Conscious Movement

Postby Louis Swaim » Fri May 05, 2006 5:13 pm

Greetings Pamela,

Re: “I am at the point presently, where I believe, that if one is EMPTY of minds/hearts consciousness, on all levels, that the body is thereby FULL in the sense of physical sensory awareness...Does this make empty/full TaiChi sense?”

Frankly, it doesn’t make sense to me. This sounds to me like you are trying to impose an abstract idea on a concrete scenario. Perhaps if you put this in more experiential terms—your experience—I could have a clearer sense of what you mean.

Re: “I am very interested in knowing why a 100% emptiness is thought of as impossible...you must have a particular reason for doubting this...so I am interested in knowing of your thoughts on this.”

I am reporting my own experience. Consciousness by definition is reportable. I can attain relative states of relaxation of body and mind, but there is inevitably some level of cognition, some bubble of thought or feeling occurring. Isn’t that so?

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri May 05, 2006 5:24 pm

I have no profound knowledge of empty/full, but since my mind is pretty empty most of the time...
You'd think I'd be better at acheiving an intent that is empty then I seem to be.
;-)

Just me being weird on a slow Cinqo de Mayo.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri May 05, 2006 5:27 pm

Hi Bob,

You've managed to fill my mind with images of guacamole.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Pamela » Fri May 05, 2006 5:43 pm

Louis, Image

That's what I tried to do first Image

...my experiment...my experience was just that...empty to empty...I AM trying to express in other terms more comprehensive, but find I cannot~

Guess I will try to think of another way to explain...

Thanks Image

Pamela
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Postby Pamela » Fri May 05, 2006 5:59 pm

"I am reporting my own experience. Consciousness by definition is reportable. I can attain relative states of relaxation of body and mind, but there is inevitably some level of cognition, some bubble of thought or feeling occurring. Isn’t that so?"

In my experience, there is a place...I do not even have to be terribly relaxed either...where yes, there is no cognition, no bubble of thought or feeling...but it is fleet, and I have to repeatedly reenter that door with conscious clearing of mind, but that is also acheived in a fleet...

Maintaining it continually whilst functioning physically is difficult.
I hope to stregnthen this potential with practice.

This is my experience.

I will practice more, and get back to you on this when I can prove it, constantly, consistently with potency. Image

Best wishes,
Pamela
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Postby ShowHong » Sun May 07, 2006 1:11 pm

Hi Louis,

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
Here, I would have to disagree. An art with no medium would be no art. Quite apart from whether zhuo means touch, touch is more than incidental in taijiquan. If the essential is independent of physical reality, that would be so rarefied as to be the very definition of intangible. </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, you can insist on whatever way you want to see things. I’d say an ‘art’ or the essential in itself is a physical reality, like the relationship between two tangible physical entities is as real as the tangible physical entities. More accurately, an art with no medium would not have a venue for its expression. The essential depends on a medium for its manifestation but does not depend on a medium for its existence. To be more directly relevant to the study and understanding of Taichi, look at this example. Music is definitely dependent on the tangible physical entity of sound for its expression. No sound, no music to be heard. But few of us would mistake a sound engineer for a musician, nor would students in music class think they are studying acoustic engineering. So be careful on what you are studying. Music or acoustics, there is a choice. But unless you can see the difference you have no way to make the choice.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You wrote: “Another way of looking at it is that techniques of other arts also depend/involve touch, sensitivity, and response to the opponent. So how is Taichi different from the other arts?”
In this regard, I would say it’s no different. </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, then, the Taichi you know/understand/practice is not the same as mine. So, expect that we will talk over each other’s head a bit.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I think that I know the “what”—that tingjin refers to sensing/perceiving the jin of the other—but I don’t know where the term came from, </font>


Like the several remarks on tingjin that you have cited, this is head knowledge – based on common knowledge of what this phrase may mean rather than the actual function or operation this phrase represent in Taichi. Meaning derived from head knowledge has no assurance that it is relevant to Taichi, since it is basically an empty concept without specific correspondence to the reality of Taichi operation.

I agree with you that most parts of the texts in Taichi classics are commentaries reflecting the experience of the authors. They are about how it feels or looks like when the authors have done it right. They can be used as training aid but are far short of being prescriptive or definitive of what Taichi is. Similarly the extra-classics terminology comes into being for the masters to communicate what they can feel but don’t really know that is going on. In this regard tingjin is basically the same as juejin – a label for something equivalent to a Taichi operation or skill that is not well defined/understood. It is my speculation that tingjin becomes more popular because ting is more action oriented than jue and ting is also a better sounding word for verbal use.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">... why the aural sense is privileged over the other senses in this strange technical usage. How did it come into taijiquan? </font>


I think it is most likely a matter of coincidence that tingjin has been chosen but, nevertheless, ting happens to be intricately linked to Taichi. Here is the rationale for the linkage. If we treat ting/listen as a general term for senses then when we listen with the ears it is hearing, with the eye seeing, with the nose smelling, etc. When we exercise these senses actively we have a purpose – we want to know something. Translate into Taichi, tingjin is the operative term for dongjin – ting is action oriented while dong connotes more a state of mind. Therefore, tingjin is dongjin in action/operation – whatever we must do to get to the state of dong is ting. So to understand what is tingjin we have to know first what we are supposed to dong (know/understand) in Taichi.

Aural and visual senses are the two primary senses with which we gather information. Visual is more or less unidirectional while aural is omnidirectional – perhaps this is why ting is used in Taichi instead of kan (see/look). Interestingly kan/see/look is commonly used in phrases for checking out things in other activities including all other martial arts. This is yet another indication of Taichi being different from all the rest of our activities.

Sincerely,
Show-Hong
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun May 07, 2006 8:16 pm

Greetings Show-Hong,

Regarding our earlier exchange, You wrote: “Another way of looking at it is that techniques of other arts also depend/involve touch, sensitivity, and response to the opponent. So how is Taichi different from the other arts?”
I responded. “In this regard, I would say it’s no different”.

I answered your question as concisely as I could. I don’t wish to leave the impression that I think taijiquan is no different than any other art; only that it is no different in this specific regard—like other arts it involves touch, sensitivity and response to the opponent. I think we would agree that taijiquan has developed proprietary expressions of these qualities and is unique in what it emphasizes.

You wrote: “Aural and visual senses are the two primary senses with which we gather information. Visual is more or less unidirectional while aural is omnidirectional – perhaps this is why ting is used in Taichi instead of kan (see/look). Interestingly kan/see/look is commonly used in phrases for checking out things in other activities including all other martial arts. This is yet another indication of Taichi being different from all the rest of our activities."

I think that makes a great deal of sense about the omnidirectional property of hearing. Yes, the term tingjin implies an alertness to all sensual stimuli, no matter from what direction or source, and a hightened ability to discern the import of that data. I’m fascinated by how different languages privilege different senses in common and metaphorical use. For example, English often privileges the visual in talking about abstract ideas (the Greek root of the word 'idea' is itself visually based). We say, “I see what you mean.” or, “That’s a great insight.” We talk about “shedding light” on an issue. Even “to speculate” is visually based. It’s fun to think about how and why these usages take hold. So, regarding your speculation about the omnidirectionality of tingjin, I’m inclined to say—That’s a great insight!

Take care,
Louis




[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 05-07-2006).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun May 07, 2006 10:25 pm

Gee, you were doing so well up to that point and I was agreeing with most of what you had to say! Then you suddenly go all Mike Sigman on us:

Show Hong wrote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Well, you can insist on whatever way you want to see things.</font>

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Well, then, the Taichi you know/understand/practice is not the same as mine. So, expect that we will talk over each other’s head a bit.</font>


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Like the several remarks on tingjin that you have cited, this is head knowledge – based on common knowledge of what this phrase may mean rather than the actual function or operation this phrase represent in Taichi. Meaning derived from head knowledge has no assurance that it is relevant to Taichi, since it is basically an empty concept without specific correspondence to the reality of Taichi operation.</font>
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Postby bamboo leaf » Mon May 08, 2006 3:06 am

Then you suddenly go all Mike Sigman on us


haha, thanks made me laugh Image

david

[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 05-07-2006).]
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Postby Pamela » Mon May 08, 2006 12:12 pm

Greetings Louis,
Nice post, always is a pleasure to discuss and even get all polemic with ya'. Cool.

Jerry,
..............(bite my tongue)...............

Mr.Bamboo,
I am not laughing, but everyone has a right to their own sense of humor...

Pamela
(moon flower if ya'll prefer)
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Postby Pamela » Mon May 08, 2006 1:52 pm

Louis,
To be more clear...polemic, as per my inquiries to Websters is not quite expressive of what I was trying to convey...
I think it is fantasic that we can discuss any topic, controversial or otherwise in a civilized manner.
I often learn much from opposing viewpoints and this helps me to grow.
I disclude Image the aggressive conotations the word polemic might suggest...
I am not here to judge anothers words or viewpoints or to sway anyones thinking either, but to expand upon what I understand,
...Just to clarify...
Pamela
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon May 08, 2006 4:54 pm

Greetings Show-Hong,

Regarding your earlier post: “What is tingjin? It is not mentioned in the classics. Yet we all know it is supposed to be very important and even essential in Taichi. Isn’t that strange? How do we know that the tingjin as we know it is really part of Taichi?”

This made me curious about early occurrences of tingjin as a concept. The earliest instance I’ve found so far seems to be in the sole text we have from Wu Yuxiang’s older brother, Wu Ruqing (1802-1885). His text, titled ‘Taijiquan lun’ (treatise on taijiquan) is full of quotations from other taiji classic documents. It contains a use of ting as a transitive verb in the phrase, “ting ren jin” (listen to the other’s jin). Do you have access to this text? I’ll try to post something about it later. Wile translates it in _Lost T’ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch’ing Dynasty_, pp. 47-48, and the Chinese is on pp. 129-130. Yang Jwing-ming’s book of Wu-Li classics also contains this text.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon May 08, 2006 5:17 pm

Greetings Jerry,

Actually, that sort of thing never bothers me. I’ve encountered charges about “head knowledge” or the like before, and I feel no defensiveness about it. I’m very clear about the distinction between practical training knowledge and theoretical knowledge. In my experience, it’s pretty difficult to demonstrate training knowledge in a verbal forum, so I’m happy to explore theory with willing and worthy constituents.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby chris » Mon May 08, 2006 9:05 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ShowHong:
Aural and visual senses are the two primary senses with which we gather information. Visual is more or less unidirectional while aural is omnidirectional – perhaps this is why ting is used in Taichi instead of kan (see/look). Interestingly kan/see/look is commonly used in phrases for checking out things in other activities including all other martial arts.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It is not only an issue of direction, but also of initiation. In daily life, you direct vision and follow sound. If you instead direct hearing and follow images, you will not be able to move.
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Postby Pamela » Mon May 08, 2006 10:31 pm

Hi Chris,

What a fascinating statement...very thought provoking.

Hmmm...Do you think you could elaborate, possibly, and explain why one would not be "able to move" ?


Thank you,
Pamela
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