It’s your lie, make it as big as you want.
Archive for psychology
His Dark Side shared this with me via email:
I have no parents:
I make the heaven and earth my parents.
I have no home:
I make awareness my home.
I have no life and death:
I make the tides of breathing my life and death.
I have no divine powers:
I make honesty my divine power.
I have no means:
I make understanding my means.
I have no secrets:
I make character my secret.
I have no body:
I make endurance my body.
I have no eyes:
I make the flash of lightening my eyes.
I have no ears:
I make sensibility my ears.
I have no limbs:
I make promptness my limbs.
I have no strategy:
I make “unshadowed by thought” my strategy.
I have no design:
I make “seizing opportunity by the forelock” my design.
I have no miracles:
I make right action my miracle.
I have no principles:
I make adaptability to all circumstances my principle.
I have no tactics:
I make emptiness and fullness my tactics.
I have no talent:
I make ready wit my talent.
I have no friends:
I make my mind my friend.
I have no enemy:
I make carelessness my enemy.
I have no armor:
I make benevolence and righteousness my armor.
I have no castle:
I make immovable mind my castle.
I have no sword:
I make absence of self my sword.
a warrior’s creed – anonymous samurai song – 14th century
It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream.
When you have something like a nightmare, you will wake up and tell yourself that it was only a dream.
It is said that the world we live in is not a bit different from this.
I’d like to think that I think I can do anything.
I’d like to think that I’ve made strides in quieting the voices in my head that would have me take a different route. It’s been a process.
Or perhaps, like many conditions I treat, I’ve just chased them into a corner. And there they wait – until there is even a bit of let-up. But I have learned, as is the same when facing an opponent, never let up when they are at their weakest.
“The most dangerous time is when you have your opponent hurt.” – Kru Phil Nurse’s maxim (from Tapped Out by Matthew Polly)
The real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death.
The real question is not whether God is love, just, fair, compassionate. The real question is, do you know what love is? Do you know what justice is? Do you know what compassion is? Have you lived and tasted all these treasures of existence?
The real question is not whether the soul exists or not. The real question is, have you entered into yourself to see whether there is any inner reality, or are you just a container without any content?
Just finished perusing another martial arts magazine. Unfortunately, I’ve come to a sad conclusion after it all: I didn’t learn anything about anything.
There seems to be little point in contributing to written works and here on the blog.
When the only thing that works in the real world is real world experience, I wonder what words can hope to achieve – because talking about it doesn’t actually cook the rice. We need pour it in and boil it up. Read: do the work.
Therefore, upon unsatisfactorily getting my fill, I have redefined my writing goals. A strong reminder of why I do what I do: I want to help you free your mind.
I’ve thrown no punches in the last couple of weeks, yet I’ve thrown many. Discontentment set in a few weeks ago with impact and follow-through in punching, so in typical fashion, I restructured my approach to focus on punching in air with light dumbells only.
So, whilst I’ve thrown many punches, I’ve not hit a single thing. This is momentous for me as an advocate that nothing improves in a vacuum. At times I’ve even said that throwing punches in air has zero value.
But right now, at this very second, I’ll concede that I was wrong. Punching in air has helped me defocus on the aspects of training that were troubling me during heavy bag or pad work.
Instead I gave myself room to breathe and contemplate. My fists have been given a long overdue rest, even though I have no doubt that arthritic conditions await me soon enough through overuse.
Sometimes you have to take a step back, regroup and evaluate your training methods. After having fought adrenal fatigue, a battle I lost ultimately in 2010, I have become increasingly cautious about a mind state which pushes an unwilling body to yield.
Step back. Breathe. And when the time is right… only when the time is right, move forwards, fast.
*click on the hidden links to unlock articles on body language, creativity and aggression.
Why am I so poor? becomes Why do I always have enough money?
Why am I so miserable? becomes Why am I so happy?
Why am I not good enough? becomes Why am I so good at martial arts?
Why can’t I succeed? becomes Why do I have what it takes to succeed?
…and then write down the ‘because’ list for each question. Get to work.
Gung Fu: Health Warning (you will get punched and kicked)
Gung Fu is a singular, insular activity with limited real world value. I rarely get into fights and training martial arts is arguably dentrimental to health on a variety of levels; such as elevated cortisol levels and the obvious wear and tear on the body. Additionally, over the next few years I predict that the medical fraternity will publish further research regarding head trauma as a consequence of getting hit and long term brain damage.
Benefits of Gung Fu: Free Your Mind
So what are the benefits of Gung Fu, or any type of martial art training? Ultimately, training Gung Fu is about learning a life skill which will help us survive if we end up getting into a fight. Now that I’m in my eighteenth year in Gung Fu, I am beginning to recognize the fringe benefit, which can be said to be true of any vocation that is approached with a high degree of focus; self mastery.
In Gung Fu we are obviously learning to express our own bodies (e.g. proprioception) but by doing so, we are also creating a foundation which allows us to relate to the World and connect with nature, consciousness, or the divine. By striving for mastery we are forced to approach the subject matter from multiple and diverse angles, figuratively and literally and therefore we learn about the ACT of learning. For instance my Gung Fu training has been a segue into topics ranging from kinesiology, to body language and hypnosis.
Gung Fu as a Higher Order Skill
Mastery of Gung Fu is a higher-order skill as it covers critical thinking, experiential modes of learning as well as specific skills like anticipation, which instill a level of foresight. The latter being especially important in enabling us to predict the build up to potentially dangerous situations (awareness leads to avoidance).
“Where the mind goes, the Qi goes.”
When you are sick, do you believe that you are a victim or that you are a co-creator of the illness?
When you are sad and depressed, do you believe that external influences have altered your mood or that you are in control of what goes on inside of you?
When you lose, do you believe that the opponent was better than you or that you were ill prepared?
When life takes an unexpected turn, do you believe that you didn’t have it coming or that you have manifested the outcome?
It’s up to you.
I spend an inordinate amount of time sipping black coffee at varying Starbucks locations. I once sat down with a warm cup and wrote about my visit to the death scene of a young man who slit his own throat. Perhaps some subconscious neural association attracts me to the coffee shops. Perhaps it my obsessive compulsion to contemplate death. For instance, even today I found myself reading some dark quotes by the late clothes designer Alexander McQueen. Or conversely, perhaps it just speaks to the more mundane aspects of my life. Whatever it is, the elevated levels of coffee in my body are at least a contributory factor for my insomnia.
I need to cut back on the coffee, focus on the fact that I am alive and practice more Gung Fu.
***click on the highlighted links above for further readings
When shadows reappeared in Mordor in the third age, it gave rise to a reawakening. The evil that had dwelt in the lands “dying but no yet dead” became revitalised. The rebirth happened quietely, outside of the gaze of the shire and was led by Saruman.
Gung Fu is never meant to spill into the public domain. Its effectiveness relies on its technical aspects remaining firmly behind closed doors so as to enable its underlying principle to function; deception.
The purpose of *dissimulation is simple. As Gung Fu men, realise that deception is one of the key traits of a successful street aggressor and so our training, although mostly physical, is presented in a way where we train to out beguile the attacker. A good example would be to place the hands in a preparatory position evoking the non-verbal cue of submission and tricking the attacker to believe that we are being compliant. And it is from this position that we launch our non-telegraphed pre-empted strike, be it a punch delivered to the nose, jaw or neck, or a well-timed kick delivered to the groin or knee. A central maxim in Gung Fu being ‘sien faat jai yan’ – (move first to gain the initiative).
So, to create an environment in which our Gung Fu skills can operate, our aim is not to reveal the intention behind our actions, be it in training or the street. If the general populace has no idea as to how Gung Fu works, then they are unable to prepare a defense against our attacks or a system of movements to counter-act our skills.
Disguise what you do under a veil of secrecy and overall, do not allow the techniques of Gung Fu to become public (biu jee but chut mun).
*Dissimulation is a form of deception in which one conceals the truth.
“Make techniques as simple as possible, avoid complexity for the sake of looking good and constantly look for ways to perform a technique with less movement.” Jesse Glover, describes the essential elements of Gung Fu.
A feeling of awe is hard to describe. Something that grows in the pit of your stomach and makes your skin tingle with excitement. When I first met Jesse in 2004, I remember this overwhelming feeling of awe.
(Jesse Glover far left, Bruce Lee center, Ed Hart far right)
“…. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil.
…. If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (11 December 1918 – 3 August 2008)
Freud argued that the very idea of a soul or spirit refers to the perception of one’s own mental life.
He furthermore asserted that magic, like animism, is a fundamentally psychological phenomenon. According to his definition, “Magic reveals in the clearest and most unmistakable way an intention to impose the laws governing mental life upon real things” and “replace the laws of nature by psychological ones.”
Freud continued, “It is easy to perceive the motives which lead men to practice magic: they are human wishes. . . . The basic reason why what [a person] sets about by magical means comes to pass is, after all, simply that he wills it. To begin with, therefore, the emphasis is only upon his wish” ( 1955l, 91, 83).
Excerpt from Wearing My Tutu to Analysis by Malawista, et al.
She told me she self-medicates with alcohol on the weekends. It eases her anxiety quite well. But that my words came back to haunt her and she wants to try again. I told her the same thing once more.
Let the worries run through your mind as they will. Let the hairs stand up on your arms and legs. Let your heart beat out of your chest and your breath shorten. Let the stress of your body talk to you and perhaps show some elephants in the room. Welcome the sensations and have them wash over you and ask your body (not in a cocky way) if it has anymore to reveal to you.
The only way to get over something is to go through.
Die before you die.
Something has plagued me for 17 years – an emptiness that I will attempt to explain. For comparison, I will first comment on a couple of things to paint a better picture.
I’m really good at a few things. Not being cocky, but I can feel down to my core that I excel at certain things. Acupuncture/Chinese medicine comes easy. Patients come in, explain their health concerns, touch their own bodies to express where the discomfort or malfunction is occurring and my brain starts buzzing with treatment protocols so fast I have to write them down right away before they fly away. I know I’m good. I know I’m good because it’s effortless and the picture I have in my head as to what success is – I’m living it – or at least I feel I’m close to living it.
I also enjoy writing. I’ve got a few projects on the go. Words come to me like acupoints floating in the wind. I know I’m good because it comes effortlessly and the picture I have in my head what success is – I’m living it – getting things published and working on bigger works.
Martial arts in my life has been a strange beast. I’m a tortured soul with it in my life…and yet if I were to let it go it would haunt me until the end of days. Thing is – I don’t know what ‘good’ looks like in martial arts land. And when I say ‘good’ I don’t mean your good or some authority’s good – I mean the good in my head: what I think success looks like in the study of martial arts. I can’t figure it out. I just don’t feel like I’m any good at martial arts.
So, like Bruce Wayne, I feel like something is missing. And so I wait. And I train. And chase something resembling a fragment of a shadow of a thing I don’t even know exists.