Go Rin No Sho: Book of Five Spheres Analyzation

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Go Rin No Sho: Book of Five Spheres Analyzation

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:39 pm

I've been reading Miyamoto Musashi's Go Rin No Sho and decided I would post some information on what I have gather through analyzation of reading his work. The context of the writing can be translated to any art as he so stated in this work. I have listed these analytics based on the page numbering system of my copy which is the copy ISBN 978-1-59030-891-2 translated by Thomas Cleary.

I will probably post the analogies by scroll as he separated his writing into the: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, & Emptiness scrolls.

Earth Scroll
(Note this is the interpretation impressioned on me)

Page Number)
13) Pay attention to even the smallest details
13) Preparation is the key; make sure everything is in order
14) Proceed in proper order not skipping steps (Reflection of Earth)
14) Fluidity is a key to taking action; expansion is dependent on adaptability (Reflection of Water)
15) Confrontation must be examined under the same light great or small; approach each with the same caution. Changes can occur within an instant therefore, one must remain constant (Reflection of Fire)
16) Examine the external to judge your character and understanding is based on your reaction to the uncontrollable (Reflection of Wind)
16) Stay true to your path or you will forget the direction in which you are going; your own enlightenment depends on this (Reflection of Wind)
16) Corruption grows if you allow even the slightest bit in; like a virus the smallest rip can cause full scale disaster (Reflection of Wind)
17) Once you have achieved perfection or fluidity in a matter; success occurs naturally without effort (Reflection of Emptiness)
18) The tools that you are equipped with on a daily basis must be treated as an extension of yourself; you must be able to use them at full strength with perfection.
18) You must learn to use your tools with relative ease – fluency
19) As in all things, once you have practiced continuously at something you will be able to perform at your full capacity
20) Take advantage of your capabilities; you have two arms therefore use them both. Learn to take advantage of all situations with what you have
22) You can gain great understanding from learning the ways of different aspects of life and how they work
23) Stay on your own path
23) Learn how to use everything you have been allotted to its individual advantage; each tool can be used effectively for certain situations
24) Be careful of the tactics you use; do not favor one tactic to the next – a positive can become a negative
25) Use what you need and be content with what you have to use
26) Understand the flow of things and understand how the tide can change with everything surrounding you
26) Use wisdom and sound judgment when dealing with others; counter with the unexpected
27) Pay attention to what is before you before proceeding; understand the immediate concerns before looking to those that are intermediate
28) Train yourself that your skills become a part of your being – fluidity
28) Concentration is the key to understanding how to obtain success; with concentration you will be successful
28) Surrounding yourself with those who are dedicated to the same cause will lead to victory

Next scroll: Water (I've already read it but, I will be posting it either later today or tomorrow)
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Re: Go Rin No Sho: Book of Five Spheres Analyzation

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:28 pm

Water Scroll

Pages Number)
32) The line between honesty and corruption is thin and should be not treaded lightly; stay on the correct path
32) Wisdom must be received as if it is already part of your being
33) Maintain a mental balance at all times; mind over matter
33) Avoid transparency; this will create an equal playing field
33) Do not lean on advantages and disadvantages but understand how to operate within each
34) Become a master of discernment; you will see through all ploys and be able to calmly operate in all circumstances
35) Maintain a poker face at all times; body language tells many things – be constant
36) Observation over perception; understanding over assuming
36) Be able to focus on matters at equal distance
37) Stay focused on the task at hand; your surroundings can betray you
38-40) The best tactics to use are those that you can adapt to your situation seamlessly; understand your situation and adapt to it accordingly
40) Use your strength as a strength to its own advantage or it will become a disadvantage used in other circumstances
40) Ensure you can find a return point for all your tactics to be performed full circle; there must be follow through
40-44) The ability to accommodate yourself to various situations means to have discernment of the situation; use the tactic that matches the situation in accordance with the flow of events that occur
44) Success and failure can be determined by how you accommodate yourself with what you are trying to accomplish
45) Position yourself continuously for success; the method you use will determine if you succeed or fail
45) Be formless but yet have a form
46) When concentrating on a task ensure you are constantly aware of and concentrating on the action needed to succeed
46) Have a constant preparation for immediate action; learn how to operate swiftly under these circumstances with fluidity
46) Single-mindedness can lead to folly; be capable of changing course at an instant
46) Learn the rhythm of the environment around you and adapt; it will be as if you controlled the flow of your surroundings
47) Understanding leads to the ability to act without thought; you will subconsciously know what you need to do
48) Movement must be fluid; understand your barriers
48) To gain total success aim for it; you may gain minor success initially if you discern the situation correctly – this leads to overall success
49) Success is gained through disabling your barrier or restrictor; use the tactic of pushback then follow it up with suppression
50) Body language can also lead to success; words are powerful but sometimes it is the body that directs interaction
50-51) There is a difference between success by intent and success by chance; however success by chance is still success though not intentional
51) Sometimes the best policy is to be close to your enemy; it can lead to a quick strike and easy retreat
52) Learn to close in on potential conflict – you can avoid trouble from afar; the conflict is there to be handled immediately
52) Learn to level the playing field when dealing with a stronger opponent; regardless of the advantage give the appearance that you are equal
53) It is best to move with the current gently than forcing your way on it; use the tactic that allow for you to make decisions that align with your situation
53) Sometimes the policy is to get your hands dirty; you will find that it can lead to great success and in some instances ultimate success
54) Counter negativity by deflecting it towards it vital points; counter as if you were the one attacking
55) When you counter treat your tactic as if you and the tactic were one; the follow-through will be precise
55) When you are on the offensive of any situation interact as if you were trying to gain absolute victory; any barriers will sway to avoid collapse – use your advantage once this happens
55) Victory is gained through retreat – keep it constant
57) Learn to focus on the flow of the objective and remain constant; you will be able to succeed when the time is open for you to initiate action – be the initiator
58) When conflict rushes in immediately without notice; consolidate the problems into one conflict – align your issues that you may be able to deal with them all at once in a single flow
58) Be an initiator not a procrastinator
59) Learn the ability the move within rhythm of your surroundings; success over many obstacles will come as if there was one obstacle
59) To become great at your art you must practice
60) Train yourself to be able to deal with your situation using a single action; learn to act with precision with each potential situation
61) Understanding comes when you realize that mastery is a step by step process; be better than you were the previous day
62) Do not allow for distractions when you have targeted a goal
63) Remember to apply what you have learned to remain constant within your goals; practice will enable you to be successful in all situations great or small

I've actually been able to get some reflection on a variety of things we simply do not notice we apply or do not apply in life. I was skeptical about how the writing in this book would truly be applicable to anything outside of war but, I do see where many of Musashi's word resonate in all forms of life if you understand the basis of the thought.

Next Scroll: Fire (I'm about 2/3 through it and I may be able to finish the rest of the book before the end of the day)
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Re: Go Rin No Sho: Book of Five Spheres Analyzation

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:01 pm

Fire Scroll

Pages Number)
66) It takes a great deal of understanding to know the principles of success and failure; we must put ourselves to task to learn the variance of how to succeed
67) It is impossible to know all circumstances that will arise; it is up to you to learn how to discern the advantages and disadvantages of the situation and capitalize on them
67) Once you have attained enlightenment it will be as if you are invincible in all matters of your art; this is done by knowing strengths and weaknesses of your obstacles
68-69) When facing an obstacle ensure that there aren’t any environmental distractions; avoid being obstructed from your task
69) You must always ensure that when there is an advantage you take it; when there is a disadvantage ensure that you guide your obstacle towards it
69) There are three ways to proceed in a matter; offensive, defensive, & counteractive can be all used preemptively
70) Success can be gained swiftly through preemptive action
70) Preemption cannot be determined as it occurs at the moment it is defined by; this is also determined by interpretation and knowledge
70) Offensive course of action can be performed preemptively when you use your skills at full strength; not restraining any of your abilities with full focus and no thought – deluge
71) Defensive course of action can be performed preemptively when you feign weakness and then use the opening or glimpse of opportunity to act; act with full strength to gain the upper hand
71) Counteractive course of action is preemptive when you adapt to circumstance and act with the rhythm given; use the method that overcomes the tactic that is used once it is discerned
72) Action is better than reaction; use both with wisdom
73) The strongest form of strategy is that obtained when you can predict the actions of those who you are confronting; the ability to stop them before they begin their actions
73) Understanding your obstacle begins with knowing how it begins; your goal should be to stop it from becoming an obstacle before it starts and maintaining control of it
74) If you need to think about the course of action you need to take it is too late to act; do what is naturally attained through wisdom – you must have knowledge
74) Stop the problem before it starts; you will be successful at manipulating the situation to your own advantage
74-75) Understand your surroundings and take advantage of the situation you are given; gain the advantage and ensure your conflict is at a disadvantage
76) It is necessary to have understanding of the cogs of your obstacles even before they have a chance to become one; you will know how to deal with obstacle when it arises
76) It is complementary that you learn everything about your tasks and situations; manipulation of the events that occur within them can become your strumming
76) Learn to discern – it is quintessential to success when in confrontation
77) Learn the pattern of confrontation that is being presented; proceed to act preemptively to intercede before the pattern continues – understanding
77) When in a confrontation you must be able to stop the second procession when you intercede against the first – blow out the candle
78) Success cannot always be assumed to occur after the first action even if preemptive; you must be constant and unyielding in your actions – determination
78) Take advantage of the openings you have when you have them or else they will take advantage of you
79) When you have opportunity take it and take it with assertiveness and clarity; ensure that you take full advantage of your opportunity
79) Self-reflection should be done through the view of the perspective of the circumstance itself
80) Look at the situation from the perspective of your opponent or conflict; understand the situation from the other end of the spectrum
80) If you are headed for a dead end it is imperative that you change course; you cannot proceed unless you change direction
81) Once you have learned to adapt to all situations you should size up your competition by bluffing a power move; in negotiations or conflicts this can be necessary when you unaware of others motives
81) Pay close attention to potential actions of those you are in conflict with; intent is discerned through the gestures made subconsciously
82) When dealing with aggressors stand firm and show that the advantage is yours even if it is not; once the opportunity arises from confusion take the moment to gain success in the matter
83) You can manipulate your surroundings by remaining calm in all situations; once the situation has entered the balance of your state you can capitalize
83) Balance can be molded by infected the mold by perception; perception leads to correction and balance is determined by the need to conform
83) Relaxation is the key to success; be aware of the opportunity that will open when the situation has conformed to your advantage
83) Feigning can be as useful as relaxing when looking to gain an advantage in a situation
84) When you are the underdog in a matter it is best to use a strategy that is unforeseen; you can gain a tactical advantage in your situation that will enable you for success
85) The advantage of a situation can be given to you by exposing the weakness of the situation; illusions can cause wavering and allow for you to gain the upper hand – fear
85) When wrestling with decisions or struggling through a process look for the path that opens through the rhythm of the process; treat it as if you are dancing with a partner learn their rhythm
86) When you are at a standstill in progress look for the pressure point of the situation; push through to cause the situation to fold
86) Pressing through pressure points of barriers or the strong point of confrontation will cause it to fold until your goal has been successfully accomplished – remove corners
87) To end a confrontation cause confusion by changing the rhythm of the confrontation; manipulate the situation through adverse effect and snuff it out
88) Voicing your opinion is paramount to success in negotiations; use your strongest points initially then move to supporting points and end with unavoidable points that will finish the negotiation thoroughly
88) Never make a point while others are making their own; it will be useless
89) To tackle a big project it is sometimes best to finish it piece by piece in rhythm from different perspectives of the project – cutting down a forest tree
90) If you have a clear advantage you can end the conflict with full precision; do not hold back in procession or you can become the disadvantaged – forcible success
90) You must be able to recognize the mode you must be in to tackle an easily tackle ready situation; if you use any other mode you will not tackle the situation
91) When you find that a method is unsuccessful use a different method; if the situation is rough be gentle if it is gentle be rough
91) In a confrontation you must ensure that your confronter knows that there is no way for them to succeed – end the notion mentally, physically, or emotionally
92) Put all notions of a comeback to rest when you are in competition; show that you are clearly superior
92) Start with a clean slate when the project has become too confusing to recognize; instant change can enable you to proceed rather than working on entanglements
92) In conflict to avoid further friction start over as if the conflict had never begun; the instant change will allow you to prevail and end the conflict
93) When you are great become small and when you are small become great; avoid complacency and lack of progress
94) Be able to understand the conflict as if you started it; if you started it you will be able to end it
94) Learn to be successful without using force; learn to avoid failure when there is no force
94) Obtain the ultimate mastery of your skills; be unmovable and undefeatable
95) Discern between those who act and those who talk; fancy titles do not mean that someone has accomplished much
96) Beware of those who are pretentious and seem to be able to aid you along your way; they are corrosive

I would call this the conflict and confrontation scroll. The best application of thought from this scroll would be to apply it to conflicts, confrontations, & negotiations. I would say the best part of this scroll is that Musashi describes his methods on a large small warfare level and then on a single combat level. This can be applied to an argument or to a court room before a jury of peers.
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Re: Go Rin No Sho: Book of Five Spheres Analyzation

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Wind Scroll
Pages Number)
100) When you have become a true practitioner of your art you will be able to see the difference between the true and the false matters
101) Those who are braggers usually have a cloud of insecurity following them; they use bragging as way to maintain distance between themselves and those who can unmask their weakness
102) True skills determine those who are successful from those who are unsuccessful; equipment does not determine if you can succeed
102) When you put yourself on a pedestal it will collapse from the weight that is not supported; if you cannot support yourself you will fail
103) It is possible to be at a disadvantage in appearance but yet be at an advantage in skill
103) True success should come without excess effort; success should flow in harmony – anything else is failure
104) When in conflict you shouldn’t concentrate on how much you need to do to succeed in the conflict but rather that you need to succeed – avoid overexposure
104) If you extend yourself within a process further than that in which you have accomplished success it will turn into failure
104) People use their strengths because they are strengths; do not use strategies without reason
105) It is false to believe that by simply holding yourself at apparent disadvantage you can maneuver your way into a successful position – it takes wisdom and understanding
105) Avoid confusion – avoid idiosyncrasy that cause failure
106) Avoid becoming one-dimensional in your approach
106) Learn to be successful without maneuvering around your situations; your situations will maneuver around you if do not have wisdom
107) When you apply yourself to a matter it is necessary to avoid using more procedures than necessary to accomplish your goal – wasting time with worthlessness
107) When a path to an objective is concrete do not look for other ways to complete the objective; accomplish the objective using the path provided
107) Understand that the path to the goal will always be the same; understand that how you decide to proceed along the path is what may vary
108) Stay true to the successful methods you have understanding in; avoid useless procedures
108) It is not necessary to concentrate on set strategies if there is not a need to use them
109) Use the correct tactics when the time arises; be assertive when you need to be assertive be passive when you need to be passive
109) Concentrate on being preemptive in conflicts and negotiations; waiting will allow for others to initiate and follow through with actions
109) Learn to be able to defend your points without appearing to defend them; the goal of conflict is to cause others to get on the defensive that you may successful score your points
110) Preparation in all situations is necessary; understanding in how to usefully use all the tools provided will ensure your success
111) Do not overly concentrate on a single point of a task or you will miss the whole point of accomplishing it
111) Master the ability to accomplish tasks without thought
111) Allow your concentration to stem from inward discernment not from what can only be perceived by thought
112) Choose observation over simple sight; broaden your focus on your situations
112-113) Avoid getting out of your rhythm with unnecessary stratagem; be adaptable and yet constant
114) Stay in synch with the situation at hand; you will be successful if you can transition your strategy with the situation rather than against it
114) Do not be complacent in your focus; remain vigilant and attentive to an opportunity to win in negotiations or conflicts
114) Moving in haste or slothfulness will cause an obstruction in the rhythm of a process; stay constant and the goal will be met
115) If you have mastery of your skill you will perform without a snare; there will be no rush to catch up or stall to slow down – rhythm
116) When your counterparts are in a rush to meet a resolution to a situation be the reverse; bring balance to the situation
117) If you are teaching individuals learn their strengths and levels of understanding; give gradual understanding based on this and avoid confusion
118) Be aware of when it is appropriate to give your opinion and when to remain in silence
119) The only path for enlightenment is the straight path; complexities deter one from true wisdom

Emptiness Scroll

Pages Number)
121) Without wisdom there is no clarity; delusion comes from the lack of clarity
122) Clarity is not obtained through not knowing or being helpless; clarity is where your mind is at ease and you can perform without fault
122) Remove yourself from your own bias to achieve a single focus; achieve the true mastery of your skill to receive clarity
122) Bias will lead to corrosion; you will not achieve mastery of any situation with it
122) Wisdom, understanding, discernment, and knowledge all lead to clarity
123) There is no corruption where purity exists

The Wind Scroll seems to be the scroll in which if taken in context shows you that trying to be like others can lead to your own downfall. There are other references i.e. how to turn situations fouled up by others to your own advantage. Emptiness really can be translated to 'clarity' or absolute wisdom. It was very short but, basically tells you to avoid corruption and to obtain wisdom and or clarity

I gave my assessment for this writing in the 'Have You Read Any Good Books Recently' thread.
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Re: Go Rin No Sho: Book of Five Spheres Analyzation

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:33 pm

I saw a pretty good documentary done on Miyamoto Musashi and his writing Go Rin No Sho on History International last night.

It is a two hour documentary, in which describes the time of the samurai during Musashi's era and into its decline.


It also describes the influence of his book on the Japanese culture.
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