There is one key component to martial science that I doubt you would ever think about. It is an old concept, an important virtue, and something that is largely neglected by the world today.
"Conventional wisdom" of today has down played its importance, but your ancestors knew it was critical to not only living like a warrior but to being peaceful and happy in any role of life.
It is one of the 3 most critical elements a warrior and martial scientist must be grounded in. Can you guess what it is? It is purity.
A generic definition of purity is: freedom from adulteration or contamination. You likely had visions con-notated in sexuality when you read the word 'purity'. This is just one aspect of purity however - an expression of it. You can be sexually pure but impure in other ways. I am referring to overall pureness of heart. Cleanness of heart.
A warrior must strive to have a pure heart. A pure heart allows one to make clear judgments, to make sound and prudent decisions. If you are impure you are likely ruled by your passions - a warrior must always strive against this. This does not mean that a warrior does not have emotions or that you cannot take pleasure in anything. Quite the contrary. As I wrote in my book, Warrior Attitude: 21 Ways to Think and Act Like a Warrior that will Transform Your Outlook on Life, warriors view all things as the last time they will do them, so they reap immense joy and satisfaction from all life because they treat it with sacredness, seriousness and sincerity.
As I’ve said, a warrior strives for a clean heart so that he can make sound and wise judgments and decisions. You will enjoy and savor life more appropriately when you view things correctly. When you see reality as it is you can more perfectly take pleasure in it and yet not be ruled by it. What are you ruled by? Is your heart clean?
Some believe that cleaning your heart is a one-time action. Hark! Let no man deceive you with vain words; cleaning your heart is a constant, never-ending process. You must be vigilant and diligent in sweeping out the home of your heart. The Wisest Man Who Ever Lived once said that it is what proceeds from your heart that defiles a man. What is proceeding out of your heart and into your life?
In regards to martial training and personal protection, a warrior strives to find only the purest of training. Training that deals with reality, and training that is "unadulterated or contaminated". Pure training is proper training. Pure training removes what doesn't work, all the fluff of modern commercialism, the myths of Hollywood nonsense and searches only for what is real and true.
In your personal life, whether you fancy yourself a warrior or a protector, you should still strive to purify your heart. How do you purify your heart?
Seek out reality and truth. Do not settle for lies and deceptions. Perhaps most challenging of all, humble yourself. A pure heart is a heart that most acutely acknowledges and recognizes its lowliness and shortcomings.
You post your picture-perfect life to Facebook and Instragram, but if I could listen to the soft, whispering voice of your heart, it would tell me that you have limitless flaws that you are ashamed of, embarrassed about, and try desperately to forget about. Congratulations, that makes you human. What separates warriors from non-warriors is that warriors admit their heart is flawed and they set about to clean it out. Just like a gardener must constantly pluck the weeds lest they consume the garden, so to must you constantly pluck the weeds from your heart lest it be overrun with vile passions, wickedness and vice.
I know what I am saying to you is a hard saying to hear - it goes counter to what the modern culture tells you. "You're fine! Don't let haters hate. Do you. Be yourself. All you have to do choose your own happiness." As a warrior who only deals in truth, I must tell you in charity, that these are lies. You cannot simply choose to be happy if your heart is impure. That's like saying, "I choose for my garden to not have weeds" when it hasn't been weeded in years. No amount of saying "I choose a garden with no weeds" will make it so. You must get down on your knees and dig those weeds out. So it is with your heart.
Perhaps you have deceived yourself into thinking you can be OK without doing the work of pulling the weeds from the garden of your heart. End this deception now! You cannot just "do you" and be happy or content when your heart is overrun with vice; when you are ruled by your passions. For this reason, warriors subject their heart to purification. Which will you choose? Purity or impurity?
Does what I am saying ring true to you? Are you really a perfect being who is good to go, or do you have work yet to be done?
A quote that my mentor and Sensei loves to say is, "When your own heart asks, how will you respond?" It is taken from a writing by a samurai, Hagakure, by Yamamoto Tsunetomo. When your own heart asks if what I have written here is true, how will your heart respond? It will tell you the truth - that you have some purification to do; some weeds to pull. Will you continue to choose to live in denial and suppress this quiet whisper which softly begs you to pull the weeds? The weeds are choking and suffocating and stealing the nutrients from the vegetables and plants in your garden. They are slowly but surely being choked to death. No amount of denial will stop that. Will you save your own heart and start pulling the weeds or will you continue to let it be choked to death?
Another mentor once told me, "There is no such thing as stagnation in life. You are either moving forward or you are moving backward." How true. So it is with your heart. There is no such thing as stagnation - your heart is either growing in virtue (good vegetables - a harvest of abundance) or it is growing in vice (weeds - a harvest of famine).
The beautiful thing is, the choice is yours. The choice is yours every day. If you failed yesterday, begin again right now. Kneel down and pull your first weed. Pull the easiest weed first, gain small, simple successes by plucking the little and easy weeds first. Eventually you will come to the giant, massive weed in the very ventricles of your heart. It will take much resolve and prayer to remove this weed. If you want to be happy, this must be done.
The choice is yours. As for me, I will strive to clean and purify my heart. I will not always succeed, and I will stumble and fall. But that will not stop me from trying. What will you choose? To pluck the weeds or to let your heart fall into ruin and be consumed?
Live in the battleground warriors,
~The Warrior Speaker
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them. - St. Francis de Sales
Welcome to the Anatomy of a Warrior Blog!
National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.