… is Peace.
Tag: kung fu
The five elements are WATER, WOOD, FIRE, EARTH, and METAL.
They represent characteristics that describe the process of change, to which all things are subject.
WATER is the spirit of beginnings and non-preference; it does not resist, it absorbs and envelops.
WOOD is the spirit of growth and expansion; it reaches for sky with vigor.
FIRE is the spirit of energy and industry; it works fiercely to achieve it’s goals.
EARTH is the spirit of stability and groundedness; a safe and solid foundation.
METAL is the spirit or perfection and invention; it seeks to improve and develop something new.
“A way that can be walked is not the Way
A name that can be named is not the Name
Tao is both Named and Nameless
As Nameless, it is the origin of all things
As Named, it is the mother of all things”
To understand the Tao Te Ching, it is important to first understand the title. Ching basically means “book.” So it is the Book of Tao and Te.
Now, Tao and Te are a bit more difficult to describe, as the very nature of “Tao” is to be beyond description or mental understanding. Tao is often translated as “the way” as it is here in this verse. The first line actually reads “The Tao that is the Tao is not the Eternal/True Tao” (Tao ku Tao fei chang Tao in Chinese). That is to say the Tao that you are thinking of, is not what Tao is really like. That is because the real existing Tao, is something far beyond our mortal brain’s comprehension or imagination. I will talk about “Te” and how they relate to God and the Holy Spirit at the end.
The next line goes on the say that when you name something, it does not sum up what the thing is in actually (represented by the capital “N” in the last Name). So the first words of the Tao Te Ching serve to tell us that THE CONCEPTION YOU HAVE IN YOUR MIND do not represent TRUE reality.
Tao is BEYOND DUALITY, as it can be both named and nameless.
“Nameless“, is nothingness, from which we understand that reality sprung (from the singularity – basically nothing – before the big bang). It is the “origin of all things.” … True enough.
As “Named“, once it has existence, it is the “mother” of all things. A similar role (in that they are both CREATING) but the word “mother’ implies a more physical and less spiritual origin. I think this is to say that Tao is the creator of both the spiritual and physical realms.
Now, if Tao sounds a lot like God to you, well… me too. In the Quran (the holy book of Islam) it says that God sent a messenger to every peoples. It is likely that Lao Tzu, the author of the Tao Te Ching, might have been one of those messengers, in my mind.
Now to talk about “Te” which is the EXPRESSION of Tao. Tao cannot be conceptualized or divided. A PART of Tao is not the TRUE Tao. So, when Tao interacts with things, this expression is called Te. I think what Lao Tzu was talking about, in Biblical/Quranic terms is the Holy Spirit. Is not the Holy Spirit the expression of God’s will on Earth?
So the “Tao Te Ching” translates (one way) to “The Book of Tao and its Expression,” or “The Book of God and the Holy Spirit” if you prefer 🙂 (Which I do!)
We’ll find that the Tao Te Ching does not always express Tao in ways that correlate directly with the Biblical conception of God. But I think it’s important to remember that God (the TRUE God in reality, not our ideas and conceptions about Him) is far beyond our mortal mind’s ability to conceive of. And, as God cannot be divided, if you don’t understand God in His ENTIRETY, then you don’t really understand God at all.
Frustrating isn’t it! Ah, but it makes things interesting and reminds us to stay humble.
May the Force (God?!) be with you. Hmmm?
First off, I’d like to define what I consider a martial art. I mean no offense to boxers, MMA fighters, or wrestlers, but THESE ARE NOT MARTIAL ARTS, they are combat sports. The way you can easily tell if a style is a martial art or a combat sport is to ask yourself, are there any targets or bodily weapons that are off limit for me to use? If the answer is yes, then it is not a martial art.
The point of a martial art is NOT to beat the crap out of an opponent. That is MALICIOUS AND A WASTE OF ENERGY. The point is to incapacitate the opponent so that he is unable or (preferably) UNWILLING to continue fighting. They say that a great martial artist can defeat an enemy before the battle has begun, just by his quality of his spirit. Sometimes you just get the feeling you shouldn’t mess with someone. Once you have developed a quality of spirit that says “DON’T MESS WITH ME” you will probably never end up in a physical altercation.
But the thing is, once you have really developed this spirit deep inside (not just a macho facade of it) then you will feel no need to fight anyone because you already know you will win. One of the main reasons people (especially men) like to get in fights is so that they can prove (mostly to themselves) that they will win; that they are tough, badass, strong, powerful, etc. If you have developed this deep warrior spirit, then you already know that you are all of these things, or at least have the ability to be these things if you choose to.
In addition, you come to realize that true fighting is not glorious or beautiful like it is in a movie. It’s not a dance with people trading punching, dodging and blocking. As much as we’d like it to be IT’S NOT A KUNG FU MOVIE. It is a clash of spirits that is elemental and primal, and it often ends as soon as it starts. A real martial artist knows how to generate full body power into one point (middle knuckle, finger tips, elbow point, different parts of the foot, etc) and has developed precision with that strike. One decently powerful blow to the jaw, temple, solar plexus, floating rib, groin, eyes, and even many pressure points in the arms and legs, should be enough to stop the assault of all but the most battle-hardened and determined attackers. And for someone who has trained EARNESTLY for many years in an authentic martial art, this is a relatively simple task.
Basically, PEOPLE FIGHT OUT OF FEAR, and one of THE GREATEST CAUSES FOR FEAR IS UNCERTAINTY. When someone is uncertain of their safety, their strength, their quality of life, or THEIR FIGHTING ABILITY, and they do not want to surrender, then they will feel compelled to FIGHT. Often this is does not mean physical fighting in this day and age, but the underlying principle is the same. The martial artist, through years of training, thinking, and developing spirit, is no longer uncertain. He or she knows what they are capable of, and this CONFIDENCE keeps them from acting out of fear.
Do not let fear motivate you and dominate your life. As I’ve talked about in an earlier post, most FEAR IS BASED ON LIES that Satan whispers into your brain hoping that you believe them to be truths.
If you practice martial arts, do not try to be cool, do not try to be strong or fast or skillful in techniques. TRAIN AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, and you shall unlock that true warrior spirit.