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Old 10-15-2013, 09:07 AM   #76
Gary David
 
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Re: 6 Directions

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think "keep one point" is a great reminder phrase. I am not sure if is the best way to teach the concept, but I think it is acceptable to use the phrase to describe that which your already know.

I think there needs to be a grain of salt taken with anything that requires equating Japanese and Chinese concepts. I understand that cultural relationship to be... complicated. I think in some cases, right now, the descriptions should be kept in cultural context and not "converted". Eventually, I think we will see a common terminology emerge.
Jon
The very reason that hands on contact, feeling what is going on, is so important to getting it into a frame work you can use.....putting the work into a personal context.

Gary
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:09 AM   #77
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Re: 6 Directions

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Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Interestingly, science has disproven this. Brain studies show that action PRECEDES decision.

The results have been repeated innumerable times and are the basis of considerable study currently.
Bill
What precedes action? What gets it going?
Gary
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:13 AM   #78
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Re: 6 Directions

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think there needs to be a grain of salt taken with anything that requires equating Japanese and Chinese concepts. I understand that cultural relationship to be... complicated. I think in some cases, right now, the descriptions should be kept in cultural context and not "converted". Eventually, I think we will see a common terminology emerge.
I believe that there are not "Chinese concepts and Japanese concepts" when it comes to the body method itself; rather, there are cultural differences in the ways they are described. For most, if not all, of them, they came to Japan via China, with Chinese terms for them. The Japanese did their best to come up with equivalent vocabulary, as well as a cultural context they could relate to (as in the the metaphor of the Kojiki for the concept of In/Yo (Yin/Yang).
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:18 AM   #79
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Re: 6 Directions

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Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Interestingly, science has disproven this. Brain studies show that action PRECEDES decision.

The results have been repeated innumerable times and are the basis of considerable study currently.
Hi Bill,
If you go back and re-read those studies, I think you'll find that they mean that action precedes cognitive decision. Non-verbal desire and intent precede the cognitive awareness (i.e. the "verbal" thinking part of your brain that "talks" in your head) that you desire or decide on something. Intent is way ahead of "you."
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:41 AM   #80
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Re: 6 Directions

I think we're oversimplifying reeling silk a bit, but that's okay, it's common that different perspectives exist around the same core elements.

Cady, I like the sphere notion for neutral structure, but from a peng jin standpoint there may be a risk in losing the notion of the Qi of Earth whereby you're mentally manipulating the solidity of the ground through you (initially, then as you get better and more relaxed, you can do more with gravity as well) because in an initial practice, you don't usually have the connectivity to do much ground transmission without relying on bracing or structure.

I'm not going to presume that I know what's all being described by "spirals" and "spiraling power" but the windings of the feet through the frame certainly do play a part based on internal hand-foot connection, how much that connection has been conditioned and the relaxed skill in its use. I think there's some things left out when discussing silk-reeling with regard to dantian (tanden) and where sounds and the breath come into play both from a training/conditioning/skill and an application standpoint. Additionally, there are some body methods that help "close the circuit" so-to-speak when it comes to maintaining the full feeling when you're moving all parts together. Plus, the extraordinary amount of work/solo training needed to condition the right stuff (beyond rudimentary jin) in the body.

That being said, yeah six-directions and 6 harmonies (the internal harmonies for using qi and the external harmonies of how qi is expressed in a person's body) are not the same thing.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:25 AM   #81
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Re: 6 Directions

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think there needs to be a grain of salt taken with anything that requires equating Japanese and Chinese concepts. I understand that cultural relationship to be... complicated. I think in some cases, right now, the descriptions should be kept in cultural context and not "converted". Eventually, I think we will see a common terminology emerge.
There's a lot to be said for this point of view. But these days, a lot of practitioners of Chinese and Japanese arts are getting on the mat together and finding correspondences, so it's inevitable that people try to understand the relationship.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:23 AM   #82
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Re: 6 Directions

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Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Bill
What precedes action? What gets it going?
Gary
Reflexive cues -- REALLY fast ones. Faster than any possible voluntary motor repsonses. AND with a resulting control phase lag that is both unavoidable and NOT trivial.

See here.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:52 AM   #83
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Re: 6 Directions

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Here at 8:44 O-is Sensei dropping someone with just a push to the chest. Then he sits on his head. I don't think that part is demonstrating aiki.
The former is easy to understand physically. The latter is just plain funny...

O Sensei has his hand descending as in a cut -- that happens to intersect the front of uke, causing him to be displaced slightly to the rear at the apex of the arc (you can see his stance shift) at this point. At this point his structure is pressed into O Sensei's hand (Ki-musubi) and the moment of his whole structure is poised in a potential rotation toward O Sensei, pressed against his hand.

Simultaneously, at the apex, the motion along the arc instantaneously changes sign from outward and down to INWARD and down,(in-yo transition) That is the along same rotation uke is poised to follow anyway. He cannot quickly enough reorient balance voluntarily to counter what his body is already doing reflexively, both because the change of sign is hardly perceptible until too late, and because it simply allows his reflexive action to follow its natural course and so provokes no reaction.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:08 PM   #84
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Re: 6 Directions

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Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Interestingly, science has disproven this. Brain studies show that action PRECEDES decision.

The results have been repeated innumerable times and are the basis of considerable study currently.
From what I have been able to find, the question of whether or not action precedes decision is still open to question. Here's a blog post on NeuroLogica Blog that deals with the issue.

Ron

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Old 10-15-2013, 12:25 PM   #85
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Re: 6 Directions

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Reflexive cues -- REALLY fast ones. Faster than any possible voluntary motor repsonses. AND with a resulting control phase lag that is both unavoidable and NOT trivial.

See here.
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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Hi Bill,
If you go back and re-read those studies, I think you'll find that they mean that action precedes cognitive decision. Non-verbal desire and intent precede the cognitive awareness (i.e. the "verbal" thinking part of your brain that "talks" in your head) that you desire or decide on something. Intent is way ahead of "you."
This is when it starts getting very interesting to me. There is certainly a part of precognitive process that determines how you arrive at a certain state in life. Why are dung beetles obsessed with rolling dung? Why do humans obliviously reenact certain habitual patterns, again and again? "We're made that way." Might be the best answer we can come up with, but we very rarely observe it in action. Only when we have some kind of cognitive dissonance and are forced to reconsider things.

There seems to be both a subjective consciousness and an objective consciousness shown in that study. Some more primal, underlying part of you exists and creates the essential ground that your subjective self runs around in, so to speak. Our programming does seem to arrive from afar.

When many creatures- including humans- are deficient in a nutrient, they crave food that contains it, even though they have never attended a class in nutritional chemistry. I don't know how that works, either, but I think it's the same way.

Last edited by Bill Danosky : 10-15-2013 at 12:27 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:12 PM   #86
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Re: 6 Directions

Although there is much more content in this thread than I could even try to address, there are two topics that I can address especially well:

Quote:
Jen Wilcher wrote: View Post
If I'm understanding this thread correctly, it seems to me that learning to open up and operate in all 6 directions at once is Aikido's equivalent of learning how to throat/overtone sing.
As someone who claims to be able to both overtone sing and express "ground strength" in all directions (to a small degree), I'd say the two are actually roughly opposites. Overtone singing is a process of analysis/reduction of complexity. You filter a complex tone to express pure tones. Whereas in internal strength, you work on a simultaneous combinination of pure expressions of ground to produce stability in all directions. One you strip down, one you build up. Anyway they do both share the idea of finding something pure and simple amidst a mess (your motor behavior being a mess before you start training).

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Interestingly, science has disproven this. Brain studies show that action PRECEDES decision.

The results have been repeated innumerable times and are the basis of considerable study currently.
I'm going to agree with Cady - action can precede "conscious recognition" of decision-making, but the moment of decision making is really beside the point here. What your "consciousness" can perceive/infer (and when it can perceive/infer it) isn't the point. Intent can be separated from action as a simple trick of the motor system (that's what the coffee-cup demonstration is for). I think this has more to do with alpha and gamma motoneuron coactivation than consciousness - i.e. it is way downstream of consciousness.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:10 PM   #87
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Re: 6 Directions

In any case, it's germane to the conversation, and I hope, isn't too big of a thread hijack. The value of Mu Shin becomes the topic, I suppose. My currently favored practice follows the Bhagavad/Bagger method- Drill the techniques until you are executing them optimally, or "master the strokes" in golf parlance. Then study the tactics and strategy. Then consider the wisdom of applying it, then transcend the process through detachment.

So drill, drill, drill the kihon. Get it perfect. Think about what makes sense to use in Jiyu Waza, and work that all out. But when you get up there, don't think about it. Concentrate on observing.

This is what I get from what we're discussing. For many years, I've said, "My Aiki brain doesn't do sequence." I'm closer than ever to understanding what I mean.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:49 PM   #88
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Re: 6 Directions

I don't have a problem with doing repetitive drills, or "my aiki brain doesn't do sequence." (I quite agree with that actually.) I would add "my aiki body doesn't execute smartly planned fine motor skills." Humans can do such behaviors so that we can build cool tools, and communicate with language, not so that we can do budo.

The coffee-cup demo exists just to show you what "intent" means. Then, 6-direction training exists just to get you to use intent in a meaningful way (strengthening the body as you go)-- it's a way which doesn't depend on plans or waza.

There's no sequencing or pre-planned actions in "appropriate fitting." So intent is indeed useful for sequence-free martial behavior.
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:54 PM   #89
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Re: 6 Directions

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
I don't have a problem with doing repetitive drills, or "my aiki brain doesn't do sequence." (I quite agree with that actually.) I would add "my aiki body doesn't execute smartly planned fine motor skills." Humans can do such behaviors so that we can build cool tools, and communicate with language, not so that we can do budo.

The coffee-cup demo exists just to show you what "intent" means. Then, 6-direction training exists just to get you to use intent in a meaningful way (strengthening the body as you go)-- it's a way which doesn't depend on plans or waza.

There's no sequencing or pre-planned actions in "appropriate fitting." So intent is indeed useful for sequence-free martial behavior.
In my belief, truly appropriate fitting is a function of mastery on the second or third level, which can't be reached without exceeding the first. Unfortunately, that involves making one's aiki body execute smartly planned fine motor skills.

That's only my belief, though. Regarding the coffee cup, Alan Watts said the forest creates the bug. So if you find yourself reaching for a cup of coffee, it's because you're conditioned by your environment. Maybe you made the decision, maybe not. Maybe to some degree.

Maybe not.

Last edited by Bill Danosky : 10-15-2013 at 04:57 PM. Reason: shortened, more concise.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:29 PM   #90
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Re: 6 Directions

Regarding the coffee cup, Alan Watts said the forest creates the bug. So if you find yourself reaching for a cup of coffee, it's because you're conditioned by your environment. Maybe you made the decision, maybe not. Maybe to some degree.

Bill, as Jonathan explained, the "reaching for the coffee cup" was simply an example of actions most people make without conscious thought. If not coffee, then tea, or water, or the alarm clock to turn it off, or the pet the cat. Whatever. The point is that something sparks that action, and it is not conscious thought. We don't think, "I shall pet the cat now," we just get an "urge" (desire) to pet the cat, reach out and do it. Desire sparks intent which fires the action, and can be sustained over long periods of time (i.e. it's not a chain sequence of events). Being aware of that state and being able to summon it at will, and to apply it continuously, is what allows us to do things such as work the 6 directions and "hold" them, even when moving.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:51 PM   #91
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Re: 6 Directions

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Cady, I like the sphere notion for neutral structure, but from a peng jin standpoint there may be a risk in losing the notion of the Qi of Earth whereby you're mentally manipulating the solidity of the ground through you (initially, then as you get better and more relaxed, you can do more with gravity as well) because in an initial practice, you don't usually have the connectivity to do much ground transmission without relying on bracing or structure.
Hi Budd,
Not sure what you mean. The sphere is always there, both in neutral structure and when changing and acting. And connection with the Earth is always part of the equation, even when moving and stepping.
It's all about increasing layers of "stuff" we're doing, with the basic structure and holding of the (intent) sphere as the foundation.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:25 PM   #92
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Re: 6 Directions

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Although there is much more content in this thread than I could even try to address, there are two topics that I can address especially well:

As someone who claims to be able to both overtone sing and express "ground strength" in all directions (to a small degree), I'd say the two are actually roughly opposites. Overtone singing is a process of analysis/reduction of complexity. You filter a complex tone to express pure tones. Whereas in internal strength, you work on a simultaneous combinination of pure expressions of ground to produce stability in all directions. One you strip down, one you build up. Anyway they do both share the idea of finding something pure and simple amidst a mess (your motor behavior being a mess before you start training).
Ok, thanks for the clarification, I have a bit of experience with Mongolian throat singing from a friend introducing me to a couple of folk rock bands, but not a lot and thought I saw some sort of similarity between the two.

"Die biting the throat." #12 of The Gnoll Credo
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:41 AM   #93
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Re: 6 Directions

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
I believe that there are not "Chinese concepts and Japanese concepts" when it comes to the body method itself; rather, there are cultural differences in the ways they are described. For most, if not all, of them, they came to Japan via China, with Chinese terms for them. The Japanese did their best to come up with equivalent vocabulary, as well as a cultural context they could relate to (as in the the metaphor of the Kojiki for the concept of In/Yo (Yin/Yang).
I think you are conflating the concepts with whatever the phenomena may be.

They are not one and the same, and that is and has been a big problem with our "discussions" here.

There are always concepts. All of us have them. Some are closer to reality, and hence more useable than others, but none are ever reality.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:29 AM   #94
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Re: 6 Directions

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
I think you are conflating the concepts with whatever the phenomena may be.

They are not one and the same, and that is and has been a big problem with our "discussions" here.

There are always concepts. All of us have them. Some are closer to reality, and hence more useable than others, but none are ever reality.
Well, I don't think she is nor that is anyone else.

Of course we shouldn't conflate the concept with the vocabulary/metaphor that is used to circumscribe the concept, either. But I can't see where this or that has happened to any of the IP/IS proponents in this thread.
Could you delineate how you derive your observation?

Best,
Bernd

Last edited by Bernd Lehnen : 10-16-2013 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:56 AM   #95
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Re: 6 Directions

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Hi Budd,
Not sure what you mean. The sphere is always there, both in neutral structure and when changing and acting. And connection with the Earth is always part of the equation, even when moving and stepping.
It's all about increasing layers of "stuff" we're doing, with the basic structure and holding of the (intent) sphere as the foundation.
What I'm saying is that so many components are already layered into the spherical force field structure thingy (relaxing, jin, body connections, change management against progressive loads, presumably dantian, etc.) as part of the overall equation that I find it may be challenging for people to understand the basic peng jin component well enough to do the raw work it takes to rewire themselves to move appropriately with just jin (and I know there are many applications of jin but there's just one jin - the application of the qi of earth). Anyways, more cautionary than me trying to accurately describe what you're doing since I only met you once like six or seven years ago. But some others I've met in the interim seem to get stuck on stretching their center out in so many directions that the purity of the ground strengths gets misplaced. Which is a different problem than some others have where they're trying to reach out with their middle in a way that it is given up.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:08 AM   #96
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Re: 6 Directions

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
I believe that there are not "Chinese concepts and Japanese concepts" when it comes to the body method itself; rather, there are cultural differences in the ways they are described. For most, if not all, of them, they came to Japan via China, with Chinese terms for them. The Japanese did their best to come up with equivalent vocabulary, as well as a cultural context they could relate to (as in the the metaphor of the Kojiki for the concept of In/Yo (Yin/Yang).
Sorry, I may have been a little muddy... To clarify, yes, I think ultimately both are taking about the same thing. Culturally, both the Japanese and Chinese are using their own ways of describing and conceptualizing a "thing". I think as proponents of each culture continue to work with each other to consolidate a common description of the "thing", we will be the beneficiaries of more clear instruction.

As any good Chinese action movie will clearly demonstrate, the Japanese are nothing but occupying oppressors robbing the Chinese of their culture, Fist of Legend. Sorry, couldn't resist more inappropriate humor.

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Old 10-16-2013, 06:31 PM   #97
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Re: 6 Directions

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
What I'm saying is that so many components are already layered into the spherical force field structure thingy (relaxing, jin, body connections, change management against progressive loads, presumably dantian, etc.) as part of the overall equation that I find it may be challenging for people to understand the basic peng jin component well enough to do the raw work it takes to rewire themselves to move appropriately with just jin (and I know there are many applications of jin but there's just one jin - the application of the qi of earth). Anyways, more cautionary than me trying to accurately describe what you're doing since I only met you once like six or seven years ago. But some others I've met in the interim seem to get stuck on stretching their center out in so many directions that the purity of the ground strengths gets misplaced. Which is a different problem than some others have where they're trying to reach out with their middle in a way that it is given up.
Yes, it's a lot of "stuff" both to comprehend and to be able to do, and especially to sustain for extended periods. That's why the entire process should be broken down into its components, and each element worked individually, from the "ground, up" and then incorporated and worked together. Sam Chin has done this with his approach to internal development in I Liq Chuan (I have never seen a system more painstakingly analyzed and parsed out into step-by-step training!), and Dan Harden also has exercises that address the different qualities and concepts so students can incrementally build upon them.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:59 PM   #98
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Re: 6 Directions

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Regarding the coffee cup, Alan Watts said the forest creates the bug. So if you find yourself reaching for a cup of coffee, it's because you're conditioned by your environment. Maybe you made the decision, maybe not. Maybe to some degree.

Bill, as Jonathan explained, the "reaching for the coffee cup" was simply an example of actions most people make without conscious thought. If not coffee, then tea, or water, or the alarm clock to turn it off, or the pet the cat. Whatever. The point is that something sparks that action, and it is not conscious thought. We don't think, "I shall pet the cat now," we just get an "urge" (desire) to pet the cat, reach out and do it. Desire sparks intent which fires the action, and can be sustained over long periods of time (i.e. it's not a chain sequence of events). Being aware of that state and being able to summon it at will, and to apply it continuously, is what allows us to do things such as work the 6 directions and "hold" them, even when moving.
I get that. The issue I'm speaking to is, that thing that sparks the desire is the influence of the environment (or some unknown force). Let's say it's a guinea pig. Some people eat them. Some people pet them, some people hate them. Those people likely think they made those decisions, but it's much more likely they didn't.

But here is an important consideration- Go back to the test. Tell your subject, at a moment of your choosing, grab the coffee, pet the Guinea Pig or whatever. They are going to decide when. And they will- after they reach.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:32 PM   #99
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Re: 6 Directions

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Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
I get that. The issue I'm speaking to is, that thing that sparks the desire is the influence of the environment (or some unknown force). Let's say it's a guinea pig. Some people eat them. Some people pet them, some people hate them. Those people likely think they made those decisions, but it's much more likely they didn't.

But here is an important consideration- Go back to the test. Tell your subject, at a moment of your choosing, grab the coffee, pet the Guinea Pig or whatever. They are going to decide when. And they will- after they reach.
I get what you're saying. However, what we're discussing is the use of desire-intent to willfully initiate a specific kind of internal action, in this case for martial application. We're not talking of a subjective desire, but of awareness that we are intentionally using "intent" to do certain kinds of work within our bodies. IOW, "desire-intent" is a tool we use to achieve a specific thing.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:43 PM   #100
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Re: 6 Directions

Okay, let me make sure I'm landing myself in your conversation, because you're right- it is about martial arts.

As it relates to Jiyu Waza, (IMO) Mu Shin is probably the optimal mindset, and calm observation is second. The primal you that precedes the decision doesn't want to get it's ass kicked either. You can trust it to take care of the heavy work. You can even watch, but stay out of the way.

At least, that's what I get from the data.
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