We always make a decision. I type these words and you will decide what they mean to you. It doesn’t have to be deliberate. We are conditioned if we aren’t instead mindful. It will happen one way or another.
Fully half of the worlds population has GABA as their dominant neurotransmitter. GABA is a regulatory hormone, which allows nerve impressions to feel stable. The dominant blood type in America is O, so there may be some tie. A common issue with GABA imbalance is anxiety disorders and excessive sense of guilt. So maybe there is something running deep under culture. This would make tolerance even more necessary. It makes sense that our culture, in a sense, would get into our DNA. Environmental influence on evolution and all that, and depending on what school of scientific thought you subscribe to, cellular memory surfaces in your psychological development.
As shown in psychokinesis, dominate energy patterns of a culture would influence the body. With the Samurai, there are very strong intention and energy patterns in play there. They were all about cultivating “spirit”, basically clear intention. To show hesitancy was evidence of having inadequate training, and would make the conscripts following you hesitant and insecure.
The codes of Bushido culture were so you wouldn’t have to think, just act? Well, they were expected to have principles of leadership down just as much. They were to know the strategic martial training as well as how to handle morale. Did they need time to think on the battlefield? They were not to think of their possible death. Actions were more about the situation then an arbitrary rule. Like Buddhism in that respect, moving with the Way, and theirs was the way of war. Bushido means literally, warrior way.
I have tried to explain to people that all these systems of etiquette were to make society function more smoothly, so you could know how you were expected to behave. But, when they clash then you have , I’m sure, a background for all their wars? Were their wars less sane than ours?
It doesn’t sound to me like they had the arbitrary rules like other cultures, so they were more sane. Yes, children were told in detail how their society worked. They were made to understand that to dishonour these rules was to invite death, and that didn’t mean punishment from the Samurai. If a Samurai rides into town and you won’t respect his position, it could mean much suffering. Even if the Samurai punishes no villager he needed the knowledge to enforce the law.
Is Bushido dying off ? Well no, the Japanese are sticklers about preserving knowledge. Rigid about it, but they themselves admit it has to be seen clearly and adapted. Example; Westerners see a direct approach and cheerful engagement as friendly, the Japanese do not. In Japan you are welcome to be where you are. They have a tradition of hospitality, but you should wait to be spoken to. You make it clear you want to be spoken to by being in their space. They are required to respect those in their space so their code requires that they speak to you, even if they speak enough to indicate they don’t welcome company.
I have a friend who attends an almost strictly Chinese Buddhist sangha. He has always been an observer and he somehow managed to read their behaviour. When he first attended he remained quiet, and didn’t intrude anywhere. He waited to be invited/directed to go somewhere, and they did. They directed him into the meditation hall, and they sat, so did he. He continued to do this. Well now he’s fully integrated. He’s even engaged by the monk in charge of the sangha. They just see him as a fixture of their “church”, and they wonder what’s up if he doesn’t attend. There is another causation there. There is a monk, but apparently he has American culture strongly in his make up. They respect him, and he is not in any way harassed. But there is now some tension between he and my friend, because the congregation and the leaders give my friend responsibilities and ask him for help. This white monk, besides the functional directions, isn’t asked to do anything. Can you see this from the eastern point of view? What would I mean? Was the white monk marginalized by the congregation? He lived there. Officially he was subordinate to the resident abbot. My friend didn’t live there, and wasn’t officially a part of that besides as a congregation member.
As for myself Bushido is not my path. Keeping my composure and keeping the intent focus run counter to my nature.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.