“Long Term Victory,” by Nev Sagiba

Passages from the Hagakure:
Narutomi Hyogo said, “To win over your enemies is to first win over your allies. Defeating one’s allies is defeating oneself. To win over your allies is to win over yourself. To win over yourself is to win over your body by means of your spirit. Unless you train your body and mind well in advance as if in the midst of tens of thousands of allies there is no one who will follow after you. If you have not previously mastered your mind and body, you will not defeat an enemy.”

“Win first, and then go to battle.”

“There is nothing outside the present moment.”

“Right now is the crucial moment and the crucial moment is right now.”

“No matter what the circumstances might be, one should be of the mind to win. One should be holding the first intention to strike.”

“Never forget the basics.”

“Think of the greater good for all.”

“Death may come at any moment.”

“A warrior should keep faith with the kami.”

“Truth lies beyond mere words.”

“A petty person lacks stillness within.”

“The world is only a dream.”

“It can be admirable to appear to lose.”

And more.

The long term victory means converting your enemies into allies and friends, doing whatever it takes and guiding them into a good direction. Conducting professional protection, the true warrior is participating in a healing process. Otherwise he is merely a paid thug serving pirates who will in the end find that natural justice which misses no crime against life.

That’s the real secret of Universal Aikido. Pissing people off and alienating them has the worst repercussions imaginable. And the reprisals will usually come when in your gloating, you least expect it.

Restoring harmony is a process of respect for all life including the problem being corrected, so that authentically powerful respect will attract reciprocity.

An immediate victory on the way to the long term goal may be good, provided it is not an end unto itself alone, or serves bad goals. Brief victories are like bubbles on a pond. They come and they go. Ultimate victory has no losers because it is a victory by the universe, inclusive to all the created creation and all that lives as made by the Supreme Being. Everyone wins and the life of the pond and the lives within it become guaranteed. The long term is considered, not just tomorrow or a few years, but millennia and indeed infinites ahead.

In most ancient cultures, lasting thousands of years longer than the stultified, limping histories we laud so much because of a few gadgets, their story survived all manner of attrition because of something that transcends all gadgets: Respect. In these true civilizations based on higher, more noble values of contribution, rather than mere fear of lack, it was mandatory to be a well rounded, highly skilled participant of the mechanism of the group, tribe nation, whatever. As part of this, an initiatory schooling which combined connectedness with heaven and earth, all the directions and the Centre of existence foremost; multi-skilled warrior training, hunting, gathering, farming including natural horticulture or as now labelled permacultiure, animal husbandry, communication skills, social technologies of the era, sciences of the era, healing arts and all the attributes which have nowadays become considerably specialised, were mandatory learning before one could claim humanity. Storytellers became the historians of the tribal ways evolving into the archivists of today. Ability in all the required skills of the era were the expectation of a well rounded human being who considered not only all human beings, but indeed all life and creation as manifestations of the sacred.

Unless an individual could evince respect, teamwork, skill and cooperation, he could not be deemed part of the group. Hangers on, dilettantes, malingerers, liars, cheats and thieves were not looked well upon. That’s how we got this far against all odds.

From the very first people, the long term was considered a vital part of the dream, as was the honouring the ancestors who had carried the torch to now, to be honoured. The torch they carried are your genes. Without them YOU WOULD NOT EXIST! Nowadays, a world of feeble minders mainly care for a bank balance and collecting things which in the course of time will all disappear. For a few short years. Then they die in ignominy, their name soon forgotten. Dust.

Long term victory, is victory for all without exception. Without such victory there can be no victory. The sustainable greater good for all is paramount before a start can begin to be made. Today’s people have not begun, but lag behind. Far behind. Even the most miserable, deluded and malignant sorry soul has to eventually open their eyes and see straight. And contribute. To be a part of the collective, or be expelled from it forever. Be this a pond or a planet. The place to work this restoration is in the present moment, each moment, towards the great goal of the greater good.

The foundations are within oneself.

Otherwise you are not human. We each exist for more purpose than to eventually feed a tree after making a lifetime of mere distress sounds and fumbling in the dark. Stop whining. Honour that value you contain. Live it. Even animals contribute to their group in some way.

The Hagakure is full of valuable social strengthening, nation building and global uniting future seeing.

Get a copy. Read it. Give it your consideration. Extract the value of it. Include it with what other practical wisdom teaching you may embrace.

Time is counting down. Don’t waste life.

Live your life in a way to be proud of being alive for the brief period allotted, which from another dimension appears as the brief spark of a firefly in the dark, then is extinguished.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” says an old Chinese Proverb.

True courage is to plant a tree now, whose fruit you may not live to eat, but which will nourish future generations.

Nev Sagiba


  1. bruce baker says:

    And yet … despite all our efforts to do good, make the world a better place .. there is something in the genes of our body, a part of our animal nature, that resists common sense and the many of the lessons elders try to impart or teach to us.

    It is a fact … just when we think we have learned to make your enemies into our peaceful friends, the universe creates some other group that brings chaos to our neighborhood, our nation, our culture, go figure!

    Our only hope is to continue to teach the lessons we have learned, to not just live a peaceful life but to study the ways of war, or fighting, as we try to convince the contrary youth, contrary strangers, those who are contrary without realizing that nature herself and their underlying animal nature is urging them to be this way .. and that we, as elders, teachers, must urge the majority to seek peace. It is our only hope, just as it is the only middle-of-the-road temporary peaceful solution.

    It is the mixing of violant forces of nature that create the beauty and peaceful places where the aggressive nature of plants and animals seem to be in harmony, but nature is an aggressive participant in seeking life, just as we human being are also … we are a part of nature.

    So, when you seek the absolute of harmony, realize who the duality of violance must be part of that solution, and for all the time you create a harmonious bubble, at some time, some place, some where, the intrusion of violance and violant change will occur because … that is the nature of our UNIVERSE!

    No wonder we are always having to rebuild and learn, as well as teach lessons, over and over and over again.

    The only true lesson is .. that every time you are knocked down by life, by events or experiences of life, as long as you are alive you must .. pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again. THAT .. is your genetic programming .. believe it or not.

    Yep, it become an infinite task to impart lessons generation after generation as there are those who are keyed to resist and tear down the efforts of peace and and efforts of knowledge, but it is just nature at work …. no kidding.

  2. Hagakure is such a good study. I like ‘Why study martial arts for thirty years? Even if you do, you will only be an artist. You can be a samurai right now…’

    …as for the perfectability of mankind – ha! It’s a delusion which normally has deadly implications.

  3. Brett Jackson says:

    I have a hard time reading the Hagakure. It’s too dark and foreign to the light … The samurai too much like a slave to his master, a willing slave at that who convinces himself of the nobility and fittingness of death in the service of his master. We don’t need to be samurais, just relaxed and alert. Still there are some nice passages mixed in there. Nev adeptly separates the wheat from the chaff and cultivates his own most invigorating fruit:

    “From the very first people, the long term was considered a vital part of the dream, as was the honouring the ancestors who had carried the torch to now, to be honoured. The torch they carried are your genes.”

    “The true warrior is participating in a healing process ….”

    “The long term victory means converting your enemies into allies and friends”

    “The brief spark of a firefly in the dark…”

    This brief spark is the dream of a world fashioned by a mixture of fallenness, facticity, and rare moments of insight, courage, and enlightenment. Let’s keep pushing back the darkness with the light (agree, Bruce, no lack of darkness to contend with)!

    • The way I look at Hagakure is as one level of understanding. Simply giving up your life when the occasion demands isn’t too foreign an idea to us, but we don’t take it to the samurai level of fanaticism which made death, self destruction in fact, desirable. Musashi, as I see it, presents another level. He dismisses death as the sole nature of the samurai by saying that all sorts of people, even women have been known to die well. His take is that the essence of the samurai is understanding his weapons and winning. The rest of Five Rings is concerned with gaining victory. O Sensei presents a tangent, being neither attached to living or dying, winning or losing. I’ve found that path more challenging.

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