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.
Focal Sense of Center
- Confucianism: centered equilibrium.
- Taoism: centered harmony.
- Buddhism: central path.
which should provide the reader with a sense of which major belief system is referenced when the various types of Martial Systems are discussed. Confucians tell us to "hold the center." Taoists tell us to "keep to the center." and the Buddhist tell us to "open the center." This brings us to what the ancients used to indicate the "center."
The word, "center," wa written as a circle with a vertical line used to bisect it. What that circle stood for was what is innate in humans (person or person's, etc), completely good, something round and bright (sun and not as bright moon). The vertical line meant that in the total pattern of nature, i.e. the sun and moon to represent reference to the circulation of blood or chi or ki in humans, one energy ascends and descends, circulating ceaselessly.
The "silence" is the circle or "heaven" as in person's heart same as Heaven and Earth. Heaven does not create but its connection with the Earth does bring about the myriad things so the "master of myriad forms" is the line.
They speak of something before heaven and earth; it has no name, it is originally silent. The silence is the circle, which also symbolizes the sun, the master of myriad things is the line (square in book represents the Earth but both are intertwined with a vertical line bisecting both in that symbol.).
Ultimately nonexistent yet containing ultimate existence. Ultimately empty yet containing ultimate fulfillment, it is therefore called the center. ... the sense of balance and potential.
Humans are controlled by their emotions which are referred to as the "monkey brain." It in turn affects the "lizard" brain which equals the many habits we collect over our life times and they both end up driving ordinary person's. When a sage, or practitioner of the FMA, achieves control over the monkey brain, through knowledge and practice, to achieve a degree of control over emotions resulting in emotional inactivity leaving the lizard brain apart from that drive. This is called, "the center." Not being biased is also called the center.
When we practitioners of the FMA call focus to the center most of us automatically associate that to the physical center which some say resides about two to three inches below the naval. In reality the center is all encompassing of humans in equilibrium, i.e. in this instance the balance of control or ability to manipulate the connections between our normal brain, the monkey brain and the lizard brain. Our normal brain is the one that performs our daily "conscious" thoughts but those thoughts are influenced by the monkey brain while the lizard brain runs on auto-pilot, i.e. breathing, walking, blinking, etc with an open path to receive the monkey brains emotional influences which occur before the normal brain has time to register it.
This is what constitutes the present moment mind and the logical, non-emotional influences of the brain, to achieve more control over the lizard brain along with the monkey brains adrenaline dump for mother nature's survival, i.e. flight or fight or freeze, acts.
The Confucius Analects, "The Great Learning, Chap VII, no. 2, says; "When the mind is not present, we look and do not "SEE;" we "hear" and do not understand; we eat and do not know the taste of what we eat. This is what is meant by saying, that the cultivation of the person depends on the rectifying of the mind."
In FMA this brings us back to the ken-po goku-i where a person is the result of heaven and earth; the center or human energy flows naturally much like the sun and moon; the references to balance and weight deals with equilibrium of the center or that which is represented by the Universe, i.e. heaven and earth; sun and moon. It tells us that is our practice does not provide for "seeing" truly or "hearing" then we do not see what is a result of heaven and earth, i.e. humans and the myriad things of life. We do not hear truly so we miss the truth or diminish it to fit our perceptions.
The ken-po goku-i and the book of changes along with such ancient tomes of China, i.e. Analects, etc. all come back to the basic "tome" that we read in the FMA ken-po goku-i. These ancient classics are the teachers who provide us the myriad things we must open our true center to see, hear, taste, feel, etc. to find balance. All the tomes of the ken-po goku-i seem simplistic but in reality to "see" beyond the mere words into the depth and breadth of its true meaning the study of the teacher or ancient classics is necessary.
Knowledge can not achieve this level of understanding with out first receiving, openly and unconditionally, the teachings of the Ancient Masters such as Lao Tzu, Confucius, Mencius, etc. for they open the doors to the simplicity of ken-po goku-i.
Analects of Confucius:
"When they look (see), they think of how to 'see' clearly. When they 'listen' (hear), they think of how to 'hear' keenly." - Hexagram 39 of Confucius.
"If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake." - Hexagram 42 of Confucius.
"To HEAR a lot means to LEARN a lot. The verb for hearing is classically used because of the importance of oral tradition, but is also came to apply to reading and research or the whole process of information gathering." - Analects 7:27, Hexagram 26 of Confucius.
"The effort of the student, rightly oriented, is regarded as an indispensable ingredient in classical Confucian, Buddhist, and Taoist systems of learning. The teacher cannot hand out wisdom but can only help others learn how to seek personal experience of wisdom themselves." - Analects 15:16, Hexagram 29 of Confucius.
"If you are unable to HEAR (hearing) others tell the truth, you will be reluctant to tell the truth to others." Analects 5:12, Hexagram 34 of Confucius.
"Loyalty, does not mean, as commonly assumed, simply obedience and conformity; loyal is one who tells the truth or gives sincere advice." Analects 14:23, Hexagram 37 of Confucius.
A Confucian motto: "Learning is to investigate things to produce knowledge." Hexagram 64 of Confucius.
Isn't is a wonder that such as Bushi Tatsuo Sensei who on the surface seemed an ordinary human was in reality a "sage" before his time!
Note: The circle with vertical line may remind you of another symbol, do you know which one?