Empty and Full

Postby Anderzander » Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:36 pm

That was a nice post Louis Image

I'd like to have a go at talking about spirit too if I may........

I'd say you start with your attention and your internal dialogue - both in the realm of the conscious mind.

When you become more practiced in directing your attention the internal dialogue becomes still and intention becomes apparent. Intention being rooted within the subconscious.

Intention being Yi.

This is training the mind body connection. The first part is moving with awareness - the body being active whilst the mind is passive. The second part is leading the movement with the mind - the body being passive whilst the mind is active. That is working with Qi.

The space created by the absence of internal dialogue, and the absence of Yi, is ‘Ting’.

‘Ting’ enables you to accurately listen to a force because that force can act upon you without being impaired by either lack of awareness (an active internal dialogue) or your own intention (the use of Yi at the point of contact).

So we have Yi and Ting, intention and the lack of it.

I think this is where we come to Spirit, Shen.

When you develop a sense of the space in which Yi and Ting operate, mental space that is, then I’d say you have an awareness of spirit.

Yi is then turned to focus upon Shen.

This is training the mind spirit connection. The first part is that the ‘deep mind’ is active – when Yi is turned to focus on Shen. The second part is beyond me.

The combination of Yi and Shen is the next stage and what it produces I believe is termed Xin – deep mind. (Although it’s quite possible that Xin is another term for Shen.)

The three harmonies are Shen with Yi, Yi with Qi and Qi with Jing.


Well that’s as much as my experience tells me – It’s a complex framework and sometimes I feel that different authors use terms to describe differing aspects of it. In this instance the context informs us of what’s going on.

In the end though – if you can feel it then it is less important to accurately describe it. If you are teaching then is important to describe it accurately but not necessarily consistent.


If I can digress for a moment and talk about talking about it all………

When we are talking about Taiji I sometimes remember a few lines from songs – one is: ‘I speak in answers only to see them in my mind’

Some things can’t be pinned down, like the Quantum Physics experiments to prove whether the smallest level of a material is a particle of a waveform. Every time they set out to prove it was a particle it would be revealed it was a waveform, and every time they set out to prove it was a waveform it would be revealed it was a particle.

In the end they realised that their own expectations were affecting the results, they called it wave particle duality. Either framework they developed could be unfounded by the other. Ad infinitum

When your mind is one of the components of an experiment any results you gather cannot be empirical.

It therefore follows that within tuition – the important thing is to work from whatever method of description will provide the relevant realisation.

Another line from the same song is: ‘I play the fool of rhythm to speak of what is sane, I never think of singing to those who feel the same.’

I find that I only talk about Taiji (particularly at this level) from a motivation that someone may learn. When the framework is not absolute then any discussion within it, with someone whose knowledge is the same as mine, seems merely idle talk. I don’t feel motivated to ‘share’ an experience when that experience cannot be categorically put into words – only realised through them.

Stephen

ps - Audi! - sorry I dont know the chinese terms for roll and release....
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Postby Polaris » Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:13 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Anderzander:
<B>Polaris

I'm interupting the thread a bit....apologies for that, but I just followed the link to the page listed in your profile...

Are you based in Hong Kong?

I'm interested because I will probably be going to HK once a year from this year. First to meet the in-laws and then to visit.

It'd be fantastic to visit a class with substance rather than perhaps hit and miss in the parks?

Stephen</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Unfortunately, I'm not in HK anymore, but the school there would be well worth a visit, I'm sure. There are several people there who speak English very well, so call them some weekday evening and arrange a visit when you get a chance. If the person who answers doesn't speak English, they will try to find someone who does.

Cheers,
-P.



[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 09-26-2003).]
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Postby Audi » Thu Oct 02, 2003 4:43 am

Greetings Louis (and everyone else):

Thanks for your insightful comments in your thread above. There is much food for thought for quite a difficult topic. I continue to greatly appreciate your efforts at putting things in proper historical and cultural context.

If I can continue to impose, I now have three follow up topics I would like to discuss. Although I am directing my comments to you, I invite anyone else to chip in with their two cents.

First, your post inspired me to “graze” somewhat among my dictionaries. One question my “grazing” produced is that the dictionaries seem to distinguish two meanings of “jingshen,” depending on tone. When “shen” receives its full tonal value, one of the dictionaries talks about meanings that cluster around “spirit,” “essential nature,” etc. on one hand and on “gist,” “essence,” etc. on the other. When “shen” in this compound is pronounced in the neutral tone, this dictionary talks about meanings clustered around “vigor,” “energy,” etc. For instance, “mei jing1shen0” (i.e., “not having ‘jingshen’”) is translated with words like “being listless.” (I realize that pronunciations with neutral tones may have no basis in literary Chinese or in some pronunciations of standard Mandarin, but this distinction does nonetheless seem to indicate some real underlying distinctions.)

In looking at the sketches of Hao Shaoru, I had interpreted the use of “jingshen” as indicating that the relevant body part should merely be suffused with “energy.” Perhaps “vital energy” would also capture this meaning. Notions of “spirit” would seem to give prominence to mental phenomena that I have hitherto not associated with parts of the body. When I first read the term “vital spirit” I think it was with reference to the feeling in the spine caused by lifting “the energy at the top of the head with an empty liveliness” (“xu ling ding jin”). At the time, I thought that some quasi-religious Daoist concept was being described. I now wonder whether the meaning intended is again simply that the spine will feel “vitally alive” and “suffused with energy” if the correct technique is used. Perhaps, “vitality” is a term that could bridge the two.

When the term “jingshen” is described as rising up the spine, do you have any thoughts as to what the implications of this phenomenon is supposed to indicate? In other words, why do I want this thing to rise up my spine? A translation using the word “energy” would seem to imply increasing the reservoir of power available for martial techniques. “Vitality” would seem to imply some sort of “healing power.” To me, “vital spirit” implies something philosophical or even spiritual. Is there a particular reason why you have settled on “vital spirit”?

I have noticed that Kuo’s T’ai Chi Boxing Chronicle uses the term “spirit of vitality,” for what appears to be “jingshen.” P. 118. “Vitality” and “intention” seemed to be used as equivalents for “shen” and “yi.” Ibid. He says that if the top of the head is suspended, it will have “Peng Ching” (“Ward Off Energy”) and lessen the body’s weight. On the other hand, if one does not do this and does not allow the “vitality” and “intention” “to be naturally aroused,” it will be hard to avoid “being late” or “heavy,” because the “highest point of the body will tend to lean or incline, pulling the entire body.” This train of thought seems to imply that “Jingshen” is best thought of as something primarily physical, such as “energy” or “vital energy,” rather than as something health-related, spiritual, or philosophical. Again, any comments?

I also have questions about the term “shenming.” I find this to be somewhat of an odd compound that seems to imply an odd derivation. Is this some sort of coordinate nominal compound; and if so, what does “ming” mean in this context. I have read references to the term “ming2 tang2,” which Mathew’s describes as a hall used under the Chou dynasty for sacrifice to Shangdi (“God” or “the Chief of the Gods”?). Does “ming” imply some category of deity or divine being, such as “gui” or “xian”?

In looking through a couple dictionaries, I easily found “gods” as a definition of “shenming,” including in Mathew’s, p. 790. Since this definition hardly seemed satisfying, I managed to find definitions on page 791 of Mathew’s, in the third column, where he translates “shenming” variously as “spirit and intelligence,” “faculties,” and “divine intelligence.” (The contexts are: “[--the Sage--] is the designation of one whose spirit and intelligence may not be fathomed,” “His faculties were not dissipated,” and “The divine intelligence of the mind [xin1].”)

In your translation of the Taijiquan Treatise, you used the translation “spiritual illumination” for “shenming.” I am not sure if this is the first place I read this phrase, but I assumed it referred to some Daoist or Buddhist religious/philosophical concept. After a seminar with Yang Jun, however, I changed my interpretation of this.

As I posted before, Yang Jun used a word or phrase like “shenming” to describe a state of advanced training where when would simply know what was appropriate for a given circumstance. The words I would use to describe such a state would be “the ability to intuit what is right,” although “intuit” might imply too much vagueness or lack of acuity. “The ability to intuit what is right” seems to fit the context of the Taijiquan Treatise quite nicely, where “shengming” is described as a more advanced skill than merely “dong jin” (“understanding energy”), especially since this skill is “attained in stages and through long effort.”

Can you shed any additional light on the relationship between these various meanings (i.e., “the Gods,” “spiritual illumination,” and “intuitive understanding”?)

The last thing I wanted to comment on was something I saw by chance in one of my dictionaries. It was the compound “qi3-cheng2-zhuan3-he2.”

The characters in this compound are exactly the same as what you listed in your earlier post as the original Chinese for the four states of Wu postures, with the substitution of “zhuan” for “kai.” For qi-cheng-kai-he, Jou Tsung Hwa used the equivalents: “start,” “connect,” “open,” and “closed.” My dictionary explained qi-cheng-zhuan-he as something like the “four components of a composition”--“Qi” is the introduction, “Cheng” is the elucidation of the theme, “Zhuan” is turning to another view of the theme, and “He” is the summation.

Do you know if and how these two phrases are connected? If qi-cheng-zhuan-he is some sort of traditional formula for writing a composition, this would seem to give a different spin to the four Wu states.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:45 pm

"Body am I entirely, and nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body."
—Friedrich Nietzsche, _Thus Spake Zarathustra_, “The Despisers of the Body”

“And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?”
—Walt Whitman, “I Sing the Body Electric”

Greetings Audi,

I suppose that I should make it clear that in general I’m unapologetically materialist in my view of reality, and I tend to have no problem reconciling “mental phenomena” with “parts of the body.” In fact, I’m more inclined to have a problem with views that hold mental phenomena as somehow distinct from bodily experience. That sort of Cartesian mind/body split is what the modern thinker Gilbert Ryle critiqued as the “ghost in the machine” construct. In my thinking, the body is no machine, and the mind is not a ghost-like inhabitant isolated in some internal theater. Can there be “mental phenomena” absent neurology? Whether talking about consciousness, cognition, awareness, deduction, or intuition, the body is where the rubber meets the road. With that in mind, it’s interesting that the modern Mandarin terms for “nerves,” “nervous system,” etc. are based on the compound “shen2jing1,” incorporating this same shen character we’re discussing. So the taiji usage of jingshen could perhaps be explained as one’s essential psychological disposition, recognizing that psychology is rooted in, and expressed through, physiology. Taijiquan is, after all, an art that pursues movement that is suffused with consciousness, what is called in several of the Yang Forty texts, “zhijue yundong” (conscious movement).

A lot of terms used in taiji theory can be found in daoist-related texts, and I would argue that in many of those cases they refer to psycho-physiological practices that are likely antecedents or cousins of the kind of psycho-physiological training developed by taijiquan masters. But given the time period and the background of some of the figures involved in writing and transmitting the early taijiquan texts, I think that Neo-Confucianism may be the more likely wellspring for many taijiquan terms. If you’d like to investigate how some of these terms were used in that context, here’s a link to a very good essay by Joseph Alder (slated to appear in a forthcoming book on Confucian Spirituality) that may provide some insights into some of the terms such as “shen,” “qi,” “shenming,” “xuling,” “zhijue,” etc.:

http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Religion/Fac/Adler/Reln471/Spirit.htm

You wrote: ‘When the term “jingshen” is described as rising up the spine, do you have any thoughts as to what the implications of this phenomenon is supposed to indicate? In other words, why do I want this thing to rise up my spine? A translation using the word “energy” would seem to imply increasing the reservoir of power available for martial techniques. “Vitality” would seem to imply some sort of “healing power.” To me, “vital spirit” implies something philosophical or even spiritual. Is there a particular reason why you have settled on “vital spirit”?’

I don’t know that I’ve settled on that rendering; it’s provisional and I’m open to other ones. But I’m not really uncomfortable with “vital spirit”—to me “spirit” is not incompatible with the “energy” sense you’re suggesting.

You wrote: ‘This train of thought seems to imply that “Jingshen” is best thought of as something primarily physical, such as “energy” or “vital energy,” rather than as something health-related, spiritual, or philosophical. Again, any comments?’

Again, I would agree that it’s physical, but I don’t find “health-related, spiritual, or philosophical” to be incompatible with this sense of jingshen.

You wrote: ‘As I posted before, Yang Jun used a word or phrase like “shenming” to describe a state of advanced training where when would simply know what was appropriate for a given circumstance. The words I would use to describe such a state would be “the ability to intuit what is right,” although “intuit” might imply too much vagueness or lack of acuity. “The ability to intuit what is right” seems to fit the context of the Taijiquan Treatise quite nicely, where “shengming” is described as a more advanced skill than merely “dong jin” (“understanding energy”), especially since this skill is “attained in stages and through long effort.”

This reminds me of the Sunzi quote: “One who is able to change and transform in accord with the enemy and wrest victory is termed spiritual! [shen]” (Sunzi, Sawyer, p. 168) As for shenming, there are, to be sure, some “ghosty” connotations of this term in some contexts, but in taijiquan I think it just refers to a clarity (ming) of consciousness that enables this ability to change and adapt swiftly to changing circumstances.

Finally, Re: the similarity between Hao Shaoru’s “qi3-cheng2-kai1-he2,” and the literary composition formula, “qi3 cheng2 zhuan3 he2,” I find these kinds of connections all the time, so I’m not surprised that you’ve found this one. Hao Shaoru may well have adopted/adapted the well-known four-character formula prescribing the steps for poetic composition, applying them as technical language to analyze taijiquan movement. It wouldn’t surprise me at all, because I’ve encountered writings on calligraphy, lute playing, painting, and literary criticism that use formulae similar to, or exactly like formulae found in taiji texts. The vocabulary and reasoning applied to these different pursuits is often remarkably similar, with similar expressions of concern for continuity, coherence, balancing of empty and full, and for uncovering or establishing the most efficacious disposition among elements within the given artistic medium or craft. I think there’s a great deal of work ahead for investigating taijiquan theoretical writings within the context of other existing technical and artistic writings. There are traditions of technical manuals for military arts, archery, carpentry, textiles, calligraphy, painting, etc., some of which were transmitted “secretly” using language that was for all intents encoded, so as to keep the knowledge base within guild or family, and others published and shared with the general public.

I’ve probably recommended it before, but I’ll do it again: for a fascinating investigation into the prevailing preoccupation with shi (configuration, disposition) in seemingly disparate areas of pursuit in Chinese history, read Francois Jullien’s book, _The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy in China_. You can find it in your local bookstore or library, or on Amazon. This book was like a revelation to me.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby psalchemist » Sun Oct 05, 2003 10:13 am

Greetings Louis,

That was an excellent posting...with much for me to ponder.

Links and references are always welcome, thanks for the ones you provided above.

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image
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Postby dorshugla » Mon Oct 06, 2003 5:35 pm

Obviously, empty and full are relative. It allows shifting of weight when one is grabbed, or if a weapon is used, easy withdrawal of the limb. WIth 50/50 it may be difficult to reach, meaning seeing the hand, weapon, foot and mind reacting usually second behing the assault and still responding (actually deflecting, using qi'na) and immobilizing. More of problem with 2 or more attackers.

If we actually look at today's society, this rarely happens because the bad guys do not use fists if they suspect someone is able to defend against them.
RULE ONE:

Never take a stance. that is a dead giveaway, literally.
Look at the recent death of Alex Gong, he was tough-but no one can outrun bullets. HE should have stepped away from the confrontation. Perception and awareness was lacking on his part.

Just trying to inject some common sense here. A lot of the scenarios mentioned here are unreal. It is not real.
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Postby DavidJ » Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:32 am

Hi Audi,

> David, you stated the following: <<In "Repulse the monkey" it may be easier to see how releasing and gathering may be done at the same time, and also how one may issue inwardly.>> Can you expand on your physical reference? I am not sure be what you mean by ?releasing,? ?gathering,? or issuing ?inwardly.? <

To some extent gathering and releasing matches opening and closing. The final posture of 'Fist Under Elbow' may be seen as closed, the right arm is closed even thought the right scapula is open. Then you 'Repulse the Monkey:' first the right scapula closes, then the right arm closes, this is a form of "gathering;" the fajin is the "releasing." As the right arm and hand are "releasing" the left scapula is "gathering."

Regarding "inward" I mean inward toward the body. The fajins that are most ofter refered to are outward, where you are issuing away from your body, but in "elbowing" the hand may be seen as issuing inwardly. In the above example where the left scapula is "gathering," it pulls the left elbow back, this can be done as a fajin, a "releasing."

I hope this is fairly clear.

Regards,

David J

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 10-06-2003).]
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Postby dorshugla » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:26 pm

The poetic Repulse Monkey is different from the application. Seizing the raised leg -empty and dislodging the full (leg holding posture) is at odds with the poetic description, and I have found this to be deceptive for the beginner/intermediate practitioner.

For the health practitioner this may be great but for others they will get into trouble with this imagery.
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Postby Audi » Thu Oct 09, 2003 1:21 am

Greetings David, Louis, and everyone else,

David thanks for the clarification. I thought this might be what you were getting at, but I wanted to be sure.

Louis, thanks for a wonderful post and a truly excellent hyperlink. I have just begun reading Volume 2 of Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilization in China. I have made some surprising personal discoveries about Confucian philosophy that your link complemented perfectly. When I get a chance, I will post some thoughts.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Oct 15, 2003 5:25 pm

Greetings Audi,

I look forward to your further thoughts.

In the meantime, speaking of science and civilization in China, it's interesting that the name of the spacecraft for the first manned space flight launched yesterday by China is "Shen Zhou." What would be the best rendering for that? Divine Vessel? Spirit Boat?

Take care,
Louis
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Postby psalchemist » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:09 pm

Greetings Louis,

Fascinating piece of News!

Psalchemist.
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Postby Audi » Sat Oct 18, 2003 2:41 am

Greetings Louis (and everyone else),

I promised to give some reflections on your hyperlink and on my recent readings. My personal discoveries are too numerous to list, but let me go through a few in no particular order.

First, I have become appalled at my lack of knowledge about some of the various schools of traditional Chinese philosophy. For instance, I have read references to Neo-Confucian philosophy before, but had not really distinguished this properly from what I had read about Confucius’ own supposed views on various matters. I now think this is like reading the Gospels and assuming one will have relatively complete knowledge of the multitude of beliefs and practices adopted by the multitude of Christian sects.

I also think that I attributed too much to early Daoists. As I have read more about the various schools of philosophy that contended during the Warring States Period and after, there seems to be much more of a collective influence on subsequent Chinese thought than I had understood. It also seems that various terms were used much more widely and with wider implications than I had thought, for instance, “dao” and “wu wei.”

Similarly, I think I can see the development of Chinese philosophy with a better appreciation of its depth and variation in time. For instance, I recently read a fascinating explanation of the origin of the names of the Ba Gua that purports to trace their development to purely religious ideas associated with the worship of Shang Di.

http://www.fengshuigate.com/bagua.html

Lastly, I have recently been shocked at the impact various translations can have on the overall tenor of various quotes. In Science & Civilisation in China, Vol II, Needham occasionally offers different translations of quotes that give almost diametrically opposite meanings. He portrays early Daoists as almost an underground political movement trying to belittle and subvert ruling Confucians that uphold the feudal status quo. In this light, a book like the Dao De Jing takes on much less of a neutral, universal tone and can be read almost as a diatribe against Confucian beliefs. In fact, the very first sentence can be read as the beginning of a specific attack on Confucian thought.

All of what I have said applies to the specific words you mentioned in your post. For instance, I had only understood the word “qi” to refer to some sort of vital force equivalent to “mana,” or perhaps “prana.” From your hyperlink and from my other recent reading, it seems that at various times and by various thinkers, the concept “qi” comes closer to the concept we have of primordial matter, or even quantum strings. I think I now understand better why the Taijiquan classics do not discuss it more. If Qi is something humans share with frost, rocks, and mud puddles, why should this necessarily be a special focus of one’s life?

In your hyperlink, I was quite surprised at the whole attitude toward becoming a “sage” and what this implies about the concept of using Taijiquan for “self-cultivation.” Strong spirituality is not something I had ever associated with Confucian thought. I had thought of “self-cultivation” merely as something akin to becoming a “refined” person, but this concept among Neo-Confucians seems to be closer to something I had associated with Buddhist views of enlightenment. I can see how this would make the study of Taijiquan a much more serious undertaking for those adhering to such views.

Reading about “Shen” as a refined form of “Qi” also explains some of the focus on this concept in the classic Taijiquan writings. Again, why focus on crude forms of “Qi,” rather than on the more refined forms worthy of a sage (sheng ren)?

Given what I have now read, I think that the term “shenming” might indeed deserve a translation like “spiritual enlightenment”; however, given that Confucians seemed to be closer to the temperament of philosophers in Classical Greece than to what I have understood of early Buddhists, a word like “spiritual” may still imply too much of the metaphysical. Perhaps, “clarity of spirit” comes closer to what they meant. To my mind, the word “spirit” does not preclude a connection with the “divine,” but neither does it require it. “Spiritual,” on the other hand, seems to imply an opposition to the material.

Louis, after reading some of this material, I went back to your description of “Xu Ling” in Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan. I think I understand you points much better now. I find it amazing that such a brief phrase can cover such a breadth of potential meaning, ranging from a type of purely physical sensation to “spiritually ready to encompass the universe.” I am not sure this makes any practical difference to my form, but I think I now have a very different vision of this phrase.

It appears that one can think of “Xu” as meaning “clear and open to the universe,” as well as “ready to ‘inquire into things’ (‘ge wu’)” to prepare for “sagehood.” From your hyperlink, I take it that “Ling” bridges the concepts of “(magically) powerful,” “efficacious,” “spiritually active,” and “potent.” If I put these concepts together, I get an image I find hard to put into English words, perhaps “a mind disentangled from preconceptions and effervescence of spirit.” This would then be the image of what “tops off one’s energy” (“ding jin”) and commands all of one’s movements and the practice of Taijiquan.

I can see even better now why it is hard to translate a phrase like “xu ling ding jin” and capture all the possible nuances. Perhaps, one could work off something like: “Crown your energy with a consciousness open to the world and potent with possibility.” This is really quite far from merely saying: “Hold your head up straight.”

As for China’s launch of “Shen Zhou,” I think that I would go with a translation like “Vessel of the Spirit.” This leaves open whether one believes in spirits, the Supreme Spirit, or just the human spirit.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Oct 22, 2003 7:21 pm

Greetings Audi,

There are a lot of issues of historical and philosophical interpretation in your post that would require greater depth of discussion than is possible here. Suffice it to say that the study of Chinese thought is a lifetime pursuit. I think that an effort to understand the philosophical background of taijiquan is potentially as rewarding and valuable as using scientific methods to evaluate taijiquan theory and practice.

You wrote: ‘Strong spirituality is not something I had ever associated with Confucian thought. I had thought of “self-cultivation” merely as something akin to becoming a “refined” person, but this concept among Neo-Confucians seems to be closer to something I had associated with Buddhist views of enlightenment.’

Again, it’s more than apparent that ‘spirituality’ is a loaded word, but I think I know what you’re driving at. Confucian thought is, on the whole, rather more concerned with ‘secular’ matters than with images conjured up by the word ‘spiritual.’ When it comes to ‘self-cultivation,’ my personal view is that the refinement you mention refers to what I like to call “the interface.” One’s body is one’s interface with, well, everything. It’s one’s point of access; it’s where one gets a purchase. So self-cultivation is cultivation of one’s body, one’s connection with family, society, the environment. Early Confucian terms for self-cultivation, for example, xiu1 shen1, are notable for their ‘corporality.’ The word shen1 meaning ‘self,’ at base means ‘body.’ Well, I could go on at length about this, but I’ve probably already said too much.

Thank you for your consideration of my findings on “xu ling ding jin.” Since I wrote that, I’ve become even more persuaded that the taiji phrase is somehow grounded in a Neo-Confucian concept having to do with an open and receptive mind, while still clearly referring to a postural configuration. For example, I had pointed out a possible connection with the phrase, “xu ling bu mei,” which means something like ‘an unclouded mind.” In fact, I since discovered that one of the documents in the Yang Forty (#22) contains the very phrase “xu ling bu mei” (see Wile, Lost T’ai-chi Classics, pp. 143-144; trans. pp. 76-77.) This phrase was very likely lifted directly from Song Dynasty thinker Zhu Xi’s commentary to the “Da Xue,” the “Great Learning,” where I’ve confirmed its appearance, but he likely used it in his other writings as well. The operative questions for us are: How did language like this get into taijiquan theoretical texts? And, What does it mean in the taijiquan context?

Take care,
Louis
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Postby sifubritt » Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:08 pm

I keep seeing continual references to myself, my teachers family and my teachings in these pages. I am concerned about misrepresentation of what Iteach and what my teachers family teaches in these pages. I invite anyone who may have an interest in what i teach and why to contact me, rather than have hearsay discussion.
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Postby Anderzander » Sun May 01, 2005 10:59 pm

Mr Britt

I feel you have no reason to be concerned. I don't think anyone reading in here would mistake the views posted as being representative of the Yang Family.

I also think that most serious practioners reserve judgment on a teacher until they have met them.

The internet is of course rife with derogatory comments about every teacher you could imagine - I think this further reduces the value of online opinions unless you have some relevant experience as a reader.

I read most things here and havent found anything derogatory about you or your teachings?

So, relax :-) nothing to defend here I think.
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