The Seven Virtues of the True Path
There has always been a code to seeking enlightenment. This code of all universal understanding is pure beauty and simplicity at its finest. It has been called the Seven Virtues, the Code of the Samurai, the Way of the Warrior, the Bushido Code, the Way, the Truth, the Light, the Path of Right Action, and the Thunder Perfect Mind. The code and its seven virtues are more relevant today than ever.
For these are not just the Seven Virtues of any one path.
These are the Seven Virtues of the True Path.
These are the Seven Virtues
Our choices will ultimately teach us whether we have made the right ones or not. Following any path helps to make the right choices very easy to distinguish and incorporate into daily life. One cannot help but wonder what the world would be like if more people lived instinctively by a code of truth. One can only imagine what the world could be like if we all followed a true path. If this were the case, there would never have been the need for any of the great masters, to have ever written anything, or any words like these virtues.
It is very well said by a woman, who once was writing under a man's name, during the days when women were thought to lowly in status to be educated or authors.
George Eliot or her real name Mary Anne Evans, when not writing, put so profoundly as she wrote, "It is never to late to be who you might have been."
Gi : The First Virtue of Rectitude
What humans consider right and wrong is illusion in the universal sense, but very real in the sense of being a human being and evolving beyond this life. So it is that truth must be united with a sense of what would be called rectitude. It is the first virtue for a human being seeking the true path to master.
Born innate to every human being on this planet is a sense or a moral compass, it is a sense of right and wrong. Some call it their inner voice or their conscience. It is the inner part of them from which comes their rectitude, their sense of justice or moral righteousness. It is in all of us, no matter if we act on it or choose not to, but it is our choice to let it guide our actions in this life. We have what would call freewill or our karmic choices that allow us to go the way of our choosing.
Moral righteousness, justice, rectitude, conscience, freewill or that which is of our karmic choosing, it really does not matter. Regardless of how one chooses to label this pattern instinctive awareness, it is always with us. A sense of right action and being aware of the converse in life. Of such great importance is this awareness, that it serves to keep each and every one of us on the true path of moral righteousness, that is if we so choose to recognize it. Very few do this for all of their life, but those that aspire to can achieve greatness.
The most common reasons for abandoning to uphold this very real human virtue in life, are two things known as greed and selfishness. Both are choices of personal reasoning and self motivated actions. The are neither wrong or right unto themselves, but the reasons we choose to follow greed and selfishness generally are.
True rectitude, true moral righteousness does not contain laws attached to punishment, dogmas attached to religions, or goods contrasted by evils, but rather simple reminders. These teachings tell us to remember all of the qualities that all humans should aspire to possess, achieve, understand and master. Even the most humble human being is capable of great moral righteousness and the ability to understand the true path of enlightenment. No religion or dogma is necessary or required to be learned, only the willingness to seek and find justice. Truth is not discriminatory. Nor is the true path.
Once again, the outcome of any situation, the choices we make, the way we conduct ourselves, or the turn of events unfolding during our lives, in general are karmic and will come down to the free choices we make on a daily basis. Thus there are many things that play a part in our ability to follow a path with morality, just cause, or the way of rectitude. Yet all these factors are up to us as individuals.
Staying in close contact with our conscience is the first step to a path of balance in this life. Following our conscience and an instinctive base of morality will prevent us from straying from truth, falling off our path and committing acts which we know we will inevitably regret. Even worse, these actions and events will very possibly end up causing harm to ourselves, those we love, and to others in the world.
Some of you may seek your path be filled with peace and prosperity...only you can truly make it be so. You must let this timeless path of truth lead you to taking right action, and thus will you be able to transform your life. The truth is always present in everyone and life is the product of our choices. The key is to remember that life is actually very simple, but only if you allow it to be.
Moral righteousness, justice, and rectitude will shape our world just as that which is contrary will equally. Remember...to follow the true path in life is to support true righteousness at all costs and at to seek rectitude at all times without compromise.
This is the first virtue of the true path.
Yu : The Second Virtue of Heroic Courage
It is in the human nature to seek battle with our own inner nature. We must seek to overcome ourselves and if willing, we can become a hero or one who can make the world a place of love and order. Sometimes, the ability to undertake the making a hard choice requires a great deal of courage. Somethings in life require extraordinary choices, or the strength that can only be called heroic courage. Those that demonstrate the true courage of the heroic spirit, they can be said to have walked upon the way of the warrior path. The true path of love and law.
Situations which require us to make heroic choices, these events change us in a permanently real way. These choices may come for a variety of reasons. Yet these choices do not necessarily come when we are called upon. They may come at a moment when needed to save someone or their life, or they may not. They may come in a moment when we must commit a heroic act of such high degree, that it will change our entire outlook on the world. Or they may not come to our aid, it depends on many factors.
If they come, they do not come to give us material world blessings. Although the events that transpire may turn about in such a way, as those events will gain us many things, and many kinds of recognition or notoriety. Because the nature of heroic courage attracts much respect and thankfulness from the world of human beings in need, in hope, and in danger from the reality that is life. The heroic spirit and the courage of a warrior is greatly sought after by men, women, and children alike.
Most of the time, we do not realize that we are on the heroic path to courage until it is too late. Only by being on the path, can we find the path to courage, and only by being on our true path shall we find the heroic spirit within us. For it is the simplest kind of situations which force us to make a choice between taking a chance to do the right thing or remain in the shadows fearfully. It all is dependent on the willingness to let go of ego, of our own pride, of our retreat from the unknown, of our personal embarrassment or our inner fears. We must decide to take action in changing out world or this life we live, and not merely observe with regret.
Times they have certainly changed. However the true path to human enlightenment has not changed much, if at all. All that is reality is the human struggle to remain on a path of integrity and honor, that which is true and real, that still remains. The only difference in today's world is that far less people consume themselves with adhering to a true path or a reality that is based on the true way of life.
Such a person in modern times would be considered a true rarity or heroic by modern standards. So they would be a hero and would more often than not bring to mind super humans and gods rather than mortals, everyday men and women. They certainly would not remind us of ourselves, people that were merely trying to do the right thing. Today, virtue is the exception, although in ancient times gone by, it was the rule. It should be something to reconsider today.
It seems that whenever anyone behaves without regard for their life, but instead with the lives of others in forefront, or with an unabashed disregard for anything but truth, or with an unwitting display of righteous qualities, the same thing is always said about them. That person, he or she becomes an instant headline or TV news story and is called a hero. The purpose and focus of sensationalizing such behavior is less to inspire people to behave in a similar way themselves, and o connection is made between extraordinarily righteous behavior and the audience. They who are the ones that watch wide-eyed and amazed, only hoping to be inspired to be the better nature of themselves. Better than they are and strive for, and they who are always in search for a higher purpose, a higher power, a higher self, and hope the hero is a sign from it.
Universal truth dictates that we must act to support goodness and be moved to right actions. This we should always do, regardless of our level of comfort with the ways of life and its intervention. A hero comes unannounced, and usually when we least expect it. Heroic courage is that which the world is in need of from us, or wherever and from whom it may come, but it is not ours to choose. Remember that sometimes, the lives or well-being of others will depend on our ability to rise with courage at any given moment.
This is the second virtue of the true path.
Jin : The Third Virtue of Benevolence
Benevolence means an act of, or a general inclination towards, charity. If there is one aspect of that which is most true to the depths of human nature, it is the expression, and the ability to show compassion. Because it is deep in our nature, it is also that reason that compassion is almost lacking in all of the world today. With that said, then it has to be compassion that makes us what we are as human beings.
From the beginning of time, until now the human being has been driven by all of our lower emotions. Even in this the age of ages, we are only beginning to seek out the powers that come from wielding the sword held in its own sheath. Compassion and benevolence are the key to solving the majority of our world problems. If only we would be willing to use them to their fullness.
Only by following the path of compassion can we see reality for what is true. Only with benevolence can we finally understand that all life begins again and again. Over and over, with every passing moment, so it is in the past, present and future. Seeing that all that is has been, whether in our historical past, a past life, or a future that is yet to be.
We have become so readily at ease with our egos. We have been trained to be accustomed to living in the most selfish ways. All this has made us numb, dumb, and immune to the pain and suffering of others. Those that are around us everywhere, and by not realizing that their pain is our pain also. All suffering is ultimately intertwined, but because we are desperately tied to our personal pain and think that it is unusual, even special, we do not see the reality.
The reality is that someday very soon, the world will have had enough. Then we will inherit the effects of how the world has been living, in a state of living death. Without compassion our lives so selfishly become dependent on unreality, we choose in ways that we never imagined we would. And when we least expect it, suddenly we are in need of the world to show us compassion. Then we seek pity upon ourselves if it does not respond.
Now this is not a principle of cause and effect. Nor should the concept of compassion and benevolence only be approached from a karmic sense. For by doing so we assume that if we do not act and react out of compassion, that on that someday we will be overlooked in our hour of need. This maybe the truth, but it is not the matter of importance.
Rather, we should constantly show compassion to all things, to all people, to all situations, and to all manner of life. Every living thing has a heart and soul and every one of us can relate to their pain and rejection. We should make ready and do more than try to act out of our benevolent natures. For we should seek out and find opportunities, whenever possible to take care, to give to less fortunate, and seek out something better in ourselves. As opposed to shunning, rejecting, trivializing, and marginalizing the problems of the world that we see everyday.
We act in this way because of ego, shame or prejudice for the most part. Every living thing has a heart and soul...and most of us can relate to pain and rejection. As earthly over population grows, it is driving most of us to become more marginalized, greedy, defensive and selfish, but it is possible to choose otherwise. It is possible to let your compassion and your heart guide you. Choosing to stand apart and act out of generosity is a heraldic feat of truth. Let kindness spread like virus of benevolence, let it be your first thought when circumstances arise
This is the third virtue of the true path.
Rei : The Fourth Virtue of Respect
Politeness and courtesy are one in showing respect. This virtue is often hard for any human being to be true to, let alone for them to master. Most think of politeness, courtesy, or respect in the way that it is applied to those that are our elders, those older than ourselves, sometimes our parents, but more like how we usually see our grandparents to be held in esteem. However, respect, as it is viewed by the ancient masters, is something other than this.
Respect is understood to be and be show, in a very similar way to how it was viewed by almost every highly developed and spiritual culture throughout all of our human history. Respect is the combination of absolute sincerity, humility, and reverence, united together as one force. True respect covers not only being in a state of true reverence for those who hold authority, blood, love, holiness, or seniority over us, but it also is to be held for those who would be thus, if they were not held down by age, disability, or unforeseen circumstances. Therefore we must respect those who are as lowly as we, and those below us above ourselves.
Respect and polite courtesy, are actions. Respect the action, it covers a humility toward all manner of life on this planet, those that we see and those we do not. Therefore it is not only the type respect for life that happens to support our existence. Nor just the type that is of our understanding.
Once again, we must relinquish our desire to be dominant, to be ego based, and to be selfish. We must learn to have selflessness as a primary mode of thinking. Selflessness must be our one true modality. Not only do we have to defer to and honor our elders, we must do the same for all other men, women and children, let alone the air, water, trees, and animals. We show selflessness and set good examples to others through our usage of humility.
This is a type of action which actually requires more strength and restraint than anything created by the usage of aggression, oppression, or dominance. All our most warlike and our most primal behaviors are always born out of insecurities that we fear, but hold within ourselves desperately. The one and only possible exception would be when we must defend someone or something close or important to us, but even then we maybe acting out of vanity, lust, or misguided love. So one must be careful, even with our best intentions.
A practitioner, seeker, or warrior of any true path has nothing but humility, has nothing to prove, nor has any fear of being lessened by the opinions of others. Always a human being on the true path can be known, by showing yourself to be polite, courteous, humble and respectful, regardless of the situation.
The best part of practicing this virtue is the reward it brings to the heart of the practitioner. However, don't do it for any reason, thought or possibility of reward, only do it because it is the right thing to do. Only do it because you know it is right, this is always the way of truth.
This is the fourth virtue of the true path.
Makoto : The Fifth Virtue of Honesty
Honesty is the pivotal virtue for creating a world that exists in self based reality. Truth is the cornerstone of all worthwhile things in this worldly existence. Truth is the backbone any human relationship and worthwhile interaction. It is in honesty that is the foundation of how we view the world and it is in our showing of sincerity, that come forth how we are viewed by others and the world as it truly is.
It is strong and undeniable, truth that is backed by honesty. And yet is the most easily manipulated, fragile and potentially damaging of all the true path workings, it is the hardest of all the virtues to master. This is because the simplest false impression can go a long way and create an alternate reality that when revealed as fiction, can potentially create profound levels of destruction and pain. So true indeed is it, that real truth can be very painful, but it is ultimately preferred and always most respected. More importantly, it is the only way of finding reality, absolution, expression and communication for someone on any true path.
Honesty is most often compromised by our need to express ourselves by greed and selfishness. Complete sincerity and truth reside on a steep slope together. It is like a hillside that must be constantly supported and is continually being upheld by each of them, and every one of us as human beings. Once we compromise either side, then it will inevitably falter. It is our commitment to honesty and complete sincerity that holds us steady. Otherwise we find ourselves divided, and life quickly becomes a slippery plane of existence. This is where we find ourselves and even the most little white lies will eventually lead to dangerous and compulsive misrepresentations.
We exist on a plane suddenly, where more and more lies are proven necessary to support previous untruths and so on, and so forth, until we are completely out of balance within ourselves. The choice to represent oneself untruthfully versus choosing to represent any situation truthfully may initially be painful, in fact it always will be. It will be ever, embarrassing or scary, but those emotions are only momentary feelings. Ask yourself, if they are let to proliferate, to bloom out of control, what will they become?
They are not truth, and therefore are nothing compared to the pain that could be caused down the line. Especially when the false reality, the untruthful foundations erupt, and when all that which was so long believed, turns out to be nothing but the mountain of lies, on top of the lie has been exposed. The truth is nothing like the lie, and that which we call the straight and narrow is known as such, because it is that which does not waver. It does nothing and demands nothing, and it does not make accommodations for any kind of misinterpretations, off colors, nor does it blur or compromise. Truth is black and white, just as complete sincerity lies within speaking from the heart. This comes forth all words from the speaker, as integrity with the clarity of honest self expression.
This is the fifth virtue of the true path.
Meiyo : The Sixth Virtue of Honor
When most people think of honor, it is the kind of honor that they associate with duty and worldly ambitions. The worldly definitions surrounding military service and awards of high distinction initially come to the average person in their mind. This is because the societal relevance of this ancient is deeply rooted in how we have come to accept, or measure our human merits, and this has not changed or shifted very much. Over time and history, honor has not in definition changed all that much.
By that standard of that honor is still expressed in much the same way, yet it has changed, and has changed for the common person. Honor is not any longer a personal motivation to keep one from behaving in those unacceptable or uncouth
ways that would bring shame to the individual, the self, family or country. It is no longer an individual expression of the whole as a force of the human species, or a societal rank among the herd of sheep or shepherds. However, this societal shift has brought with it some disturbing, chaotic and sincerely sad consequences.
Similarly, a breach of honor is no longer a reason to feel blighted, bigoted or guilted with shame. We now can break laws and be convicted for each personal or individual offense rather than try to uphold some archaic overall, andunfairly judged set of presets to our personal standard, but as already stated, this has not changed everything for the better.
Today, most of us are just trying to behave within the edges and boundaries of law. We live now like rats in a maze, and most of us are not even looking at how we are living. We have no code of honor that binds us to any level of devotion or duty. We have no honor at all, such that governs our overall approach to ethics and morality. If we are able to get away with doing something that we know is wrong, or do not get caught doing something that breaks a rule of law, then chances are that we will do it, without consideration whether we do it accidentally or intentionally.
This approach is to choose to live like beasts, it is like having a sack over our heads with holes cut out for the eyes, all day long hiding ourselves, but seeking to interact with reality. As we take what we can and do what we can to further our own personal agendas whenever possible, only coming out from our disguise, when we absolutely must. This we do, so as to not ever let or get ourselves caught. We are wishing to never get caught and are ever hoping that no one else saw or that nobody will ever come forth, or come to have recognized us when we were momentarily exposed. However, this is very far removed from living with honor.
Honor is organically realized by cultivating honesty, fairness and most importantly, the integrity that allows one to feel proud of our own beliefs. When living with honor, it removes all need for hiding, sneaking, using deception or personal obscurity, it is honor that allows us to enjoy life more. Honor allows us to live more fully and responsibly, by taking credit for all our intentions, actions and consequently, living. Really living as a more refined, honest and morally evolved version of ourselves, of ourselves as more evolved human beings.
Let your first duty and honor be to your highest possible self.
This is the sixth virtue of the true path.
Chu Gi : The Seventh Virtue of Loyalty
These seven virtues mean nothing without loyalty, devotion and duty. And there is a good reason for this. If we look at our domesticated animals, we can come to see purity of loyalty in their instinctual natures. With domesticated dogs especially should we go to, when we wish to observe and understand loyalty.
Dogs want love and companionship.
They wish nothing but to be with us, they will endure years of abuse and even death by their master. They will do all of this, all of their own choosing. They will do it just to earn the trust and love or their master. Abused animals may not understand why they are abused, but they endure it because they made a very clear decision to stand by their master. They choose to do this for all and any of their various masters, regardless of how bad, horrible, or painful it turns out to be. No matter what it takes, or what that commitment proves to be. This is true in all dogs, and can be observed whether or not there is any kind of exchange of shelter, warmth, food or reward involved.
Loyalty, duty and honor are closely connected. As the dog obeys blindly, this should not be the commitment of the one on any true path. Loyalty, devotion, and duty are inseparable. This is why loyalty is the most difficult of the virtues to master. This being because one has to be completely selfless, unwavering, without ego, and responsible in order to fulfill their demands.
The most common excuse for not upholding loyalty is the temptation of self preservation. The most commonly expressed
reasons for human beings ceasing to uphold human virtues are greed, ego, and selfishness. Suffice to say, there is no compromise that can be justified in the end and each one of us will ultimately know and have to live with our choices in the end. Military applications aside, loyalty, devotion and duty represent clear and non-negotiable commitments either to a person, a place, a thing, a cause, a belief or even a simple promise. Therefore we are like the dog, but not blinded by instinct. We are blinded by the truth that we have chosen to make our commitments solid, we are impenetrable, we are bulletproof, and we are what we say we are. To the end, from the very beginning, everything we believe is what makes us at the very fibers.
The loyalty to ourselves, to our virtues, these are the things that only we can decide what they are and what they represent to become bonds that can only be broken by a weakened resolve, a negative shift in priority, a alternative shift in our polarity, or a simple matter of our own choice, everything ends with our choosing. Thus our loyalty holds all the virtues we believe in together.
The seven virtues together, all these virtues mean nothing, it is a thing that is nothing but emptiness until we give it form and purpose. It only means something to one individual life and that of no one else. It only exists if it exists in our choices and more importantly, through our actions. One good choice will lead to another and then another. Soon you will find that your inner understanding of truth and right living will be indistinguishable from the very person that you see everyday in the mirror, smiling at you gently.
This is the greatest gift you can give to yourself, and to the rest of the world around you, to love yourself as you would love the world.
Once again, light is shed upon our individual choices, by being true to the self.
This is the seventh virtue of the true path.
If There Were an Eighth Virtue Yet...it would be Relevance
Relevance is what the key to life and the true path is in a word, relevant.
Setting a good example is a by-product of those who being true to their path and most likely, this would have become the eighth virtue of the ancients, had the masters not understood that all those strong enough, and smart enough to apply these virtues to their own lives would invariably understand how contagious even a small amount of decent and respectable human behavior can be to others.
The true path that is based on compassion, respect, honor, honesty, loyalty, righteousness and courage, but it is in finding relevance and using these that allows the true path to become a path to enlightenment.
You can be a master of any or all the seven virtues, but a true master of life uses them with relevance in their every thought and action. Everyday they live, everywhere they go, and in everything they do.
This universal understanding is pure beauty and simplicity at its finest, it is found in all things equally. Nothing is more important or less, in the true path. Complex things are found to be simple, and simple things are found to be complex. This is one of the great truths of existence.
To be a true master, you must let this timeless path of truth lead you to taking right action, and thus will you be able to transform your life. The truth is present in everyone and life is the product of our choices.
Life begins again every single passing moment.
This too shall pass. Thank you for being you.