Monthly Archives: May 2013

Angry for Recieving Useful Information?

At work, when I explicitly pointed out an error in our product documentation when wording an email to request to have it changed, a Japanese colleague said that it was almost as if I were saying – “hey look, you were wrong here!” With the (Japanese) cultural implication that it was bad to say so outright. Our counterpart was in North America, so I must have been applying my North American cultural template.
So my response to my co-worker was: “Suppose you’re doing a martial art. If there are flaws in your technique, wouldn’t you want someone to point them out? Doesn’t it seem kind of pointless to be angry for receiving useful information?” And he smiled and nodded. So I guess I was able to convey an intuitive sense of the preferred U.S. style by way of a Japanese cultural reference.
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Instinct, Consciousness, and Love

More definitions:

Instinct: Wisdom of the ancestors or experience, instantly accessible.

Consciousness: Self-awareness. Meta-awareness of one’s own habits and biases that exist in instinct. Ability to reprogram these habits and biases based on experience.

Love: To incorporate another person’s patterns of consciousness into one’s own. When this is mutual, the love develops into one consciousness living in two bodies.

Definitions of Freedom

Wealth without greed.
Love without jealousy.
Solitude without loneliness.
Mortality without cowardice.
Inactivity without guilt.
Routine without ennui.
Action without discomposure.
Responsibility without fatigue.
Ferocity without anger.
Evaluation without judgement.
Self-respect without ego.
Memories without burden.
Lust without enslavement.
Self-control without self-denial.
All desires harnessed.
All instincts informative.
Fully Human.

師匠の現れ

師匠は準備ができた時に現れる。

新宿駅からの地下道からあがって、道場に行く途中の私が道を渡ろうとしたら、後ろに何か落ちた音がして、男の人の声が「ファック!ファック!」と繰り返して言った。

振り返ってみると、車椅子に同じ道角に車椅子の座っている男性が違う方向への横断信号を待っていると分かった。彼のリュックが落ちて、本、軍手などの中身が歩道に散らかった。

三歩ほど近づいて、カバンを手にとって、渡した。他の物も拾ってあげようと思ったが、「ファック」と言ってカバンをまた地面に投げた。

「あ、そうなんだ。いいんだ。」と私が言って、ほって置いた。その時に私が待っていた信号はもう変わっていたので、男と散らかっているものを背中にして道をを渡った。後ろから繰り返して「ファック」が聞こえた。

あの男はきっと悩みたかった。周りに助けになれる人がいたのに、声もかけないし、助ける人が現れてもその助けを拒否した。私個人もそんなことがあるのだろうかと自分に問いかけた。そこで気づいたことがあって、この師匠に感謝した。

もう一つ、誰も人の幸せに責任を負えない。手を延ばすべきけど、時には人が気が済むまで悩まなければならない。ほって置いていい。

伝える

も う俺は死んでいると考えていると、今居続けてもらっている魂はこの世を去るまでにできることを伝えなければいけない。先週の金曜日の入身投げの稽 古のなかで、八年前に初心者だった私に先輩が説明した体捌きのことがやっと分かって技が一段と変化した。一言が八年後に響くこともあるということは莫大な 掛け算にになる。

できるだけ吸収して伝えたい。

 

授かった器

夜散歩で亡くなった親友のことを思い出した。友達が日系アメリカ人で、いつか日本にも来たかったけど、間に合わなかった。こういう言葉が思い浮かんだ。

「もう俺は死んでいる。これ全部がおまけの時間。」すごく自由に感じた。我々の魂がこういう器を与えられて、少しの間に他の魂と触れ合うことができて、そして消えて行く。俺はただ亡くなった友達より少し長く時間を与えられただけ。

Noise Reduction

One evening, I went out of Shinjuku station and crossed the street and stood on a sloping pedestrian-only road. Tourists passed, admiring the lights. On a railing, a man sat arguing with someone, maybe his girlfriend? In a storefront, the young nubile members of AKB-48, a popular girls band, smiled, sang, and danced on a flat-panel television screen. Bar touts invited people to sing karaoke or go for all-you-care-to-drink courses of alcohol.

I let the lights fade into the background. Instead of commanding attention, they became background illumination. The smiling and dancing girls become to me a ploy to get me to spend money – then, they became just two-dimensional shapes flitting across a dark background. The girls themselves are just pawns in a money machine.

Some people waited for others, playing with their phones. Some couples walked hand-in-hand. Some old people wore out-of-fashion clothing and walked more slowly than the rest. Some people dressed in office clothing, supporting each other as they walked, inebriated, toward the station.

Many times have I walked through this area and seen the lights, but not the people.

The media diet I now set for myself to reduce noise: when out and about, look at people, not ads. When on the train, look at the scenery, people, or read, not the videos or ads. Do not watch news, read from a weekly news magazine at most. Shift reading to include more classics – works that have passed the test of time. This is a much easier way to live.