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Chapter 9.
Part II. Principles

<previous text>
  Erasing Myself before My Opponent  

   

"I cannot understand why my opponent defeats me so easily."
"Because you do not see the moon but only the finger that points to it."

 


When you practice Taekwondo correctly your opponent cannot succeed in attacking you, even when your guard is down. This is because each part of you maintains its own position, and always in its proper place. In other words, you follow the right principle, i.e. the way of Haneul (Heaven). Likewise, your opponent cannot trouble your mind, even though you may be making no effort to concentrate. This is because you have attached yourself to nothing, and thus your mind is empty and unrestricted. Since your mind is empty there is no thought to trouble you. Nor can your opponent confuse your life, though you may neither try to keep your life in order nor take special care against danger. This is because your life is in firm harmony with everything around you. All types of danger that threaten your safety, mind, and life from outside of this harmony will be demolished by themselves. The right principles of Taekwondo are the same as those of life.

Then, how is it possible to put everything of you in its own proper place according to the way of Haneul (Heaven)? Have oneness of your emptiness and fullness and both erase and picture yourself at the same time. In this way you can keep everything of yours in its proper position. Then how is it possible to have oneness of emptiness and fullness? Fundamentally emptiness means the capacity to accept some external other, while fullness is something produced from within. If something is full it is full only of what fills it and of what can be produced but not of the other, i.e. though it is full it is also empty of the other. On the contrary, if something is empty it is empty only of the other that it does not contain, so it is possible that it is full of something else. When a bowl, for example, is full of water it is full only of water, because it can accept no more water, while at the same time it is empty, for instance, of gems or salt. For a bowl filled with water can produce no gem while it can accept some salt. Thus, emptiness or fullness is always relative to the object.

 

 

 

So, possessing oneness of emptiness and fullness refers in the former case to putting yourself in the very place that makes your opponent unable to do what he wants against you, while the latter case refers to putting yourself in the very place that makes you able to do what you want. If you can keep the emptiness of TAEKWONDO 'there would be no will of yours' to go against some motion of your opponent, which makes him feel in vain, thus it is termed "emptiness". If you can attain the fullness of TAEKWONDO 'there would be your will', full of the spirit of subduing your opponent, which produces your motions of beating down the opponent's will and of subduing his activities. So this is called "fullness". In this unity of emptiness and fullness you think with all of yourself and your consciousness is awakened but not operated to think, i.e. Mu-Nyom-Mu-Sang ("freedom from all ideas and thoughts") . This leads to the way of Haneul that everything of yours moves in its proper position. When you, a Taekwondo-Een, think with all of yourself then you will 'have just yourself' as a mere harmonized whole beyond yourself. Everything is both empty on one hand and full on the other hand, so full and empty ones fill and empty one another repeatedly into endless changes of the world and of themselves. It is you who put them in order and it is Mu-a ("Non-self") who completes the harmonious order. Since already erased, you are to be pictured perfectly.

Then, what is it to erase yourself? It is to delete every distinction between you and others. And it is also to liberate yourself to everything open beyond the horizon of your subjectivity and dogmatism. What is it to picture yourself? It is to realize your own wishes firmly in the open beings. Also, is it to determine the world with freedom at will. Everything closed belongs to everything open, so it is to erase yourself that you maintain yourself in an empty mind with no desire unrestrictedly free from your subjective. And then, you can set yourself free from everything, such as formal restrictions, morals, passions, humanities and the like. When you erase yourself you become the all and your opponent is within it, so his motion is within your motion. Then does your motion determine his and the world. Therefore, when you erase yourself perfectly you also picture yourself perfectly.

Erasing yourself includes not only forgetting everything of yourself but also obtaining a non-existence of self. When you simply forget everything of yourself you may be able to focus complete attention on something, achieving unity of your entirety. However, you may still not overcome your opposition to the world. It may be possible that you are still opposed to the world despite your self-absorption in the unity of yourself. This opposition can be deleted only when you, forgetting yourself, go even further to erase your existence. Only then will the distinction between you and what is not you finally be overcome. You establish yourself as a part of the world over the opposition to the world, and further, you include the whole of the world within you, and thus you expand upward to become the world itself. I ask you, where then will your opponent be able find you? Your body cannot simply be yourself, and neither your physical presence nor your motion is your true figure. Each of them has illusions and faults mixed within them. Therefore, when you as a Taekwondo-Een erase yourself the opponent cannot find you, and yet you still remain opposed to the whole world. In this way, you can still spar with your opponent, accomplishing the perfection constituted of all necessary elements with even your faults and blind points, and then you can achieve your desires.

As stated above, having oneness of fullness and emptiness while both picturing and erasing yourself at once, leads you to the way of Haneul. So even though you, in your Taekwondo, move at a slower tempo relative to your opponent's haste he cannot follow your change of motions because you always follow the true way making only the necessary motions.

 

 

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