Samurai and the Fear of Death
Photo reblogged from lureofbeauty
The samurai of ancient Japan did not fear death. In fact, they were instructed to meditate on their inevitable demise:
“Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease…. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead.” - From the Hagakure
Today marks 40 days until we celebrate our Lord’s resurrection at Easter. For those denominations that mark Ash Wednesday, today is a reminder that “you are dust, and unto dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19)
Death is inevitable, and we Christians should not fear it. Though many of us will probably pass away into the next life through some mundane cause, such as illness or old age, we are called like the martyrs to be be willing to even accept death by more violent means - including “arrows, rifles, spears and swords.”
However it can be much harder to die daily to yourself, to accept the things you cannot control and shape your life in a way you do not choose. That too is part of being a courageous Christian.