Perception, the ability to become aware through the senses is limited by a person’s ability to understand what they see or hear. It’s not only what you read but how you read it that matters.
Order of writing. Frequently, Japanese is written in a format called tategaki (縦書き), which is inspired by the traditional Chinese system. In this format, the characters are written in columns going from top to bottom, with columns ordered from right to left. Before Meiji (and often later) Kakemono or Kakijiku, ‘hanging things’ or ‘hung scrolls’ were always read top to bottom, but also right to left. The direction may change the meaning. For example popular Shin Gi Tai, mind-skill-body, when read in the intended order; becomes… first temper your body, then apply correct skill, in order to develop your mind. How many ‘other things’ have we looked at without challenging the notion of order or meaning?
I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t believed it.” ~Marshall McLuhan
Today we can purchase hundreds of books and DVDs, listen to podcasts or view thousands of offerings on YouTube related to martial arts. Yet most of this information largely retells established ideas and stories. No matter the latest technology involved, they are all forms of oral traditions.
Oral tradition, or oral lore, is a form of human communication wherein knowledge, art, ideas and cultural material is received, preserved, and transmitted orally from one generation to another. It’s a sincere effort, but at times takes on a bias or reinforces a self benefitting idea.
I truly believe in protecting and promoting your tradition and teachings of our teacher, yet I follow the advice of Siddhārtha Gautama, the true Buddha.
‘Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.’