“For I am I: ergo, the truth of myself; my own sphinx, conflict, chaos, vortex—asymmetric to all rhythms, oblique to all paths. I am the prism between black and white: mine own unison in duality.”
Interesting read from the book “In Search of the Human Mind” by Robert Sternberg. It lists a series of points on, as you may have gathered from the title, why intelligent people fail. I’ve picked out what I find to be the most pertinent points, but do click the link at the bottom for the full list. (emphasis by me)
1. Lack of motivation. A talent is irrelevant if a person is not motivated to use it. Motivation may be external (for example, social approval) or internal (satisfaction from a job well-done, for instance). External sources tend to be transient, while internal sources tend to produce more consistent performance.
7. Inability to complete tasks. For some people nothing ever draws to a close. Perhaps it’s fear of what they would do next or fear of becoming hopelessly enmeshed in detail.
19. Lack of balance between critical, analytical thinking and creative, synthetic thinking. It is important for people to learn what kind of thinking is expected of them in each situation.
20. Too little or too much self-confidence. Lack of self-confidence can gnaw away at a person’s ability to get things done and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Conversely, individuals with too much self-confidence may not know when to admit they are wrong or in need of self-improvement.
Sternberg, R. (1994). In search of the human mind.
Sunshine, I don’t need you. Your glimmer gives me no hope right now, because I don’t need hope.
Wind, do not carry me, for your momentum is meaningless.
People, I don’t need your motivation. You are distractions.
Weights, I do not need to lift you. I do not need to pull you or push you. I carry my own weight.
Gym, I don’t need your restrictive ideological capitalist framework or your comfort soaked padded seats. The world will suffice.
Arms, legs, body I do not need you to help me be physical. All I need is sheer heart.
Desire, anger and frustration, I do not need you. My mind need be devoid of emotion.
Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats (circa May 1819) (extract)
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
(Full poem here; http://englishhistory.net/keats/poetry/odetoanightingale.html )
I look at my schooling and it’s complete silliness. I could have been taught Chinese Acupuncture in one year. But instead, I learned anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology and western medicine diagnostics. All good stuff, but when it came to the Chinese Medicine portion most of my studies were concentrated on traditional Chinese herbs. A smaller portion was dedicated to Acupuncture and an even smaller amount was dedicated to Chinese Tui Na (massage techniques), moxibustion, cupping and electroacupuncture. When I finished school, I became a Registered Acupuncturist. Funny that.
But it’s not just in my profession. Chiropractors have a very long program to graduate and do what? Adjust the spine and joints. Massage Therapists – same thing.
In the beginning of practice, there’s no confidence in ability. So it’s common for new graduates to buy ebooks, books, videos and go to a plethora of seminars. Why? Because they feel their ‘limited’ skills are inferior. But they’re not. After years in practice, Acupuncturists find themselves using the same points over and over. Taking 409 acupoints and slimming it down into their own favourites. Perhaps I only use half of that total now. And the best part is – the acupoints I’m using are tried, tested and true AND most are the same ones everyone else is using.
After graduating from a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) school, one is blasted with information from various other ‘styles’ of Acupuncture. Five-Element. Kiiko Matsumoto style. Dr. Tan’s Magic Points. …all billed as the ‘secrets.’ Secrets, that not only will help you treat all those conditions that you feel you can’t treat – but secrets that will somehow help you grow your practice and get you 60 client visits per week.
But in the end, it’s only by DOING the acupuncture for years that one discovers that it’s all hogwash. That the secrets of this approach or that approach are all just someone else’s ‘truth’ and that they are able to sell it to someone based on the beginner’s lack of confidence (read: fear) – which is only there because of a lack of true application. If I didn’t end up doing the ‘DOING’ part, I would have always remained a beginner.
The following is an excerpt from German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s 38 Stratagems to win an argument:
For the full 38 Stratagems follow this link: http://www.mnei.nl/schopenhauer/38-stratagems.htm
In 2003, I saw a depiction of Hell created by the British duo, the Chapman Brothers. It was the most breathtaking piece of art I had ever seen. In 2004, the exhibition was destroyed in a fire. The Chapman Brothers made a return with an exhibition to rival the first, this time titled “Fucking Hell”.
Here is a clip;
My destiny lays sleeping amongst the shadows,
Painted with strokes of fear over her face.
Dwelling in the night time,
Is where my destiny holds its place.
My destiny remains castrated,
Adorned by shame and rejection.
Her mind completely stagnant,
Offered with no protection.
She lays still.
Fears’ shackles become her.
In her lonely world,
My destiny’s winter leads to no summer.
Fear watches over with it’s eyes.
My destiny lays paralysed.
My pain stays concealed
Sitting in the smallest ball,
Wrapped up tight
Encompassed by the highest wall.
The mask wears a confident grin.
Look into my eyes it is certain,
My destiny cannot win.
Reflection is great.
Remembering is good.
But all soul searching burdens us with extraneous weight. The images of past loves intermingle with feelings of regret. The death of a loved one brings forth celebrations of their lives but also carries the haunting fragrance of grief. Lines around our eyes deepen with laughter, yet mock us with Dorian Gray reflections, exclaiming our age.
Our attachments to memories enliven us. Our attachments are also capable of making us feel frail and vulnerable.
Sometimes, letting go helps.
Because I always feel like running
Not away, because there is no such place
Because, if there was I would have found it by now
(Great find from friend of DWC, Sat Pow);
“Magick offers the artist a new way of looking at consciousness”
I count the work of Austin Osman Spare as some of the most influential over my practice of ritual and Chaos Magick. This clips gives some background to the enigmatic artist who introduced a new method of sigil creation in Magick;
I am alone. When I fight, it’s just me out there. When we do drills, it’s all of us together. When I fight, it’s my demons I hear. When we Chi Sau, it’s only laughter I hear. Don’t be afraid. Find comfort knowing that all of us have a common bond – we are alone when we fight – and that’s what brings us together.
“Boxing’s a lonely sport,” says Wayne Gordon (Team Nova Scotia’s boxing coach and former fighter). “People come to see you compete, but they don’t see what goes into what makes the boxer, all the hours of sacrifice and dedication at the gym.
Only the loners end up staying.”
An interesting time we are having at the DWC Project. Our discussions are currently focused on the Wing Chun “masters” out there who, in our honest opinion, have built their reputations on puffery. The tide is turning. And, our group is on a mission to recruit real Wing Chun fighters to purify the existent lines of Wing Chun. We are returning things to their most basic premise, that to be acknowledged as a good Gung Fu man, one has to have fighting ability. This is a call to arms. Frauds beware.