Lift up the self by the Self / and don’t let the self droop down.
For the Self is the self’s only friend / and the self is the Self’s only foe.
– Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6 verse 5. From the Book of Runes intro, which continues:
The Book of Runes has been written as a handbook for the spiritual warrior. Free of anxiety, radically alone and unattached to outcomes, the spiritual warrior places absolute trust in the struggle for awareness, and is mindful that what matters is to have a true present. It takes a long time to grow in wisdom, to say nothing of the time it takes to learn to think well. Following the warrior way is not for everyone, although it is available to all who are willing to undergo its challenges. To embark on this path is to cultivate the Witness Self, the Watcher Within, the one who can profitably converse with the Runes.
That fellow on the bus who randomly killed his seatmate – a samurai twisted up in a lost culture – I offer this creed as reminder that the urge to exact action is an old one, formerly bound in honor and lineage. Now unmoored and veering down movie sets… or perhaps he was a wolf borne into a boy’s body, and finally unloosed. nonetheless.
A Warrior’s Creed
I have no parents: I make the heavens and earth my parents.
I have no home: I make awareness my home.
I have no life or death: I make the tides of breathing my life and death.
I have no divine power: I make honesty my divine power.
I have no means: I make understanding my means.
I have no magic secrets: I make character my magic secret.
I have no body: I make endurance my body.
I have no eyes: I make the flash of lightning my eyes.
I have no ears: I make sensibility my ears.
I have no limbs: I make promptness my limbs.
I have no strategy: I make “unshadowed by thought” my strategy.
I have no designs: I make “seizing opportunity by the forelock” my design.
I have no miracles: I make right-action my miracles.
I have no principles: I make adaptability to all circumstances my principles.
I have no tactics: I make emptiness and fullness my tactics.
I have no talents: I make with my talent.
I have no friends: I make my mind my friend.
I have no enemy: I make carelessness my enemy.
I have no armor: I make benevolence and righteousness my armor.
I have no castle: I make immovable-mind my castle.
I have no sword: I make absence of self my sword.
– Anonymous Samurai, Fourteenth Century.