Friday, July 29, 2005

The Last Samurai

Ever feel like this picture looks? Dead inside, unsure of why God put you on this earth? Sometimes I do. In the end, I hope just as the narrator hoped that Nathan Algren (Cruise's character) found peace, purpose, and life. I want that too!

I don't have anything deep or long to say about this movie. Just a couple of thoughts...

First, a quote from Algren's journal:

"Winter, 1877. What does it mean to be Samurai? To devote yourself
utterly to a set of moral principles. To seek a stillness of your mind. And to
master the way of the sword."

I seek this in my Christian walk. In the movie Algren realizes that the word Samurai means "to serve". So I ask myself every day what does it mean to serve (be Samurai). To devote myself to the disciplines of the Christian life in my heart. To wait on God with unnatural stillness. And to master the way of God's Word (Bible, His still small voice).

As you can see I like that quote. I also like the Seven Principles of the Samurai listed on the DVD which I will print here...Yes they are Bushido which is somewhat eastern religion but I think you will agree that there are some great Biblical points in there! Especially for us Christian Men. I actually liken it more to Chivalry, the old Knights of Europe code...

1. Gi - Honesty and Justice:
Be acutely honest throughout your dealings with all people. Believe in justice, not FROM other people, but FROM yourself. To the true Samurai, there are no shades of gray in the question of honesty and justice...There is only right and wrong.

2. Rei - Polite Courtesy
Samurai have no reason to be cruel. They do not need to prove their strength. A Samurai is courteous even to his enemies. Without this outward show of respect, we are nothing more than animals.

A Samurai is not only respected for his strength in battle, but also by his dealings with other men. The true strength of a Samurai becomes apparent during difficult times.

3. Yu - Heroic Courage (I love this one)
Rise up above the masses of people who are afraid to act. Hiding like a turtle in a shell is not living at all. A Samurai must have heroic courage. It is absolutely risky. It is dangerous. It is living life completely, fully, wonderfully. Heroic courage is not blind, it is intelligent and strong.

4. Meiyo - Honor
A true Samurai has only one judge of honor, and that is himself. Decisions you make and how these decisions are carried out are a reflection of whom you truly are...You cannot hide from yourself.

5. Jin - Compassion
Through intense training the samurai becomes quick and strong. He is not as other men. He develops a power that must be used for the good of all. He has compassion. He helps his fellow man at every opportunity. If an opportunity does not arise. He goes out of his way to find one.

6. Makoto - Complete Sincerity
When a Samurai has said he will perform an action, it is as good as done. Nothing will stop him from completing what he has said he will do. He does not have to "give his word," he does not have to "promise." - Speaking and doing are the same action.

7. Chu - Duty and Loyalty
For the Samurai having done some "thing" or said some "thing," he knows he owns that "thing." He is responsible for it. And all the consequences that follow. A Samurai is immensely loyal to those in his care. To those he is responsible for, he remains fiercely true.

Wow...I'd love to be friends with men like that...I'd love to BE a man like that!


Marc said...

I copied the list and taped to my work desk. I titled it Learning from Samurai to Live Like Christians.

Thanks for the post.