A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

August 31, 2008

2. Eastern Martial Arts And Spirituality, Animal Emulation and becoming fully human

Filed under: Gnosticism — Philip Jonkers @ 9:50 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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As anyone who practiced traditional Chinese martial arts (wushu or kung-fu) knows, these fighting systems almost all derive their fundamental inspiration from animals and animal behavior. For instance, you have your Tiger style, Dragon style, Crab, Crane, Praying Mantis, Monkey, Bear, etc…. So basically here you have ‘humans’ impersonating animals. I wonder how this relates to the human ego, which is after all is the animal mind, and the desire of getting rid of it in order to attain true human nature. In other words, can traditional Chinese martial artists attain true humanness if they continue to show such a high affinity with the animal kingdom?

What about Shaolin? These monks seem to be as dedicated as they are spiritual. Can they reach true humanness, while they are simultaneously so profound in their emulation of the animal kingdom?
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