And some acceptance.
This pair of circumstances is very important in budo. Seeing this pair is very important in my life. Sitting on an elevated rock at the edge of the ocean, budo is a very important part of me, and a part I think will survive the atomic blast.
But not really you.
Rather, it changes the way you interact with the world. Budo is a system that becomes a mode of communication between you and the outside world.
Budo is a system to be utilized. Budo is a system that will teach you to process and handle things in a way pre-determined to be effective.
First, it does so by affecting how you unconsciously make decisions in the world. The purpose of technique is that you practice physical responses to the point at which you don't think. In self-defense, this means moving your body in a way to avoid attacks and execute your own. In kyudo, this means having your body go through the myriad physical checks necessary in order to focus on the shooting. We retrain our natural physical reactions by practicing budo.
Secondly, budo changes how you consciously deal with stimula. This is most clearly seen in encountering adversity. In budo, obstacles are overcome by eliminating all extraneous stimulation in order to focus on the matter at hand. Emotions are not the sole base of decision making, and attempts are made to try to figure out what lies beneath or beyond them. Natural reactions are studied, "Why do I feel this way?". Decisions are made to the best of ability and are followed through with resolution. Success and failure are less about the results and more about one's own effort.
Budo is a system, which changes how we deal with the world. Yet, it is advanced compared to many other systems in that it provides itself with a skapegoat to survive definition. Budo is a way of doing things, but it is also a way of not doing things. Budo exists, and yet the fact that it exists means it also doesn't exist. Budo should be employed, until it shouldn't be employed. Budo is, and is not. This is what makes it a living entity. This adds to its continual misunderstanding.
Our actions are the only things that belong to us. Budo is not one's identity, but a way in which one's identity can interact with the world. It is also it's own entity. That being said, our identities are not even our's to own. We are born into the world without a choice, given circumstances without a choice. But if there is anything we can control, it is our actions. This is where our reality meets with a system, and our lives are altered. So Budo is the closest thing we have to affecting control in our lives, while also realizing the chaotic lack of control we have. It must be both. If not, it is not Budo.
But it also sharpens me to an edge, made as fine as possible to slice through all of existence. I don't understand this. I would say it's like war or violence, but I can't make a connection with them easily.
When the budo takes a hold of me, I am completely submerged in it's grasp, enthusiastically following it's tenets. I become an incredibly productive and safe individual. I am so much so that the longer I practice, the deeper I find myself in it's periodic delusion. Only when I step back do I realize how blindly I ran into the dark. I'm somehow ashamed of that when I realize it. That sharpened edge, the violence of my will, it's the purpose of the system, but that system is smaller than the whole living organism. I am larger than the system. Budo is a foolish tool I worship. Budo is not the master of me, but backwards. But budo falls through my grasp, because it isn't mine, and actually isn't anything at all.
People naturally use their surroundings to support and enact their will. People manipulate their pasts, their memories, so support beliefs of their own, which is false. The past does not belong to us, just as nature. Just as this living system, Budo.
Well, I didn't talk about anything I planned to when I began this entry, so the conversation will surely continue! Just not here and now. Thank you for reading.