"... and even if I pass away and am reborn, I will always be working, all the time and everywhere, to make the flower of Aikido bloom in this world."
The Secret Teachings of AIKIDO
- Morihei Ueshiba
It is not the easiest of things to teach oneself inner discipline and so cultivate inner strength. Inner strength is not force .. it is balance.
For thousands of years humans have conditioned themselves to believe that force is strength .. force gives us the advantage .. using force is preferred to not using force. Those times are now over. Times of restriction bring change.
Most humans have invested their lives in moving in the wrong direction .. where our energy .. our thinking .. our behaviour .. have been invested in following the path of force to get what we want.
We dominate Nature .. animals .. we dominate each other .. and very few people understand or even question the inner use of energy that we invest to create and maintain this out-of-balance world.
Always, in the natural cycles of Yin and Yang times of growth and prosperity are followed by times of restriction. Just as times of restriction are followed by times of growth. You can observe these cycles in Nature.
Take the common Dandelion (or any weed) .. often to be seen growing in the cracks that appear at the side of the road. Over many years I have observed the Dandelions that inhabit the cracks at the edge of our society. They adapt extremely well to variations in the growth cycles.
Sometimes the Dandelions are very large, with tall stalks, large green leaves and an abundance of yellow flowers. Not growing in a field or garden .. but growing in cracks between slabs of concrete. At other times the Dandelions are very small, with bonsai leaves and tiny flowers. It is the same root.
The same Dandelion root can adapt to each fluctuation in the growing cycle. Sometimes there is growth and abundance. Sometimes there is restriction and the root adapts to those conditions very fast. It is the same root!
Humans are not much different to Dandelions. Humans can also adapt to changing cycles. Adapting to change is inner strength and not force. Our strength is in our ability to adapt, which is really about how we internally use energy.
Going back to the Dandelions .. in times of restriction cycles the root does not grow big leaves and then cut back to small leaves .. and small flowers. The root produces small leaves and small flowers immediately in that season. How does the root know?
Energy = Inner Strength
You can train yourself over time to utilize, direct and apply force .. but inner strength is awareness, which is energy .. and that comes through observing yourself. Change (adaptation) is observing "what is". Observation is the energy of change.
You watch outwardly how Nature changes and adapts .. revealing the inner strength of the plants, birds and wild animals. Then the same observation applies to yourself. Observing ones own self is the natural compost nutrients that cultivates inner strength.
Growing in the cracks between your thoughts is intelligence.
If we do not look at the weeds growing in the cracks of our towns and cities .. we are not going to see them. People just walk past these plants and grasses. It is the same with "thought". If you do not observe and pay attention to your inner self .. you do not see the seeds of intelligence growing in the cracks between each thought.
Usually, our thoughts are on auto-pilot. Thought is its own self appointed king or queen of the mind/brain .. and thought takes all the energy to itself .. feeding its many fears and emotions.
Thought is like the slabs of concrete paving over the foundation of the real earth .. and intelligence is the real earth on which the concrete slabs are constructed. Intelligence can exist without thought .. but thought cannot exist without intelligence.
Energy is the key to unlock this labyrinth of the petty self.
The art of observation is not observing each and every thought .. but to observe the energy behind the thought .. because thought is simply a form of energy. On a deeper level, thought is how we use and apply energy.
The strange thing about energy is that observation changes the fundamental nature of energy. We can use energy on a totally petty and self-serving level .. or we can use energy on the highest levels. Observe the energy and the energy changes.
Back to the Dandelions .. the roots of the plants somehow mysteriously know the conditions they are awakening into. It is energy that tells the plants or communicates to them the nature of the cycle they are growing into. Alternating cycles are energy signatures.
In a way thought (the petty self) is like a one arm bandit .. you know! Three lemons .. three oranges and you get a payout. However, you are not putting coins into the one arm bandit .. but you are investing units of energy into the machine.
Humans invest life energy into the thoughts of the petty self as they keep pulling the lever trying to get three lemons or three oranges to appear .. the jackpot .. I want .. I need.
Trying to follow each and every thought of the petty self is like getting lost inside a never ending labyrinth. Observing the energy dissolves the walls that create the labyrinth of thought. Our selfish thoughts are energy constructs. It is simply how we use energy.
The strange things is that energy unlocks energy.
It is so simple .. a basic Universe of interactive energy that allows all things to communicate and exist. You can have bacteria intelligence, weed intelligence, tree and bird intelligence, grass intelligence all based on one fundamental: Energy!
We humans are too smart to figure out something so simple.
Like that inner strength cannot be simple. Inner strength cannot be subtle .. it cannot be small .. it has to be large. Inner strength is power. It is superior. Imposing. Powerful.
In Nature, a dark sky full of stars does not press down on our heads!