It comes from the Latin word for “chain.”
It points to a sequence, series or succession and may refer to anything from elements of mathematics, geological soil profiles, chemical chain structure, actions and almost anything else.
For the purpose of this discourse it will be used to define a chain of events.
When thinking is lucid, by that I mean clear as opposed to cluttered by opinions, direct perception becomes enabled and the obvious then stands out.
Good solid basic principles stand out to the clear mind. The sort of things everyone says “I knew that!,” but only after it’s been pointed out. And if you did already know some points, it’s good to be reminded anyhow.
A chain of clear thinkers collaborating on a co-creative endeavour can bring about the deemed to be impossible, to an all-gain conclusion. This is what so called “enlightenment” is about. The outcomes of harmony. What you can bring about because of clarity. Enlightenment is not sterile and self serving, but all inclusive.
A chain of malintentioned ones invariably make all lose scenarios as they squander time and resources in conflict, trying to be right when they are in fact off the rails. They make all-lose scenarios because their minds are in darkness. They imagine doors and openings where none exist. Their sense of importance and entitlement denotes their state of mind and lack of sight. The “endarkenment” of the self-serving, if you will.
No person can really be an island and those who succeed in attaining such a state gain only oblivion. We are all part of a symbiotic, interdependent web of life without beginning or end.
I recently stumbled upon the last few minutes of a TV interview of a gentleman named Bill Griggs.
I have no idea who Bill Griggs is, but notwithstanding, Mr. Griggs, thank you for putting it so succinctly.
“I know the reality is that only person whose driving behaviour I can really influence is myself. We are all responsible for ourselves… When you drive it’s up to you. You have the responsibility. You are the one whose going to have to make the decisions when you are out there behind the wheel.”
He refers to a quote by Scott Fitzgerald, “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in your mind at the same time.”
Interviewer asked for an example.
“When a situation is hopeless, despite the situation being hopeless we should still have hope. And act on that hope..”
Interviewer suggested, “Contradictory.”
“It is, but if you limit yourself, if you keep your mind too narrow, you’ve set that it’s hopeless then you won’t strive, you won’t try. And if you strive and if you try, just occasionally, you find your doubt was wrong, and maybe things were not hopeless, maybe you’ll succeed in something that you didn’t think you could achieve and the rewards for that are enormous.”
The Scott Fitzgerald quote can cut both ways. Where there are good or neutral intentions conflict can only be a source of creative energy, but when petulance or vindictiveness is held in a confused mind then these opposites can be used to wreak havoc and escalate conflicts. On this basis, not all “greatness” is necessarily goodness.
Moving on. A clear mind, lucid perception can notice a chain of possibilities not available to an unclear mind. An immediate example is the field of Internet Technologies which mimic everything else in nature anyhow. (Remember the first time you looked for a mere link on a badly built site?)
In Budo, such clarity makes the difference between life and death, success or failure, victory or defeat.
Identifying points of reference.
Field operations in war are based on logistics and economy. Logistics and economy plus skill in the topology of hopology will define the outcome. Position being everything. Especially the high ground.
In interpersonal combat, nothing changes.
The Minamoto brothers were battlefield strategicians long before they began to address interpersonal aikijutsu. Aikijutsu is a natural outgrowth of the identical principles. If you can’t or won’t see this, you have not begun.
The most salient example is in Aikido techniques which are a series of strikes flowing along the points of least resistance to make a paramount action of natural movement or efficient physics.
So also with good atemi based art or wrestling that flows on to a conclusion. (Which attributes are all inclusive to Aikido.)
When you move mass efficiently, and therefore economically, along the shortest paths, you save fuel. There’s your economical logistics. As for topology, positioning or placement, that is critical. The spatial properties of mass define everything in the universe. In battle, attaining best positioning comes from clarity of mind and clear sightedness, yet will engender increased delusion in the unclear thinker, even if he thinks he may be winning as a result of overwhelming force.
The ultimate science, knowingness, is best tested in battle. That’s where theories and opinions can be put to rest, usually along with their proponents.
The principles of Aikijutsu derive from mismatched worst case scenario necessity, such as extracted from the practice of multiple attack survival, the ultimate in the art of hard war being disproportionate attacking power countered with extremely efficient asymmetric tactics. Hence the In-Yo-Ho naturally evolving into Aikido and revealing the futility of conflict as a means to sustainable achievement.
The human biology, of course, can not be separate from principles that rule the entire universe and all in it.
Discovering these is a Way of awakening the mind to see everything else more clearly. Indeed, it may assist in helping you to survive a violent external encounter, but that is the lesser part.
The greater part is in freeing the mind from the shackles of delusion, in clarifying the ability to notice things as they truly are. Or at least to come a little bit closer to this sought after state of being.
This then makes the individual practitioner a navigator. A navigator fears not the ocean, nor fights it, but understanding the chain of events and potentials extant in that environment, can then utilize this understanding to chart a harmonious course, without prevarication, obfuscation, excuses, blame or any other soul vice. Rather with honesty, clarity, noticing and getting one’s own boat in order, can then sail the world, despite the weather and currents of change and circumstances, using the offered gifts of energy freely.
It is a simple matter of looking and noticing what it is that you are seeing and refining through practice. To identify energy as a usable resource instead of interpreting it as an attack only. Regular Budo training enables this faculty to come alive. You discover that skill in fighting is a mere steppingstone to something far greater, something vast and infinite and life giving.
The world becomes home and so does the entire universe. One filled with wonder and endless possibility all made possible by linked chains of events. From little ones to great ones and all in-between, most tending to repeat and become cycles of possibility and creation.
In developing a working understanding of concatenations, we learn to contribute to harmony by being careful what we set into motion, knowing that it will return multiplied.
Daily life becomes simpler and to the point. You begin to see through the bs and confusion. Instead of getting entangled in lots of clutter and conceptual additions, you can see the simple steps required to achieve a result and quietly do it and get on with life.
All Budo training, Judo Aikido, Karate-do/Boxing of any kind, Kendo, Wrestling/Newaza/Grappling arts, Jujutsu, Bajutsu, Kyudo and all the others, whether from the East or West, are premised on the understanding of concatenations in practical application, the conjoining of links or stopping points, joining the dots, whereby particles appear to become wave motion, as flow-on becomes a strategic chain of events. In this manner it reflects the movements of nature and the universe, finding a peaceful centre in the midst of extremes of immense turbulence, power accommodated into the path of least resistance.
On this Way of skill and infinite possibilities without end, certain basic predispositions become the foundations of practice. After that almost anything becomes possible one step at a time.