The Unemployed Samurai is a meta-person — a fictional entity that is more real than real. He is totally fake, objectively speaking, a culturally appropriated cartoon character. On the other hand, he is hyper-real. His limitation is, paradoxically, his depth; his ridiculousness his intelligence. He is like the superhero in idiot garb, who hides or contains his power so as to be more affective.
Good fictional characters are hyperreal because they embody a distilled and potent version of who we are. That is why archetypal stories are so weirdly compelling: they provide maps to the obsurity of our persons. Of course the map is not the person, just a helpful guide. But even as adults we create idealized verisons of ourselves, just as children play with super-identities, to intuit what we could be. We imagine our potential in other words—as both heros and villains in our own story. Therefore, a person is authentically a knight or a samurai or a fairy or a superhero and a whole slew of adversaries to boot—as much or more as a person is plain old Jane or Henry or whoever.
Of course, the sad thing is that most of us remain heros in utero — lost in the muddy swamps of our own ego—and so the villans of inadvertance take over our world. We fail because we are all cowards to a certain extent, afraid of the dangerous territory of the unknown—which is understandable, consider that there are real monsters out there, and some of them live within us. Maybe have built too many walls for the sake of our sanity and protection, remained limited by those definitions of the real that we have inherited. The Unemployed Samurai, on the other hand, has fallen out of those definitions — too much circumscribed space is unbearable to his soul. He is trained, not for security and stasis, but for chaos and danger. Safe spaces are dead spaces—no learning can occur there. Therefore, the Unemployed Samurai abhors safe spaces.
We need a hero archetype and we need adversaries. Not that we need to plunge swords into our adversaries in a literal sense , but we can still be, in essence, Unemployed Samurai’s and plunge our sword into ‘virtual enemies’ or phantasmagorical beings. The warrior kills zombies, vampires, and dragons — not because they are real, but because they are unreal. They are the thwarted beings, lost or malevolent creatures of our imagination, and they need to be assassinated, sometimes with weapons of ice, sometimes with weapons of fire — in other words with clear action or compassionate action.
Imagination is more powerful than the world of objects — it is hyperreal. In some sense the world of objects may actually be fictional, in terms of our actual experience. That is to say: we don’t really live in a world of objects; the world of objects is hypothetical—we don’t really know what objects are. Actaully, we live in a world of that is more like overlapping dreams, full of the primeval gods and godesses of the imagination. We may have to conjure up a dream within that dream, and to create a conscious imaginative avatar, to fight those beasts the depth. And any failure for the Unemployed Samurai, could only be a failure of the imagination.