That was Zen; this is now.
Justice & Morality
Justice is a behavior or treatment that is concerned for peace, and genuine respect for people. Justice unfortunately is totally dependent on the ability to afford a good lawyer. Morality has expanded its boundaries to the point that almost anything is acceptable under the correct circumstances. Although superficially, as a society we appear more tolerant, the moral center of our culture has shifted to bad faith, doublespeak and America for sale. But as a Zen advocate you carry your morality with you and your decisions must be based on, doing no harm, letting and helping people live free, and demanding justice. Just as the winners in every war rewrite history to conform to their image, so the powerful assert and move to impose their concept of justice and morality. This is not democracy, right, or Bushido. Move to alter unjust actions and self centered morality. Might makes right only until right is ready.
Freedom from deceit, hypocrisy, or duplicity; probity in intention or in communicating; earnestness, truthfulness, integrity, openness, candor, and straightforwardness.
Honesty is a concept that in this society is an anathema. Every executive is “shocked” by his or her subordinate’s dishonesty. Every senator and congressman states they are innocent of the corruption charges, that they will fight the indictment, and want to spend more time with their family when they are fired or caught. Every despicable act of violence by a person or group insists that they have God on their side. Television advertising lies to us a thousand times a day and news shows are phony. How can you possibly develop a sense of honesty and sincerity? Just as you must keep your feet on the ground and reach for the moon, you must live in a world surrounded by assassins and try to be honest. First to your own self be true and then to others. Of course if you always tell the truth you never have to remember your lies, you can focus on other situations and your Zen life is better.
In a society were aggression, independence, and autonomy, are rampant, courtesy appears to take a giant step backwards. I have found, especially in business, that most people do not understand that if they have a weak negotiating position, it is best to be totally courteous. If you have a contract that you have changed your mind about, don’t force the issue, compromise. If you were speeding and a law officer caught you and is about to give you a ticket, don’t be resigned or belligerent, bear your throat. But imagine the reaction of those who observe you when you display a caring attitude to those less fortunate, older, or disabled. It cost you nothing and you set an example of Zen action and the butterfly effect. If someone helps you and is courteous, it is todays Bushido to pass it on.
If you have ever suffered then you realize that having compassion is a human trait that only those who are callus and uncaring can not afford. A friend said, “I can never trust anyone who never lost anything or anyone. They have not lived or suffered a lose so they are not mature.” A modern samurai in engaged in the world and cares deeply.
What would you die for? What do you live for? When a person took the occupation of Samurai, a highly skilled warrior and guard for the nobility of pre-industrialized Japan, the person gave up their human life and entered into death. Once becoming a Samurai, life, as they have known it ended, their physical death becomes irrelevant. They have accepted their own death, and fear of the actual moment ceases to exist. When you accept death, without fear, then you are free. The concept of ‘having plenty of time’ keeps us accepting mediocrity, and procrastinating. Perhaps you should refocus and take action. We as humans have some control over our perceptions, our beliefs, opinions, health, preferences, and intentions, this is where we must focus. It’s not about creating a bucket list, (I just changed the b to an f,) and ticking off items. What would you give up to be the change that would help the world? Have you ever thought of this scenario?
I assert that there is an eight principal of Bushido. Todays Samurai must also read, choose a side, and listen to music. How can this be an added principal? We must be part of the times we live in or else we are just cultural regresses. Relationships and connections to society allow us to evolve, grow and most significantly, change. Played out against a background of Zen meditation, participation assures a path toward spiritual and practical growth.