Category: Bruce Lee


Over recent months I have been becoming more aware of certain aspects of my nature, and this growing awareness is enabling me to understand why I like the things I like and why I cannot follow certain paths that the majority follow.
I have, over my years of searching for ‘an answer’ looked at reasonable depth at the mainstream religious systems and have had the fortune to become friends with a local parson who, unusually, is not blinkered and blinded by the indoctrination of his religion. He is fantastically open-minded.

I have never felt right about Christianity, to the extent that I even remember as a teenager on holiday in France, we visited the Chartrés cathedral, and for the first time I had the distinct feeling that I was in the wrong place… to the extent that it almost sent a chill down my spine.

In more recent years I discovered Eastern philosophy through a study of Martial Arts (still on-going) and found that I had found something that made natural sense to me. Also, I find that the ‘Warrior’ side of things has great appeal.
(To clarify, to me, the word Warrior means a person who is willing to fight for what he feels is right, but using violence as a VERY last resort. He should always attempt to use thought, understanding, compassion and diplomacy; all peaceful non-physical means before employing violence. Above all, violence should only be used as defence, never offence.)
This resonance with a Warrior way has explained to me why I’ve always shied away from the ‘love everyone’ and ‘forgive everyone’ message of Christianity. I’m not saying it is wrong, but that it is not suited to me. I simply do not fit that mould.

In discovering my self I have come to realise my nature by seeing what I am attracted to.
Films like The Last Samurai, The Matrix trilogy and Braveheart have taught me that to fight for, and possibly die for a belief or cause is worth life itself.
Films like The Bucket List, August Rush and Baggervance have taught me reach out and enjoy life in its fullest.
Books by Paulo Coelho and Richard Bach have taught me to look inward to my heart and to learn to be myself, not what others or society tell me I should be.
The lessons of Bruce Lee through John Little books have shown me who I am! Reading John’s books are like reading my own words that I’ve yet to write… quite spooky!
I guess what I’m trying to say is that a person should try to not feel guilty if they find that they cannot fit the mould that others’ say they should. One should not feel obliged to be the same as others.
An example would be the way that for a long time I wondered if there was something wrong with me, or with the way I was raised because I don’t have the ‘forgiveness’ in my nature that British culture (influenced by centuries of Christian philosophy) says I should.

There are so many quotes I have collected over the years that all point to the same thing. I’ll leave you with a few to ponder:

You have the right to have what you want, exactly when you want it. Because on the menu of life, you are today’s special, and tomorrow’s, and the day after that, and… well you get the drift. Yes that’s right, we may be the King, but you my friend are the almighty ruler – Burger King slogan

Never be afraid of being you. It’s one of the most real things in the world. – on Eva Cassidy’s True Colours video

Work like you don’t need the money,
Love like you’ve never been hurt,
And dance like you do when nobody’s watching. – source unknown

There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones – taken from Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms

Words in the heart cannot be taken. – Dorfl in Terry Pratchett’s book ‘Feet of clay’

If the goal of dancing were to reach a certain spot on the floor, then obviously the fastest dancer would be the best. The point of dancing is the dance itself. – Alan Watts; as told by his son Mark in his Foreword to Bruce Lee’s book ‘The Warrior Within’

The meaning of life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. – Johannes Jacobus van der Leeuw

-‘What the head makes cloudy, the heart makes very clear’ – Don Henley – New York Minute

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My epiphany

I am currently most of the way through John Little’s book entitled ‘The Warrior Within – the Philosophies of Bruce Lee to better understand the world around you and to achieve a rewarding life’ and it is quite possibly the best book ever written… for me!

I have been searching for a large part of my life for something, and for the most part, I didn’t even know I was searching, let alone, for what!
In the last few years the existence and the nature of the search has revealed itself to me through the philosophical lessons of the Martial Art school I used to be a part of.
As a result, this enabled me to understand the ‘genre’ of what it is that piques my interest, and therefore enable me to put a more defined focus on my search for ‘life, the universe and everything’ !
Over the last 2½ years, since leaving that Martial Art school, my understanding has developed in massive leaps and bounds (something that wouldn’t have happened if I’d stayed) resulting in first, my book ‘The Colour of My Mind’ and second, this blog which is really just a continuation of the book.

All of this work has constantly circled around the core subject of my search, getting ever closer, but never quite getting there… but if I had ever been asked what that core was, I wouldn’t have been able to answer. I knew it was there, but it was so out of focus that I was unable to work out what it actually was.

The aforementioned book ‘The Warrior Within’ has done for me, what no other learning has ever managed. The effect has been incredible, and it has been like putting on a pair of specially designed glasses that have allowed me to look at the core of my search and see, not only the shape of the core, but also some areas of detail within.
There are many, many sections within the book where it feels as if I am reading my own words , but words that I haven’t yet written!
This has given me the opportunity to understand the meaning behind John Little’s and Bruce Lee’s words instantly, without having to ‘translate’ them into my method of thought… as they are already in that state. I suppose that this must mean that that I have the same mindset as John (not that I’m trying to say that I believe that I’m even close to being as visionary as him…).

So if you’re not yet bored of my wittering, you must be wondering what the core consists of… well, so am I, and as I often find out what I’m writing about by reading it after I’ve finished, this should be interesting!

I know it will be difficult to put into words as it is something that doesn’t exist as words, and doesn’t have a pre-defined label, and as it is just a ‘feeling’, it is not something that is easily converts to words… but I’ll give it a shot… here goes!
The core to my understanding of ‘life, the universe, and everything’ is:

  • That there is a universal driving force of ‘creation’ and ‘destruction’ and that everything else comes from this..
  • That this force can be individually tapped with practice and enough passion.
  • That tapping into the creative side of this force is deeply satisfying for the spirit, but that the destructive side leaves a person feeling empty. It is analogous to ‘The Dark Side’ of the Star Wars films.
  • That to have the chance of developing the necessary passion, requires finding an interest that resonates deeply within your ‘soul’… it is something that makes you feel good; very good! But, to be clear, it is not something that is shallow in meaning like sex, money, or the attainment of a particular material possession.
  • That to understand anything of worth in depth, means that a person has first learn to understand themselves. It sounds corny in today’s materialistic western world, but to do so means finding your ‘inner being’, or ‘finding yourself’.
  • That to be true to yourself is VERY important, but that you first have to find out through introspective thought what ‘being true to yourself’ really means.
  • That the worlds major religious systems all centre on the same thing, and that their core is the same as what I’ve found. And that the smaller tribal types of belief also centre on this core.
  • That all the ‘decorations’ of the religious systems are completely unnecessary for a true understanding of the core.
  • That all the ‘decorations’ of the religious systems, and the symbols, rituals and ceremonies, are all reflections of ‘being human’ and should be celebrated as a very human thing… but nothing more.
  • That all things good and bad are created by one’s own perception of the given situation. That we each judge the situation as ‘good’ or as ‘bad’, when in reality they just are. Or in other words, the polarity of good and bad is something that we choose to impose on the things around us.
  • That everything is really very, very simple, and that in life there is so much complexity piled upon complexity, that the resultant cultural ethos is all very, very false.
  • That as we have grown from the universe, then we are a part of the universe, rather than as our human ‘curse’ would lead us to believe; separate from, and observers of the universe. We are each participants in the game of creating the universe of the future.

I think that the driving force behind the self-development that led to this position I now find myself in, was a deep, almost unconscious feeling that there is something wrong with the ‘rules’ and ‘conditions’, or the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of behaviour that were being imposed upon my life by the English culture I grew up within, and with the beauty of hindsight, I realise that my personal nature constantly resisted the imprisonment of my spirit that would have ensued had I ‘believed’ in the false truths that I was being fed. And that when this feeling is combined with the sort of inquisitive, questioning nature I have, it became something that had to be resolved… no matter how long it took.

This is the search that I embarked upon at around the age of 12 without even knowing, for around 20 years.

The thought that occurred to me earlier is that maybe I’ve reached the end of my 25 year long search (only the last 5 – 10 years was evident to me), and now is the time for the next stage; which I think must be to learn how to use this new understanding in all areas of my life… or maybe it is now to simply sit back and enjoy the view…!

The last few weeks of reading ‘The Warrior Within’ has been an incredible, stimulating, exciting and enlightening time that has now provided me with such opportunity to advance my self, that I couldn’t have ever have wished for more!

My deepest wish would be that I could help guide others to their own personal ultimate realisation.

Thanks for reading!

All points of friction between members of a group or family are always due to one thing; …our alternative views of how things should be.
Our frustrations become vented, and tempers are frayed when a person tests or challenges our view of how the world should be.
It is our predetermined expectations of any given situation, along with our view of how others should conduct themselves in that situation, that gives rise to our frustrations, then eventually anger!
 
To live each moment seamlessly flowing from one moment to the next, negates the need to have expectations as to what to expect of the next moment.
 
Repose in nothing’ – Bruce Lee (The meaning I derive from this is; don’t dwell on the past, present or future. Simply allow future moments to arrive, deal with them in the present, then forget them as they become the past.)
 
‘Some day we’ll live like horses, freely…’ – Elton John – Live like horses
 
Animals have no possessions to protect, defend, or become attached to. They have no expectation of the next moment, so flow freely through life from one moment to the next, never feeling loss or gain, simply dealing with each moment of life as it is presented to them The only anger they suffer is when something of detriment is brought deliberately to their ‘door step’.

The rest of their lives are lived happily and free! …free from the trappings of expectation and pre-determined ideals.
 
Oh, what lessons we can learn from the animals around us…!

18th February ‘11  (taken from my personal journal…)

It is so difficult to live The Way in this modern age in the manner in which the old masters would advocate.
Our lives are now so integrated with so many others, that to follow The Way in the way of the ancient masters would mean to remove yourself from society and live as a hermit. This would be to remove yourself in a far greater way they they did. Simply because living a modern life means that the integration is so much more intense than it was in ancient times.

However, what would one gain from doing this if enlightenment could only be reached in isolation from the modern world? When one returned to the world, he would be unlikely to fit in.

So, a new way must be sought; one that allows for the manic lives we now lead.

However, before that, one still needs to understand what Bruce Lee meant by the following:

Repose in nothing.

Establish nothing in regard to oneself.

Let things be what they are,

move like water, rest like a mirror, respond like an echo,

pass quickly like the non-existent, and be quiet as purity. 

Those who gain, lose. 

Do not precede others, always follow them.

What did he mean by this?
Bruce talks of the mind, and the way in which we allow ourselves to be distracted by the smallest thing. When we are distracted, our thoughts linger in one place and are no longer aware of other things.
So, if we train our mind to be like water flowing in a stream, it will encounter distractions to its natural course and instead of lingering at a distraction and having thoughts of the obstacle, it will simply acknowledge the existence of that obstacle and move around it. Like a rock in a stream, the water doesn’t pause to check and evaluate the best course of action, it simply flows around the rock because the rock is not an obstacle to the path, merely a point of diversion.

rest like a mirror
A mirror instantly reflects an image of whatever is placed in front of it without pause. This line demonstrates the value of being aware of all things in your surroundings at once. This is only possible if the mind is not allowed to stop at any one point. Like a camera that takes a photo, it sees all things in its field of vision; it doesn’t focus its efforts on any one thing.

A still, but open, aware mind will be capable of this as it will have no thoughts popping into existence in the way that random thoughts do. When one starts to learn how to meditate, he will at first, find that it is very difficult to still the mind to the point where thoughts do not keep popping into existence and distracting him from the task of mental stillness.

How to do this? Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism makes it clear in the following passage:

Who is there that can make muddy water clear?

But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually become clear of itself.

Who is there that can secure a state of absolute repose?

But let time go on and the state of repose will gradually arise.

In other words, when learning to meditate, one must simply accept that it will take time and practice.

respond like an echo
This is the same as the mirror. When a sound is uttered, the echo comes straight back. There is no time taken to analyse, review, then finally respond. That is the human way.
But we are not trying to become less human by trying to remove thought. Rather we are merely to find a way to transcend the human state that gets bogged down with thoughts that are borne of distractions.
Like a cat when playing with a mouse, it lets it go for a moment, then waits for the mouse to move. Its mental focus is one of a hunter; it will react to the necessary stimulus without pause for thought. It responds like a mirror, instantly reacting to the image in front of it.

However, have compassion for yourself and realise that when the above state cannot be attained, we are still human, and one of our attributes is to analyse situations and anticipate a future condition.
When this is required of us, then be human, allow the thought processes to occur. When that task is done, then attempt to return to the state of Mushin – complete awareness with no discerning thought.

24th August ‘10  (taken from my personal journal…)

Repose in nothing’ …said Bruce Lee

Boy!  Is that difficult, or what!