Friday, 28 September 2012

What Jung said about karate...(well, almost!)

A winter's morning outside my old dojo
The psychologist Carl Jung (1875 - 1961) once wrote: "The least of things with meaning has more value and worth, than the greatest of things without meaning." He wasn't talking about karate (of course), but then again....maybe he was!

In the rush to become a karate expert or to hang out with experts, to get 'that' photo with 'the man' and buy the tee-shirt, many karateka fail to grasp what's actually going on. They fail to spot the manipulation, by a few, of the herd-like mentality we humans are still governed by. You see for all our so-called progress as a species, all we humans have really managed to do over the past two-hundred thousand years, is turn our back on nature.

We are the only species on the planet to have put aside that all-important control mechanism Darwin called, natural selection, and saturated the earth as a result; but, isn't the very fact we have managed to do that proof of our evolution? Well no...not really, because it's fairly obvious to all but the most determined of ostriches, that due to this belief that nature and the planet we live on exist only to serve us, we humans are shortly about to pay for our 'god-given' arrogance....big time!

Karate is a tiny thing, a minute activity through which some of us try to appreciate the meaning and value of our life as we live it. That so many who think themselves karate teachers are happy to go about their business void of any real meaning or value to others, is reflected in their pursuit of karate through commerce. While it might be ok to make money to teach karate, it's not ok to teach karate in order to make money: you do understand the difference going on here....right?

One has meaning, value: the other is just one more layer of separation from that meaning and value. That many can justify earning a living from karate, at least to themselves, is no cause for celebration in my opinion. For I've met none so far who have managed to earn that living and still convey a sense of value and meaning to others, past the physical skills they impart. When I think of commercial karate organizations, the individuals who teach in them, and those who follow, with blind faith, the leaders of their particular herd, this is what comes to my mind.