Bushido, Way of the Warrior

“If by setting one’s heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling. According to their nature, there are both people who have quick intelligence, and those who must withdraw and take time to think things over. It is difficult for a fool’s habits to change to selflessness. … Because we do most things relying only on our own sagacity we become self-interested, turn our backs on reason, and things do not turn out well. When one is not capable of true intelligence, it is good to consult with someone of good sense. An advisor will fulfill the Way when he makes a decision by selfless and frank intelligence because he is not personally involved. This way of doing things will certainly be seen by others as being strongly rooted. 

When all your judgements are based on your own wisdom, you tend towards selfishness and fail by straying from the right path. Your own judgements are narrow minded and have no persuasive power or growth for others. It is best to consult a wise man when a fit decision does not occur to you. A wise man is a fair judge from an objective point of view. He is passing judgement for the benefit of others, not for his own sake. A judgement passed using only one’s own wisdom is just like thrusting a stick into the ground and expecting it to grow!”

Yamamoto Tsunetomo

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