SENZAT11If you want to deal with the topic “reason” and look for its meaning, you are thrown backwards in the past for thousands of years.

Philosophers and intellectuals of every age have described “reason” as the only human skill capable of saving and of progressing humanity along its evolution.

In spite of deep thoughts about equality, brotherhood, freedom and tolerance, which have been handed down for thousands of years – and the list could be extended – today we are facing injustices of all sorts. In front of these injustices, which are often committed by the strongest against the weakest, as most notably seen today in the migrant catastrophes, “reason” disappears completely.

Facing the real difficulties of humanity, the human being may remain unmoved or indifferent as long as these difficulties do not concern one’s own personal interests or those of its community. However, when these difficulties threaten his own interests, he becomes again what he was before “reason” was found and is again controlled – or at least strongly influenced – by the only commandment he will obey because it is imprinted in its DNA: “survive!” 

This commandment is so powerful that it can overcome every single thought proposed by “reason”.

This happens because that commandment “survive!” has not been created by the intellect, which has been shaped within a few thousands of years during the evolution of our brain, but by the permanent confrontation against the brutal reality, which humanity has had to face in order to survive.

If “reason” wants to overcome this ancestral power, which has been following us since for so long, it must imitate its historical and evolutionary development. “Reason” is to be physically trained so that we can gradually master ourselves and our ancestral instincts.

I’m a product of Judo, or, better to say, of a particular kind of Judo, namely a Judo seeking to make “reason” prevail over the idea of tackling violence with violence, and to bear a partner who is not taking care of me during the practice, a Judo devoted to a long and painstaking spiritual building for oneself and to those I educate through “reason” and example.

Developing the feeling of “tolerance,” one of “reason’s” daughters, is an unbelievable weapon against the negative instincts of our society. The Judo practice, in respect of its rules and according to the two principles Seiryoku zen’yo and Jita kyoei, represents a new and powerful educational method – which I often repeat – endowed with awesome energy.

If you think about these two principles and how they are applied during the Judo practice and in our daily social life, you will find out that they actually represent the implementation of “reason” in action.

Have you ever imagined what would happen, if the rulers of every country had been taught how to apply these principles? Think about our politicians, and I apologize for this trivial example: in spite of the apparently hopeless situation, improvements could be achieved even in this case.

The secret is to look for excellence in what you are thinking or doing: this is the authentic “reason,” which has nothing to do with what you say.

Alfredo Vismara Hanshi Dai Nippon Butokukai

Traduzione di Andrea Lorenzo Covini