Elegance is a much undervalued virtue in the modern world. People belief themselves to be ‘free’ if they are casual, demonstrative of feelings, if they crudely express whatever mode of being they feel like. Crudeness is considered authentic. But actually this kind of authenticity keeps one at a base level of being, unable to move into higher and more sophisticated modes.
The Unemployed Samurai, has a different view. He is elegant, even in the bloodiest battles, because he knows that elegance is the way to dissolve chaos and make peace, and that the armour of elegance keeps away demons.
Elegance is an intrinsic, even more than an extrinsic quality, a sense of being awake in the world. Of course, a psychopath may also appear quite elegant, but his elegance is contrived. Real elegance is a state of being that one moves in, it is not particular way of dressing — for instance one could wear a lumberjack shirt and still be elegant, or wear the best clothing and appear totally plastic.
Elegance is also a sort of economy, a way of making use of the environment, so that everything and everyone is uplifted. The word elegant comes from the Latin, which means to ‘choose, select’. The elegant Samurai know how to make the right choices, to select the right materials, to use the right words and actions — to chose the right battles. This means, of course, a lot more than ‘The Devil wears Prada’: for ostentatiousness and showing off one’s wealth and status is the opposite of true elegance.
So, if the Samurai is so elegant, why then is he unemployed? Maybe it’s because, that while he has a certain raw elegance, he is quite unfashionable at the same time. Elegance is the opposite of fashion, because elegance is about distinction and fashion is about cohesion. Elegance is also the mark of an individual, and the individual is threatening in some kind of a way to the fashionable mob. The elegant person is a mirror: who highlights the phoniness of fashionable, shallow people and makes them hysterical.
That is why the Samurai forgoes a certain loneliness. He has been kicked out of his kingdom for a reason: to go out into the wilderness and find that ‘rare blue flower’ of elegance. He is no longer Samurai by entitlement or being a member of a great clan; he is a Samurai through intrinsic virtue, thought his heart-breaking and eccentric love of being.
The Unemployed Samurai cannot be bullied into casualness, into cynicism, into fads — he would rather commit Hari-Kari. He is cursed to be himself, to be an individual. He has too much self-love and respect, to serve a false master.
The false master is fashion and the true master is elegance. This elegance, which we fail to embody every day, is our ‘evening star’ — our heavenly guide. She is our mission. She is our future — to be singular and alone in the heavens and to shine effulgent light and bright being into the darkness of the world.