SONSHI.COM: You are the author of two interpretative books, "The Book of Five Rings" and "The Art of War". We are fascinated by them because they are from a true warrior's point of view - a refreshing break from the academic world. When you ponder the passages of Musashi and Sun Tzu, what approach do you use? Please tell us the process.
KAUFMAN: This is a very introspective question and I salute you. I think about the incredible amount of time, effort, and energy, that is required to gain insight into the lessons being taught by the masters. In my forthcoming book, "Sword in the Boardroom", soon to be published, I synthesize the messages of Sun Tzu and Musashi with my own annotations. It is a simple book that fundamentally illustrates the necessity of negotiation of the "benefit of all concerned" from a global perspective and not just the needs of some fool who thinks to increase personal wealth through greed and aggrandizement.
What I essentially do with each tenet that I consider in the teaching of Sun Tzu and Musashi is to put it through the wringer of my own personal life experiences and see where I have been able to understand it and use it properly or where through misunderstanding I have acted inappropriately. I then explain it to myself over and again until it becomes part of my psyche and I don't have to think about it any longer but am able to actuate my life through it. This is called practice, which in itself is a never ending activity. It takes forever to get it right because of the finite limitations we are living with regardless of our intended spiritual enlightenment which is just a simple matter of staying awake to conditions and keeping one's finger out of one's-nose.