Doctors, Samurai & Peasants

People ask me how come I am so happy all the time. Why things just don’t seem to get to me as it appears to get to others. The truth is things do get to me, but they are just different things to the general population.

Life is good; I love my wife, she is simply the best partner I have ever experienced, I love my work, the ability to help others, the challenges of figuring out how people work.

To know that you have the potential to help others breathe easier because of what you do and get paid for it, what more could you ask for in life?

This life didn’t happen by accident; it was not divine providence, it came from study and understanding. To understand all this; I found it useful and helpful to remember my studies of Japanese history. I have found it entirely relevant to the lives we all live today. I call it being part of society but not in society. The  Tokugawa shogunate operated from 1603 to 1867. A shogun was a military dictator. The emperor was more the figurehead; it was the shoguns who had the real power. Tokugawa Ieyasu first established this shogunate. What makes this significant and important to us today? The system of control he developed is entirely alive and thriving in the world today. Under the Tokugawa system of very strict rules, the country experience one of the longest periods of peace in Japans history, It is known as the 400-year peace.  How was this achieved? By manipulation, cunning and deception of course. Realise that there were two main social groups. Farmers, artisans and peasants making up the main group about 90% of the population.  The second group were the different levels of samurai, the remaining 10% of the population at their peak.

Two sets of laws existed, one very complicated for the samurai, the other very simple. To give an idea of the simple law for the peasants, there were only two punishments for all crimes, death and imprisonment waiting for death.  On the samurai side of things, they could kill anyone that was not a samurai without warrant or cause. Imagine you are a samurai having a bad day, killing a few peasants is such a great way of relieving stress. A lower class found with a sword meant instant death if caught. The lower classes worked as slaves for the ruling class. Remember, Samurai made up less that 10% of the population. Now you might be thinking, cool, I’m up for being a samurai. Not so fast, it was a life of absolute obedience, continuous training, endless rituals, strictly enforced dress codes, honour codes. If you were asked to kill yourself by a superior, there was no way out. You could not, not be a samurai if you were born into the family. Hypnotised from birth into believing that your ultimate goal in life was to die for your lord, who was in theory totally supportive of the spiritual leader, the emperor. If you were a high ranking officer or feudal lord, this meant that your family would always be exchanged with other feudal lords across the country. The exchange program was the ultimate answer to creating peace and control over the military class. No one lord could attack another without endangering his family. This is a high price to pay for the promise of position and privilege. It is this method that meant a handful of people could and did control an entire country. Japanese movies of this period are full of emotional conflict, caught between being a human being and the very strict rules and social expectation. There was, of course, one group or profession that fell outside of these two main categories, doctors. They served samurai and peasant alike. There were given the privilege of carrying a single sword. They were able to step into the society, get the benefits of the society and at the same time not be a part of it; they could effectively step out and live a great life.

What does this all have to do with today? Everything, this system is alive and thriving today. But not just in Japan it is all over the so-called civilised world. Peasants are still peasants, there are the workers and the middle classes, these are the people that do the majority of the work and as such are kept poor and are still totally expendable. They are the wage slaves that work from paycheque to paycheque. The samurais are the corporates and bankers; the sword has of course been replace with the mobile phone and briefcase. The strict dress codes still apply. They are expected to exploit the peasants any chance they can for the benefit of the masters that they serve with absolute obedience. They have a slight taste of power but at an enormous cost. They too live in a state of anxiety always caught between their need for success and money and doing the right thing.

Hypnotised into the world of power and capitalism. As an NLP Master; I have the ability to help remove the pain that is experienced by both groups. The corporates let me serve them, but I am not bound by their rules, rituals and fears. In which category do you find yourself? Which group would you like to be in?

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