Friday, 12 June 2009

Who? Has it been there all along?

Apologies for the lack of any recent posts, blog readers (if there are any of you left out there given my slack attention to this blog of late!).

Life has been challenging and difficult recently - though not because of any obvious external stimuli. It has been informing, however, and as always, a learning experience. I've been reflecting on various developments - or perhaps, rather, non-developments. Life is a gradual process of coming to understand one's own psyche.

There is an illusory self-confidence - or certainly, in my case, this is how I now consider it to be - where in your young adulthood (i.e. somewhere typically 18-22) you start to believe you really "know" yourself. Yet, in my case, the last few years have seen me come to an awareness of many undercurrents and aspects of my psyche I didn't really explicitly recognise before. More pertinently, I have started to become much more aware of how it affects my interpersonal relationships, or more precisely, potential for interpersonal relationships.

I think of myself of consisting of a mixture of various splintered strands, totally different aspects, somewhat rather contradictory; the question is how do they resolve themselves into one homogenous, unitary, singular entity, an "I". Or perhaps I should simply accept the discontiguous strands; utilise them - "put on different hats"[0].

It is therefore not surprising that many great philosophers and pyschologists have strongly questioned whether a real "I" actually even exists (Kant, for example, was one who didn't).

Anyway; disappointment. That is my primary life feeling if I was to characterise this phase in my life - it is pervasive.


Over the last couple of months I have had one wonderful development. I am extraordinarily lucky to have met an immensely skilled Tai Chi practitioner who with tremendous generosity and infinite patience is teaching me this ancient art. It is extremely difficult but I believe I am making steady progress.

Taichiquan has become a stabilising locii for me - every second learning this martial art is repaid hugely; this I already know from my limited experience with it. I know extremely little, as yet, but already feel that it is having a significant transformative effect. Mind and body, physical and mental, rationalism and intution are not artificially divided in the East as they are over here. Tai Chi is an example of this. It is a powerful system of health and wellness. It promotes flexibility. It modifies energetic and metabolic systems. It is an extremely potent martial art (when mastered). It is a meditative activity. It encompasses philosophy, especially Taoism. It is an externalisation of many internal concepts; it is an internalisation of an apparently external physical activity.


So; more to come. I will post much more substantially when I have had more time to rationalise the set of developments over the last couple of months.

[0] A reference to some of Edward De Bono's theories on knowledge and self-management.


Triana said...

Glad to have you back Aren, if if momentarily ;) as always, I can relate to the life struggles mentioned. The later paragraphs I will have to reread a few times & do some looking into. Hope all is well otherwise.

dianne said...

Lovely to have you back Aren.
Life is a constant struggle and just when you think you have all of the answers more questions arise.
As we get older I think we understand ourselves more but I find I am constantly evolving as I discover new things though my core beliefs and morality remain constant.
I would love to feel more happiness and contentment but that still eludes me, I find pleasure in the things around me such as nature but I would still hope for someone to love and be loved.
I'm pleased that you have found Tai Chi, I cant manage it at the moment as I have to have knee surgery for an injury so that is limiting one of my other pastimes which I enjoy and that is going for long walks.
Take care dear friend. ♡