Source | Youtube : DOWLPHIN
Memorable scene from the Bruce Lee movie “Enter the Dragon” from 1973.
Like the Dao De Jing, this is deep wisdom to ponder and meditate on, not mere text to consume.
And the world is always in great need of wisdom like this.
I hope I’m not playing into the hands of intellectual laziness by giving my view on things here. It’s just that so many people cannot see the real thing without something artificial pointing the way. I guess it’s skillful to apply that approach in very difficult cases, but it is always a tradeoff, taking away deeper understanding by doing some of the walking for the student.
Then again… there’s always plenty more lessons to be learned. Big leaps aren’t always feasible.
Some aspects are difficult to convey accurately, but I’ll just approximate. After all, these words are just a help for gaining insight. There’s no inherent truth in the words themselves.
– The student there makes the mistake of trying to perform a move, a kick. That is just the means to an end and indicates why Bruce Lee developed his Jeet Kune Do, his no-technique approach. Technique can distract from the aim and make inflexible.
– When he talks about emotional content, not anger, you might be confused, since anger is an emotion. But that emotion is not appropriate for achieving the goal in that exercise. Bruce Lee is teaching about an emotional connection to people and things you interact with and to let that define a driving intention; to put the focus on the envisioned result and then make yourself a tool for its manifestation. Ideas and concepts about how to bring that about can become a distraction and make the path to the goal less than optimal. Lack of realization of this wisdom leads to martial arts students neglecting the philosophy side of the art … about when to fight and why.
– The concentrating-on-the-finger theme is at least in part about the confusion of means and ends and turning the means into ends, which happens oh so often, especially in people who are more pragmatically than idealistically inclined. It’s a huge topic with numerous types of manifestation in our society; far too complex to talk about in great detail here.
Let’s just say that many people yearn for that heavenly glory, but keep digging deeper into the finger trying to find it. Then things get more complex, when the real deal is quite simple. But logic cannot see emotion, and when the fear-based rational mind with its confusion schemes is in control, the world of pure emotion is unfathomable. Many people can only experience it by keeping it neatly separated from the rational world view, and external attempts to soften up that barrier and bring both worlds together will be met with resistance.
The courageous person will seek to face fears whenever he feels strong enough, while the fearful person will avoid this even when given plenty of help and shy away from the smallest of challenges as long as facing them doesn’t become unavoidable.
We’re all acting one way or the other depending on the situation. Remember your moments of courage and be inspired by them. With more people showing courage, it becomes easier for the fearful to find their courage, too.
At least start the journey somewhere!
When you are fixating on the finger, you know your fear is in control of you.
Message to everybody: Beware of taking on challenges that are too great and beware of shying away from challenges that are tiny. Be wise enough to see the difference. The mere act of asking yourself these questions in sincere pursuit of your personal truth helps you gain insight.
Whatever you do, you become better at it.
Life is a game about overcoming fears. And you are never alone in this game! Fear separates, love unites. Let’s work together!