On the art of the sword – Learning to be the other

Paulo Coelho

Many centuries ago, in the days of the samurais, a text was written in Japan on the spiritual art of wielding the sword: “Impassive comprehension”, also known as “The Treatise of Tahlan”, the name of the author (a fencing master and Zen monk). Below an extract that I have adapted:

Learning to be the other

We are so centred on what we feel is the best attitude that we forget something of great importance: in order to reach our objectives, we need other people. So it is necessary not only to observe the world but also to imagine ourselves in the skin of others and to know how to follow their thoughts.

This holds true for both love and war.

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  1. Henry says:

    Reminds me of Maya Angelou's poem “Alone”; everybody needs somebody else.

  2. marie-christine says:

    putting yourself into another person’s shoes is essential, otherwise you never get anywhere – without people’s co-operation you are nobody -

  3. masher says:

    hi all ,
    yes empathy and compassion are useful in living a loving life ,it is easy to become blinded by pride or a lack of compromise because you are unwilling to see things from anothers eyes.i read before though that the highest teaching is not the highest teaching and what i took from this is ,it is very easy to build more and more preconceptions about everything we hold important,forgeting something of great importance ,believing a lie.another funny quote my mother always told me is assumption is the mother of all f..k ups .x

  4. Henry says:

    Reminds me of Maya Angelou’s poem “Alone”; everybody needs somebody else.

  5. Heart says:

    Phew I’m glad to see the old lay out back. Out of time to think and write, all I can do is share some music :)


    By the way, I tried to find a way to post my picture in that little square, but cannot figure it out? Anybody?

  6. Alexandra says:

    yes,always trying to see with others eyes.to be opened at new ways,paths,points of view.

  7. THELMA says:

    Empathy and the ability to … read other people's mind is a great help in achieving our goals. Sometimes this hurts, because we 'see' negative or deceitful 'thoughts or intentions', but I think this is the price payed for ….having a glimpse behind the veil! It is also a divine protection in our Path.