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.
Cultural Thing: The Finger Removal Practice
I immediately gave thought to the practice of the Japanese Yakuza where one who has done something that requires atonement to a senior would therefore cut off a piece of the finger. Is it possible that this old Chinese tale inspired this particular act of attrition. When you couple the many influences of China and such as Confucianism, Buddhism and Zen along with the great effort to incorporate such things into the Japanese culture and customs it is not farfetched an idea, is it?
We know that it is a custom for Yakuza so say the different cultural writings in English - translated. We don't know the origin of the practice or if it actually extended from the feudal era of great influence to Japanese culture and beliefs. It may be that even the Japanese, specifically Yakuza, know of its origins but it is an idea as to a possible source, yes?
Additional Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakuza
Yubitsume [Yubitsume (指詰め, "finger shortening")], or the cutting of one's finger, is a form of penance or apology.
This article alludes to its origins in swordsmanship: "Its origin stems from the traditional way of holding a Japanese sword. The bottom three fingers of each hand are used to grip the sword tightly, with the thumb and index fingers slightly loose. The removal of digits starting with the little finger moving up the hand to the index finger progressively weakens a person's sword grip." Is it possible the idea still comes from the origin above?
It also stated, "The idea is that a person with a weak sword grip then has to rely more on the group for protection—reducing individual action." This falls into some of my studies in that one who is a bit of a rogue or individualist is not complying with Japanese culture, i.e. the group is everything and to embarrass the group, etc. is taboo. If a swordsman did something not group approved, etc. then to do this ensures in a most physical way they must remain a member of the group where group decisions and actions have to have a group consensus, etc. It would also speak to the samurai in question as a reminder that death is there when one does not conform to the group. This does make some sense I think.
Remember, all things are to be considered with caution. I kind of like my hypothesis tho :-)
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yubitsume