Hey, all. Another Koan post.
Suit up/Ease up (Steady) appears to be a great opener for a huge number of situations. Switch over to Inject Breath into the Now to maintain things - I don't know, but the pump visualisation + concentration on breathing makes rhythmic, repetitive actions go by quite a bit smoother, as if I were running. Not quite the zone yet, but I wonder if the meditation could reach that extent.
I haven't used the tongues koan of my core set that much yet, because I haven't had any chance to get into a situation that would make me anxious or jittery, but my presentations are coming up. One thing I've noticed is that it's a bit of a struggle to both recite tongues in my head and focus on much of anything simultaneously - I think with enough practice I might be able to do it subconsciously, perhaps? Well, if it's bad or I'm doing it wrong, I should feel dissonance and start struggling with it, so I think I'll catch on if I'm honest with myself.
A side note: I have a project deliverable on Thursday, so this will be the last post until then. I'll have a peering out of the box post up in order to return to our regular programming schedule, at the very least.
Creating Koans really makes you ask deep questions about yourself, and at the same time challenges your self-honesty if the answers aren't to your liking. Again, example from last post: if I believe in moral absolutes and yet do not place my faith in a deity as an agnostic, then where do my moral absolutes come from? The closest answer I have at the moment is something akin to Natural Law, or if you'd rather, the Gods of the Copybook Headings. Things like my first rule where I posit that people who abuse their rights and privileges will always end up precipitating a situation which strips them of said priviliges.
It asks you hard questions on how you've lived your life, who you want to be, whether you have a direction or are just drifting along, and heavy stuff along those lines.
Here be dragons, get slaying or befriending, whichever suits you.
Anyways, new Koans I plan to test out once I finish testing of my core set. I haven't come up with quick visualisations for these yet
The Squire set, modelled after Koanic's Edengard set. Essentially, what I'm taking away from Koanic's Edengard set is that it reflects who he wants to be, his drives and his life goals - to promote Edenism, to help and give sanctuary to fellow thals, and to gather as many of his fellows as possible. These drives and goals are then condensed into Koans to reinforce his inner game and make him more secure in who he is and wants to be.
A small addendum: Koanic had this to say about his Edengard set:
"that's not bad, but not quite right either
it has deeper tones, harking back to the garden of eden, a defender of the original order
it divides the world into good, neutral and bad genes corresponding spirits
a contest of civilization, will, history, and daily social discourse
an encapsulation of my will to shape the world
but used primarily as a social intention focus, to draw my lines of alliance in an interaction
basically I'd say this "to promote Edenism, to help and give sanctuary to fellow thals, and to gather as many of his fellows as possible." as a project isn't grand enough for my tastes, or harsh enough
although it's a part"
So maybe I missed out on some of the context there. I'm not sure I'm ready to go so deep yet, though, so I'll stick with the Squire set as something more personalised at the moment.
In the same vein, I have to ask: what do I want out of my life? Who do I want to be, my software, in a fashion that is congruent with my genetic hardware? What are my goals? And most importantly, do I want that shit badly enough to wade out into the morass of life to go and get it, or just loaf around on the shore forever?
And this necessitates looking back at my life, at the choices I've made, and understanding the whys and wherefores before honestly admitting them to myself. I'm far from perfect, but I've done what I could to the best of my ability, and come up with a handful of Koans along those lines.
Honour the Elders
Grow Yourself and Others
Righteousness, Drive, Truth
Honour the Elders
At first I was going to go with "Serve the Elders", but that didn't quite bring out the full extent of the impetus behind the idea in my mind (servitude can be forced, involuntary or grudging, while servitude comes naturally from respecting and wanting honour someone), so I'm going along with this version. Of course, everything is subject to tweaking, so we'll see how things work out in the end.
I will fully admit that I am neither born or made to be a leader. From my first attempt in the Singaporean Hitler Jugend, ending up as a storeman, to my navy days, I don't feel comfortable leading. I'll do it if I need to, but coming up with mission statements and visionary ideas is best left to someone else. Even right now in my project group, even though I was pushed in as the nominal leader, it's really one of the more technically-inclined people doing the actual "here, this is how our plant is going to look like and how it's going to work" and I'm more in an adminstrative role, organising meetings and relaying information. Sure, at times I get urges and desires realated to commanding people around, but that is always with the caveat that said people knowingly and willingly want to be commanded - something which for practical intents and purposes will not happen in a whole hurry.
The squire's job is to play a support role - to shine his lord's armour, saddle his horse, cook his meals and cover his back in battle. He enjoys new situations, but is reluctant to initiate - and this is where his lord liege steps in. The hero goes off on a grand adventure, while his sidekick tags along, shores him up, and perhaps gets a chance to shine as his own character in the bargain.
This is what the "elders" in the Koan are: people, ideas and causes whom I respect and admire. These people whom know more than me, whom I want to emulate, honour and serve, occupying the space an ideal elder would in ancient Chinese society.
And that's what happened with the whole MRA thing, looking in retrospect. Like a squire who watches his lord knight descend into drunkeness and debauchery, it came to the point where I could not continue affiliating myself with them without losing my self-respect, and hence drifted off to the alt-right and dark enlightenment. A squire does not serve a dishonoured knight or fallen paladin; of course, deep thought and consideration needs to be put in over a long time before making a decision of last resort to avoid the same trap Dalrock and other Christian manospherians bemoan about Churchian women.
Grow yourself and others
The ultimate goal of a squire's training and development was knighthood; to be allowed to run with the rest of the pack, even if it's not as an alpha. As I've mentioned before, I fully admit that I'm not that smart, coming up in the 110-120 range every time I've taken an IQ test, compared to the 170+ scores some of the manosphere folks like Vox and Texas sport. My hardware may limit me in some cases, but that doesn't mean I can't hold said people above me as an ideal to follow. Will I be, for example, a visionary thinker? Rationally speaking, the odds are against it. But there are certain qualities about people that one can seek to emulate without having to turn into them.
A good bellyache every now and then can be fun, but the important thing to do is self-improvement, something I'll admit to being very lax about before discovering the manosphere, save when it came to my weight training. Otherwise, it wasn't until I came around here and learned about game, paleo and all that stuff that I consciously began putting an uptick to my life.
So what is the goal here? To grow as a person according to my code of morals and honour, that allows me to retain my self-respect and integrity while going about it.
Engineers build stuff up, so why not people?
"just focus on getting your MT game together, upping test and building filtered social circle, meditating, learning game, building finances
one thing at a time
strength before slaying the dragon
leveling up etc"
To reiterate: the end goal of a squire is to be a knight. Maybe not the best knight or the most popular or the most glamorous, but one nevertheless, and the Koan is aimed to reinforce working towards that goal.
And others? I can't remember if it was Koanic, Matt Forney or someone else who said it, but it was mentioned that one way to help thal folks (aside from out-grouping and playing the zero-sum game) feel more comfortable socially was to reframe interactions as creating value for everyone involved, as helping others inasfar as that was possible (which is a very important caveat, as some people prefer to be asleep and can react quite violently if you try to wake them up.). It certainly looks like a good ideal to hold to, and forms the "grow others" part of the Koan. Being a hero may be important and even appealing to the MT, but the ultimate goal of that should be to aid others who need said aid.
Righteousness, drive, temperance
Righteousness...to stand up for what I believe in. There's always that undercurrent of fear in doing so, some good, some bad. Fear that I may not be fully justified in fighting a certain fight, fear of being hurt in any ensuing fight, fear that I may go too far...
There is a line that needs to be drawn between how much and what kind of fear is necessary for moderation, and similarly another needs to be drawn when one is sliding into craveness. Righteousness is how a squire decides to follow a certain lord, how he conducts himself, and what fights he gets into. I...I'm not sure how I can truly describe the true depth of this, really. It's the feeling that I wanted my subordinates to want to obey me, that I can only pitch in behind a job or cause when I am sure it is right. I'm not sure I have yet the will to not be forced into doing something that's against my morals, but I'll be doing the shoddiest job I can for sure.
Drive is something that seems to be on and off for me, and I'd like it to be more consistent - which is why I'm aiming to include it in this Koan. When I do get my drive turned on for something, it putters along smoothly. My lifting, for example; I've been keeping it going for the better part of eleven years. I do think it's one of the reasons why I joined the Cap'n's forced discipline and regimen month, I feel a lot better about things when there's a cause behind it. At the same time, I realise that I can be a lazy bastard at times when I'm not motivated, and that's most unbefitting of a a squire - duties must be performed whether one likes to or not, and that's why it's called a duty.
The purpose of temperance is to moderate the effects of the first part of the Koan. Truth forces a squire to accept that he cannot fight every battle on the face of the earth, that some people would rather remain asleep, that his strength has limits. Aiming for an unreachable goal with a Koan and falling short every time is going to have blowback, after all. Koanic mentions it's important for a Koan to have an outlet for pain, and here it is. When I put this Koan into action, the main practical goal of this portion is to ease the anger burnout of sadness that comes along with failing to fulfill the drive - experiencing this again and again, as one is often wont to do if one exposes oneself to all sorts of nonsense. I've had suggestions to just not read the news and etc, but then that other part of me comes along and chides me for hiding. The idea is neither truly hiding from what's out there, nor is it blind acceptance without trying, but a realisation that something is bigger than I am and can't be defeated alone.