Top positive review
PROFOUNS INSIGHTS ON ACHIEVING MASTERY
March 2, 2019
I know about Go, though I am ignorant about playing Go. But this book is fascinating even if all details of the competition games described in it are ignored.
This book invites being read as a metaphor of a commander in chief during a war in which he disposes of novel weapon systems, or a new type of political leader competing with a traditional ruler, or as a handbook for all who aspire for peak performance. Doing so discovers quite some lessons on greatness dispersed throughout the book, such as the following:.
Talent in Go appears at about ten […] if a child does not begin his studies by that age there is no hope for him; grim concentration necessary; a man so disciplined in an art that he had lost the better part of reality; bringing himself to order through silent meditation; reading the Lotus Sutra before starting the match; a passage to enlightenment as the soul threw off all sense of identity […] Was it what had made “the invincible Master”?; once went to a clairvoyant and asked for advice on how to win. The proper method, said the man, was to lose all awareness of self while awaiting an adversary’s play; the true masters revered in the tradition of Go as a way of life and art; In a day the spirit of which was a mixture of idolatry and iconoclasm, the Master went into his last match as the last survivor among idols of old; the finesse and subtlety of the warrior’s way, the mysterious elegance of an art, everything to make it a masterpiece in itself; it was as if his life ended when the crown of invincibility fell from his head; way of Go, moreover, demanded that a player honor his commitments even if his father was dying, even if he seemed on the verge of collapse; a player has the whole of the board constantly in his head, when he is eating and even when he is sleeping; great resolve;.famous for tenacity, and […] given to long deliberation; the required concentration cannot be maintained or the tension endured for three whole months. They mean something akin to a whittling away of the player’s physical being; The Go board is with a player waking and sleeping; being a very little more patient than his adversary; restraining an impulse toward haste; That aggressive Black 69 has been described as “a diabolic stroke”; ferocity; To forfeit the match would be to interrupt the flow of history; carried responsibility for an emerging era; All the plans and studies of the players, all the predictions of us amateurs and of the professionals as well had been sent flying; The fatal play suggested a psychological or a physiological failure; The Master himself could not have measured the tides of destiny within him, or the mischief from those passing wraiths; fires of knowledge and wisdom seemed to blaze up; state of rapture, in the grip of thoughts too powerful to contain; The round, full face had the completeness and harmony of a Buddha head. It was an indescribably marvelous face—perhaps he had entered a realm of artistic exaltation. He seemed to have forgotten his digestive troubles.
Set within beautiful descriptions of landscape, flowers, small animals and weather, as is the Japanese way, this book is much better a text for decision makers than all the mass market books written for them. Reading this book is both an aesthetic pleasure and a profound lesson on achieving mastery of the Mind.
Professor Yehezkel Dror\
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem