Infallibility, those that think they have it but really never earned it, or never strived for it.

The Tendai spiritual shrine, depicting the Fudo myoo deity. Buddhist an expression of compassionate anger.
The Tendai spiritual shrine, depicting the Fudo myoo deity. Buddhist an expression of compassionate anger.
One of Japans Marathon monks on his mission
One of Japan's Marathon monks on his mission

https://jamesclear.com/mental-toughness-marathon-monks

The purpose of this Take is to discuss the merits of personal fitness and self worth, as an example to explain my thoughts i'm using a rather abstract and extreme set of ideas to express my arguments, that is the Aesthetic discipline of the Tendai Buddhist monks of Japan, and other schools of thought.

Part of this tradition is something called the kaihōgyō which I think means circle the mountain. Basically it's a thousand day Marathon that a monk has to complete over a 7 year period. Broken up into a 100 day intervals, on the sixth year the monk has to complete a fast, the number of days I think varies, between 5 to nine, basically it's no food no water and no sleep.

Just another day in the office.
Just another day in the office.

To answer why the hell would anyone put themselves through such a trauma, it is To reach enlightenment, and devotion, devotion to the spiritual principals of their particular sect of Buddhism.

You may ask how? well I can't answer that, ask Bear Grylls, he might know something about the statistics, the probability of serious harm and or death when humans get lost in the wild, what happens to the human body when suffering from exposure to the elements, and with no way of getting sustenance. All that can be for another take, considering the level of danger in such tasks as the kaihōgyō, not many monks alive today have completed such a task, and the trail that the monks walk has the centuries old unmarked graves of all those monks who tried and failed. Completion of the fast alone hospitalises the monk for 3 months, and he looses about 30% of his body weight. The marathon alone causes the monks feet to blister and bleed, but everyday they get up and do the run or walk that's part of their routine, supposedly the monk can pull out of this in the first hundred days. After that they have to complete the full one thousand.

Many Japanese people revere these monks as a kind of demigod, and when I dwell on the feet I have a great admiration for these Monks too. Obviously these monks spend decades preparing themselves for such a task. The only kind of training that is anywhere close to this difficulty is Special forces military training, it's been documented the physiological effects of such tough courses, Bear Grylls has a series on the French foreign Legion, it's worth watching, often endearing and quite humorous, you can't help but feel empathy for those that try and fail the course.

"I get by with a little help from my friends, I get high with a little help from friends" - The Beetles
"I get by with a little help from my friends, I get high with a little help from friends" - The Beetles

Much can be said for athleticism, and I'm hoping some of you might gain some insight into why I challenge your arguments sometimes, on the grounds of morality, and the political issues that are stifling the progress of man, possibly even your own journeys in this life, personally if you put the persuit of excellence into your day to day activities, you might achieve what you are looking for. This might be enlightenment, or maybe it's just self worth.

this take is true celebration of human achievement, a demonstration of what can be attained outside the everyday persuit of material wealth, priviledge, fame or any other kind of glory, you could be ordinarily interested in. Maybe we could be demigods, just like the legendary Archillies of Homer's Iliad, more human than human. Put your mind to it and strive for excellence in your lives.

Thanks from your mate Monkeynutts.

Infallibility, those that think they have it but really never earned it, or never strived for it.
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Most Helpful Girls

  • Medlife
    Very insightful i kinda want to look in to this i fast from time to time simply to detox my body, but nowhere near this. Reaching one's potential is rather rare nowadays. I say why not, mindless scrolling on the phone is always less appealing, than bettering my self in any shape or form.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Cool, depending where you live their may not be anyone that can teach you how to do what those monks do, there is video evidence probably online of monks doing these marathons others spend seven years training their neck muscles to be able to hold their bodies up and still breathe, so they can't be hung, they literally hang themselves by the neck from trees and meditate. It's pretty crazy stuff.

    • Medlife

      I didn't necessarily mean to do this word for word, but to push my own boundaries and see where I can reach when I let go of my own excuses kind of thing. I love to learn and I love to move. Functional movement, flexibility, strength and longevity is what I strive for

    • Yeah, awesome, you probably already half way to where you want to be already.

    • Show All
  • 💜❤️ love this mytake... I agree people spend way too much time and sacrifice of real happiness pursuing material possessions/wealth that won't truly make you happy or bring you inner peace... Great mytake friend!!!💜👍🙂
    Is this still revelant?
    • Thanks. I hope it inspires you to run a few miles tomorrow.

    • Lololol maybe walk, I can't run 😂

    • Me either not far, because of injury, I ride bikes now.

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • OlderAndWiser
    It is always very pleasant and uplifting to see someone challenging us to be better humans, rather than simply arguing about politics or asking if their anatomy is normal!
  • Love this take. Its a shame so many people have put focus on the material things in life and try to copy their lives from others. The most important thing in life is being yourself and striving to be the best version of yourself. Whatever a person can put their mind to, they can do. Those monks are badass for their dedication
    • Yep, they are incredible. thanks for your reply glad you liked the read.

  • Jaximus-Lion
    This is amazing. Great take and very indulgent, i knew very little and still do about these traditions. As a christian! I do also fast and it's very funny when the swedes asks me: So Christians have own ''ramadan'' in the middle east? hehehe.
    Thanks for sharing.
    • Yeah Ramadan is an interesting practice, like the principals of it self sacrifice, and charity. Very cool.

  • Dongtai
    Different paths to the same destination. What works for you might not work for someone else. It doesn’t mean one way is better than the other.
    • Yeah, cool, so what is your secret?

    • Dongtai

      My secret for what?

    • Being happy and healthy, what is your daily challenge?

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  • Godofmyownwurld
    Infallibility does not exist. No one is all knowing or immune from making mistakes.
    • That's correct, but some of us are prepared to push the limits in order to gleen insight into the deepest parts of our own souls, some of these people are very important, and should be respected.

  • menina
    I didn't know that there were people who were willing to put themselves under these circumstances. I understand that they make an huge effort and this is not an easy task at all, but I don't see this marathon as a good thing.
    All over the world there are people who have no food and no water, they suffer everyday because of their living conditions. So doing something like this because you want to prove something to yourself or to the other people makes no sense to me.

    Anyways, I enjoyed reading this because I learned something.
    • It seems to be cultural, and also derived from an ancient type of Buddhist philosophy. I think many Buddhists would agree with you, because they would not encourage anyone to so such extreme training. These monks live in isolation from the rest of the world, so they are not aware how the rest of us live. Unfortunately things are tough, and its predicted to get even harder.

    • menina

      Oh, I see. Yes, if they were aware of how the rest of us live they probably would do this.
      That's true, which is why I don't see a future for the humankind.

    • Their is a future, with powerful tech. Unfortunately it will have to be often military, because countries like China, are bullying all the little countries. It's a shame that nuclear weapons were allowed into the Soviets hands, because communism truly is a plague on this planet. No democratic country would ever let what has happened to human populations in places like Russia and China, happen in western countries. If none of these nations ever had Nuclear weapons, they would never have become the evil bullies that they are.

  • Kkaos
    Very well written and a great message for sure. The material may or may not be the reward for the hard work put into the journey, but it's the journey that one should be proud of. It kind of links in with outcome dependency too.

    Good stuff mate, I really like your example as well.
  • Exterminatore
    Interesting take. Although I can not condone practicing or participating in any religious belief or activity outside of those devoted to the God of the Bible, I certainly can admire those monks. To push themselves to that level. I do admire such mental toughness. At the same time to push yourself in a task that typically results in death I also think is foolish when there is no noble cause behind it. Having a “spartan” mentality in life is something all of us should strive for, but let’s keep it to challenges that won’t result in death if for no good cause.


    I believe it was Vince Lombardi who said: “Perfection is unattainable, but if we chase perfection we can achieve excellence.” I think those are words to live by.
  • btbc92
    This is interesting to read about.
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