illusion and the martial artist from Hanshi Leong’s notes

To the martial artist, illusion and reality held a special meaning quite beyond the comprehension of the   ordinary man in the street. Because of the training and application of self-look, or auto-suggestive procedure, the martial artist developed an acute insight of what really is illusion and reality. Since all phenomena is impermanent and sooner or later go into nothingness, the phenomenal world is illusion and reality begins when this is fully understood not by reason but by intuition. Reason tells us this is real, but, reason also tells us this is real because of memory and past experience – of what we.believe it to be real!

Therefore if one understood this, then fear only existed in
the mind and not in the physical body, although pain may exist
in the body – the tissues – if the mind refused this phenomena than nothing is intractable because it is seen in reality. Fear, pain, all unpleasant sensation, would cease to be a problem.

In other words, the world that we see is the world that we believe the world to be – our viewpoint. The psychology of the martial arts teaches that the world we see -• our viewpoint – is the world we communicate with. The way we talk is the way we do.

The language we speak determines what we see and the type of illusion we create and believe in. Since language is a tool –and structure of the intellect, the martial artist went beyond language, beyond structure, into intuition, in order to understand what the fight, conflict, altercation, and war, really meant stripped of illusion. This was the domain of the intuition, to see it as it really was, without analysis, without logical assumption, without intellection.

Sensei said, “Reality is life stripped of illusion. Since we depend on our five senses, see, feel, smell, taste and hearing, we deny anything we cannot see or feel, for example, and we cling to the illusions that we call life. We hang on for dear life. When reality is understood as it is, the martial aartist becomes the perfect man/woman, without illusion.”

Illusion has been the downfall of many. “Surely,” Sensei continued, “ No one wants to be like the monkey who was seen scooping up water from a pond as fast as he could scoop and when asked as to what it was he was doing, replied, “ I am scooping up the moon so that I can hang it in my house and have light always.”

The poor monkey did not realize that he saw a reflection of the moon in the pond and not the real thing.  It was illusion and not reality.

The same monkey once saw a reflection of himself in a mirror who, surprised at such an ugly apparition, painted the mirror with lipstick and rouge to beatify the apparition. But, it was just as ugly, And the monkey got mad and the madder he ot the uglier the apparition became. He ran around the mirror in rage and finally it dawned on him that what he saw was a reflection, an illusion, and he started to laugh. He looked in the mirror and the more he laughed, the more beautiful and happy the apparition became.

In a nutshell, what we believe it to be is what we see. There is no getting around it. Only thgrough restructuring and proper guidance can anyone see it as it is.

Although we humans live in a real -phenomenal world the martial artist realised that we humans do not operate directly on this world but through a representation of the world that is seen. The life experience of a person and the viewpoint of the person on the world, the road one travels on, is formed by rejecting what one does not believe in, distorting to suit what one believes in, and making generalisations on what one sees. Therefore the road one travels on is “set” by the mind.

The Land of Illusion.

In the days of old, on an island off the coast of Japan, there was a samurai who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in dogs man’s best friend, he did not believe in magnificent castles, he did not believe in God. His father, the master, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no dogs or castles on this island, and no sign of God, the samurai believed his father.

But then, one day, the samurai took a boat rowed off across the sea and came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, he saw magnificent castle s and men hunting wolves with the help of dogs. Surprised, he started to go back to his boat when he saw a man in full evening formal wear approach him.

“Are those real castles?” asked the samurai.

“Of course they are real castles, “ said the man informal evening wear.

“Then those are dogs helping the men catch wolves?”


“tTen God must also exist!” creid the samurai.

“I am God, “ replied the man in formal evening wear, with a bow.

The samurai returned home.

MSo you are back,” said his father, the master.

“I have seen dogs, I have seen castles, and I have seen God,” said the samurai.

The master was amused.

“Neither real castles, real dogs, nor a real God exist”

“I saw them”

“Tell me how was God dressed.”

“God was in formal evening dress.”

“Were the sleeves of his haori (coat) rolled back?”

The samurai remembered they had been. The master smiled.

“That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.”

The samurai returned to where he had met the man who proclaimed himself, God.

“My father has told me who you are,” said the samurai “You deceived me once, but, not again. Now I know that there are no real dogs, nor castles, because you are a magician.”

The man smiled.

“It is you who are deceived. In your fathers island, there are many dogs, magnificent castles. But you are under your father’s spell so you cannot see them.”

The samurai returned home. He looked his father straight in the eye. “Father is it true that you are not a real master but only a magician?”

The father smiled and rolled back his sleeves.

“Yes, I am only a magician.”

“Then the other man was God.”

“The other man was another magician.”

“I must know the truth, the truth beyond magic.”

“There is no truth beyond magic.”

The samurai was sad. He said, “I will commit suicide.”

“Okay, you want to die?” said the master. And by magic he caused Death to appear. Death beckoned to the samurai. The samurai could not bear the sight of death.

“Very well,” he said, “I do not want to know the truth.”

“Ah,” said the master,”You too now begin to be a magician. You too understand that it is all illusion and you can create illusion, by believing what you want to believe, and see what you want to see.”










Comments are closed