Jay M Horne
I told the story of Master Masaaki Hatsumi, painting a picture of his Warrior Spirit as he often does, for a student of his who was badly burned during an explosion. Masaaki hung the picture on the wall in the man's hospital room, and despite what doctor's said, the man made a full recovery, with almost no scarring! What was said to him in that room by the Grandmaster is a mystery to all but him. But, it is my belief that, our spirit (martial artists often refer to their spirit as the Warrior Spirit, or BUDO) is akin to an image of who it is we wish to be. An image of an ancient man on the mountain who is fast and intelligent, benevolent and wise.
When you think about where your life has brought you thus far, you can begin to see that what-so-ever you placed in your mind as a child, may have been your Guardian Angel which directs you faithfully and unknowingly toward your future. It is in that spirit that Ninjas who passed the Godan test say that they have to perform in order to successfully avoid the strike of the shinai (bamboo sword) during meditation.
Is it going too far to say that they placed faith in their own Warrior Spirit? I think it is no coincidence that all the popularly followed religions have a person to strive to be like, whether it be Jesus, Mohammed, or Buddha, which embodies right doing and peace. No one's Holy Spirit is an unloved or hated idol, less they find themselves turning into that, inadvertently; sometimes due to an ignorance or total neglect of caring to understand how the engine of creation and manifestation work.
Everyone has a Holy Spirit (a Guiding Light of their Future Self) whether it is a teacher, parent ,or some other mentor ... the only difference between their Holy Spirit and mine, is: "Mine is a Bad-Ass!" Thus, I sometimes call my Holy Spirit my BUDO. Sometimes I call it my Grandpa, sometimes Masaaki Hatsumi, sometimes Myself as a father; but the power comes in reflecting on all the values that are important to you and envisioning your spirit as a combination of all those things.
I think that that is what Masaaki Hatsumi is up to with all of his paintings of his Warrior Spirit. I think it is ever-changing and each time he adds a new value, he re-paints it. You would have to ask him to know if I am right, though.
During the same time, Jay worked for a Waffle House in Douglasville, GA where he was known as the local midnight guru. Scrawling his philosophies and deep understandings, which poured forth during his mastering of the elements, on napkins and togo bags as he worked; people flocked to the restaurant hungry for the uniquely valuable wisdom.
While his understanding richened he simultaneously attended a non-denominational Christian Church with his best friend Raymond Miller. The contrast of the views led to Jay accepting Jesus as his personal savior, in a genuine way, unique to his experience.
He believes he is guided by his Holy Spirit who he calls 'the BUDO'. Translated from Japanese as 'the Warrior Spirit'.
I once read in a psychology book that drugs are a short cut to the soul. Sometimes, when I speak or read at addiction intervention conferences, some of the people there, with the worst addictions seem to have the hardest time accepting a higher power as part of their healing process. I found that step alone to be the biggest roadblock to full recovery. How does one help an atheist understand the relationship to doing good and reaping the reward of a full spiritual connection to their own soul when a simple substance brings them to that euphoria (which I am convinced, through study and experience, is similar) almost effortlessly?
Some recollections of the deeply addicted portray extremely spiritual experiences which sometimes even include detailed accounts of how they lost all separation of the space between their own minds and that of the Universe's grand design. One such story of a gentleman told me that he had reached a point that he could create anything he wished before even knowing he wished it. He somehow had managed to reach a point, he said, where experiences divine and perfect just presented themselves to him as if he were sitting on the throne of heaven. But even a life, perfectly lived, with no error, pain, or resistance, will lead you to an assumption that all that happens is your will. The breakdown comes, he said when he realized that the people who loved him were due to his will and his creation of them that way. In that understanding, he told me he pitied and in turn developed a love for the grand creator.
As the one who exists in the beyond and with supreme power you can never be truly loved, lest you let those offspring decide freely to do so. "To create all is to never be truly loved through free will; and that is God's everlasting sacrifice." he said. He cried recollecting it to me.
Whether someone believes in it or not, every one seems to understand the concept of who the Father and the Son is. Just as we all understand, for the most part, the idea of what the Body and the Mind are. It is when we come to the Spirit that people often get confused to its purpose. Is it simply a vessel to transport our being into a next life? Is it our emotions? Is it the essence of who we are? These are questions that life begs of us, even from an early age. Most will accept that the spirit is who or what goes on or ceases to be after we depart the body.
To those who have no understanding of the ethereal, and no true proof, through experience, of anything other than their physical presence and the physicality of the things around them, I like to stay away from defining the triune nature of existence without relating to them the past, present, and future. Truly these divisions of time are only different faces of all triscale theologies.
Personally, I can remember being a child and having this vision of myself as an old man on a mountain, sought after for his knowledge and experience in philosophy and martial arts. In many ways, looking back, I can almost see that my experiences and decisions, whether good or bad in nature, are leading me slowly toward that deep early picture of myself. Almost as if that Jay exists out there in the future and he is leading me to him. Carving away inadequacies and, even the beauty of youth, to embody me. That Jay is what I now call 'My BUDO'. It is a holy spirit who guides me.
As we age and grow, we migrate toward the good of our vision, even if that vision is lost somewhere in the depths of us. That vision, in every man, always develops in a vessel clean of sin. Sin and chaos are cause and effect. When we perform actions contrary to our original highest vision of ourselves the chaos that ensues from it easily shrouds the vision in a cloud of possible resolutions to the chaos one is experiencing in its aftermath. The divine dichotomy of this process lays in the fact that this is okay. Those experiences, too will eventually lead you to that vision in however a roundabout way it must. It is in knowing that one can choose the path, but not always the process.
There once was a student of mine that was having a hard time focusing on his training, and when He opened up to me about his emotional pressures he revealed to me that he could not stop worrying about his girlfriend. He would get angry thinking of what she might be doing while he was at practice, or at work. Especially when she would spend time with her friends away from him. While he was distracted with all those thoughts he had been missing out on all of the details of the upcoming ninja mission retreats. I asked him if he thought she was enjoying herself at this very moment. He replied yes. "So why aren't you?" I asked. The next class, he came to my office and told me that he had talked to his preacher at church about the issue, and what his preacher told him I have never forgotten.
"You are going to lose your girlfriend over thinking about her too much." said the preacher.
"But I am only happy when I am with her, Sir. I think about her because I love her!" he had said.
"There is no one you should be happier to be with than with God," the preacher stated, "When you are by yourself or with others than your loved one, if you do not enjoy and be thankful for what you are doing, instead of sulking over and worrying about what you are not, you will lose the spirit of what it means to be a happy person- and that is what she loves about you the most I will wager."
That was when I understood why those addicted had such a hard time with their higher power. It didn't mean that they couldn't choose one. It could be God, The Universe, or even a future version of themselves. It was that, they didn't understand how to be happy with themselves or their higher power when they weren't in the company of the addiction. Any form of addiction begins in a celebration of happiness as an addition to ones lifestyle and eventually grows into an idol of happiness. The euphoria of spiritual understanding is a lifelong venture, there should be no short cuts, else you may not experience the free will of all those around you giving it to you freely.
So what does Sin and Idolatry have to do with philosophy when it sounds so much more about religion? Philosophy has to do with thinking. Over thinking, especially worrying, is in fact unintentional meditation. I once heard, that if you are good at worrying, then you already know how to meditate. The only difference is that worry obsesses through the concept of possible consequences. While meditation occupies the mind through inevitable outcome. You can't really worry about success, because the consequences won't make you obsess. But if you focus on a vision of yourself you will find that avenues and opportunities that strangely lead in the direction of that vision eventually appear. Then, a healthy obsession of coincidence will focus your meditation on success and the chaotic path around the mountain will unwind itself into a straight and steady climb.
Jay's personal religious designation is known as Gnostic, which means, "one who knows". He picked up this denomination during his studies in Druidism, guided by his extremely underappreciated and debated mentor, Douglas Monroe. Mr. Monroe wrote the Lewllyn publication The 21 Lessons of Merlyn, which story follows young King Arthur through his apprenticeship under the guise of the Druid Merlyn. Jay had a chance meeting with Douglas after writing a similar book on philosophy and religion that caught the author's attention, which led to their valuable friendship.
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