I have always been a fan of movies, I, myself, own a ton of them, so whenever I am looking to escape the world for a few hours and relax, I pop one in.
Yesterday I chose the Last Samurai, I realize that the way things that are depicted in movies are not so much the way they are in history but I am intrigued with the way they have the Samurai in this one.
Tom Cruise portrays a guilt ridden army captain, who feels so bad about a past choice that he made, he continually drinks and does self-defeating behavior. He goes to Japan to train the Japanese army to fight like the West and so has an encounter with the Samurai on the battlefield and kills one of their own. Instead of the samurai killing him, the leader, Katsumoto, had a vision before coming unto the battlefield and saw a great tiger. He stops the others from killing him and takes him prisoner back at his home.
Thus the lessons ensue, he learns a totally different way of being, the Samurai code,Samurai lived their lives by a code of honor and values known as Bushido, which stands for “Way of the Warrior.” The code emphasizes values like loyalty, justice, honor, modesty, fearlessness, self-sacrifice, and undying reverence toward the emperor. (Joe Tracy)
Katsumoto also puts Nathan(Tom Cruise) with the wife of the Samurai he killed on the battlefield. She has a very hard time with this and Katsumoto will not let her end her life as she wishes to do. She comes to know Nathan and in the end, Nathan ends up loving her and the whole community that he originally set out to destroy, he ends up defending with his life.
In my practice, some times I suggest movies to others to help them on their path to wellness, this movie is about understanding forgiveness, when the crime, in human eyes should never be forgiven. It teaches about that your enemy can actually become your friend when you allow “conversations” and awareness to come from another source that might not look very good to you but has a gift that you will miss if you do not listen. It teaches about war, that should not be fought just to take something from another but to defend what you have come to value and love.
When I watch this, I am inspired to be the best “warrior” I can be, to have honor and integrity, to admit when I see myself as wrong and to make myself stronger inside because of it. Real strength is not what you have but who you are inside.
The Japanese advisor was afraid of the Samurai, he was afraid of their power, so he got the bigger guns to kill but in the end his deceitful ways come to light and the emperor sees who he truly is. In reality it is very similar to the ego, the ego talks a good game and for a while you believe what it says to you,”You are stupid”, “You are fat” “You didn’t really think that you could be happy did you” “Look at how dumb you look”, and so many other words that are not love but self hate.
Use the Samurai sword of truth to dis-spell the words of the ego, darkness always cowers to light. Stand up, be the warrior, fight against guilt, condemnation and self-deprecation behavior. Trust me, you will find the peace you are seeking and it will not be in your mind, it is found in your heart.