Variety may be “the spice of life” but for some it seems not as nutrition for the soul, but uncomfortable and inconvenient. Attachment to inertia is the biggest curse lodged in the mind of man.
The beauty of Budo training is that it forces you to adapt and reconcile variables to learn to survive best.
Calcified preconceptions are the beginning of a slow seppuku leading to soul death. You have to let go and lose everything before you can realise that you are and contain everything and that there are no beginnings or endings, only continuity without end. Even the term Kannagara no Michi has by some been contained in a box that kills its real meaning. Kannagara no Michi has to be discovered for oneself because it is not a conceptual dogma but a real condition of existence, whatever the label you may assign it.
Knowing existence, as it is, devoid of coloured glasses is the first awakening which then refines without end. The true warrior is a spiritual as well as physical athlete whose primary weapon is discernment. Discernment cuts through the nonsense, wishful thinking and self deception to which the false ego clings.
To know, not merely to presume or to imagine requires factuality. Opinion is merely an insubstantial shadow which is skewed.
Reality is as it is and can be no other way. At any given moment the factual reality of that moment suspended in time carries with it those predominant propensities that it does. The next moment will be unique and the next and so on. Variable are the only true constant.
The word: Science, comes from the Latin: To Know.
To know, consists of seeing directly into the nature of things as they are, devoid of mysticism or confused perplexity of any kind. Experience is the primary true teacher, closely followed by the pain of discomfort and adaptation which is the life giver and preserver through the ages.
In this age of opiates, pain killers and chemical addictions of many kinds, actuality is far away.
Illusions entangle and cause further increased pain. From birth forward we have two choices. Pain or pain.
To choose your pain is the only human choice.
There is a distinction between these two. One is the pain that awakens and the other the pain that deceives. The former ultimately alleviates. The latter increases suffering in the long run.
The interesting part is that often, at the beginning these present as opposite to their ultimate nature.
Only a great fool repeats the same errors over and over without learning something. Herein lies the spiritual benefits of Budo, it being the cruel more direct path to increasing levels of enlightenment or awakening to actuality. When the pain becomes too much, we let go of our illusions, the lies of self-defeating habituated patterns.
In a Budo life you die many “dojo deaths” where false ego and erroneous opinion are dealt a death dealing blow in the fires of fact. Each is a learning curve, an education, a steppingstone and an awakening to factuality in the nature of the Universe as it is.
These accrue. Like money in the bank, a gathering credit of practical wisdom then ensues. Merely theoretical wisdom is based on ideas and opinions, fantasies held only in the mind playing with itself. These bind and entangle a life in the quagmires of mediocrity and entanglement of conflicts, inner and outer.
Practical wisdom is a universal navigation tool because it interacts with factual reality in a workable and efficacious manner. On this basis, it is therefore a scientific tool comprising the body-mind and spirit forming a bridge between Heaven and Earth.
The body-mind connection, Heaven and Earth, Ten and Chi; these all refer to a long forgotten bridge of consciousness that enable a sentient being to reawaken its true nature, that of the entire universe which our body-mind is not only a reflection of, but also an instrument for receiving and transmitting, albeit modulated, the whole of the universe. And to focus on essential parts of importance greater to survival and thriving at any given time.
This reclamation of the soul is not achieved in three weeks or three years but only as a Way of life, Do or Michi.
In his fine, highly recommended book, the complete version originally rightly titled: “AIKIDO in Daily Life,” a book about Ai-Ki, not just ki, which was later politically stood over to be republished in a less complete version as, “Ki in Daily Life,” Koichi Tohei Sensei, a Master of Aikido and ki, expressed hardening of the categories along the lines of thus: “A baby starts life completely flexible in mind and body. As people begin to give up and start dying, they become progressively more rigid in their views and the way they move. When this is allowed to reach its conclusion it becomes rigor mortis and death. It is possible through correct practice, right living and right attitudes held in the mind, to remain flexible and adaptive throughout the full duration of one’s life.”