Rationality Quotes 4

“Altru­is­tic be­hav­ior: An act done with­out any in­tent for per­sonal gain in any form. Altru­ism re­quires that there is no want for ma­te­rial, phys­i­cal, spiritual, or ego­is­tic gain.”
-- Glos­sary of Zen

“The pri­mary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your in­ten­tion to cut the en­emy, what­ever the means. When­ever you parry, hit, spring, strike or touch the en­emy’s cut­ting sword, you must cut the en­emy in the same move­ment. It is es­sen­tial to at­tain this. If you think only of hit­ting, spring­ing, strik­ing or touch­ing the en­emy, you will not be able ac­tu­ally to cut him. More than any­thing, you must be think­ing of car­ry­ing your move­ment through to cut­ting him.”
-- Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

“You can win with a long weapon, and yet you can also win with a short weapon. In short, the Way of the Ichi school is the spirit of win­ning, what­ever the weapon and what­ever its size.”
-- Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

“Well,” Rowlands said care­fully, turn­ing the Land-Rover into the road. “I am not at all sure what it is that is go­ing on all around us, Will bach, or where it is lead­ing. But those men who know any­thing at all about the Light also know that there is a fierce­ness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burn­ing of the sun.” Sud­denly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. “At the very heart, that is. Other things, like hu­man­ity, and mercy, and char­ity, that most good men hold more pre­cious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, some­times they are there; of­ten, in­deed. But in the very long run the con­cern of you peo­ple is with the ab­solute good, ahead of all else. You are like fa­nat­ics. Your mas­ters, at any rate. Like the old Cru­saders—oh, like cer­tain groups in ev­ery be­lief, though this is not a mat­ter of re­li­gion, of course. At the cen­tre of the Light there is a cold white flame, just as at the cen­tre of the Dark there is a great black pit bot­tom­less as the Uni­verse.”
His warm, deep voice ended, and there was only the roar of the en­g­ine. Will looked out over the grey-misted fields, silent.
“There was a great long speech, now,” John Rowlands said awk­wardly. “But I was only say­ing, be care­ful not to for­get that there are peo­ple in this valley who can be hurt, even in the pur­suit of good ends.”
Will heard again in his mind Bran’s an­guished cry as the dog Ca­fall was shot dead, and heard his cold dis­mis­sal: go away, go away… And for a sec­ond an­other image, un­ex­pected, flashed into his mind out of the past: the strong, bony face of Mer­ri­man his mas­ter, first of the Old Ones, cold in judg­ment of a much-loved figure who, through the frailty of be­ing no more than a man, had once be­trayed the cause of the Light.
He sighed. “I un­der­stand what you are say­ing,” he said sadly. “But you mis­judge us, be­cause you are a man your­self. For us, there is only the des­tiny. Like a job to be done. We are here sim­ply to save the world from the Dark. Make no mis­take, John, the Dark is ris­ing, and will take the world to it­self very soon if noth­ing stands in its way. And if that should hap­pen, then there would be no ques­tion ever, for any­one, ei­ther of warm char­ity or of cold ab­solute good, be­cause noth­ing would ex­ist in the world or in the hearts of men ex­cept that bot­tom­less black pit. The char­ity and the mercy and the hu­man­i­tar­i­anism are for you, they are the only things by which men are able to ex­ist to­gether in peace. But in this hard case that we the Light are in, con­fronting the Dark, we can make no use of them. We are fight­ing a war. We are fight­ing for life or death—not for our life, re­mem­ber, since we can­not die. For yours.”
He reached his hand be­hind him, over the back of the seat, and Pen licked it with his floppy wet tongue.
“Some­times,” Will said slowly, “in this sort of a war, it is not pos­si­ble to pause, to smooth the way for one hu­man be­ing, be­cause even that one small thing could mean an end of the world for all the rest.”
A fine rain be­gan to mist the wind­screen. John Rowlands turned on the wipers, peer­ing for­ward at the grey world as he drove. He said, “It is a cold world you live in, bach­gen. I do not think so far ahead, my­self. I would take the one hu­man be­ing over all the prin­ci­ple, all the time.”
Will slumped down low in his seat, curl­ing into a ball, pul­ling up his knees. “Oh, so would I,” he said sadly. “So would I, if I could. It would feel a lot bet­ter in­side me. But it wouldn’t work.”
-- Su­san Cooper, The Grey King