February 22, 2013
Ronin Adventures encourages and supports newly freed men (ronin) to take on challenging exploits to discover themselves and the world anew, to discover new paths to honor, new sources of wisdom and guidance, new passion and purpose, and perhaps new allegiances.
In feudal Japan, a ronin was a samurai who lost his master, broke the Bushido code by not committing seppakula (ritual suicide), and found himself wandering the land without master, without clear purpose, without a clear code of honor–and often in shame. Ronin literally means “wave man” or “cast upon the waves.” Here we use “ronin” to refer to any man in today’s world who was on a path of honor, purpose and mastery, until he suddenly finds himself without that master, without that same purpose and questioning his code of honor. Such a man is “between worlds” and distrusting of the authorities and paths being offered to him, preferring to discover and trust his own inner guidance, while discovering the world, his purpose and his code of honor for himself.
A Ronin is not a rebel or revolutionary fighting the man or the system, as such men are still fighting for their freedom. A ronin a man of honor who has no master. And a Ronin is not a renegade, in that he has not switched his allegiance to a new tribe, cause or master (except perhaps his allegiance lies with himself, rediscovering what honor is to him, and how he will guide himself as a man). A Ronin is in a sense between worlds, and he finds a new allegiance difficult, because he can so easily see the violation and duplicity of all sides, all who claim “Authority,” and all who ask for allegiance.
Examples of Ronin include:
- The soldier who in clear conscience could not obey the orders he is given, took a stand, and was courtmartialed (shamed, excommunicated and punished) by his superiors (his masters). His life path and code of honor no longer clear, he finds himself cast upon the waves: Ronin.
- A man who having been loyal to the same employer for many years, discovered that continuing to be an employee did not serve his highest values, and in the face of criticism of his former boss and co-workers, stepped out into the unknown to explore life as an entrepreneur. Without the direction and structure he knew previously, and without a clear path forward, he finds himself cast upon the waves: Ronin.
- A young man who experienced or witnessed abuse in the Catholic Church by men of the cloth (his masters), chose to speak up to protect other boys, was shamed by his church and ashamed of his church. His life path and code of honor no longer clear, he finds himself cast upon the waves: Ronin.
- A passionate young political activist who witnessed men he respected in his party hypocritically acting against their proclaimed values one too many times, and with a sense of disillusion and frustration left the political world in search of something he could believe in again. Viewed by his former superiors and brothers as a traitor or quitter, he finds himself cast upon the waves: Ronin.
- A young American patriot who spent years upholding the ideals of America’s founders, and finally awoken to deeper injustices in the American system that few ever talk about, chooses to simply leave the country and culture of his birth while being shamed by other patriots as a quitter. His path and code of honor no longer clear, he finds himself cast upon the waves: Ronin.
- A devoted martial artist, who upon discovering hypocrisy and violation by his master, walked away from the only path of honor and mastery he’d ever known, and now finds himself shamed and cast upon the waves: Ronin.
(to be continued)