A Meditation on Conflict


Once upon a time, I turned to my longsword instructor and asked, “Can we spar?”

He was dubious about it, because the difference in our ability was not small.

“I want to know what the difference between you and me is,” I told him.

So we fought, and I learned.

I have always been fiercely competitive. I always play to win. Especially when I want to lose.

It is important to know why the Master is the Master.

Why conflict?

Because talking is easy.

I can stand in front of a class and tell them everything they should know about the longsword.  If I am online I can copy it straight from the book.

My words can tell you I am a Master of anything.

In times of peace, we have the luxury to show our best faces. We can take our time, polish our words.

We can lie.

Whatever your enemy is, you must ask it the same question as the Master.

An enemy you can defeat too easily is not an enemy; just an annoyance.

So you must ask it: “What is the difference between you and me?”

That difference is the space that must be overcome.

If it is crossed with a short hop, it was an annoyance.

If it’s a real enemy, you will know.

Am I saying the Master is an enemy?


Or perhaps the enemy is the part of you calling him “Master.”

That’s why you have to ask.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s