Throught the years I had being a sort of an Iconoclastic, or at least believed myself to be one, there’s this idea that as we grow older we become more conservative in our outlook, and I am not talking politically, as it is mainly understood , since my political views can be seeing by many as too far left, but in the general outlook in life, age bring changes on the understanding of things, and we learn there’s a kernel of truth, on most outlooks, the only thing you got to be faithful, it is to your own realization of what’s true, as you stand right now, regardless of your previous ideas who no longer prove useful for your growth as a better, and more wiser individual.
Iconoclasm is the social belief in the importance of the destruction of icons and other images or monuments, most frequently for religious or political reasons. People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any individual who challenges “cherished beliefs or venerated institutions on the grounds that they are erroneous or pernicious”.
Tradition Weighs a Lot
Anyway as we live we learn, the weight of Tradition counts, and it counts a lot, where knowledge it’s first, and weights like a block of lead, that sinks deep.
A tradition is a belief, behavior, or Knowledge passed down within a group or society with practical, and symbolic meaning of special significance with origins in the past.
Now when it comes to knowledge it acquire an almost indisputable meaning corroborated by experience, and the practices that go along with it, in order to transmit it to future generations through institutions of learning like Colleges, and Universities, and other centers of learning, practical, artistic, or whatever it is taught there.
The scholarly method or scholarship is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public. It is the methods that systemically advance the teaching, research, and practice of a given scholarly or academic field of study through rigorous inquiry. Scholarship is noted by its significance to its particular profession, and is creative, can be documented, can be replicated or elaborated, and can be and is peer-reviewed through various methods.
My Take, Freedom To be Wrong?
Now, it always surprise me how people who lack proper education, specially now day, dismiss this knowledge like someone’s opinion, and go on arguing things that had been in the past set by Scientist, and Scholars as fallacy, useless, worthless, of little value, or just a waste of time, and how by our belief in Democracy we grant everybody to have an opinion, regardless how wrong they are, and not only that, it baffles me, how more than few people really go on in life, with their wrong assumptions, like if it’s trifle to remain wrong, and ignorant, about issues that science, and scholars had settled down years ago!
And its when I use a phrase, unfortunately too many times: ‘Yes, you have the freedom to express an opinion and be wrong about it, but being wrong it’s nevertheless wrong!’
And frequently tell people, please; I do not want to hear your argument anymore, go study, and find out by yourself, its out there you can read it easily, just go and ask google, your opinion means nothing, knowledge it’s not a democracy, it’s a meritocracy, and that’s why when you go to school your opinion it’s worthless when you in a test, give the improper answers to the questions, and the teacher marks them as wrong, and you fail your test, If you want to make the grade you got to study harder, end of the story.
Now, in previous post I had made emphasis in how despite our great Scholar tradition in the West, we keep confusing our democratic political ways, with the right to express the most disparate opinions, beliefs, and ideas we may harbor, with total impunity.
Now I will be the first to say Science, doesn’t have all the answers, or at least not yet, but what they discover to be false, rarely they are wrong, and whatever the issue it’s put to rest, and believe lot of scientist dismiss too easily our subjective Self, forgetting our solpsistic subjective nature.
Solipsism(/ˈsɒlɪpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning ‘alone’, andipse, meaning ‘self’) is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist.
Today some Scientist seems to be entering the field of Science Fiction, with concepts like Multiverses, Singularities, Simulation theory, Hologram Universe, a Matrix sort of scenarios, Retroactive Precognition, etc. Some scientist skeptics are denying the whole thing, or just being dubious, since they adhere to what you can explain, and prove by testing, and consider those matters more speculative than real, sort of mind games.
One way or another one we have come a long way, it seem the future promise a lot, however most semiconductor industry forecasters, including Gordon Moore, expect Moore’s law will end by around 2025. In April 2005, Gordon Moore stated in an interview that the projection cannot be sustained indefinitely: “It can‘t continue forever. So will see.
Coming back to my point about knowledge, either you have it, or you don’t, and our Western way of doing things gets on the way many times from acquiring Real, and proper knowledge.
When you do not have knowledge all you got are vague ideas, opinions, and a tendency to idealize, or believe things should be this way, rather as they are, and that in Buddhism, and other Asian ways, are called Maya, or illusion.
I got to confess that for about five years, of my practice of twelve years, with my Sensei, also a Soto Zen priest, I didn’t liked the guy, I mean, even from the first day, I found him overbearing, autocratic, despotic, and learning under him was a ruthless, demanding task, his only rule was you would do my way, or the highway!
Now you may wonder how come I went with him, instead of someone else?
Well, for years I wanted to practice under a qualified, and knowledgeable Sensei, and looked for a Dojo all over Los Angeles, as soon as I set there over 32 years ago, his Dojo, was the first that by chance I checked out, and left thinking to myself, this is not what I am looking for, in my total ignorance I disliked Sensei, that by misjudging him, thought as a petty tyrant, even if the Dojo impressed me a lot, by it’s artistic beauty, pulchritude, and discipline, and through the years now, still feel it was a special privilege to be there, and studying with him. And I am sure a lot of my Senpai and Kohai, feel the same way.
Well I checked for the next two weeks many other Dojos, and by chance, and circumstance, Sensei Dojo was the more suitable to my needs, on the way from work, to home, the class schedule was also ideal, classes hours were daily during the evenings, and if you had mornings free, there were also classes early on the morning of every day, and I could come and practice if I wanted for 21 classes on a week, or close to 90 on a month, for the same monthly fee, even if it was a little more expensive than the other Dojos, missing a day wasn’t a big deal, since you could catch up right the next day, unlike many who offered you only 3 classes a week, you miss a class, and well you only get two.
I regret to say I wasn’t one of those who took advantage of such a deal, being happy with practicing six, or seven classes a week at most, sometimes, more, or less, depending if I stayed for second class.
Now, my late Sensei was old school, an Ushi-deshi of the late Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, and he taught us the traditional method passed into him, by his instructors at Hombu Dojo in Japan, many of them World renown Sensei, like Seigo Yamagushi, and many others.
At his Dojo we did Shugyo, that means “determined training that fosters enlightenment”. Its purpose is to “tighten the slack”, toughen the body, and polish the spirit. Dojo is a place where the Do, or “the Way”, is practiced.
At our Dojo, you did not talk, if not addressed by him to do so, you did not ask questions, and you followed his instructions, like if your whole life depended on it, you did not talk to your classmates during class, or even warming up, if it was not strictly necessary, and he was the most demanding of teachers, when it come to the practice, he would not take, or accept an excuse, period.
He ruled the Dojo with an iron fist!
He had at the entrance of our Dojo a sign in Japanese that said: ‘Watch your step’ and we learnt the meaning of those words the hard way.
Well it took me years to appreciate, what he had to offer, and gave to me, why?
Because simply put, I didn’t knew better, my Western education, didn’t prepared me to understand him, I evaluated him accordingly to my preconceived ideas, and didn’t knew the first thing of anything, he was trying to teach us, so earnestly he was dedicated, for us to learn what he knew.
Basically that good things can come to us by our own effort, at a great cost, maybe painfully, and with hardship, but ending in losing the fear of not being adequate to the task, giving our utmost effort, without holding back.
Did I learnt anything? You bet!
And a lot more than good technique, but proper Etiquette, proper behavior, mind alertness, beginner’s mind ( a mind always ready to learn), proper attitude, endurance, perseverance, patience, discipline, courage, and many great teachings, and deep Spiritual values that a good Sensei teach to his disciples. Despite his human shortcomings, as we all have, he dedicated his life to give us the great gift of learning the Wonderful Art that was passed to him, in the Traditional Way he was taught, and even more, giving us his experience, and wisdom, acquired by training as a Soto Zen priest.
Thank you Sensei, I apologize for my lack of talent, and my laziness, and my initial misunderstanding of what you were trying to teach us, indeed, you gave us a precious gift, that I should treasure for life.