Existential Dread Choose Your Own Adventure

Page 34.
You arrive at a clearing in the forest. In the middle of the clearing stands a strangely familiar old man. He tells you that your entire existence is nothing more than a series of pre-determined choices and that the illusion of free will only exists as long as you remain ignorant of this fact.

If you agree with the old man, turn to page 76.
If you disagree with the old man, turn to page 76.


I with the old man, and turn to page -76x%

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Page 76.
Agreeing or disagreeing didn’t magically move you physically. The old man smiles at you and slowly fades out of existence until only his opinion is left behind.

Free will dictates that you can choose what to do next.

Go North: turn to page 4.
Go South: turn to page 4.
Go East: turn to page 4.
Go West: turn to page 4.

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

Rather than heading in any direction, I choose action through inaction (為無為). To the extent that there is free will, rejecting it through inaction, while to the extent that there is not free will, defying my deterministic limitations.

This guy gets it.

Page 52.
There is no other page that tells you to turn to this page of the book, meaning that you have turned to this page at random of your own free will, as the expression goes.

"The Book of the Void

The Ni To Ichi Way of Strategy is recorded in this the Book of the Void.

What is called the spirit of the void is where there is nothing. It is not included in man’s knowledge. Of course the void is nothingness. By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist. That is the void.

People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.

In the Way of Strategy, also, those who study as warriors think that whatever they cannot understand in their craft is the void. This is not the true void.

To attain the Way of Strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts and not deviate even a little from the Way of the warrior. With your spirit settled, accumulate practice day by day, and hour by hour. Polish the twofold spirit heart and mind, and sharpen the twofold gaze perception and sight. When your spirit is not in the least clouded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true void.

Until you realize the true Way, whether in Buddhism or in common sense, you may think that things are correct and in order. However, if we look at things objectively, from the viewpoint of laws of the world, we see various doctrines departing from the true Way. Know well this spirit, and with forthrightness as the foundation and the true spirit as the Way. Enact strategy broadly, correctly and openly.

Then you will come to think of things in a wide sense and, taking the void as the Way, you will see the Way as void.

In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness."

-Miyamoto Musashi