© 2009 James Deacon
number of people have commented how a commonly-taught English version
of this particular principle/precept
your work honestly" (or "I will do my work honestly") is quite
different in meaning from the basic direct
must remember that on one level, the Gokai are a 'mnemonic
device' - an aid to mindful remembrance.
the simple statements of the gokai are to be found a
distillation Usui-sensei's teachings - the very essence of
- his 'Spiritual Method'
as such they will of necessity allow for many levels of
it is also important to be mindful that much can be lost
in literal translation.
Japanese, this particular Principle is "Gyo wo hage me"
this is commonly translated as: "Work Hard", it can also mean 'Study
And in a broader sense, it can imply:
to improve yourself"
(on any and all levels -
physically, mentally, emotionally, ethically, morally, spiritually;
your skills and abilities, your relationships, your standard of
living - your quality
general sentiment behind the principle would seem to be:
"Be diligent in your endeavours"
- don't be lazy
another way of expressing the sentiment is:
your Heart and Soul into all that you do"
can also have a sense of "Dedication to the task at hand"
yet another sense, "Gyo wo hage me" can tie in with
the Japanese concept of giri
- duty or
it can also speak to a sense of duty/obligation to, for
example. our teachers
also, to those who give us employment.
often phrased this principle along the lines of:
thy living by honest labor"
perhaps has as much, if not more, to do with the old adage:
"An honest day's work for an honest day's pay - An honest day's
pay for an honest day's work"*
as it does with
"earn your living honestly"
which, IMO, speaks more
earning your living without deceiving others.
'honest' and 'fair'
being seen as interchangeable