World Martialyogarts Grandmaster Council - WGMC. WorldMYA. (World Martial Yoga Arts). Chartered of the World Grand Masters Martial Arts Union recognized by the United Nation Institute for Training And Research - UNITAR.
Is Destiny Predetermined?
Student: Sensei, do you believe our destinies are predetermined?
Sensei: That goes back to the old fate and free will paradigm, yin and yang nonsense. I no longer allow myself to harass my brain into thinking on those levels and merely accept things, as they are with what little influence I think I can exert on personal outcomes. It makes no sense to question anything that has no definitive resolve. Whatever it is that directs and controls our destinies is aleatory; chance, that many people consider being luck or no-luck. Everything in the universe has already been created and our 'minds' intercept random ideas as thoughts occur for whatever reason. We just happen to stop a particular idea in our heads and then act or not act on it by letting it happen or passing on it. Lineage and matters of that sort are just extensions of vibrations that manifest into different scenarios.
Student: But I've had several déjà vu experiences in my life. Like I've already been somewhere or done something. Sometimes parts of my dreams become my reality. It could take days, weeks, months or years, but I know that some dreams literally become a part of my future. I'm not saying I can see the future, but on some level I do experience ‘visions’ of something that will happen eventually. So, sometimes when I've had a bad dream, I ponder the thought of it eventually manifesting itself into my life somewhere down the road. Even good dreams. Perhaps my subconscious already knows future decisions, the choices I will make.
Sensei: That is why it is best to remain a child (rescind your adulthood, but not your integrity, honor, blah, blah) and not pursue wisdom and other meaningless ideals. Merely, and yes, I mean merely, pursue what gives pleasure and maintain the responsibility of perfecting yourself through that one particular thing. Such as being the finest this or that you can conceive of being and let the Spirit of the Thing Itself express through you without you trying to tell it what to do. Things will ‘happen,’ or they won’t. See the evolution of your own existence and desires and don’t worry about karma, Freud, or any other meaningless bullshit. Let the wardens of other entrapments care for the allegedly insane, et al. It is also best to recognize situations, resolve them, and simply move on into your next self-imposed fantasy. However, never forget that you physically live in a material universe and that to deny yourself material comforts is stupid in an attempt to become ‘one’ with the universe. Enjoying yourself without guilt is true enlightenment.
It is essential that a practitioner of an art, especially a mortal art such as swordsmanship, attain a level of consciousness that will require arrogance, not presumption, to enable the raising of oneself above a previous level of accomplishment that appears impossible to transcend. Why this is a requirement for self-enlightenment becomes apparent when looking around and observing the work being done by others in the same discipline struggling to get past one hurdle or another while suffering serious confusion and frustration along the way. Desire based on sincerity of intent must become ego-driven, and at that point it is important to understand personal goals in attempts to overcome self-imposed limitations or those considered universal. The Creative Power of the Universe insists that this be acknowledged in a seeker of higher accomplishment, but it also forewarns against being a braggart and ridiculing the very same authority that is being consciously directed into the mind. It is necessary to understand that the faith OF the desired intent be accepted into the psyche as well as having faith in the desire itself and its outcome.
Presumption is based upon something known or believed to be true and suggests an inability to completely trust in the desire being produced, not understanding the need for the discipline to express itself as its own perfection. Presumption would insist and more than likely demand that the seeker assume responsibility for the actuality of the quest to follow in specific sequence. This debilitating behavior creates disharmony with the surrounding circumstances and leads to an inability to actualize the very same desire. In its finality, the seeker is left at an impasse without knowing what the original intent was and ends up losing control of the desire to manifest in its own reality.
An example is that of the sword master or acolyte; both are the same, though of different consciousnesses at any stage of personal development. In the reality of a mortal conflict, irrespective of functional ability, the inclusion of an understanding of the need to survive any conflict is to do so with expedience; otherwise, it would be stupid to engage in a confrontation. Combatants must “know” they will prevail, unless they have a hidden desire to lose; they must also have a thorough understanding of arrogance in a pure form that will permit them to ascend to higher levels of efficiency. This arrogance must be based on knowingness that comes from the desire to be, not to become, a master—regardless of devotion to and time in training.
In the beginning of training, in any art form or discipline, a desire to be the very best must be evident in a person’s own mind. Other attitudes, such as a sentient desire to practice for the sake of mere practice are valid, but they restrict the essence of the art from manifesting into a physical reality based on winning. Yes, swords can be turned into plowshares, but that is an Edenesque notion and hardly functions in the hardcore finite world. As well, a blasé attitude does not permit the art from revealing its own true nature; it is also being restricted by ambivalence. If you practice the sword, it must be practiced for its intended use. Later on it can be used as a device for meditation, but not until the parameters of its reality are correctly understood by a student.
There are those among the elite proponents of an art who develop that art to the next step in its evolution. This is the intent of art and can only be attained by those who are willing to sacrifice acceptance by others in their own desire to see over the heads of the previous generations. This does not mean that previous generations are inadequate. It means that having arrived to the point of transcendence of the past, the present will indicate the future of a quest if it is taken for its own value. It is the same understanding realized by Musashi when he suddenly began to use two swords rather than the accepted form of one sword in combat. This does not mean that ancient traditions should be cast aside. Without those traditions, the current ability to overcome the limitations of the past would hardly exist. To fully understand the need to overcome limitation, one must become arrogant in the idea that they, themselves, are the progenitors of the next step in the evolution of anything. At the point of awareness of attainment, the presumption of perfection must be loosened to enable the discover of something to probe the reality of the discovery and to maintain an attitude of being competent and self-assured that the discovery will not create foolish behavior causing an inappropriate end result.
Once ascended to a higher reality, masters of anything become students again to empower themselves to become proficient in the understanding and usage of the newly acquired skills. In the same manner, someone who first begins to study a discipline must think of themselves as having attained mastery. Then, as they continue to visualize themselves as masters, the actual requirements of the desire will take hold in the consciousness and reveal each next step. This becomes enlightenment, and enlightenment is a continuously ongoing process. The student must arrogantly assume that he or she will take the new revealization and, with true humility, become one with it.
Practice is the application of skills acquired through training, and these skills are only valid when used in real combat situations where life or death—win or lose—are the reality of the outcome. This philosophy also applies to civil matters where what you have learned also becomes the expression of what you have put into your training, though they are not the same, i.e., practicing law, medicine, music, etc.
The application of your art and discipline in real-time, when life or death is the outcome, is true practice and decides whether you will prevail or not. This includes all of the physical and mental training, meditation, sparring, and the personal work involved to become quick and powerful while enhancing your ability to act—not react—with speed and strength. When these ideas are mastered they become the true essence of what you will actually put into your practice.
The subtleties in definition between training and practice are significant and they must be understood. Training implies a devotion to developing skills that will empower you to deal with many variations of attack physical as well as mental, but this is done in a controlled environment where others can see what you are doing and can offer assistance to help you develop a particular technique if so desired. Practice, on the other hand, is the application of what you trained for when it is time to be or not be. This is not a play on words. It is an honest appraisal of what you think you may have accomplished during your training.
Musashi was a practitioner as is evidenced by his having won more than 60 encounters prior to his “going into a cave” to reflect on what he had done and how he had trained. He never considered what he did as accomplishment, but rather thought only in terms of outcomes that he assuredly did not think about when it came time to pull the sword and “practice.”
When you apply these definitions to the work you are doing, you will notice a tremendous difference in the manner in which you handle combat or civil negotiation. Your thinking will be clearer, and your clarity of purpose will manifest in your consciousness with the results you are seeking.
Metaphysics in Martial Disciplines - Part 1 (click link to read article)
Metaphysics in Martial Disciplines - Part 2 (click link to read article)
Metaphysics in Martial Disciplines - Part 3 (click link to read article)
Disciple: “Master, what happens when we die?’
Master: “Nothing! You don’t.”
Disciple: “We don’t?”
Master: “No. You go to sleep and wake up on the other side.”
Disciple: “What other side?”
Disciple: ”What’s ‘that?”
Any form of violence that is expressed through rage is primal in the attempt of the user to “kill” an enemy, and there is usually no control of the physical or mental state of the person attacking. A trained martial arts practitioner should be able to control this type of attack, but for the most part is unable to do it. Anyone who trains to be a black belt should be able to take care of themselves by using sophisticated techniques to accomplish their ends. Unfortunately, the same conditions apply here though in reverse; they are unable to actuate themselves as the thing they are studying. They are incorrectly taught that pacification is the key to survival and to express oneself through violence goes against the so-called creed of compassion towards another. This is taught in various forms, although many sensei suggest to their students that they react with “savage intensity.”
The main reason that “black belts” can’t take care of themselves is that they are generally led to believe that karate and the martial arts are for self-defense, spiritual enlightenment, physical conditioning, etc., anything except the reality of what they are truly intended for. This is absolutely not the case. Bear in mind that I am not talking about children learning martial arts for reasons of self-discipline, self-esteem, etc. Just watching the little tykes performing their acrobatics is enough to soften the hardest hearted warrior. Twelve year old black belts, boys and girls, are indeed quaint notions that should be taken somewhat seriously in the advent that some of them may in time develop into full-fledged and valuable “ka.”
In order to be in the so-called “zone” or “state” of fierce combat viability, it is essential that students be taught exactly what it is that they are being taught without the glossing over and super hype about them eventually becoming inestimable warriors. It requires a sensei with intelligence to perceive what the student needs and not what the governing board of judges at a ranking ceremony is looking for so that they can control their definition of how belts should be awarded. Thusly done, the student gets ripped off and develops a false sense of security that can cause them great harm, especially by someone who is not impressed with the braggadocio of meaningless rank.
The martial arts were never intended to be for the masses. They were specifically for the soldiers of any society to protect that society from any form of intrusion. True, self-defense is a good thing to know, but more important is the realization of when to use it, and then to be able to use it effectively and meaningfully. It is the responsibility of the sensei to be able to teach on this level and not with the idea of providing karate lessons for the after school crowd or bored house wives. Teaching a student the right mentality brings with it the perception of any attacker to sense imminent danger to themselves should they attempt to cause harm to someone who obviously knows how to take care of themselves.
Being a sensei is a significantly important thing. It is not a hobby profession, although there are plenty of part-time good practitioners who are sincere in their approaches. They take their responsibilities seriously. They know who they are and don’t permit themselves to acquiesce to false pride. ”Wannabes” cannot be convinced otherwise, and they simply do not have the experience or the maturity to teach a life and death subject.
The question comes up all too frequently—the so-called “zone.” It is odd that most advanced ranks do not consider it an extension of the self and do not understood it as an integral aspect of totality of being based on fundamental “zanshin,” awareness. Therefore, they fail to teach it. (I won’t go into the need for understanding the requirements of kata here, but that form of practice is essential to understanding “zanshin.”) The idea of having to put oneself into a “zone” suggests that consciousness of self is lacking through the entire aspect of martial arts study and indicates that the practitioner has not come to terms with the idea of commitment to the ideal of bushido. It should not be necessary to put one’s self into a “zone” in order to perform. You are either what you are or you are not. Furthermore, there is no such thing as 110% or 60%, 80%, etc. Everything is total and complete. The universe is not composed of dialectics: part this, part that. It is all totality.
It is your responsibility as a budoshi to accept completeness of being in your life and consciousness. Not to do so would indicate the need to try to put yourself in a “zone” that can only be considered apart from you. Be in the “zone” in everything you do—by being the “zone.” Your self-expectations will become enhanced by your acceptance of yourself as a complete and total person including that of a warrior should that be your choice.
It is of primary importance to understand the motivations for your desire to excel in anything. This takes into consideration more than you would normally imagine because of what is entailed in your sincere striving. It is not enough to simply “wanna be” a version of what you are using for visual representation of your ideal. You must clearly be in the mindset that will afford you the ability to instantly and constantly “be there” and even more, to “be here.” Some people call this being in the “zone” or being in the “state.” It is more than that. It is not “being” in anything. It is “being the thing itself” and not being “in,” which suggests that you have to put yourself “there” to be there. This is an erroneous form of detachment that causes hesitation and can get you killed in real combat. It is much better to “be the thing itself” rather than seeking to be the thing itself. Upon examination of the mentality involved with the attendant desire, it also frees the Spirit of the Thing Itself to be active in you, as you, and through you to reinforce the necessary attitude to maintain itself as the thing itself.
Spirit is generally understood as a connection to the infinite that will permit you to attain excellence. It is based on personal intent to overcome any particular restriction, whether self-imposed or not. Being self-imposed suggests some form of lack in self-esteem and self-worth. It is usually based on a physical challenge that must be overcome on the physical and mental level. Though both require a mental state of “being,” both are relatively easy to overcome.
In any art form there is what I is called the Spirit of the Thing Itself, and I will refer to this concept often, as it is the way to understand beingness in regards to accomplishment. As an example, when you are at an impasse in your training, it is necessary to overcome limitations by not accepting them and denying these limitations any authority in your quest for perfection. You do not deny the existence of them, but rather call upon the Spirit of the Thing Itself to remove any negative authority on a conscious and sub-conscious level. You will learn to do this in a mode of instantaneity.
Musashi didn’t desire to “become.” He simply accepted and knew that he “was” while maintaining it by constant practice to the extent reasonable within the balance of the individual life he lived. His personal practice made him the great swordsman. The ability to attain to his desire was delivered by the Spirit of the Thing Itself seeing his devotion and making his quest that much easier to attain to.
It is the deliberateness of intent that will always maintain a winner in a position of constant winning. Though there may be times when weakness of spirit and inability to maintain ascendancy will reign in an individual’s life, it is the overall desire of self-definition that succeeds regardless of seeming outcomes in the present. The reality is that when you are needed by yourself to survive, you always have the choice through fate or free will to accept the higher expression of your decision.
We live in times that are essentially the same as any other with the exception of the shrinking globe and immediate communications—the internet. Other than that, there is hardly anything different within any society. It is, therefore, essential that we come to understand each other and to respect the differences between cultures. It is a sad thing that our lack of mutual respect for one another is creating more and more dissension among us, and as a result, less and less civility is being taught to children except by those of awareness that are their elders—sometimes. For the most part, and it is very obvious, parents themselves do not have the information that is required to properly teach their children. This results is a diffident approach to relations with everyone, for the most part, by everyone. Politeness, i.e., “thank you,” “please,” “excuse me,” etc., have become notions that current society would have you think that the past seems to have used to prevent instant gratification and growth of individuals in the society at large. In many instances they are also thought of as signs of weakness. Paradoxically, the reverse is true, and to wield these words intelligently are signs of strength, which appropriately enough lead to higher understanding of power, which the martial arts are really about. In the samurai world, essentially the world of bushido, politeness must be an absolute requisite to maintain order within the various segments. It also denotes self-respect based on self-esteem. And, it works very well.
Forget about the psycho stories of certain fabulized samurai instantly dispatching someone who may have crossed their path inadvertently. Idiots prevail in any large group regardless of their self-ordained importance. Certainly, should someone offend you, you should deal with it, but you should not take it to a level of retribution unless life is an issue and not misunderstood macho bullshit. If you want respect, you give respect. You give; you get. You don’t take and then presume to offer your good graces as a gift to the recipient. Try saying “thank you,” “please,” and “excuse me,” among other things, and watch as your world becomes that much more easy to live in without a constant need for foolish behavior or the resultant paranoid need from constantly staying on your toes. Even when points of view differ, you will at least understand that everyone has their right to an opinion and not always one particular opinion is more right than another. Should someone give you a false answer, confront them, if it is that important to you, but maintain a sense of sobriety and do not cause a war to happen if an apology will suffice—even if it is your own. If you are going to practice the warrior life, then live the warrior life. Give someone a compliment—even if you mean it.