If you’re doing something because you love to do it, there’s no question about whether it’s the “right” thing to do or not. You just do it. Cause you like it. That’s it.
Are some people more destined to become something than others? I don’t know. I recently saw a quote on a BJJ website (attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson):
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
I think that sounds right. Only…does one simply decide on something, or is there a more complex metaphysical process going on? What about feeling called to do something? I mean, is it a matter of simply picking and choosing our work/profession/career/etc, or does it need to first reveal itself to us? Are the possibilities really endless? Or are there actually some things (careers, professions, trades, etc) that are not possible? Or maybe Emerson is just sayin’, “Look bro, put your mind to it and you can be anything you wanna be.” – speaking to that whole human potential thing. I mean, that makes sense to me. But then I’m like, well, that’s great that the possibilities are endless but, how will I know which possibility to focus my mind on? I can’t possibly focus on all of them in one lifetime.
I remember a conversation with a friend in Oakland. We were talking about how things fall into place if they are authentically aligned with what you want to do. And so I thought, “Well, maybe karate isn’t authentically aligned with who I am because I can’t seem to find a damn teacher for this stuff I wanna learn?” Or maybe what I’m trying to learn is so esoteric and specific that there just isn’t gonna be a plethora of teachers to teach it? Or maybe what I’m trying to learn is an elaborate excuse for me to avoid having to train in the first place because then I can say, well, there’s no teacher or school in the area I want to learn from, so therefore I won’t train. Or maybe it’s a faulty notion to believe that things will just fall into place? Maybe, even though it’s authentically aligned, you still have to have some persistence and determination? Maybe it’s wise to consider not giving up?
My Jungian analyst told me during one session that, “When we are moving closer to our center, coincidences become more frequent.” I think Jung calls this “synchronicity”? Certainly, this was the case in Detroit, to quite an extraordinary degree actually. I was meeting people who were connected to me in unexpected but familiar ways. Although, I feel as though these “coincidences” have become less apparent to me as I’ve moved forward in the stream of my journey. Or maybe I’ve gotten so near-sighted by my own fears and anxiety that I miss seeing the synchronicity?
As far as karate is concerned, I feel like I want to learn from somebody dammit! I feel like, okay, study group is there to fill in the void. But what we really need is an experienced guide. I mean, of course we could go get ourselves into fights and learn first-hand the nature of the beast, or at least one aspect of it (and risk being seriously injured, maimed or killed). That sounds crazy, but it can be a reality. Of course, I’m not interested in doing that in the first place – save that for the bad motherfuckers, as in baadasssss. For me, what I’m interested in learning is how our kata translates to that violent reality. I mean, would a BJJ/boxing/MMA/judo student be satisfied with learning a technique without it being shown how it works on another person, both statically and dynamically? I’d think not. So why would I, as a karate student, be satisfied with just learning a sequence of fighting-like movements without understanding what its function is for? That’s not me whining. That’s me pointing out a seriously flawed aspect of modern karate pedagogy! But okay…you’ve heard it all from me before. I know.
Okay! No more questions!