Non fixation, non straining and non striving, (just) aim at the spontaneous development of yourself …
Before I studied the art a punch was just a punch and a kick was just a kick. When I started studying the art a punch was no longer a punch and a kick was no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick.
This describes beautifully the process of mastering any art or discipline. We are all born with an inner freedom and an innate sense of right and wrong but as soon as someone tries to point us to it we stop to think about it and suddenly we lose that original sense of freedom. Bruce Lee once said in the development of his fighting art of Jeet Kune Do that a good teacher points his or her student towards their own inner freedom without crippling them with a “classical mess” … or words to that effect.
Therefore real learning is all about re-discovering the innate talents and freedoms we have lost during the course of our own evolution.
Bruce Lee, martial arts legend, once said: “I don’t fear the man who knows ten thousand techniques – I fear the man who has practised one technique ten thousand times.”
In the East they have a much different notion of mastery, much further removed from technology than we have here in the West, almost becoming spiritual in nature: Two braggarts once entered an inn and started to taunt an elderly man that was sitting there quietly eating his food. After the man had finished his food, he simply flicked his chopsticks and caught a fly. In quick order the two braggarts left. What they had realised in that moment was that they were dealing with a master, someone who had probably mastered whatever craft he was into, and was probably a master of anything else that he did, including punching you in the guts.
Mastery is a matter of spirit, not of technology.