Far East Quote

One kind of reference to the WisdomOfTheEast.

Overuse can indicate the presence of an EasternWuss.

from EveryoneShouldBeaMethodologist:

Musashi[...]commands the student of swordplay to always remember that his goal is to kill his enemy. He is not learning to parry, thrust, spin, whatever. He is not practicing a high block or a low feint. He is trying to kill his enemy. All the individual practices are means to that end.

All right. If we searched would we be unable to find:

  1. an oriental fencing manual that emphasized technique as an end in itself
  2. a European fencing manual that emphasized this goal over technique


...unless, of course, your goal is merely to delay your enemy so that someone else can accomplish their goal (grab the loot, say), or to wear your enemy down to the point where you can run away without getting stabbed yourself.

As FarEastQuote's go, this one doesn't seem very "far east"... -- BillTrost

You mean it doesn't seem very "zen". Which you identify with "far east". Perhaps there are other far eastern thoughts than just zen?

Whomever put it on EveryoneShouldBeaMethodologist seems to feel that it was far enough east. Maybe that poster has some criteria that they could share with us for easterly quote-ability. Or, conversely, what is it that makes it seem more westerly to you, Bill? -KB

It probably carries more "easterliness" in its original form (even in translation) rather than in my poor half-remembered representation. <g> On one level, I suppose it qualifies simply by the fact of having a Japanese author. BookOfFiveRings is certainly quoted often enough by PseudoPhilosophicalManagementHotTubPopPsychTypes?. I doubt I would have called it a FarEastQuote except that I had quoted ThichNhatHanh earlier on the same page, and I was a little self-concious about being mistaken for a PPMHTPPT myself. -BP

"Have you eaten?" "Yes" "Then wash your bowl." The student was enlightend.

Isn't it true that "Have you eaten?" is sometimes used as a greeting, as a more specific version of "How are you?" I do know the Japanese use "Where are you going?" in this manner. Yes, in Taiwanese, "have you eaten" - "chhia pa boe" is a common greeting.
I have read the book series called "Musashi" and his personal writings, called the BookOfFiveRings. He lives definitely about as far east as you like, unless you go to Fiji. He is also about as practical as it is possible to get, which is appropriate, since he survived any number of individual and group attacks in his life. He is definitely not Zen. When it comes to delivering software, I'm on Musashi's side of the fence. XP is, also. --AlistairCockburn

All martial artists and software people should read the BookOfFiveRings, even if just to remind you about objectives. The goal is to kill people (for sword wielding martial artists) and write good software. Any practice that doesn't get you closer to these goals is useless. -- JeanPhilippeBelanger

I disagree that Musashi is 'not Zen'. Just kill, just sit, no difference.

Whoa. Are you saying that there is no difference between just sitting and murdering a human being?

Some Zen swordmasters preached that the goal is not to win the battle, but not lose it. If you're to eager to win, you'll get careless and lose. If you do all that is in your hands not to lose, you'll surely win.

I see XP philosophy to be analogous to this: Don't try to ship the Best Software you can make(win), but ship software that is not bad (lose)

By bad I mean buggy software, "that's not what I wanted" software, "we don't need that anymore" software and "I paid for THAT!?" software.

-- RafaelAlvarez

From where I stand, Japan is West...

From where I stand, Japan is West and East.

I sit.


OK, the world is round. But unless the point in question is antipodal to your location, it will be closer east or west. If I were in L.A., Las Vegas would be east, but if I were in Washington... Which Washington?
See also ZenSlap
CategoryEasternThought CategoryOffTopic

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