As offensive as it may seem for someone to tell you to “relax” when you are in a crisis, they are actually right. The reasoning for them dolling out this advice is usually ill intentions and it is often given without tact which perfectly explains why it creates the opposite effect in people. But if instead of being told to relax, we just did so on our own. The beauty of existentialism is that you have the ability to realize that none of the superficial day to day stuff actually matters in the greater scheme of things. While this can cause you to slip into anxiety, it also give you license to detach. All of the meaning we ascribe to our houses and cars, and relationships has been conditioned into us or constructed by us. Taking a step back from the moment of crisis actually allows us a little bit of breathing room, perhaps a single instant to collect ourselves and regain a sense of control. After all if all the meaning is constructed by us, it can also be reconstructed or abandoned.
Beneath all this constructed meaning are some fundamental truths, that we often loose touch with. These are principles that govern energy and matter, and thus effect the body and spirit as well. We are connected to each other by something unnamed but pervasive that serves as an undercurrent for all we know and imagine. When we tap in to this we are often in flow. It is heard of often in a mythological way, but it also has some immediate literal significance as it illustrates the movement of water. It is graceful, but conforms to the container it is placed in, there is something every changing about it but just enough remains stable to sustain life. We hear of this style of living in Taoism, and in Jeet Kun Do, as we are asked to move with nature and use our opponents momentum against them. Bruce Lee is famously quoted as saying,
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”
It is this phenomena that we are discussing in October. Not simply water but the qualities that allow it to act the way it does. In order to be formless we have to be willing to separate ourselves form the constrains that might limit us. In addition we have to be committed to motion since we are always being pushed and pulled by some force of will, necessity, or desire. What happens if we allow ourselves to follow these forces or respond to them only with the same amount of force as we have received?
We will write and read, learn and grow and by the end of the month we should have a deeper understanding of this quality of flow, but also of our intuition and what influences our actions when we let go of the expectations of a superficial world.