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X: Unknown Mysteries, Buried Treasures, and Multiplicity
X: Unknown Mysteries, Buried Treasures, and Multiplicity
by Lynn Seiser
08-19-2013
X: Unknown Mysteries, Buried Treasures, and Multiplicity

Breathe in, X
Breathe out, X
X
X: (1) the 24th letter in the alphabet, 3rd from the last, (2) the Roman Numeral for the number 10, (3) the symbol that denotes an unknown in an algebraic equation, (4) the mark on a treasure map that denotes where the treasure is buried, (5) the mathematical symbol for multiplication
X is the 24th letter in the alphabet, 3rd from the last. There are only so many letters in the alphabet. The sequence of those letters form different words and the sequence of those words form sentences that allow us to communicate and connect with each other. I could also write about sequential learning in skill acquisition. We wouldn't want to lose the form before we learned variations of it, before we actually learned it. We wouldn't want to act before we observed, oriented, or decided. We wouldn't want to shoot, before we draw and aim. Life is a sequence that allows us to be successful.

X is the Roman Numeral for the number 10. I could write about the rule of 10, where if someone gives you nine units of energy (they do the work), you only have to respond with 1 unit. If someone only gives you one unit of energy, you have to respond with nine (you do the work). We count by groups of 10. There is a binary code based on two numbers, 1 and 0. We often measure our lives in increments of 10 years, a decade.
X: the symbol that denotes an unknown in an algebraic equation.
In the dojo, there are so many unknowns. When we first sign up to train, we don't know how we are going to do in a new art. For some, it's the first martial art they have ever studied. They don't know what will confront them internally or externally. Perhaps that is the mysterious unknown opportunity we are co-creating with the people we train with. We do not know what each other brings to the mat and the workout, but we will soon find out. Perhaps it is the search of these personal and inter-personal unknowns and mysteries that this opportunity affords us. We all have thought about how we would like to believe we will act if confronted by confusion, chaos, and conflict. We will never know for sure unless we are actually in that situation, and then we will have to live with what we now know (sometimes not knowing is easier). Perhaps training can give us a glimpse into what we do not know yet and consciously choose to train our potential, possible, and probability of answering the unknown or at least sitting with the question.

In life, there are also many unknowns. Perhaps, like training, life is the opportunity to overcome life's mysteries. We are looking for who we are and what the purpose is of our lives. Every day we have an opportunity to stare our mysteries in the eyes and look deeply into our own being. Many times we are self-assured in the illusions of who we think we are and what we are doing. Often these illusions are created by who we have been taught we are and what others think we should be doing with our lives. Most of what we think we know comes from who we have identified with in our families of origin and our society. How do we see through illusion? How do we find the courage to find clarity and compassion?

In Zen, we often practice the daily discipline of holding in our awareness and consciousness of an unknown question (often one that cannot be found using ordinary cognitive understanding). Perhaps we do not have to have all the answers, just the humility to admit we do not know and the courage to ask them anyway.
X: the mark on a treasure map that denoted where the treasure is buried.
In the dojo, there are so many buried treasures. As we just discovered and discussed, the treasure is buried in the mysteries and illusions of the unknown. We just have to have the courage to sign-up, show-up, suit-up, and bow-in. So many people wished they had studied a martial art. Those who studied and stopped often wished they had continued. It is not as easy as it looks in the action movies. It is not as romantic as the mythical quest. It is usually just hard work, sweat, confusion, frustration, soreness, pain, and a deep desire to quit. The treasures of training are deeply hidden. There are no real maps and markings. There is just the training and the hope that it will lead us somewhere to something valuable deep inside.

In life, there are also many buried treasures. The greatest is love. Yet, we often hide love behind our fears and what has been socially modeled for us. We think that love must be like what we see on television, read in romance novels, and see on the internet. We think that love has to be the adrenalin hormonal induced intoxication of being happy every minute, of every day, for the rest of our lives. And that may just be the treasure and the end of the map, at the end of doing all the work to follow the map on blind faith and when we arrive to dig deep to unearth what is buried there. Perhaps the treasure has always been there, love has always been a part of all of our lives. We just buried it beneath illusions, ignorance, and most of all fear.
X: is the mathematical symbol for multiplication.
In the dojo, what we give comes back to us multiplied. The harder our training partner trains, the harder we want to. The more force they use, the more force we want to give back. Giving more of the same and upping the intensity is competitive and common in training. We think we will get more by giving more. When we give more than the other, we win. And winning is what it is all about, right? Perhaps this is where Aikido is different. We training to actually give less but still receive more. In fact a whole lot more. When we resist with equal strength we enter into a power struggle. By accepting and going with our training partner, our strength is added to their strength in the direction they are going, the effect is actually multiplied. By giving less, we get more. By not fighting, we win, neutralizing the fight.

In life, what we send out (positively and negatively) comes back to us 10 fold. We are taught that what we receive from an endeavor is proportionate to what we give. The more we give ourselves the more we receive from others. Yet, it is not always the person we give to who reciprocates the favor. Often to give more, we have to do less. When we are most stressed-out, anxious, depressed, angry, confused, and afraid, we are very cognitively busy in our heads. We are distracted from what really matters. As I wrote about last month regarding meditation, is that to find clarity (the buried treasure) perhaps the journey mapped out for us is of no real distance. Love has always been here and will always be here. It was never buried, only covered up. When we quit resisting out of fear and feelings of unworthiness, the love we give is multiplied as is the openness to receive love.

Perhaps life is not some mysterious unknown, with its treasures buried as deeply as we once thought.
Breathe in, X (the unknown mysteries)
Breathe out, X (the buried treasures)
X (the multiplicity)

Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey. Now get back to training. KWATZ!
Lynn Seiser (b. 1950 Pontiac, Michigan), Ph.D. has been a perpetual student of martial arts, CQC/H2H, FMA/JKD, and other fighting systems for over 40 years. He currently holds the rank of Yondan (4th degree black belt) from Sensei Dang Thong Phong of the International Tenshinkai Aikido Federation and Sensei Andrew Sato of the Aikido World Alliance. He is the co-author of three books on Aikido (with Phong Sensei) and his martial art articles have appeared in Black Belt Magazine, Aikido Today Magazine, and Martial Arts and Combat Sports Magazine. He is the founder of Aiki-Solutions and IdentityTherapy and is an internationally respected psychotherapist in the clinical treatment of offenders, victims, and families of violence, trauma, abuse, and addiction. He is a professor of clinical and forensic psychology with an expertise in family violence and treatment. He currently lives in Marietta, GA and trains and teaches at Kyushinkan Dojo, Roswell Budokan.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:19 AM   #2
Andy Kazama
 
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Re: X: Unknown Mysteries, Buried Treasures, and Multiplicity

Great Article Lynn! Your example of X as a multiplier reminded me of another use of X -- as a vector description. We've been working on this principle in the dojo, where you redirect the force vector. So, if you get an attack on the X axis, you direct your energy to the Y or Z axis (or I guess optimally a spiral, creating infinite tangents). Coincidentally, this was highlighted in one of Chris' recent blogs: http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/.../#.UhJQ55Ip-z4
Works like a charm! Thanks again for sharing!! Hope to see you on the mat, soon.

Last edited by Andy Kazama : 08-19-2013 at 11:23 AM.

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Old 08-19-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: X: Unknown Mysteries, Buried Treasures, and Multiplicity

Quote:
Andy Kazama wrote: View Post
Your example of X as a multiplier reminded me of another use of X -- as a vector description. We've been working on this principle in the dojo, where you redirect the force vector. So, if you get an attack on the X axis, you direct your energy to the Y or Z axis (or I guess optimally a spiral, creating infinite tangents). Coincidentally, this was highlighted in one of Chris' recent blogs: http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/.../#.UhJQ55Ip-z4
Works like a charm!
Man, wished I had thought/remembered the vector thing. Compliments.

Redirecting is so important. I do tend to use a tight spiral.

I'll follow up reading the blog.

If nothing comes up sooner, I'll be over in December.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:50 PM   #4
Susan Dalton
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Re: X: Unknown Mysteries, Buried Treasures, and Multiplicity

Thank you, Lynn.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:25 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: X: Unknown Mysteries, Buried Treasures, and Multiplicity

Quote:
Susan Dalton wrote: View Post
Thank you, Lynn.
You are very welcome Susan.

As you know, writing it and putting it out there is always taking a risk.

But like our training, you never know unless you show up, dress out, and bow in.

Appreciate.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:45 AM   #6
Susan Dalton
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Re: X: Unknown Mysteries, Buried Treasures, and Multiplicity

I really like that analogy, Lynn. I guess writing is like training. Or maybe we're just addicts and we believe everything in our lives relates to aikido.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:16 PM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Re: X: Unknown Mysteries, Buried Treasures, and Multiplicity

Quote:
Susan Dalton wrote: View Post
I really like that analogy, Lynn. I guess writing is like training. Or maybe we're just addicts and we believe everything in our lives relates to aikido.
Perhaps, if we are lucky enough to have some clarity and congruency, everything is inter-connected and inter-related to everything else?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:44 PM   #8
Susan Dalton
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Re: X: Unknown Mysteries, Buried Treasures, and Multiplicity

Yes of course. My attempt at humor falls a little flat. Sorry.
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