The Way of the True Path of the Martial Arts
I was in the army 40 years ago, stuck with drab duty and endless amounts of time in which to conjecture. I was supposed to go to another country and kill people. This was not a task I thought of as honorable.
One night I fell into a conversation with a young private, and he asked me if I have ever read Lao Tse. I told him I hadn’t and asked him what it was. He told me that it was…The Way.
Now, I had come across the concept of The Way in the martial arts. I had read of it, talked about it with fellow students, and considered it in light manner. Oddly, though I had been in the martial arts for a couple of years, I had no idea that there was a book expressly concerned with The Way.
Not long after that I found a copy of the book and began to examine it. I dwelt upon the passages, translated the ancient Chinese terminology into terms I understood as best I was able. I was to find that the mere reading of the book, which is not a sizable volume, was a journey in itself.
There is no high without low, there is no front without back, translated into the most marvelous dichotomy. Oddly, I found that these concepts, high and low, front and back, were usable in freestyle. Indeed, as the years passed I was to find that the mere conjecturing of these concepts in thought, even in the middle of chaotic freestyle, brought order and advantage of a sizable nature.
My favorite passage of the book has always been, Do nothing until nothing is left undone, as it is positively enlightening. I would trade upon the forks of my life for the chance to implement this strategy. Eventually, the forms done ten thousand times, I began to experience bits and elements of truth, and my art would actually engage in the effortless principles that go towards making up the True Art.
Not every time would I be able to make the concepts of The Way function in my real life actions, but the contest was in The Way, and this contest brought me out of the box, undid the normal way of thinking, and enabled me to actually be a seeker in action, and the whims of my youthful desire began to manifest. Emotions became a joy, age became a relaxation, and and still The Way nudges me hither and yon. My form transmogrifies to the lilt of this ancient rhyme, and another world beckons unceasingly.
A perfect world, where the realization that The Way is merely the unceasing time before me has settled upon me. A world where those obsessed with political intrigue and the almighty dollar fall sick by the wayside and envy me my youth and good health. A world where human beings exist, outside the realm of transgressions and judgment, this is The Way that I have found.