Miyamoto Musashi: Fixation and the flow

There are quite a few quotes from Far Eastern philosophies that have a strong fascination for us Westerners. This quote from Miyamoto Musashi is one of them:

"Fixation is the way to death. Fluidity is the way to life."

- Miyamoto Musashi

What did the samurai, born in the sixteenth century, want to express with this statement?

This quote indicates that things in life are not static. Everything experiences permanent change. It is therefore self-destructive to have the claim to expect or strive for things to be unchanging. Instead, it requires the awareness that everything is in a constant state of change.

One could therefore draw a parallel with the "The only constant in the universe, is change" of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who found these words more than two and a half thousand years ago.

Especially in Western culture, however, it is strongly ingrained that people use terms like. Create and Get think. God created the world and that is how it is and how it will remain.

On these Creationism (which derives from the Latin "creatio", i.e. creation), which is the Far-Eastern Emerge Alan Watts repeatedly pointed out that this discrepancy in the understanding of things is the reason why we in the West often do not understand Far Eastern teachings in their entirety.

The eastern "being-out-of-itself" versus the western "being-created".

You will quickly realize this when you look at the biblical story of creation. There is a kind of architect in it, who plans things and also executes them. Heaven and earth are created. Land and sea. Plants and trees. And finally animal and human. Someone or something has created all this.

In Daoism or Buddhism, it is an origin story. Things happen out of themselves. Without any effort or expense. Simply because it is in their nature to happen.

So when we have the expectation that everything is created - just like a building is built - then it happens easily that we expect things to stay as they are.

But that is a fallacy. Just as a building is at the mercy of the ravages of time, so are all things. Nothing really remains at a standstill. Even if it may often seem so from our perspective. And even if we would like that from things.

If we do it anyway and reject and ignore the flow of things, it is as if we are rejecting the very nature of all being.

This is tantamount to rejecting life itself. Change is elemental. Change is life.

Accept change and benefit from it yourself

Luke has written an article about the personal disadvantages of holding on to your current personality state and not being willing to use the enormous potential that lies ahead of you through the willingness to change. This article about letting go of what you are to become what you could be can be found here:

If you are looking for more quotes from Miyamoto Musashi and attempts to explain their meanings:

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