Kamikaze is a Japanese word which literally means Divine Wind (Kami: Divine; Kaze: Wind).

The word came into being during WWII. A group of Japanese pilots were trained to deliberately crash their explosive- laden planes on enemy camps, ships etc., knowing they will be killed. Since then, Kamikaze has evolved to to mean a character trait attributed to those who are willing to take risks and not worry about their safety. It is more an attitude than anything originally intended.

It defines a being who is willing to give everything, even his life, to reach his goal. A capacity for risk taking is at the core of this word. There are distinct traces of recklessness, of defiant dancing at the lip of the chasm. There is, under it all, a confidence that there is nothing to fear; that nothing everything will fall together, finally. There is a resilient faith that nothing will go wrong, but if it does, it will be put right soon.

We fear to trust our wings. We plume and feather them, but dare not throw our weight upon them. We cling too often to the perch.

~ Charles Newcomb Baxter

This kind of faith is born of a deep belief in your own destiny. It comes from knowing, without doubt, that your chosen destination is truly your North Star and to follow it with all you have is the sole purpose of your life. It comes from knowing that as long as you let your North Star give you the direction to move in, even a detour will bring you closer to it in the long run.

Your risk- taking capacities are largely unused. You hardly ever test your limberness by going out on the limb, where the fruit is. You want guarantees when you are not even promised the next moment. You pamper yourself; you protect yourself. What is it that you save yourself for? What is the BIG event for which you conserve (read hoard) your strength? When is that elusive someday going to arrive; the day when you will show your light to yourself and the world?

You can’t outwit fate by standing on the side lines placing little side bets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything you have to play the game or you don’t play at all. And if you don’t play, you can’t win.

~ Judith McNaught

The holding back, the not- here, not- today, not-yet, doesn’t serve you. Saving yourself for one extravaganza which may never come to the floor, doesn’t serve you. Your fears don’t serve you. Forgetting that you are propelled towards you North Star by divine wind, doesn’t serve you.

It only serves to remember that you can be a Kamikaze being.

Some have won a wild delight,

By daring wilder sorrow;

Could I gain thy love tonight,

I’d hazard death tomorrow.

~Charlotte Brontë


9 thoughts on “Kamikaze”

  1. We learn fear…we are initiated to it by our parents or elders when we were kids. If we could learn it, we can unlearn it too but easier said than done. Moving out of your comfort zone is in itself an act of courage.

  2. Yes, this is a good question you give us to ponder upon – what is the BIG thing that we are saving our strength for? The quote from Bronte is brilliant! I had heard the Kamikaze word before and in a vague way knew its meaning as daring (maybe the result of watching some WWII movies!), but now that I see the word to mean “Divine Wind” – the meaning gains much more depth and compels one to look within. Thanks for this perspective 🙂

    Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

  3. Wow Dagny. The temperament and mental make-up of Kamikaze pilots have fascinated me. To know that one is going to die in the next few seconds, a violent death that too, they still wen ahead with the action. Maybe the cause differs very much for Kamikaze pilots and contemporary suicide bombers, but to override the very strong self-preservation instinct is unimaginable for me.

    1. But if you examine the root of our fears, you will find this very instinct for self- preservation at work there. Only, it isn’t the fear of physical destruction but the fear of laying your vulnerable side bare. And that, is as close to the fear of death as can be. Where is the difference then?

      I LOVED your comment! Thank you for the treat!

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