Remember the timeless classic, “The Art of War”?
We now present “The Art of Peace” by Morihei Ueshiba, who founded the Japanese martial art style known as Aikido. Morihei Ueshiba had penned the essence of his teachings into a book. (The Japanese word “aikido” translates into “the art of peace”.)
As a man who was born into highly turbulent times during the turn of the 20th century, his military involvements subjected him to a wide array of conflicts and human suffering. However, over a period of time and right up to the middle of World War II, he began to experience existential epiphanies, causing him to see life and the end-purpose of force in an entirely different way.
From using force (or power) to crush or destroy those that we are in conflict with, Ueshiba sought to use those same methods, but in a form which raises peace and a peaceful mind above all things.
(It’s like training to be a Jedi!)
For instance, check this passage out:
“As soon as you concern yourself with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.”
Powerful stuff! Really points it all back to ourselves—perhaps the most uncomfortable thing of all!
“Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.”
Peace in our time (and our own lives) can really be that simple!
Given these times, which many seem to find the need to exact anger towards those they find themselves in conflict or disagreement with, this brief but potent book could be just the thing to help us all take a step back and realize, in Ueshiba’s words: “The Art of Peace is true democracy.”
Ed and Cynthia Justus are the owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.