not to long ago i met up with a friend in berkley–i would call her a bronze friend if that makes any sense, somehow she is neither silver, nor gold, yet functions beautifully like an installment in a mediterranean courtyard, the courtyard of my spirit–at a place called cafe gratitude, or something like that. i don’t remember exactly. at this establishment, the staff is trained to call everything on the menu, “i’m grateful,” or “i’m ecstatic.” things like that. it’s kind of weird, but pretty nice too. (the word “weird” is from a welsch word, “wyyrrdd”–true spelling–which means you have one foot in the other world.) this bronze friend of mine is into a lot of different ayurvedic study, yoga, meditation, etc. she seemed to be in a fairly pissy mood because she’d just rear-ended someone on her way to meet me. that’s never a fun thing. (i did it once on my way skiing and totaled my parents car.) she described how all the people in this cafe were unfortunately stuck in the “god realm.” this means that they think–perhaps by force–that everything is great, that everything is designed to be great. they say it over and over like a mantra. she told me that this is a false spirit level… in other words, inhuman. that the human iterations of spirit across spaces of life and death, sometimes encompass the god space, but only for a time. she said that these god people will be shaken from their state at some point. her argument seemed a little pessimistic to me i admit, but also interesting. her point of view was one of transcendence, self proclaimed… as though she were in observance of all iterations, or knew what they are… SO i made the argument of kurt vonnegut: as long as there is a member of the lower class i am of it… as long as there is one man in prison, i am with him. and further, what about the lowly workers toiling over the manufacture of the giant locomotive, slowly (or quickly as it were) killing themselves as they weld the iron, one fierce hot joint at a time. she smiled. and took what i posed as a state almost of enslavement, and turned it: “but they’re welding the molten parts of themselves to something higher; they’re doing exactly what they have to be doing at that moment to make the wheel turn, to send the water over the turbine of our fortunes in order to gain the next phase state.” (again, a fairly drastic paraphrase.) i was only thinking of this this afternoon because i’ve been welding for the past ten hours.

sho shin

i don’t know where i heard this, it may have been an architect, and it went something like this (paraphrase):

it’s usually not a matter of addition, of adding stone to stone and line to line, to make planes inclining and joining… rather, good design is about subtracting all that is unnecessary; when enough has been removed from our concept, we arrive at a harmonious dwelling; and it is true that hardly ever is enough removed.

i found that very pregnant when i heard it, in whatever form it came to me.  and i was reminded of it this weekend whilst training with a similar mind, in a movement practice called sho shin ryue (?), which means, “way of the child mind.”  i’m afraid i can’t say too much about it, because the saying would be like hammering on the lower keys of a piano to describe the curves of a woman.  that metaphor could go a thousand different ways…  anyway, what is so inspiring about this sho shin, is its remarkable knack of removing the unessential.  it seems to me (so far, and wet behind the ears) that it (knowing itself very well) is comprised of only two things: that which is, AND the spaces between that thought (what is NOT: void).  in that much, acceptance is key, acceptance of one’s own feet, balance, and those of another or potentially many others.  upon acceptance of these very simple essentials, all else is play.  and the mind no longer grasps at chimerical straws the way it seems to all the world over else.  the scimitar has its leading edge, scary and shiny… yet it curves and suggests at the same time its other component: the space it creates behind itself, where it is not… and both elements make it, one there (electrons shimmering and scattering) and one, well, not.  and it’s in that nothing of the scimitar that one is born and where you certainly want to be were the item to ever get wielded UPON you.

the other fascinating thing about this practice (so far) is its matrix.  not all studies have a locus like this: universal application.  in the earlier blog, i talked about paul stamets, the mushroom man.  what he’s done is discovered a matrix.  his science can be applied on almost every single human and otherwise natural front.  so is this case with this sho shin ryue movement; it can destroy, heal, break down, build up and suggest on nearly every physical and spirit level.