I was in the army in 1969, stuck with drab duty and endless amounts of time in which to conjecture. I was supposed to go to Viet Nam and kill people. This was not a task I was looking forward to.
One night I fell into a conversation with an egghead, and he asked me if I have ever read Lao Tse. I replied no and asked him what it was. He said it was…The Way.
To be honest, I had come across the concept of The Way in my study of the martial arts. I had read of the concept, talked about it with fellow students, and considered it in light manner. Oddly, though I had studied the martial arts for a couple of years, I had no idea that there was a book written expressly about The Way.
Not long after that I found a copy of the book and began to examine it. I dwelt upon the passages, translated the ancient Chinese terminology into terms I understood as best I was able. I was to find that the mere reading of the book, which is not a sizable volume, was a journey in itself.
There is no back without front, there is no low without high, translated into the most fascinating dichotomy I had ever imagined. Oddly, I found that these concepts, front and back, high and low, were extremely useful when it came to fighting. Indeed, as the years passed I was to find that the mere consideration of this dichomoty, even in the middle of chaotic freestyle, brought order and advantage of a sizable nature.
My favorite passage, Do nothing until nothing is left undone, positively enlightened me. I would trade the passage of years for the chance to implement this strategy. Eventually, the forms done ten thousand times, I would start to understand, and my art would actually engage in the effortless principles that make up the True Art.
Not every time would I be able to make the concepts of The Way function in my real life actions, but the contest was in The Way, and this contest brought me out of the box, undid the normal way of thinking, and enabled me to actually be a seeker in action, and the whims of my youthful desire began to manifest. Emotions became a joy, age became a relaxation, and and still The Way nudges me hither and yon. My form transmogrifies to the lilt of this ancient rhyme, and another world beckons unceasingly.
A perfect world, where the realization that The Way is merely the unceasing time before me has opened up before me. A world where those obsessed with such things as political intrigue and the power of the dollar fall sick by the wayside and envy me my youth and good health. A world where human beings exist, outside the range of transgressions and judgment, this is The Way that has opened up and accepted me.
Al Case has researched a variety of martial arts for over 40+ years. A writer for the martial arts magazines, he is the founder of Matrixing Technology, which technology results in the installation of logic in The Way. You can pickup his free ebook on Matrixing at Monster Martial Arts.