– – – by Kimbal Anderson Sensei
So… two hundred cuts…
Since you didn’t have a clock, telling you: you didn’t have anything to measure your usual way.
It’s different, isn’t it…
It seems like it was brief. You just barely got started. And your energy feels fresh, rather than “I just got to get through this… it’s one more job…”
So this is the thinking. It kind of fits into what Peter-san was talking about, about the Mummers…
For most of human history, people were not employees. They may have had tasks, but they were not employees. And one of the major reasons the Industrial Revolution was so difficult to get going in America was that no-one would come.
“Well, my cow is out…” or, “I stayed up last night because of my…” …because they lived according to natural cycles.
And they tried to take people and make them like the machine they built. And they said to them: “well, the machine makes us money when we start at dawn and we make it run until it’s dark. And the people said: “that’s crazy: that would kill a horse.”
It does. It’ll kill a horse.
So it was very difficult to get going. It required some very interesting manipulation of the economy to put people in such a crisis that they could make them do it.
Because they were natural – – – not that they were lazy people: it’s just that people had a different clock.
If you were a farmer, having been such an animal, dawn was a nice time. I enjoyed dawn. It wasn’t an “Oh my god, here it is, dawn, oh my god…” It was more like “Ah, it’s getting light .” And there was always a certain beauty to it, even if it wasn’t a pretty sunrise… just that the light would creep across everything, and things would wake up in a certain way.
And I worked a lot. In order to make a farm work, you can’t take the day off all the time… In fact it’s rare that you would ever do that. And so I would say, as budo practitioners, think about living a life where you don’t require a vacation, where you don’t think in terms of “my life is a series of difficulties…”, and that “I need to escape them…” But rather start tuning into the rhythms that are all around you.
I think you’ll find, that if you hook into the rhythms – which doesn’t mean laying around and doing nothing: that’s even bad for you… that whole vegetable state that people get into with info-tainment and stuff… bad for you… But how about listening. Spend some time getting hooked up to nature. Mostly if you get outside and move around, don’t you feel better? Go for that walk, or whatever?
Start looking for the little cues of the habits of nature around you.
Do not blame clocks. Do not blame others.
Do it in spite of…
So if you are propelled into a situation where there’s … right?… Learn to do it within that.
It’s there. It’s always there.
Sometimes the other stuff is just so loud, it’s just been… it has been created to distract you from this kind of mind.
Hook back up.
You’re going to find that you have a lot more energy. And probably you’ll find that productivity – doing things that makes sense to you, and where you see some result… whether it’s just helping someone else… – will make you happy, because it’s coming from the right kind of hook-up to everything And If you didn’t think of yourself as a battery who’s run low, and you’re trying to keep someone from stealing it who’s in power…
How about hooking up to the big force? See that as what’s happening. it’s flowing through you… you’re like the river’s moving through you. It ebbs. It flows. It does stuff.
But it shouldn’t always be frantic or always tired. That must be something else. That’s something else going on there.
Now, we do have to account for the weather. It does affect you. I don’t know about you… but… a stroll in the ice-box that Boise and the valley is in, today… that’s cool every once in a while, like, REALLY, VERY every once in a while… And the idea of living in it… you could be breathing air pollution so bad it could kill you. It’s not good for you.
But if you’ve ever walked through a really dense ice-fog, and watched the trees: what they do and that wh-ssssshhhh, fairy-land thing… that’s pretty amazing.
So. work on this idea of awakening your old self to Dai-Shizen: so you can get your habits and the habits of the universe allied.
You’ll like it. You’ll like it. Things taste better.
Also you won’t be craving what the machine is offering you.
There are better external choices to make…