...I shifted to feeling the cold with my ki and unhunched my shoulders and just stopped trying to block out the cold and accepted that I was a part of the environment...
I got a PM concerning my use of the term "the ki of the world" in my first post on this thread and I wanted to get back to that idea and clarify it a bit.
By "the ki of the world," I don't mean a spirit that I get from the world, and especially not an individual spiritual entity (like the Devil) but more things like just the food I eat and the things I drink. But this also includes things I see and hear. When you take in things from the world, you also get the spirit behind them. TV may be the worst. But there is also....the...ahem....internet...that doesn't always give us the best input. And politics. And financial self-interest. For instance, I saw a clip the other day of a prominent broadcaster talking about "other" Americans who want to take everything from "good" Americans. He said, very emphatically, "You have to shoot them in the head
!" He is definitely kichigai
, but he's gotten money and a hero status for saying such things and the broadcast airwaves are full of that. One woman--actually, about three different ones--sound like Nazis taunting people just before they murder them. The sickness just oozes from them, but they see themselves as just good, patriotic Americans. And they are adored by people with similar minds.
Those are the extreme examples, but there is a whole spectrum of sickness from accepting anything as "all good" all the way to murdering anyone who stands in your way.
And then there's a lot of good spirit that comes to us from good relationships and honesty and good food and drink and spectacular beauty of the sunrise and sunset, the caring of teachers for our children, and things like that.
All these things are included in "the ki of the world" and we are immersed in them. If we try to work them out or deal with them purely with the mind, as most of us do, it will pull the mind in and it can shred the mind--as in the case of Jared Loughner, or the aforementioned broadcaster who seems either to want to be Jared Loughner or to incite more people like him.
So most people, in an attempt not to have their mind shredded by this maelstrom of insane spirit of the world, choose a side and simply harden their views on every subject so that their mind becomes "unshreddable." Then, they can't hear a word without it's triggering an entire set of mental, intellectual and physical responses. It's no wonder we have such poor communications now.
Anyway, that's what I mean by "the ki
of the world"--not an individual spirit or entity (devil) but just the general influences of living among human beings who, by and large, are driven by fear and animal instincts lightly covered by a veneer of intellectual reasoning that, nonetheless, is thick enough to keep them convinced of its reality and substance.
The art of haragei
is to "stomach" those things by not resisting them or intellectually trying to reconcile or understand them. You just accept them into your ki
and let the ki
process them on its non-intellectual level in the hara
, where it always returns. So if you're in a meeting with five people and four of them are fighting one another, but you just "stomach" everything that's said, the other four will grow more opposed to one another, but each of them will feel like you are on their side because you don't resist or fight them. All four of the opposing viewpoints will feel that you agree with them, so all four of the others will agree with you because they all trust you and will accept what you say.
But even that takes the body and mind working together with the ki
. This is called utsuwa
, which is like a serving bowl or vessel. If you have the personal totality and development to "stomach" all the opposing views, you're said to have the "vessel" (utsuwa
) to hold the various points. If you don't have that, you're said to have "no vessel" for it (utsuwa ga nai
). And an utsuwa ga nai
person cannot do haragei
And it's the same for internal power, I now understand: without the proper development and coordination of mind, ki
, bone, muscle, fascia and breath, you don't have the utsuwa
required to use internal power. In fact, you can seriously injure yourself (think cerebral aneurysm) by attempting IP methods without the properly developed utsuwa
. And I think this is why Mochizuki Sensei focused on the development of the mind and body without mentioning the ki
. And I think that Aunkai's focus on developing the "frame" also amounts to developing utsuwa
to contain the tremendous power that can be developed with internal methods.
And now I have to stomach some fresh banana nut bread my wife just made. So that's enough of this for a Sunday morning.
Best to all.