get the same fulfillment he had in swordsmanship in painting, sculpting, poetry, tea, and drama. Even when he could no longer duel, he could teach, and he could continue following the way with different paths.
Think about this in your own life. If you were a young athlete and are now an adult, it may be difficult to continue to pursue your sport as a mastery on a full-time basis. But you can teach it. And you can continue to improve and get better, while also having an alternate profession, even if it doesn’t give you the meaning that your sport does.
Life transitions shed the old ways.
Do not live without a path, or the drive to find it.
When you find your paths, label them so they become fixtures of your body, mind, and spirit. Write them down. Store them in a piece of technology somehow.
Understand that having multiple masteries can be an advantage as long as you do not overload your capacities.
A wanderer with too many pulls(distractions) will move slow in different directions so he will go nowhere.
Have one path in each realm: Body, Mind, Spirit.
The paths will reinforce and cross with each other. Do not allow yourself to get stuck–keep moving forward, and switch paths when you find a blockage; you could find the answer on a different path. You could understand the way on your body path, which allows your spirit mastery to progress that much farther with your understanding of The Way.
Through the intense study of one art, all other arts are understood. This is one reason why it is crucial to pick masteries to pursue as soon as possible.
Once you understand how to become a master, you can repeat this process infinite times.
Progress is the human objective.