"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
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

"Providing a first step on a path to self-reflection." - C. E. James

"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.

Kenpo Gokui

The lines of the ken-po goku-i are set from an atomistic aspect simply because it is the manner in which the brain learns. Its nature is completely holistic and like the I Ching must be in a form that promotes learning and understanding so a person can see, hear and grasp the nature of a holistic system. The gokui is a method to teach us how to be holistic. Its terseness is the best that can be done to convey its holistic meaning.

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.

Master Zeng said, "Am I preaching what I have not practiced myself?"

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I Ching and Isshinryu and Tatsuo-san

Recently I read a comment or post on a part of the I Ching as it related to the Isshinryu system and founder, Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei. What I liked about the quote, i.e. the one that comes from the Wilhelm version of the I Ching, is the comment, in general, about change. It stated, “A distinction is made between thee kinds of change: non-change, cyclic change and sequential change.” This is what intrigued me and the additional comments from Wilhelm’s interpretation says:

“Non-change is the background, as it were, against which change is made possible. For in regard to any change their must be a fixed point to which change can be referred; otherwise their can be no definite order and everything is dissolved into chaotic movement.”

Let me give my thoughts, yes, it is about learning from the past. The past does not change, it is the past. But, to remain steadfast in the past is to become stagnant. In order for change to benefit it must understand and learn from those non-changing past learnings and then reach forward toward a more relevant future and that is change. The non-changing past as can readily be perceived is about what transpired in that past, i.e. in other words as I stated, “we learn from the past and refusal to learn from that past means we are doomed to repeat that past.” 

Now, that means something as well. Repeating the past over change for the future means we repeat that past over and over and over again without truly learning anything but what is past. That seems to be what is meant, by my perceptions, as a lack of order and dissolution of the present into a chaotic movement that is a battle between what is past with what must occur in the present thus setting the present into a new past that will further take us into the future. If we had not taken this path we would still be in caves, hunting for our food and making crude drawings on the cave wall.

How can I come to this conclusion, the next quote gives us more guidance, i.e. “This point of reference must be established and this always requires a choice and a decision. It makes possible a system of co-ordinates into which everything else can be fitted.”

The past is merely a point of reference in a long since gone time under the rule of that times culture and belief system. It is what is established each moment in time becoming the past to which we must use as a fixed, non-changing, reference that provides us with knowledge along with experiences that help us make a choice and decision about things in the present moment. It is what makes a new system that fits through the knowledge and wisdom of the old system. Change. 

Thus makes sense of his late comment toward non-change, i.e. 

“The ultimate frame of reference for all that changes is the non-changing. Which means, that the reference point is a non-changing point of reference.”

“The ultimate frame of reference for all that changes is the non-changing, which means, that the reference point is a non-changing point of reference.”

Wilhelm then speaks of the cyclic change, i.e. “It is the rotation of phenomena, each succeeding the other until the starting point is reached again. Examples are furnished by the course of the day and year, and by the phenomena that occurs in the organic world during these cycles.”

The starting point is mankind’s curiosity and instinctual need to change, to move forward, to become more that what our ancestors were, it is about potential reached. This statement describes a cycle that is represented by the symbol of the yin-yang, the offspring of the great tai chi. It is about a start and ending, i.e. that is about not returning to the non-changing but to cycle back in reference to achieve a new and improved non-change. This is how we reach the starting point again, we reach back to the non-changing to build a new present that becomes the past, non-changing. It is not meant to keep human kind steadfast and stuck in the past or the non-change but to inspire change toward a new non-change by the actions, thoughts and creations of those living in the present. As indicated by the reference of day and year and the phenomena that governs the Universe. The sun, moon and heavens are of a non-change by their cycles and rhythms but are constantly moving in a spiral fashion toward the next phase of existence and that is the cyclic change. The new positions of the universe are guided by the non-change of the past and cycle through to a new position in that universe. If we remain steadfast in the non-change then the universe ceases to exist, we die.

Wilhelm goes on to state, “Cyclic change, then, is recurrent change in the organic world, whereas sequent change means the progressive (non-recurrent change) of phenomena produced by causality, which means, that cyclic change is a rotation of phenomena that is recurrent, whilst sequent change is progressive (non-recurrent change) of phenomena that is produced by causality.”

The key word here is “causality.” Sequential change is what I have been alluding to in this entire post. Sequential is about the natural progression of the past as non-changing into the present that is cyclic producing the new and future through a sequential process much like the path the sun, moon, earth take spiraling through the known universe. Causality is about the effects of the heavenly bodies on one another to produce those smaller cyclic and changing but non-changing natural events of life, i.e. the seasons, the day and night and the natural rhythms of nature that are constantly changing due to the non-changing effects that precede those in a sequential manner creating new seasons full of the changes that are small and large depending on the current times as influenced by the past that is non-changing. 

Rotation is change but it is rotating the non-changing past through causality toward a new discovery that in an instant becomes a part of the cyclic change that becomes past non-changing by sequential changes resulting in progress, change. 

This is why the I Ching is what it is, i.e. “The firm and the yielding displace each other within the eight trigrams. Thus the firm is transformed, melts as it were, and becomes the yielding; the yielding changes, coalesces, as it were and becomes the firm. In this way the eight trigrams change from one another in turn, and the regular alternation of phenomena within the year takes it course, which means, that the lines within the trigrams may change from one to another to create a different trigram.”

Taking this back to the Isshinryu system referencing non-change we can agree that to achieve cyclic change we must remember the non-change of the past as taught and transmitted by Tatsuo-san BUT we cannot forget to allow that his teachings must, shall and should create a new through a sequential change brought on by the cyclic change of the constantly moving moments resulting in the causality of sequential change creating a new non-changing cyclic sequence of progress. It means that the Tatsuo-san non-changing past becomes a significant yet smaller part of the whole that evolves into something new, unique and relevant to the present moment. 

Something to think about, consider and relate to Tatsuo-san’s intent and context as transmitted by the ken-po goku-i and his non-changing constantly changing teachings of the non-changing past.

Addendum dtd September 23rd, 2014 at 13:45 hours

Here is another excellent example of the “change model” depicted here, i.e. “Ethnically, the Okinawans are believed to be a mixture of three racial groups: Mongolian, Ainu, and Malayan. Their life styles are clearly adopted from surrounding countries, but have been molded over the years to create their own distinctive culture.” - Okinawan Primeval History, Isshinryu Isshinkai eBook, “Isshinkai Manual.”

Now, if non-change means we adhere to the old model religiously and without question and without change then there would be no karate, no Okinawan, no Okinawan culture and no Okinawan belief system to learn from and to admire. It is apparent that the I Ching or at least the beleif system preached in Isshinryu that says change is good because without this taking the old, non-change, way they cycling it though other such non-change ways to achieve a more or less sequential change that occurred over years to create and achieve a totally new and unique cultural belief system that gave us karate and the kind and gentle peoples of Okinawa.

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