My personal "Interpretive" Lens!
"One thing has always been true: That book ... or ... that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend." - Louis L'Amour
"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon
"What is true today may be reevaluated as false not long after. Judgements are frequently based upon a set of "temporary" circumstances surrounding them. Conflicting ideologies can exist simultaneously. Antagonistic dualities are complementary aspects of a unified whole: are seen as mutually dependent mirror images of each other." - Nahum Stiskin
Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.
Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.
A person's heart is the same as Heaven and Earth while the blood circulating is similar to the Sun and Moon yet the manner of drinking and spitting is either soft or hard while a person's unbalance is the same as a weight and the body should be able to change direction at any time as the time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself and both the eyes must see all sides as the ears must listen in all directions while the mind must grasp all the tactual data not seen on all sides and not heard in any direction.
A person’s heart is the same as Heaven and Earth while circulatory system is similar to the cycles of the moon and sun yet the breathing methods are either hard or soft while one’s posture should allow one to advance, retreat, engage, and disengage as the body should be able to act in accordance with time and change so that one must enter a state of emptiness (mushin/zanshin) allowing the eyes must see all sides and the ears should listen in all directions while the mind must grasp all the tactual data not seen on all sides and not heard in any direction. - My rendition per translation from Andy Sloane Sensei.
The Need for Validation
Apparently the human species has this inherent need to be validated. We seek validation for a job well done, that we are attractive, we are valued by those we see as our betters, and we want to be wanted by others. Some require very little validation while others require a good deal of validation to feel good about themselves or ourselves.
Why do we require validation from others who we feel is the authority on the particular such as the fighting arts where rank is viewed as a form of validation along with who presented you with that rank or level. We seem to need confirmation from authoritative (or what is perceived as authoritative) sources before we find comfort in our level of proficiency and this goes to many other "things" in life.
Validation apparently originates in our childhood and it may be from a lack of attention or the resulting feeling of not being valued by those we perceive as important authority figures, i.e. parents, etc. We tend to seek to quench that thirst as we grow up.
When you study the list of personal experiences that indicate the need for validation you understand it a bit more such as a feeling of uncomfortable around others, trying to do to much for others while ignoring yourself, etc.
In the end seeking validation from other sources and persons other than "yourself" will always leave you unsatisfied thus always seeking it; a vicious circle. Only you can satisfy your own need for validation!
Ok, now you see that our view of rank in the fighting arts may just be an extension of our own personal need to find validation in what we practice. It is merely a venue for our ego's to satisfy the inherent need and the fighting arts colored belts along with the need to have a particular organization and/or person see us as something we should already see within ourselves.
Here is how we as fighting art practitioners can utilize the singular practice of an art such as Isshinryu Karate-jutsu-do to not only take control of ourselves through the suppression of the ego's influences by training and practicing until we have a level of self-esteem that tells us that we are satisfied with ourselves, that we are good, moral, and decent; that we see ourselves as proficient in all we do especially through the "Way" of the fighting arts.
Only by centering ourselves from within do we achieve the abilities inherent in the practice of the "Way" that allow us to control the ego; to remain ever present; to remain always in the moment; and to choose the moment when we shall deal with everyday life matters.
This is the ultimate goal of training in the fighting arts; in the "Way of the Empty Hand"; and any other way or art form.
Humans have many needs that are generally met by other humans - like needs for connection, reassurance, love/warmth, intimacy, acceptance, companionship, meaning, inspiration, challenge. If you're alive, you need other people - that’s just part of being human. The great part is, other people need you too!
Where this drops a bit is the degree of need for others especially in regards to validation which in this instance is attached, like so many other things, to our own self-esteem. We are social animals so to speak so we do need a degree of contact with others. This is so true if you believe that we are all connected in this universe by strings of energy, i.e. my string theory.
Where that need becomes an issue with each of us is when the degree of need becomes something that causes us to seek it out like an obsession resulting is a loss of balance within. The loss of balance be it in the mind or as the body follows the mind it also has adverse effects on the body resulting is stress and the physical issues that causes.
We need to find balance within or we never find balance without or outside in the world. If our needs are in the extreme and not balanced then we suffer the results so we must find balance.
This is where that singular practice can achieve that balance. We open our minds in the training hall to allow our ego's to lie in stasis so our minds can "see" reality. We then are receptive to our own faults and try to bring them into the realm of perfection (understanding that the trip is the true goal for perfection is imperfection). If we achieve this in our art form it will naturally have positive influences on our minds and in every day life. We achieve balance in life through the practice of the singular form of fighting art.
In the end our self worth does not depend on others nor does it depend on any type of rating, ranking, or perception of another. Learn from authoritative sources so you can grow within and then let your self provide all the self-esteem you already possess.