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 ken-po goku-i has a meaning that is supposedly determined by its symbolism. The Isshinryu-no-megami also is supposed to have a bunch of symbols that promote meaning to the practice of this style. There was a great movie that was based on the meaning of symbols, mostly obscure or hidden, that indicated something important.
Prove it! Yes, we can say this appears in some picture of characters but in reality is the translation accurate? Rob Redmond's book on kata, eBook is free thanks you Rob, he shows us the gokui characters and various definitions that are NOT EXACT or CORRECT. So, how do we actually know?
In Isshinryu it is alluded to that Tatsuo Sensei wanted us to learn and understand about Okinawa and its people, their customs and courtesies, etc. but in promoting that ideology he only provided a silk certificate and a few curt words to his new black belts before leaving the island. Now this may have been adequate for other Okinawan's but for Americans it was and is lost to them. A few actually stayed and returned but of those not many actually sought out understanding of the gokui and even it that were ignored they didn't try to find out about the Okinawan's or Okinawa.
Now the few who did take time to find out "some answers" found few because of either the pension of Tatsuo Sensei to be cryptic or because of the language differences, etc. didn't provide much information regarding the symbolism in the gokui and/or the megami patch, etc. so we were left to our own devices.
So what happened? I can only "guess" that because it was known that Tatsuo Sensei studied the ancient Chinese classics and believed in occult/spiritual type systems, i.e. he was a fortune teller, etc., that if we studied the classics and tried to make the connections we might come to understand that intent Tatsuo Sensei intended.
The inherent trouble with this method is it is extremely subjective. We will then individually make personally influenced judgement based solely on our individual personal impressions and feeling and opinion rather than external facts. The problem is compounded by the lack of external facts as well as the clarity of today's teachers of Isshinryu.
Here is where I will add in the D-K effect. Many of today's "masters of Isshinryu" because of this effect feel they are fully vetted in the system and tend to act accordingly. In regards to the symbolism of the gokui and megrim they assume incorrectly that they are skilled and fully knowledgable about such things resulting is falsely written documents and books on the subject that end up being a venue for personal ego gratification. In turn they are ignorant to the intent of the gokui and megami. The illusion of superiority also leads others who look up to them for guidance in the tribe/group, in the belief of the systems taught by them, tend to fall prey to the same effect.
There are a few who seek the knowledge and remain skeptical because of the challenges of Chinese/Japanese/Okinawa vs. English/American differences they will continue to seek out information and views regarding all with skepticism and accepting those things that provide them, only them, with factually based truth as far as that is possible.
It is a lot like the quote that Rory Miller of the Chiron Blog site stated in regards to other things but applies to more, i.e. my redaction: "Know your strengths; know your limitations; PAY ATTENTION to our instincts!" [I modified it a bit he actually said, "Knowing your strengths and limitations, and PAYING ATTENTION to your instincts."] He also said and it applies here as well, "People with a perceived need to increase competence will continuously improve. People with a perceived sufficiency of competence will cease to improve."
His content was different and you can read his post here but I feel it applies to my post as well.