Collapsing House – Health Now, Wealth Forever

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By Thain, on July 19th, 2014

Naoshige, the founder of the Nabeshima clan, spoke to his grandson Motoshige, “Whether it is high or low, the house and the clan will collapse when its time comes. At that moment, if you resist the course, a foul collapse will result. If you are aware the time has come, you had better let your house crumble without hesitation. On the other hand, if you have this foresight, you might be able to hold your house back in your arms.”

-From The Way of the Samurai

This is a passage from the translation of the original Hagakure, basically the manual that explains the essence of what a samurai should be. In this passage, labeled in my copy of the book as “Collapsing House”, is a perfect example of Tao, which both my father, Nathan, and I have written about.

The passage itself explains that the clan and the house will eventually fall down, no matter what you do or try to do. It will always fall down, and if you realise that eventually it will fall down, you can sooner accept it and move on, and use those pieces of broken house for something else, whatever else. However, if you were to resist the inevitable collapse of the house with support beams and plaster et cetera, then that only adds more to pick up when it finally does collapse, it only creates more mess to fix. Whereas if you have accepted that the house will collapse, and then let it fall as things tend to, then you have less of a mess to clean up.

This could be taken as a analogy for just about anything – life is one that comes to mind almost instantly – but it does not necessarily have to be that large scale. It could be just one house or cabin or decision or issue. Could be something big or something small, it is all about perception of the passage.