Zen and The Art of Archery

Zen and The Art of Archery

Book summary

The book Zen and The Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel can be described as a spiritual book that shows the correlation and connection that exist an individual and the sport of archery. However, according to the author, there are many aspects of how archery can exist in modern day. He goes on to describe the archery as not a sport but an art form that is very spiritual for the people who live in the east. The author describes his archery as the way and manner in which he found his way into Zen Buddhism. After years of study and evaluation of this art, which is often described as the artless art, the author gains enough knowledge and experience in this field that helps him understand the ways and culture of the people from the east (Winkler, 2007). Initially, he thought that archery has no place in Zen, but after careful analysis and evaluation he finds out that archery is actually a large part of Zen. This assignment will attempt to identify reasons why people do god according to Zen and The Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel.

The force that makes you do things good according to Zen and The Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel

According to the author, the art of archery is fundamentally rooted in an individual ability to harness one spirit.  The author goes on to state that a sportsman has no control of the fate of an arrow after it leaves his or her bow considering that it independently finds its rightful place at the center of the target. However, this does not mean that the sportsman has no important play and role in ensuring that the arrow hits the rightful target.  According to the book, practice, repetition as well as the repetition of the repeated with a rising intensity are distinctive features of a good sportsman.  Further evaluation of this quote means that practice of doing what is right as well as control individual emotions; thoughts and heart are the key forces in doing the right thing (Maraldo, 2011). With experience and the necessary knowledge and wisdom, it becomes easy for an individual to make the right choice regarding a situation of doing the right and the wrong thing. The author goes on to state that intuitions and imitation have for long contributed and influenced the decision making of an individual. Despite the fact that the book was written in the 19th century some of the issues and point presented in the book can still be used in the life today. Traditionally, intuition and imitation were substantially utilized to make the right decision regarding an event or a situation.  However, in the world today, instructors have integrated the traditional teaching techniques with modern teaching methods such as good education system and technology to influence their students to make the right decision.

Another major force that influenced people to make the right decision, particularly pupils is the unparalleled relationship and collaboration between a master and his students.  According to the author, the master always has a great knowledge of his pupils, and he or she understands what they need or miss thus making it easy for him to guide them in the right direction. Moreover, passionate love for the chosen art or activity has found to be one of the driving forces in doing the right thing in the right manner and at the right time and place. The basic commitment of both instructors and the students not only leads to trust, but also leads to the ambitions and the desire to know more or protecting that, one thing that an individual loves most (Yamada & Kokusai Nihon Bunka Kenkyū Sentā, 2011). Therefore it becomes easy for both the instructor and the students to look out for each other as well as protecting that one art that they treasure most by doing the right thing.   In modern days, morality in the society has been found to be one of the factors that force individuals to do the right thing that is deemed to be okay by the members of the society.  Therefore, it becomes easy for an individual to do the right thing when he or she combines both passionate love and morality. Besides, the author says that the unwavering devotion of the students not only in class, but in imitating what is right has been found to be the driving factor in influencing people to do the right thing (Yamada & Kokusai Nihon Bunka Kenkyū Sentā, 2011). The uncritical veneration of the master influences the students to surrender to the will of the master thus making it easy for the students to learn and gain wisdom on doing the right thing.

From the discussion above it is easy to point out that several forces and factors influence people to do the right thing according to the book Zen and The Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel. These forces include passionate love, unwavering devotion, practice, repetition as well as the repetition of the repeated as well as the ability of an individual to control his or her heart, mind and emotions.

References

Maraldo, J. C. (2011). Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen, and the West; Zen in the Art of Archery. Journal of American-East Asian Relations, 18(2), 205-212. doi:10.1163/187656111×591126

Winkler, I. (2007). Zen and the Art of Cybersecurity. Zen and the Art of Information Security, 7-14. doi:10.1016/b978-159749168-6/50003-6

Yamada, S., & Kokusai Nihon Bunka Kenkyū Sentā. (2011). Shots in the dark: Japan, Zen, and the West. Chicago, IL: Bristol.

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