Learning and mastering the taiji Form takes many years (some would say decades), a process of disciplined work, of using the mind and will to train and refine the body. Yet this is still only the beginning. Once the Form is mastered a new work must be undertaken – the work of freeing the spirit and energy. This is achieved by cutting through the mind and will, which are still aspects of ego. In the same way that an experienced fighter will defeat his opponent by breaking their rhythm, so the master of taiji defeats his own ego by upsetting its rhythm. This requires great maturity, and probably significant age, because upsetting the ego is always painful – always involves suffering. If there is no pain then the ego has not been breached. And by pain I don't mean pain in the legs, I mean the insecurity that comes from feeling deeply one's absolute insignificance. Contrite – ground to pieces.
The ground beneath my feet is my oneness, a single share in this marvellous planet and existence.
My hands are my twoness, my dexterity, the possibility of making something by managing relationship.
Sanity is sound mind, but also the possibility of peace through wholeness (shalom–shalem) and completion. The notion that without the Other I will always be anxious.
3 a : to reverse the sides or surfaces of : invert <turn pancakes> <turn the shirt inside out>: as (1) : to dig or plow so as to bring the lower soil to the surface <turn the compost weekly> (2) : to make (as a garment) over by reversing the material and resewing <turn a collar> (3) : to invert feet up and face down (as a character, rule, or slug) in setting type
b : to reverse or upset the order or disposition of <everything was turned topsy-turvy>
c : to disturb or upset the mental balance of : derange, unsettle <a mind turned by grief>
d : to set in another especially contrary direction
Heuristic learning – to learn from mistakes. This is the natural way of learning. But first it requires the humility to recognise that a mistake has been made in the first place. This, in a sense, is the acceptance of that strange and somewhat repulsive concept of Original Sin. The unfashionable notion that at heart I am far from perfect, if not decidedly wayward.