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.
Ken-po Goku-i and Bottles
My Version: "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."
Bottles: "All Bottles are Good. They all served a purpose." - Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei Post #19411 dtd Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 11:26hours.
I have presented in a previous post what I belief is the purpose of the gokui and now want to present some fundamental facts as to the origination of the bottles quote.
Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei taught Marine and other military on Okinawa so we talk about our service members. Shimabuku Tatsuo said, "All bottles are good. They all served a purpose." This story came from me but it was his quote. - Advincula A. J. Sensei Isshinkai post #27618
On many an occasion after a dojo workout we would have a drink or two with Shimabuku Sensei. On one occasion, several American students at the Honbu Agena Dojo we were drinking. Some were drinking beer while others were drinking Awamori a potent alcoholic beverage indigenous to and unique to Okinawa.
Shimabuku preferred awamori and at this event, some Americans were mixing awamori with pine juice (Pineapple soda). Shimabuku asked us which bottle was best. Some picked up beer bottles while others awamori bottles and one or two who did not drink alcohol picked up the pine juice or other soda bottles.
Shimabuku stated, "All bottles are good. They all served a purpose." While he never said why he asked the question about the bottles, I thought he was relating it to karate styles, that all styles of karate were good.
Now, is there a connection? Yes, on a high level both are a philosophical expression of what we do, practice and train in a martial art. Is this the extent of it? Maybe, but it may just be the key to the door that allows us to exit the box and enter into the world, the Universe, the Great Tai Chi or Tao.
Lets also make an assumption that the place, time and beliefs of Tatsuo Sensei influenced all he did and that would be indicated by his spiritual experiences. Those experiences were influenced by the Chinese Classics, i.e. I Ching, etc. This is a limited view in the vision of Tatsuo Sensei. Does it extend into the entire martial systems? Yes, Chinese influences permeate all the Asian communities in the Pacific and by migration of its people brought it all to the America's.
This seems significant to me. Some thing that lasts famine, wars, political influences and other such things for centuries means it has some significance. It is hard to ignore and we should not do so. I believe that is why you see some form of the gokui in a variety of historical data presented in many individual systems of martial practice.
The I Ching provides a self-consistent and powerful framework that allows us to classify our interactions and allows us to examine some of the implications of a particular kind of interaction. We choose bottle we wish to use and suits us out of all the available bottles. I chose the bottle Isshinryu for my FA/MA practice while others chose Goju, Shorin, etc. All are good and all serve a purpose regardless of the choice we make as to which bottle is best.
The Chinese say that when we consult the book we first see the images and those images require adaptation to the user's society and background, and to the particular situation. How much more unique can it get, choosing the bottle provided by the book to give you knowledge and understanding so you may "choose" correctly, for you.
By the bottles metaphor we can learn that it may be teaching us that we must be open to all things for they all serve a purpose. Then when we view the gokui we can begin to see beyond the literal and start to perceive many more facets of practice, training and life within its terse and fluid tomes or pomes.
Even at this point we begin to understand that both are related and in all likelihood were born through a long history of life practice both physical and spiritual. This is the great Tai Chi, the Yin-n-Yang, the In-n-Yo and the balance to achieve in any of our singular actions with intent to find balance.
It speaks metaphorically to us the concept to learn that "all bottles are good" and we should learn both and use what works for us as individuals.