Aran Bright wrote:
I was hoping this might come up some where in the dicussion. Is it not the case that musubi can occur in the mind?
As mentioned in a very scientific manner in this thread ,and very well too i might add, is it possible for uke to pick up stimulus from uke wehther those stimulus be visual or kinesthetic, from physical pressure or electromagnetic (ki) stimuli and be able to respond mental seperately or with some level of co-ordination with the body. I loved the description of the feeling of the body playing out what had already occured in the mind.
From a neurological standpoint, stimulus is stimulus. The sensory apparatus does not itself care where the inputs come from. Indeed, beyond the point of entry into its range of detection (lower than your conscious awareness of it) it only knows the point of entry (Huygens law) -- anything beyond that is a matter of a model or representation (conscious or otherwise) in the brain and neuro-muscular system, based on either instinct or learning.
The studies I provided and others suggest that the modelling wave-forms the kinesthetic and other cognition systems use happen not just within the brain alone but throughout the whole neuromechanical feedback system of the body. There is no reason to limit this to exclude visual or other sensory cues whether above or below the level of conscious awareness.
George Fox, the statistician, once said " All models are wrong; some models are useful." models that include subsensory cues, are therefore more complete, as they have not excluded information by the conscious threshold. Additionally, the models that are conscious may be manipulated consciously, and thus may not reflect the true internal state. Those models that are not conscious are not disconnected in this way from the real cues that created them.
Which is another reason to rely on subsensory cues, and to train for subsensory cues --- they are incapable of lying about the internal state. Subsensory cues only reflect models of real internal states, not hypothetical constructs. Constructs are the business of consciousness (and thus potentially, lying). Poker players rely on this fact for subliminal "tells" that disclose a player's card strategy.
So the short answer is -- yes. Does that mean it is easy or the subject of conscious manipulation? -- No, or at least not without great difficulty and lots of apparatus. Can your subconscious, which sees, knows -- and even wills -- far more than you know it does, learn? -- Equally, yes.
I tell my students that they need to quit letting the schemer brain do the thinking and let the monkey brain function more strongly. It is faster, stronger and knows more of what is actually going on. It just can't talk too good.
The way most people have learned to operate cognitively is like a train with a mute, but keen-sighted conductor in the engine. They decide to let the talkative brakeman, located in the caboose, who can only see where he has just been, not where he is going -- neverthless run the train -- on the theory that only he can talk to give directions to the conductor and because the conductor can never explain why he is doing what he does. Great, if you want to have after-the-fact narrative reports. But it's a really bad way to run a railroad.
Ledyard Sensei discusses the need to relax and lose tension in order for musubi to function properly. Anxiety and tension in general, in fact, may almost be defined as the glimmering awareness of dissonance created by a disconnect between what your conscious state of awareness believes (hopes, fears) is going on and what your subconscious is desperately trying to find a way to tell you is actually happening.
If you simply abandon the need to consciously perceive a possible opponent as a threat, or more frequently, (less clearly seen by many people, but equally a problem) abandon trying to imagine yourself to be "safe" from consciously feared threats not actually present, the rest of you is going to operate more efficiently. You will be better able to deal with any threat that actually presents itself on the basis of subsensory cues that are present before you are even consciously aware of them. This allows your background senses to do their work without extraneous internal signals overwhelming their function.
These facts should suggest why there is such a strong and natural affinity between contemplative practice and budo. Those who (falsely) imagine contemplation to be a pleasant idyll or retreat from their conception of harsh "reality", often see these two as somehow irreconcilable philosophically, when they are cognitively identical.