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Old 08-02-2007, 09:36 PM   #16
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Grr! Re: Mechanics of mushin

Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
Third, again, when I was a messenger---I was so comfortable on the bike, that I no longer thought about how to ride it, or even how to dodge cars and such. But my mind was active all the time. I would be looking two or three blocks down the road, plotting out my path. So I would be thinking about what I WOULD BE doing, not what I ACTUALLY WAS doing. (Maybe this was what Josh was calling "fudoushin ".)
I tend to view mushin and fudoshin as related but different. Fudoshin means that the state of one's awareness is not easily distracted or disturbed by latching onto any of the stream of objects passing through the field of attention -- to the exclusion those that immediately displace it. Without that function the attachment breaks the state of awareness back into duality of object/subject.

Not this has nothing to do with the nature of that attention or its overall disposition. An obsessive-compulsive personality is the antithesis of fudoshin. A person may be so absorbed in contemplation of an object or process as to achieve mushin, but lacking fudoshin, this awareness is easily disturbed toward or in reaction against some intervening potential object of attention, be it negative or positive. Being so narrow in focus, intense awareness of this nature -- even though mushin -- cannot be fudoshin.

Similarly, the ADD mind (speaking from experience) may achieve a level of moment by moment attention to the stream of sense objects and internal states that would qualify as approaching if not the same as fudoshin. But lacking the absorption of the totality of awareness processes, so as to exclude the reflective states, it cannot be mushin. Hyperfocus (another trait of the ADD mind, is a durable form of mushin (on steroids I dare say), akin to a situational obsessiveness (but without the accidentla or arbitrayr character of true obsessiveness), but it excludes complete awareness of other sense objects such that it cannot be fudoshin.

The combination of these two together is the ideal posture of awareness in budo -- Mushin that is so absorbed in the processes of the moment so as to eliminate dualistic reflective states, and fudoshin that is robustly preventing attachment to any sense object or incipient internal state in the field of awareness that would instantly break that state of consciousness back into objective/subjective duality.

ADD people have the task of combining both aspects of awareness that they exhibit separately to high degree. Normal people have the task of taking the combination that they typically possess at a low gain, and amplifying them both, so as not to overemphasize one over the other.

Again, these are operative and not morally weighted conditions.


Erick Mead
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