Tai Chi and Reality


Jumping frogsOne of the favourite sayings of my teacher Karel Koskuba is that “everything is otherwise” (attributed to Rabbi Loew of Prague) – and recently looking at my New Scientist I saw a piece on quantum weirdness that pretty much discusses the idea that quantum physics is weird only because we cannot understand it – sort of following the idea that it doesn’t matter why we think it works – it just does work, very well – so “shut up and calculate”. A bit like Tai Chi.

Further on I found an article about jumping Bullfrogs which chronicles the experience of a laboratory experimenter getting frogs to jump in the lab – only to find that out in the real world frogs actually jump a good deal further than his did in the lab.

All of which led me to think about the idea of an “internal art” where we work with our mind in the laboratory of our body. Now most of us are not lucky enough to live/train in a martial arts school (or choose not to do so) which means that to compare with the laboratory metaphor, we are training ourselves in isolation (without feedback) according to principles which we may not even be capable of understanding.

We are constantly refining the training of our lab animal (ourselves) and the sensitivity of our equipment (again ourselves) according to a model that is not accurate by definition. Unless we constantly update that model according to the real world then we risk going into a fantasy mix of remembered experience and illusion that works only in our own mind.

So we should get out a bit. Expose ourselves to external forces and develop our ability to deal with them.

How can you do this? Well of course by doing partner work in classes. If you can’t do that then work with a teacher who does – and on the health side by interacting with your own medical conditions and medical advisers or alternative health practitioners in promoting resilient structure and dealing with stressors.

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