For more info on Hanshi Stephen Kaufman, visit his homepage at www.hanshi.com
Randy L. Whynacht
Founder and Director, Whynacht Security & Survival
The honour of being asked to write this forward proves that my friendship with Stephen Kaufman has come a long way since I first “met” him on a Saturday afternoon in 1994. I was walking by the front window of a book store in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, when a singular tome caught my eye and soon became a well I still drink from annually, each year, from what I flatter myself by regarding as an ever more elevated perspective. The book was his interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi’s “Book of Five Rings.” While a horse from the same stable, this book is one of a slightly different colour, but sharing a common philosophy that applies to self-preservation in any time and any place. For everything you will read here is predicated on one very specific point, summed up in two sentences you’ll encounter very early on — “You are the one who determines if your life is worth fighting for and, quite possibly, killing for. You determine if your life is worth living and, in certain situations, that of your family and loved ones.” There it is! In no other endeavour is it considered prudent to avoid all preparation aimed at surviving life or death situations, and yet it is all too common for the eyes and mind to be averted in hope that, “It won’t happen to me.” Well, there is advice in this book intended to help the reader minimize the chance that it ever will, but the time to decide if you can learn and unleash violence against another human being is now, and not in the moment of truth. It is quite rightly said that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away, and the only true “first responder” is that one standing before the threat. We live in a time when the aged and infirm, pregnant women or mothers with young children, none can expect their station in life to guarantee mercy and decent conduct from all they may come to encounter; but, you can be aware. By your wiles and actions, you can confound the predator, and in extremis, you can fight. Fight to win, good reader, and accepting as you must that even the strongest and best prepared may still lose, resolve that if you do, your foe will join you in defeat. Drink deep.
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I am fortunate to have a grandson who comes to me when he has questions about the ways and means of the world and, when he does, I must make sure that I am answering him in a manner that will help him get a firm perspective of the world, without any of my undue influence.
Question: Hey Pop, what do you think of religion, god, etc. I just looked at Chapter 11 in the Shogun’s Scroll, and I understand the take on it in regards to conquering except to appease the followers after or during the regime change. How can these ideals be implemented today with the rising power of violent and hate filled religious groups? Specifically, how can we respect any faiths and simultaneously realize that it is one of the driving factors and, in some cases, the entire cause of an inconceivable level of sadness throughout human existence? I’ve felt a lot of personal pressure to speak out against religions, but I don’t want to alienate people or be overly brash with them. I want to have a career in music, and I don’t want to alienate my audience because of my beliefs. However, I don’t want to just stay silent in the face of many people who I feel need perspective. I know I’ve rambled a bit; I hope you can sort through this.
Answer: Let me see if I can put some cogency into your rambling, though I know where you are coming from. The confusion of your questions is based on the inability of humanity to make logical sense out of the conditions we are being forced to live with, through misdeeds of our own. No one is exempt, and we are all responsible for the morass of confusion and frustration. Without getting into a go nowhere rant on religious fervor, suffice to say it is because of the lack of godliness in the world. That said …
An easy and simplistic answer would be by having in control a firm but just government that seeks to quell the fears of all of its citizens, without showing favor to any one group in particular and without trying to directly influence outside cultures. Historically, that doesn’t work, especially in a polyglot or a multi-racial society where constantly opposing factions seek to dominate other factions of the group in order to curry favor for their own agendas. The result is generally a form of anarchy, which also doesn’t work and leads to chaos until and unless there is total domination of one group over another, but that can only last for a finite time. Then, of course, comes war and all of its attendant vexations. War is merely an extension of man’s fear of the unknown based on presumed arrogance; therefore, we invent methods of additional control called democracy, socialism, communism, fascism, hippiism…. whatever.
When taking over control of an entire culture, whether by military force, societal castigation, or by levying economic difficulty, it must be done with such force that any aspect of the remaining culture hides away in an effort to survive until enough resources are available for an uprising. All global societies are running rampant today, along with the obnoxious terror perpetrated on us from all corners of the world as part of instant communications that hardly ever allows actual conditions to be reported in an objective format. Add to that the controlling forces seeking to enslave all of humanity for their own purposes, which go beyond the speculation of this writer and the absurd notion of miniscule catastrophes created to deter the masses from knowing what actually is happening on a broader scale.
Horrible things such as the Orlando massacre, the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the Holocaust, the internment of Japanese in WW2, the usurpation of the Palestinians by their own kind, unmitigated hatred toward Israel, American decomposition of the middle East, etc., on and on and on will continue to occur until sanity takes the helm of humanity and respect for another idea or thought can prevail. I randomly picked these examples with no ulterior motive. The Romans are gone; the Greeks are gone; the Aztecs are gone; the Nazis are gone; probably the Klingons are gone … you get the drift. (Curiously, the Jews are still here even after the travails suffered and who appear to be the conscience of the world. Save that for another discussion in its own time.) It remains within the leadership of any culture to acknowledge the alleged rights and non-violation of everyone else. Difficult at best, because each individual group foists its mythology on all others, even those who are in agreement with them.
To speak out against religion has always been the province of the young in their attempt to alleviate the disparities between cultures and societies, and so I won’t waste time involved with a pissing contest on that subject. The old adage about the grass being greener on the other side is always prevalent, especially when looking back at the grass just left.
The result of concerted frustration is mass confusion in an attempt to bring order to a situation that relishes its own demise. Government is essential to maintain order in whatever form it takes. The problem is that governments are run by those with the financial strength to perpetrate their own inconsequence and insignificance on a mass of people who simply want something to eat, a blanket to cover their children at night, and the ability to stand tall and proud in front of their women. (Yeah, I’m sexist and, while we are at it, I’m also racist, exactly to the extent as every other living creature on the planet since time began.) Even giraffes and water buffalo have conflicting issues.
You are asking me for an answer to a question that has always plagued humankind. The only intelligent answer I can give you is to maintain focus on what it is you want to accomplish and, at the same time, do what is required of you to maintain your own celibacy of conscience.
You will invariably make enemies; you will invariably make mistakes; you will invariably cause pain to others, and you will invariably bring joy. That is the way of the world, and that is the way of life until you connect with your own true higher self that only you can define. Your salvation will be your art and not your opinion. (That is my opinion – ;-))
Constantly told about the beginning of the cosmos as having been perpetrated by some sort of ‘big bang’ theory, major and certain acclaimed scientists have alluded to the idea that there was one such event and that it is the causation of all we know and see and, in most instances, think. Exploration of physical laws also suggests this event occurred some fifteen billion years ago, and the result is that the universe will constantly expand until it gets to the point where it will implode upon itself. However, we should not concern ourselves with that ‘time’ frame … another fifteen billions years or so.
The actual reality of all of this, irrespective of scientific reporting, is that there is no such thing as one ‘big bang’ event, except perhaps in the form of constancy of expression of the Creative Power of the Universe, nor can there be. In light of the fact that scientists also suggest that there is no such thing as a god, and that everything just happened ex nihilo out of nothing as an emanation of ex nihilo itself, no-thing, it is an incontrovertible fact that something had to originate the beginning. If that concept is unacceptable or unbelievable, remember that all we see and know are extensions of ideas that had to emanate from some ‘thing’ or from some ‘where,’ whatever term used to describe it. That, taken into consideration, suggests a continuum of creation that started with one event and continues in an eternal sequence of one ‘big bang’ after another. Science has also proven that we are in a state of ever expansion until, supposedly, the universe burns out as suggested above.
It is important to relegate the idea of an ever-expanding universe to an insistence that new instruments and technologies of our day and age will continue to enhance our own illusions. That there is an expansion and creation as merely a constant beginning affords us the luxury of discovering the idea of time and space that our limited abilities and intellectual experiments suggest. As we proceed to know more about the ‘whatever,’ we begin to see more traces of motion in time and space only because of assumptive education and by piling one idea on top of another until we presume to come to understand the reason for it all.
All education and scientific exploration leads further and further into the morass of non- knowingness and the constant conjecture of one theory leading to another. As each new theory unfolds, the previous ideas become no longer functional, with rare exception. The amount of genius involved also becomes moot. Institutional speculation continues to evolve, and additional new instrumentation gives further evidence that a new theory is the one revealed due to intense searching and meditation. Eventually, all research and scientific reasoning will coincide with religious philosophy and metaphysical speculation, as will the opposite concur. Religious philosophy will eventually bolster the assumptions of scientific research, and both scientific and religious head scratching will come to a meaningless, dead end.
Why is there an incessant need to understand the reasoning for the creation of the universe? There can be no understanding or insight into the reasons for something that goes beyond the ability of man’s intelligence of certainty at this point in evolution. Apparently, faith in a higher intelligence is not enough. A plethora of ideas and theories exist; it becomes a matter of which is right, which is valid, which is closer to the truth, which has more believers (for whatever reason and does not make it correct), as well, that which can produce the most money for the progenitors of whatever method being prescribed or … foisted. Of religions, there must be hundreds, if not more, and scientific theories the same. There are more opinions than the discussions in the Talmud and more science and science fiction than can be imagined. Nothing new here, but thoughts are things.
The universe works like this. As the Creative Power of the Universe continues with ‘Its’ concepts, ideas that have been already thrown out to the indifference of the cosmos, certain individual minds will pick up on the ‘wave’ and act on it. Many may perceive it, but few will become enamored of it and proceed to see it manifest into fruition. This is why a constant ‘big bang’ is without cessation.
The premise of this article is to explain the vagaries of any ideas about creation and the wherewithal of emanation, irrespective of flashes of genius that periodically occur in an aleatory form. Again, each idea floats throughout the cosmos until picked up by any of the creations that have emanated from the source of all creativity that devote energy to it, until it is eventually put into practice. Any idea observed or acted on is not a new thing; all things have been created at the outset. New inventions, new ideas, and new social orders must cause man to think in terms of a constant renewal of creation: the machine guns of God. Perhaps in a thousand years Earth will lose its original meaning as the source of all civilization. As we reach out to the stars and create our own universe, without relying on past prejudices and thoughts of meaningless control, true freedom for all creations, including humanity, will result, as may possibly be the original intention of creation. Asimov spoke of this in his Foundation Trilogy, as well as many other science-fiction visionaries, concepts, and ideas that, too, are fraught with eternal conflict. That being a possibility suggests that where we are in space and time at this moment is the result of our present planet having been seeded by, indeed, another intelligence that does not have to be considered higher or lower. Rationally and logically speaking, there are just too many variations of ‘types’ to have been individually developed in the short period of time that mankind has inhabited Earth.
To fully understand personal reasons for existence and to know purpose in the overall order of ‘things,’ it is essential to take into consideration, and to contemplate, the premise that the universe in and of itself was created specifically and without restriction for the Self, the self, and the Self and the self alone. Appreciating and understanding without frustration or confusion is a simple matter of acceptance of purpose, as all things come to be with ease and grace, and with no need for consternation, anger, or self-pity.
The machine guns of God are a permanency, the only permanency in the entire cosmos. The ever expanding universe is proof of that, and as humanity steps into the void with the assurance that success will follow, and, when certain rules are observed and heeded, the completeness of it all will be apparent … and not before. However, don’t despair. We still have fifteen billion years to get it together.
To learn more about Stephen F. Kaufman, visit www.hanshi.com