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Philosophy Tuesday

March 3, 2015

This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

Following up on an earlier post… Transformation happens when we get/grok something that shifts (transforms) who we are being without changing anything. It is a different place than information.

Information is useful only as a way of aiming yourself to do the work to get to the transformation. In our knowledge-driven society, I think we may often come to understand something, and then figure “I understand it, so, that’s all there is to it.” Yet, understanding, and living something, are very distinct from each other.

This happens in my martial arts practice all the time. To understand a concept of the martial art is exciting and interesting and fascinating, but actually having that concept show up in my movements is an entirely different thing. In fact, I don’t actually need the understanding for the concept to show up*; however, without knowing about it the chance that I could embody this concept would both be random and quite low. However, by learning the concept – that is, to understand it – I can use that as a lighthouse to guide my investigations, my inquiry, into my movement and act as a lighthouse pointing my practice until that moment when BLAM! I get the concept and it becomes part of my movements automatically, forever.

The same holds true when practicing self cultivation. Nodding sagely and going “yep, I know this” when discussing a philosophical concept, an ontological avenue, is not the endgame. That understanding is useful only to guide your inquiry and your work (and this does take intentional work!) until BLAM! You grok it. Things shift, the heavens part, the angels sing, and you are more free.** Possibilities arise and abound.

The information and understanding then become useful to guide yourself to the next level of grokking… and, more importantly, to pass on to others so that they too may grok it and get the freedom and excitement you got.

* As an aside, it can seem very weird to think that we can embody something and live our lives from it and use it and do all sorts of amazing things without actually understanding it, or even knowing about it; there are just some types of “wisdom” that can bypass our thinking centres.

** Note: heavenly choirs not guaranteed…

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