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Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by yerik, Jan 24, 2004.
Perhaps it's because this is a forum about khukuris
Yerik, that is a good question. Men have always admired and pursued better weapons. Some animal experts think because we are so naturally unarmed, not having fangs or claws, we are possessed by the subject. And others see it as penis worship...
Being as how our weapon is our brain, it makes sense we fiddle and faddle with weapons.
Munk philosophy- I think weapons give us the illusion of self determination. And in a practical sense, having explored and understood weapons, being able to use them intelligently, means we can - relax. We've done what we can- don't you see, it is in God's hands after that?
My old man dislikes firearms and would ban most of them, but admired the machine aspect- great engineering. Even Artists admire beautiful conceived objects which are weapons.
Yerik, we like steam locomotives too, but it doesn't mean anything bad about us.
Many people in this forum have had to use weapons. You don't hear bragging about that. Not the self promotional variety.
I think Josh may have been put off by your question- though he canspeak for himself, because we once had a poster here who bought khukuris and then argued against their and other weapons use.
Once in California, mostly a weapon ban state- you can rarely carry a loaded gun in a vehicle for instance, ( gee- you think that had anything to do with California's being the birth place of car jacking??) my wife and I were coming home late from some dinner engagement. We saw a van pulled sloppily over the side of the curb. An old lady was screaming. I looked it over and decided to take a chance on stopping. Turned out, from what I could tell, she was drunk and the male trying to get her back into the van. When I first saw her her pants were down which just alarmed me more.
The point is had I not had a gun in the car I would not have stopped. People die stopping. I can help others when I know I am safe.
As for HI khukuris, someone obviously cared about life and ethics when they were made, made well and to be used. That is a gift.
Thanks Yerik. I can't wait to read what some of the other forumites will say.
What Munk said is true.
Someone I used to think I knew, said that he was traveling through Asia, when he met with a priest in Japan. He spoke with the man for a while, and then asked him about the apparent contradiction between his way of peace and the weapon over his mantle.
The priest replied that the sword preserved humanity. He said that man, if in fear and fighting for his life, will become an animal. He will use his nails and teeth, if necessary. Having a weapon keeps him from being forced to stoop to that level.
To all this, I will add that I love the spirit in the HI kuks.
munk, someday I will visit your neck of the woods, I think.
Just my take on this one, I love machinery of all types, sad as it may sound I can watch steam engines work for hours, I love firearms for the same reason. Khuks are slightly different, when it comes down to it a Khuk is a lump of metal and wood/horn. Well, thats how it started anyhow, then someone took it and turned it into something, a tool. It is a lump of steel etc that someone has crafted and turned it into a magnificent impliment and for some reason that means a lot to me. I mean there is something rather primal and erm, well, macho about that. It is something that links us to early man, when he picked up a lump of rock and cut himself, and realised he could use it to do that to wood and animals. Cool eh? That sort of explains what I feel about Khuks as tools or weapons really.
As for the 'emphasis', one of the first things I noticed about khuks is that they seem far more comfortable in the woods. They fit in there somehow, its like a good walking staff or that old coat you wear when you go for a walk in the woods. It is as much a part of nature as me. Thats how I see it anyhow.
Edit: John, I am VERY impressed by the line about the priest, that is one of those things that I should remember (like the mustard seed story, remind me to go over that one some time). That is the thing about weapons, they can be beautiful, but always at the back of ones mind is the thought that they are designed to kill. What was the thing about the monks (not sure if they are the Shaolin group but somewhere) who were reknowned throughout the land for being invincible, they were well armed and skilled with the weapons they had, and no one would fight them, so they preserved their way of peace by being ready for war.Getting needlessly OT here but thats how I look at it. I have never carried a knife for self defense, I have never needed to defend myself seriously and round here its actually too risky to carry a blade. I can understand why some people do though.
For me it is the thought that I will not make an easy victim. No weapon is a guarantee against attack but it is a very good reason for someone bent on malice to find an easier target elsewhere. I have always wondered how I was going to die and if I die with a weapon in my hand defending myself then I would not be ashamed of being a victim in those last few moments of my life.
The weaker and more threatened a man feels, the more weapons he needs.
A self assured man with strength of character, although he bears no weapons, is always well armed.
This is akin to the Akibudo Kobudo teaching called "Sword of Death, Sword of Life." "Bringing death" as you put it Yerik, is only one of two possible outcomes. The sword can also save life, if used in honorable defense of life, and not wielded to hurt or maim. Even Musashi gave up fighting to become a Buddhist monk, and he fouught no more. He had moved from a travelling duellist (sword of death) to a monk sworn to serve others with his very being (Sword of Life).
This duality of nature resides in all things. Fire can preserve life (Cooking food, providing warmth on a cold night, light in the dark) or bring death (forest fires, house fires, destructive fires). Cold can preserve food which maintains life, or it can take life (exposure, hypothermia, frostbite, etc).
One could look at the new developments in police non-lethal force Tech as a change from "Gun of death" (Kent state, etc) to "gun of life" (tasers, pepper spray, stun guns, rubber bullets, etc)
There is much much more to this secret teaching, I cannot hope to fully understand it, as I am no master! Folks who master this teaching (and there are a few alive today) can catch a sword blade, disarm an opponent in a flash without injuring himself or the agressor, catch arrows, (and that is just the physical reflection of a deeper and more profound mental and spiritual enlightenment.)
What were we talking about agin?
You may be thinking of the Tibetan dop-dop monks. They were only armed with their long keys, not carrying "dedicated" weapons, but could use them quite efficiently, if their piety and peaceable nature were not enough.
Are you speaking of having faith, my son?
Zombie ninja bears.
Armoured Bears!!! (Had to get that in, for those of you who don't know what I am on about, read 'His Dark Materials' by Phillip Pullman, EXCELLENT trillogy).
The weaker and more threatened a man feels, the more weapons he needs.
A self assured man with strength of character, although he bears no weapons, is always well armed....>> Beenaroundawhile
And I'm certain that calbre of character will put him in good stead as he watches helplessly by as his wife and children are brutalized, by animal or man.
Or let me say it another way; The road to a constitutional democracy was not paved by unarmed men of good character, but by armed men of good or better character.
Bears of IRON?
I think Ben is onto something as well. One could step it up a notch ad replace "weapons" with "possessons" and it sounds positively Buddhist!
"The weaker and more threatened a man feels, the more possessions he needs.
A self assured man with strength of character, although he bears no possessions, is always well provisioned."
This sentiment is echoed in the Norse Havamal:
"Better gear than good sense
A traveller cannot carry,
Better than riches for a wretched man,
Far from his own home..."
My take on all of this is, simply, not all men respect life the way you or I do.
With a gun or, to a lesser extent, a khukuri the playing field is leveled between a stronger and a weaker man. The primordial need to be at least as powerful as those that threaten you is strong. Of course, what is perceived may not be reality.
The gun is truly the great equalizer. I fear no man or beast while armed. Perhaps the fear is irrational. Perhaps not. But I FEEL safe knowing I can kill those that would take from me or my family.
Perhaps I am just paranoid. Rusty, do you have any spare meds?
(Lt. Col. George Amstrong Custer explaining why he didn't need those Gatling Guns )