By Anthony DiFilippo
Inspired by James Allan's "As a man thinketh"
September 12, 2004
Thought is not uniquely human, but it is unique in the level of thinking power that mankind possesses. Man is a reflective and thinking being, with a power of thought beyond imagination. No other species on earth can think about thought itself. Man can reason, can form alliances or create enemies.
Our thoughts can provide us happiness or sadness, self-determination or dependence, health or illness, prosperity or failure. Thought has power - everything that we witness in this world is but a phenomenon of thought.
The impetus of all great accomplishments in the world is thought. The pyramids, music of great composers, space travel, have all come from the power of thought and if we close the door to thought we close the door to that which makes man unique. Every thought has a literal value to you in every possible way. The strength of your body, the strength of your mind, your success in life and the pleasures you give to others by your company - all depend on the nature and quality of your thoughts.
"As a man thinketh, so he is." - Through our thoughts, man is both the creator and the creation of who he is. Think you are strong; strong you become. Think you are weak; a weakling you will be. Think you are a fool; fool you are. If this is true, then man is both limited and unlimited. If he wishes to be limited, he can become increasingly limited. If he wishes to be unlimited, he can become increasingly unlimited. If you think it is so, so shall it be.
Continual inexorable thought establishes a definite pattern in the mind and that pattern becomes evident as an attribute in the person. The network of thought is connected into perspicacity and ethical qualities (honest or corrupt) and the sum total of these qualities creates who we are.
This is not a passive process, it is a vibrant and active process and as creator, we must actively exploit our thoughts to effect a transformation in ourselves. This entails a conscious selection of what we will think and then thinking indefatigably on the idea. Before long, that thought becomes habit and that thought through habit becomes part of who we are.
If you entertain positive or amorous thoughts, you develop positive or loving attributes. Positive and loving attributes generate as its benefit the benevolent and compassionate person - the true nature of man.
Just as night follows day, the progeny of negative or wicked thoughts are negative or evil attributes. Negative and evil attributes of all kinds pollute and infuse the mind and, if persevered, become the germs of veritable disease and disfigurement of the person - the antithesis of the
true nature of man.
Negative or wicked thoughts not manifested in action in the present, makes one susceptible to those negative or evil forces in the future. Once a negative or evil thought becomes part of ones being, you must actively transform them into positive or amorous thoughts otherwise the attribute
created will become an obstacle to ones true self.
"Like attracts like" is a maxim describing a phenomenon where people of similar thoughts are attracted towards each other. Our interaction and communication with others is a continual function of thought and the dominant established attributes of a person, consciously and unconsciously draws us to familiar terrain. Just as people with cultural similarities gravitate towards each other because the language, food, and traditions are recognizable, so do people with similar thoughts. These interfaces with people of comparable thoughts feed off each other, stimulate, and perpetuate the environment, which the thoughts have created.
Through your thoughts, you are the creator of your own creation. Through the command of your thoughts, you can alter the course of your life in the direction of your choosing. With proper application of thought, emotional anguish of all sorts, cares, worries and anxieties will fade away and the harmony and tranquility that you will become conscious of will provide you with a calm, serene and beautiful life.
Think about it!
(After thought) What does this have to do with the martial arts?
The foundation of classical budo (martial ways) rests in the particular consideration given to meticulous contemplation and as a result, the exercises and rituals performed in practice are atoned to the development of both the body and the mind. The development of the mind provides the practitioner with occasions of intense introspection to guide their thoughts in the direction of their choosing. If the thoughts are establish along positive or amorous lines, the practitioner will develop personal humility, respect and tolerance for all things of the universe and in turn is able to avoid life's obstacles and overcome insurmountable odds in order to live happily and without conflict. This is the true pursuit of classical budo study.
Anthony R. DiFilippo has been a student of the martial arts for over thirty five years and holds yudansha grades in Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo Jutsu and Okinawan Shorin Ryu karate. Co-owner of Silk Road Enterprises Quality Chinese Calligraphy Artwork, Martial Arts Certificate Templates, Certificate Stamps (Inkan Hanko), and Chinese Silk Scrolls at affordable prices.