Physical Training Dec 2004

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Kendo Helps Discover the Real I

Copyright Hossein Karamyar © 2004 all rights reserved

You are not what you assume yourself to be. If you stand in front of a mirror and break down your “I” or self into its component elements, what will ultimately remain? Nothing! You are what others make you. Detach yourself from all relationships as spouse, relative, beloved, enemy, boss, subordinate, neighbor and other bonds. What remains is a representation of nothingness- a colorless, shapeless and meaningless “I”. What we assumed to be “I” is an aggregate of the rays reflected by others in this mirror of “nothingness” – that is “I”.

This is the world we have built. Everything in this world is apparition, delusion, visionary and relative. It is unstable, a world of agitation and disturbance. This world is ephemeral, not stable as the sea but as wave and bubble, constantly in a state of flux, creation and decomposition, birth and death. You are entangled in an empty existence, in a gyrating orbit.

How can we achieve release from this emptiness, this futile rotation? How can we reach the true “I” that brings equanimity, beauty and absolute unity and eternity?
To put it in a nutshell, the key is the kendo way, which helps one annihilate the gross self by going through the process of its physical and mental asceticism and by enlightening us to the true knowledge of the real self.

But how? By right knowledge and practice. But knowledge and practice of what? Recognition of the prison and the way out from this prison. But what is this prison? The unreal self.

Self-realization can help us achieve the truth and secrets of creation.

To achieve one’s true self, one should discover that “self” is nothing! All discourses on egoism set forth in Shinto, Zen, Confucianism and Sufism can be summarized in the fact that one should free oneself from one’s self and reach Him Who is the truth of Being, the real and inherent Being.

You are a clean mirror, but have been enmeshed by black images reflected on the surface of your existence. Unless these unreal images and apparitions are removed, one cannot realize one’s true self.

You should remove these false bonds and break their relationships with this mirror so that its surface would be clear and you can achieve liberation from all natural, human and social factors that have engulfed you, barring you to become yourself.

If the door of your house is closed for one day and you are confined to a corner alone, you will be frightened, because you see your nothingness. Loneliness is the biggest factor disclosing nothingness. A void man always conceals himself in the crowd of population; his life lies in the existence of others. If others are not there, he will not be there as well, because his “I” is attached to others’. If his seat of office, which he has done anything he could to achieve, is taken and he is retired, he falls into a fit of apoplexy. These people have no true “self”.

One who achieves liberation through kendo mysticism and looks into his innermost self, one will suddenly perceive a strange, wonderful and unpredictable truth. You will perceive the truth that is appearing within you like the rising sun and find your real image and the truth that is concealed within you.

Now that you have broken your outward relationship, “I” transmigrates in all human individuals and humankind. All the walls have crumbled, walls that confined you like a castle to its tall ramparts and thick fortifications, separating you from other houses, lands and castles.

You see that in this great inward transition, you transmigrate to real self and develop such self-consciousness that the self does not want anything for himself any longer. The self that devoured anything voraciously and stood against others has now assumed a kinship and inherent love for all human beings, races and colors.
Through kendo asceticism, the individual self recognizes the unreal “I” and approaches the coast of the true “I”. The individual commands a wonderful power. The man who was disturbed by experiencing the least harm to his physical constitution, life, salary and the like has now gained a capacity that surprises one, because no longer the unreal “I” but the true “I” dominates him.

The sun of truth, absolute infinity and eternity rises in his existence. In his ultimate spiritual ascension, the kendoka elevates to a station that has no frontier and enters a place that is indefinable.

He attains the absolute truth, conscience of the world and eternal spirit of existence, entering the boundless ocean of an integrated entity, mingling with all beings and associating with the spirit of the world. An inclusive unity governs all one’s existence. There is no longer any “I”.

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Physical Training Dec 2004