Tag Archives: balance

The Uncarved Block

I’m in a philosophical mood today. The following excerpt comes from the book SIMPLE TAOISM –  A GUIDE TO LIVING IN BALANCE by C. Alexander Simpkins PH.D. and Annellen Simpkins PH.D. Give some thought as to how this relates to your attitude toward your writing, your karate, and your everyday living.  

Imagine for a moment that you are an accomplished woodworker. You look at an uncarved block of wood with a certain affection, knowing that here is uncreated potential. As an uncarved block it can be anything – the possibilities are infinite. No one can name it because it has not yet become something except what it is in its natural, untouched state, much like Tao.

The Taoists believe that we return to a state like the uncarved block of wood, we find Tao.

Human beings are often in a hurry to acquire the finished product, the carving. But once the item is produced the limitless Tao is lost. A carving of an object is only that one thing. It has a name. It has come into existence. Eventually it will become worn, broken or lost, going through its cycle of existence-nonexistence. But the original uncarved block is nameless, beyond definition, quietly open. The sage tries to be like an uncarved block, open to potential without being limited to one definition.            

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment.

~K.M Fawcett

Do Unto Others… Codes By Which We Live

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Codes of ethics are the rules we use to govern the way we want to live. Last week we discussed Codes of Character. This week we’ll discuss Codes of Karate, which believe it or not, promotes a philosophy for living your life in addition to a philosophy for fighting.

Karate-do (the way, or philosophy, of the empty hand) teaches more than punching, striking and kicking. It advocates peace, harmony and balance. The following are the eight codes of Isshinryu karate (the Kenpo Gokui) that we learn in our school.

1. A person’s heart is the same as heaven and earth.

In Chinese thought, heaven and earth means the universe. This code states humans must be one with the universe. We must get along with our fellow man. In short, this code is about harmony.

2. The blood circulating is similar to the moon and sun.

The moon follows the sun, and the sun follows the moon. This code is about cyclical change, which is one of the stages of change in the I-Ching. This code also teaches harmony.

3. The manner of drinking and spitting is either hard or soft.

Drinking means taking in, inhaling, retreating. Spitting means expelling, exhaling or advancing. Hard or soft shows the concept of yin and yang. This code is about balance.

4. A person’s unbalance is the same as a weight.

Again, balance. Yin and yang.

5. The body must be able to change position at any time.

This code is about flexibility and adaptability in ones thoughts as well as in action.

6. The time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself.

This code is about taking advantage of opportunity, seizing the moment.

7. The eyes must see all sides

This code is about awareness of self, as well as of surroundings.

8. The ears must listen in all directions.

In addition to awareness, this code is about knowledge.

There is so much more to be learned from the codes of karate than what I’ve posted here. However, I thought this served as a good example of a written code of ethics.

What codes do YOU live by? Where did you learn them? How have your codes shaped the person you are? And do you teach them to others?

~K.M. Fawcett