A few days off thanks to Diwali meant more time for books and walks. And somehow, despite the new books waiting to be read, I ended up reading on the kindle. One such was Bruce Lee: Beyond The Limits. I watched the movie first as a young teen and was impressed with the early part of it, the powerful short sentences that Bruce Lee made iconic. Since then, I may have watched ‘the movie ‘Enter the Dragon’ a few times. One of my teachers mentioned Tao of Jeet Kune Do recently and I had filed it in my head to read as and when I could get my hands on a physical copy. And in the meanwhile, I stumbled upon the book I read. Books find one.
After a long time, I went yes, yes, yes. A life spent in honing one’s craft is a distilled one. Practice regularly, practice obsessively and what is churned will be like the proverbial treasures that the Samudra Manthan spewed. As a practitioner of a discipline that is rigorous, purist and yet incredibly dynamic, there is much identification in many of the terse statements and interpretations of the author. Many of the insights are ones that are an experienced reality. In short, the book left an imprint. Needless to say, I ended up watching the movie again.
Some gems from the book
“Styles are parts dissected from the whole, divisive by nature, and keep men apart.”
“The important thing to bear in mind is that the physical body and energy body are not separate, but like different interpenetrating frequencies or substances”
“The quantum world — the Void — is like an invisible ocean both around and within us. We can’t see it — like the wind, we can only see what it does. We can’t see it, because it’s already in the eye that’s looking. And we can’t touch it, because it’s already forming the hand that touches. Yet all that we see, hear, feel and touch is ‘it’.”
“Sometimes the best thing we can do is simply ‘walk on’.”
“From the moment we become more concerned with what things are than how they are, the world stops yielding to us directly — and a description of it begins to stand in between”
“Here, ‘individual’ carries the same meaning as ‘indivisible’. It describes someone who is whole and integrated within — and so is indivisible from all life, everywhere.”
“The martial artist’s challenge is the same as everybody else’s — to integrate body, mind and awareness, while learning something very practical — how to prevail in divisive situations and a fragmented world”
‘There is only all the energy at our disposal — it doesn’t matter where it comes from — we get to use it all the same.”
“An artist’s expression is his soul made apparent.”
Sometimes, there is a reading slump. One goes through the motions of reading but that sense of satisfaction and tinge of sadness at its ending can be missing. I consume a fair bit through the year but very few books make that cut. This was one of them. Likewise, there is another delightful book which was on my list, Birds and Birdsong, which is a current read and it promises to be a delight. M. Krishnan is one of India’s finest naturalists.
Reading for pleasure has taken a dip this year thanks to more reading for study but the foil those books provide makes the study material that much richer. I do believe the more interests one has, the better one assimilates and synthesizes. Something gets rewired, something new gets sparked. Imagination gets activated, creative instincts get fired. Slumps are good for they allow all the assortment in our lives to give rise to something new.