Hi guys, please bear with me while I try to flesh out my current line of thought. (I’m not sleeping very much at present – my wife is having a well earned holiday in London, so it’s just me, our dog and my mind running rampant, lol – thanks Ed and Baer for stirring the pot; I'm very tired but loving every minute of this.)
In an earlier post I referred to an old Chinese saying that goes something like, “to rid yourself of a disease, you first must become one with the disease.” Therefore to overcome violence we must accept its presence and ideally believe in the remedy, peace. (I include acceptance as an addition to the Eight Considerations of combat found in Kenpo) because acceptance is the first step towards managing fear.
The positive self-talk of acceptance is, "well OK here’s the situation I’m in, it sucks, but here’s what I intend to do about it." The opposite of acceptance is denial. Denial prompts us to stick our heads in the sand questioning "Why is this happening to me, I don’t deserve this." Not particularly empowering, don’t you think? Denial has a close friend – apathy. Here in Australia we have a common saying that reflects this, “Ah don’t worry about it mate, she’ll be right.”
Though we live in the exponential-age, we still have prehistoric minds. For survival’s sake we are hard-wired to be competitive, territorial and violent. There may be some who may disagree, and who would insist that they could never hurt or kill anyone, but they invariably add a revealing proviso; “Unless, of course, someone tried to hurt a loved one.”
So, it could be said the capacity of violence is in each of us; all that varies is our view of the justification. (Even the Kenpo creed speaks to this, ” ……I have no weapons BUT if it’s a matter of life or death, of right or wrong….” What’s your definition of right or wrong?)
Justification is dictated by our environment – what is in us, on us and around us – what we believe in, the circumstance we are dealing with right now, and who are we hanging out with, listening to, reading or watching etc.
In his book The Gift of Fear, author Gavin De Becker (this book should be in everyone's library) shared a story that Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud once exchanged correspondence exploring the concept of human violence. Einstein’s letter surmised that; “man has in him the need to hate and destroy."
In his reply, Freud agreed “unreservedly,” adding that human instincts could be divided into two categories; “those which seek to preserve and unite, and those which seek to destroy and kill.” He wrote that the experience of life evolves from their “acting together and against each other.”
I’ve read too that the Gladwell Effect, (mastery of skill takes 10,000 hours of practice – repetition is the mother of skill, concept) can be hacked - to shortcut the time it takes to achieve an elite level of skill. How can that be done?
Well, apparently Gladwell's assertions are based on a "common" untrained mind. Certainly, intuition can arise due to intense focus on a limited set of skills over an extended period of time - as martial artists we know this to be true. But when the mind-body system is actively aligned and occupied with training (integrated in a manner such as in how Paxtial Arts is organized) then perhaps there is the possibility that the ideals of self-mastery that Gladwell refers to can be achieved over a shorter arc of time. Now I qualify that by saying that I don’t know of any actual scientific data to support this but there is empirical and anecdotal evidence that does.
Greek mathematician Archimedes said; “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”
I'm drawn to think that perhaps the Paxtial Arts has the potential to become that fulcrumto create a tipping point and we can act as a lever where there are more of us acting together, sooner to“preserve and unite.”
What do you think? (I'm done thinking for tonight - lol)