i have always been fascinated with what resides deep inside a mans heart and soul, what is the essence of consciousness and man's life force. in the west we tend to call it a quest for spirituality. the east and my marital artist friends call it "Qi" once i asked one of them, "how do you learn this?"
he said, "get on a boat, go find a real master in (insert country) and spend the next several years of your life learning it."
in a sense, it is a bit like the old monks i know in the desert that simply go off and spend all of their time working with discipline to empty themselves.
i am chuckling as i write this, as both process are full time jobs and probably far beyond the comfort level of change for most on the planet. we can glorify the training and special needs of the military and teaching people to go kill each other, but, god forbid you train a man and teach him that the greatest weapon is to know how to fight, yet, never actually have to. that is power and understanding it. chi and spirituality work in similar ways in side a man.
sometime in the 1950's, martial arts became large in america. but, the journey was americanized with karate schools that were more about making money, teaching kids to break boards and fight versus teaching the core elements of what the marital arts were about. qi.
how far have we fallen? well, you have the MMA on television, and there is no shortage of young kids that want to be fighters, choke people out, or snap appendages. yesterday in the gym locker room, two older men were playing with their karate weapons and expounding on how they can hurt of kill someone with (insert move a, b, c) and how cool it would be to kick the crap out of someone. forgive the generalization, but it sounded similar to when i was in nashville and many of the men were enamored with owning many guns, spouting off the second amendment in a country that has a pretty well developed police force and they were about 100 lbs overweight. what it means is they never took care of themselves, so the gun, simply is an extension to cover up some dumb fear inside them.
i digress. we are worried about ptsd, our people in the world are living in a more and more stressed life. it saddens me to come back to the overall vibe and feel of the united states. there is more and more fear in the people. i wonder "what are they really afraid of?" have they every looked? or is the line extension to chocking out common sense simply to put more bullets into larger clips and hide behind the fear of events that do have the possibility of happening in a world where we repeatedly shoot each each other, and probability do more damage with word bullets every day.
if we took the time, just a little, be it prayer, meditation, discipline with stillness each day - we would not be as stressed as people and nation. yet, the words i hear more often are, "i don't have time" because people are too busy struggling to live the obligations of day to day life and forgetting the priorities that really matter.
how does this all come out with QI? well, the two martial arts superheros, who went on for 10 minutes in how they could use a magazine, stick or any other household item really "f*ck someone up" had this precious moment"
"so you had a mental breakdown?" asked karate man 1
"yeah" said karate man 2
i am not comforted knowing there are a lot of people walking around in this state, or by the grace of god, holding back from going over the line. i felt bad for the guys, as they probably spent years practicing, yet, they forgot about the most important part of the martial art process- qi.
how many of us forget about the most important part of ourselves. our hearts and soul. to meditate and pray. to gain balance to ones life force - qi.
the issue is, that to accomplish this, the journey presents a daily struggle. perhaps that is why we don't do it so much? it is too much work and the rewards take a lifetime to see. it is the diometric opposite of the medias message programmed more and more to think life is an instant gratification world where shortcuts are accepted, even fame.