The esoteric heritage in …..

Wing Woo Gar

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The misunderstanding that many have about the concept of mushin is clearly expressed by Bruce Lee’s comment (Joe Hyams ‘Zen and the Martial Arts- Chapter-Mushin) ‘If I were ever taken to court for having killed or injured an attacker, I would say I didn’t kill him…’it’ killed him.’ By ‘it’, he was referring to ‘mushin’ and Lee was wrong in his interpretation of it. In a state of mushin you are still in full control of your decisions and that includes not killing or severely injuring an attacker.
This flaw in Lees concept is sometimes known as “fire gone to the devil”. A good analogy is “the dark side”, sacrificing self control for greater power.
 

JowGaWolf

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But we all know, deep down that just because we really believe something, it doesn’t make it true and the human psyche is usually adept at side stepping this thought.
This falls apart when the person knows it to be true. The validity of spiritualism is that it often happens to others.

Contrary to belief. Most people don't turn to spiritualism until they have experienced it first hand. In spiritualism there is an old understanding of attachments where spirits become attached to places and objects. So believing that a sword has a spirit would be normal in Japanese culture.

Religion asks you to believe first spiritualism doesn't. This is important to understand if you are going to talk about Martial arts in this light. Spiritualism also doesn't have to deal with other spirits. It's allowed to focus on the individual as well.

I used to animal spirits to help me run Cross Country. In my case I was trying to contact spirits. I was trying to "be like the spirit of the animal " which is just a strong visualization of of an animal running to where I'm so focused on that animal that I forget the pain of me running. I set my brain to a different path other than me thinking how long the race is or how tired my body is.

It's the same concept used with the Kung fu tiger forms. Visualize yourself as a tiger so that your energy will be like a tiger.

If you only think of spiritualism as ghost then you are going to misunderstand alot of what it's about. Rituals also help to create a mindsets and an emotional state. Weddings, Birthdays, and Funerals are rituals.

I personally think we as humans put too much importance on things as being special and as a result we often screw up things thst should be easy and normal. But unfortunately we create an environment of "I'm special you are not" about things that are just normal. we often see this in martial art systems as well.
 

JowGaWolf

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I’m really interested to hear about Chinese martial art esoteric practises if anyone’s willing to share.
Lion dance and numerology pretty much explains everything. I don't like the respect system very much. I find it overboard and I'm always conflicted when the expectation is to treat and honor my Sifu at a level that is higher than how I treat my own parents. That doesn't sit well with me especially if someone says I'm not respectful to the teacher.

I don't like the mentality of Master and Servant. Humans in general abuse such relationships. But for the hard-core kung fu people, they buy into all of it. with that said. I do like the shrines to remember those who came before you.
 

Gyakuto

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So believing that a sword has a spirit would be normal in Japanese culture.
Or is it just a way of expressing a deep respect for the very valuable product of a skilled sword smith? Does it just to encourage the owner to really look after the sword?
Religion asks you to believe first spiritualism doesn't.
I’m not sure I agree with that at all. Spiritualism is a synonym for religion, albeit less specific. It still requires the belief in something in the absence of evidence.
I used to animal spirits to help me run Cross Country. In my case I was trying to contact spirits. I was trying to "be like the spirit of the animal " which is just a strong visualization of of an animal running to where I'm so focused on that animal that I forget the pain of me running. I set my brain to a different path other than me thinking how long the race is or how tired my body is.
As you said, it was a visualisation. It’s psychology rather than ‘woo woo’. Research shows that if you get children to visualise they are Einstein before a maths test, they perform better than the control. They aren’t actually ‘channelling’ the spirit of Einstein. The visualisation is disinhibiting their lack of mathematical confidence.
It's the same concept used with the Kung fu tiger forms. Visualize yourself as a tiger so that your energy will be like a tiger.
You think you’re performing like a tiger. Ask someone who knows nothing about Tiger forms what animal you are visualising in your performance and I bet they won’t say a tiger (unless you’re making claws and growling).
If you only think of spiritualism as ghost then you are going to misunderstand alot of what it's about. Rituals also help to create a mindsets and an emotional state. Weddings, Birthdays, and Funerals are rituals.
That’s very true, but again it’s psychology, not ‘woo woo’.
 

Gyakuto

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Lion dance and numerology pretty much explains everything. I don't like the respect system very much. I find it overboard and I'm always conflicted when the expectation is to treat and honor my Sifu at a level that is higher than how I treat my own parents. That doesn't sit well with me especially if someone says I'm not respectful to the teacher.
That’s Confucianism for you.
I don't like the mentality of Master and Servant. Humans in general abuse such relationships.
Yes, eventually.
But for the hard-core kung fu people, they buy into all of it. with that said. I do like the shrines to remember those who came before you.
You very much a cherry picking type, aren’t you! 😄 If you have confidence in a system, whatever it is, you have to accept the rough with the smooth or you might as well make stuff up for yourself.
 

JowGaWolf

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Or is it just a way of expressing a deep respect for the very valuable product of a skilled sword smith? Does it just to encourage the owner to really look after the sword?
That's a possibility.

I’m not sure I agree with that at all. Spiritualism is a synonym for religion, albeit less specific. It still requires the belief in something in the absence of evidence.
Nope it's not the same. We name religions but we don't name spiritualism. Another way to look at is to remove the main figures of a religion and you'll end up with emptiness. Does Buddhism exist without Buddda? Would the teachings be the same? Most people who believe in Spiritualism have a personal story about. The evidence is an issue about belief. The evidence is "Here is what happened to me." If religion is a pie vey uniform, then spiritualism is like noodles, all over the place facing many different directions.

Some people get way out there when it comes to Spiritualism. Even to the point where space aliens are spirits and that we all sign a life contract as spirits to be born as humans because we are bord as spirits (true theory). I just want to bring positive things into this world and kick and punch a few people in the face along the way. lol
You think you’re performing like a tiger. Ask someone who knows nothing about Tiger forms what animal you are visualising in your performance and I bet they won’t say a tiger (unless you’re making claws and growling).
This is why I say sparring is so important. The concept of visualizing yourself as a tiger would make sense to someone who is applying the techniques.

If I told you that this is the intensity that you need to have when applying tiger techniques in a fight. Then now you have a good idea of the intensity level you need to use. Which is accurate for being in a fight.

If I said that this is the intensity level that you have for tiger techniques in a fight, then you'll probably think you will get your butt kicked that day.

A person who has either sparred or has been in fights will be able to associate more with the real tigers fighting. The person who least likely to understand the visualization is the one who doesn't show up for class. Of course seeing how tigers fight is a big plus. lol.

That’s very true, but again it’s psychology, not ‘woo woo’.
Psychology studies the "woo woo" part of it as well. Some think they are the same.
 

JowGaWolf

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You very much a cherry picking type, aren’t you! 😄 If you have confidence in a system, whatever it is, you have to accept the rough with the smooth or you might as well make stuff up for yourself.
Yep I that's me lol. If there's a real life example of it then I'm bringing it up lol.

It only seems bad becasue you are reading it. If we were in person talking about this stuff, I probably wouldn't even mention it. The forum just gives me more time to think. Like this message took about 10 minutes lol.
 

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You very much a cherry picking type, aren’t you! 😄 If you have confidence in a system, whatever it is, you have to accept the rough with the smooth or you might as well make stuff up for yourself.
I would say that it's important to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of what you're practicing, both inherent in the art and those that are simply YOU. And work to minimize the weaknesses. That's just good martial artistry.
 

isshinryuronin

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I was trying to "be like the spirit of the animal " which is just a strong visualization of of an animal running to where I'm so focused on that animal that I forget the pain of me running. I set my brain to a different path other than me thinking how long the race is or how tired my body is.

It's the same concept used with the Kung fu tiger forms. Visualize yourself as a tiger so that your energy will be like a tiger.
I will admit to using this concept as well. I think it has some validity. It's not spiritualism in the sense of an actual supernatural living spirit, but a psychological channeling of the attributes of the tiger, or whatever. You adopt the feeling, its physical doctrine or mind set, of the animal. This helps to focus your spirit (mindset) to accomplish a goal. It may be a form of mild self-hypnosis.
you get children to visualise they are Einstein before a maths test, they perform better than the control. They aren’t actually ‘channelling’ the spirit of Einstein.
I don't see much practical difference between them (visualization vs channelling). In the end there is something "Einsteiny" going on by drawing on an outside element (Einstein) and internalizing it. In a similar fashion, one's self perception, can be like an Einstein, or a tiger, or even a rock.

Musashi referenced taking on the spirit of a rock, as did Paul Simon in one of his songs, ("I am a rock."..."A rock feels no pain." I think this is the kind of thing we are talking about here.
 

Gyakuto

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That's a possibility.


Nope it's not the same. We name religions but we don't name spiritualism. Another way to look at is to remove the main figures of a religion and you'll end up with emptiness. Does Buddhism exist without Buddda? Would the teachings be the same? Most people who believe in Spiritualism have a personal story about. The evidence is an issue about belief. The evidence is "Here is what happened to me." If religion is a pie vey uniform, then spiritualism is like noodles, all over the place facing many different directions.
Well a cursory look at an online dictionary suggests you’re incorrect-

Dictionary:
Definitions from Oxford Languages
noun
  1. 1.
    a system of belief or religious practice based on supposed communication with the spirits of the dead, especially through mediums.

  2. 2.
    PHILOSOPHY
    the doctrine that the spirit exists as distinct from matter, or that spirit is the only reality.
Some people get way out there when it comes to Spiritualism. Even to the point where space aliens are spirits and that we all sign a life contract as spirits to be born as humans because we are bord as spirits (true theory). I just want to bring positive things into this world and kick and punch a few people in the face along the way. lol
So you’re not truly, without doubt, believing in the spiritualism? It’s an attitude.
This is why I say sparring is so important. The concept of visualizing yourself as a tiger would make sense to someone who is applying the techniques.

If I told you that this is the intensity that you need to have when applying tiger techniques in a fight. Then now you have a good idea of the intensity level you need to use. Which is accurate for being in a fight.
Ferocious tigers indeed.
If I said that this is the intensity level that you have for tiger techniques in a fight, then you'll probably think you will get your butt kicked that day.
It’s intense indeed, but it bears no resemblance to the feeling of the those to felines scrapping. It’s an attitude. “I’ll do these kicks, punches and block with the ferocity of how I imagine a tiger would do it. I’m not channelling anything feline, I dont truly without reserve believing that I’m a tiger in anyway.”
A person who has either sparred or has been in fights will be able to associate more with the real tigers fighting.
Associate
The person who least likely to understand the visualization is the one who doesn't show up for class. Of course seeing how tigers fight is a big plus. lol.
That’s a generalisation.
Psychology studies the "woo woo" part of it as well. Some think they are the same.
Having worked as an academic in a university psychology department, I can assure the do their best to distance themselves from the woo woo and indeed do their best to (successfully) debunk it.

What I’m trying to demonstrate, in case it’s lost in all these refutations, is that you don’t believe this stuff, you use it as an attitude you adopt in order to perform very unspiritual acts on people’s faces and other parts.
 

Gyakuto

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Yeah I don't think I can
Dictionary:
Definitions from Oxford Languages
noun
  1. 1.
    a system of belief or religious practice based on supposed communication with the spirits of the dead, especially through mediums.

  2. 2.
    PHILOSOPHY
    the doctrine that the spirit exists as distinct from matter, or that spirit is the only reality.
 

dunc

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Dictionary:
Definitions from Oxford Languages
noun
  1. 1.
    a system of belief or religious practice based on supposed communication with the spirits of the dead, especially through mediums.

  2. 2.
    PHILOSOPHY
    the doctrine that the spirit exists as distinct from matter, or that spirit is the only reality.
Yeah fair enough
Spirituality probably isn't the right word then
The concept tends to get translated as things like "develop a strong spirit", terms like shinden, shin-gi-tai etc appear in the traditions, but not sure if there's a good word in english for it
 

Gyakuto

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Yeah fair enough
Spirituality probably isn't the right word then
The concept tends to get translated as things like "develop a strong spirit", terms like shinden, shin-gi-tai etc appear in the traditions, but not sure if there's a good word in english for it
I think the Japanese glyph for kokoro/shin is part of the problem because it refers to spirit/heart/mind and for sone reason the ‘spirit’ interpretation has been latched onto in English. By simply interchanging spirit for ‘mind’ and I think it becomes much more meaningful: ‘develop a strong mind’.
 

mograph

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Yeah fair enough
Spirituality probably isn't the right word then
The concept tends to get translated as things like "develop a strong spirit", terms like shinden, shin-gi-tai etc appear in the traditions, but not sure if there's a good word in english for it
If it's anything like shen, "spirit" is good, but it means "spirit" in the sense of having a good spirit, being spirited, vigorous, and so on. It's the end result of having or cultivating good jing, yi, and qi. It has nothing to do with otherworldly gods or heaven.

We westerners have attached the "escape from earth" aspect of our own spiritual traditions to a set of Eastern disciplines which actually use a different meaning of "spirit," but one which we also use (e.g. "temper or disposition of mind or outlook especially when vigorous or animated" - Merriam-Webster). But to make a more exciting story, we bring in the supernatural, as we (not just westerners) tend to do when it comes to practices that started out as quite practical.


I think that in terms of shen, and which meaning of spirit we choose to apply to it, we might want to follow that old dictum: "when you hear hoofbeats, look for horses, not zebras." If the art is meant to make us healthy (and fight, of course), then it makes sense to me, to choose that its purpose is to cultivate a healthy spirit, not to escape earthly bonds and commune with supernatural beings.

... in my opinion.
 
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dunc

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I think the Japanese glyph for kokoro/shin is part of the problem because it refers to spirit/heart/mind and for sone reason the ‘spirit’ interpretation has been latched onto in English. By simply interchanging spirit for ‘mind’ and I think it becomes much more meaningful: ‘develop a strong mind’.
Yes I agree
It's more than mind 'though. Its in your heart, your guts, your kamae, the way you carry yourself etc etc
 
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