Thanking the wheel would be a very strong Nietzschean attitude, as the opening sentence reads. Also, there's the germanic dignity he prays, the man who knows life is essentially pain and effort to survive. If you survive the pain, then the pain becomes a positive thing because it made you stronger and wiser.
I remember the philosophy of the shamans descibed in the books of Carlos Castaneda. (there is a french article where the writter compares the phylosophy of the movie with Carlos Castaneda books. it's very interesting, but I could only translate it to english with a online translator and I just could not understand it all well). These shamans from Mexico say that the best thing that could happen in your life is to find a problem. And as stronger and tougher the problem is, luckier you are. Because you have find the chance of becoming more powerful -if you survive the problem, of course-.
The objetive in life of shamans -and Nietzschean superhuman- was to obtain personal power. That is not "social power" like money of high class position, but personal strenght and a will of iron in the moment of get what you desire. Absolute concentration in whats best for yourself.
(That includes being generous with those you love, and terrible with those you hate).
Castaneda books and shaman's phylosophy are closely related with Zen theories.
Shamans practiced meditation, the cleaning of the mind. Total emptiness of emotions.
It doesn't mean they became EMPTY of emotions. That is impossible, because they still are human beings doesn't matter how much they meditate. But as much they meditate, more control of their fears they had.
One day, they realize they didn't even care if they die or not. And a warrior who don't give a fuck if dies or not is invincible.
See Conan in the gladiator pit, and what the narrator say about him. He is not agraid of dying. Don't give a fuck if he wins or not.
When the reason stops being afraid of dying, then the body can act without any restriction. And the body, who is very intelligent on his own, fights with all it has to survive.
Fear can stop action. But without fear, a man is free. And stronger than anyone.
So is no strange than the gladiators use that meditation pose before and after their fights.
On the other hand, Doom is also meditating in the "Orgy" chamber. Another zen reference.
But as Cromulus and I are talking about in another thread, Doom would incarnate a dark side of everything the Zen, Nietzsche or Castaneda would claim. It's like Hitler taking the words of Nietzsche and doing with that knowledge something essentially opposite to what Nietzsche really meant.
Doom offers EMPTINESS to their followers. But that emptiness is not the same emptiness the Zen meditation would bring. Apparently the Emptiness that Doom gives is "dead in life", a zombification. He lets people without his will, he takes his minds out. He let them souless.
But zen meditation serves to be more in contact with life, not to be closer to death. the objetive is to be more alive and sensible than ever, not to be unsensitive and dumb.
Doom is a liar.
Another connection with Zen is in the Samurai code, the whole movie is impregned of.
Samurai, first of all, doesn't give a shit about his death. He is allways prepared to confront it. That's why he can be so concentrated in HERE and NOW, because this could be the last second he would breathe. He is allways alerted, allways open to whatever may come.
Remeber valeria, she a pretty example of that. Never had anything but herself. She is not looking for love, happiness or anything that is not HERE and NOW. (One day, love comes to her, but not because she was looking for it). And she is not afraid of dying. She knows that it will happen any day. She is allways prepared for her death. I think it's one of the reasons Conan loved her so much.
Valeria and Conan didn't give a fuck about their own lives, but would die to protect each other. That is the essence of a Samurai, he is the protector of the person he loves -his master, in Samurai's case, who incarnated everything was pure for the Samurai-.
There's more zen related stuff about the Samurai code but i am not an expert and I would need to search about it the web... But now you can also do that.
Just fucking writte some google words.