A Peace as Fierce as War

I feel that I understand some of the many reasons why we fight.

The visceral thrill of getting your way, somehow forging your will ‘direct through the bones of the living‘. (Ted Hughes’ memorable line)

Midlife and 24 years T’ai Chi make me ask myself; can I make a peace as fierce as war? Hand-make a peace as transformational and dynamic as a fight.

The energy in fighting is not ‘wrong’, you may as well say a tiger is ‘wrong’.

Here’s some lines that came to me today from John Kells, from the last paragraphs of his writing: ‘The fighting eye of life is death’.

‘For want of a better word, this powerful beginning of the natural process is called yielding – the start of enheartening: filling the deprived heart of the fearful one with connexion driving away self, sorrow & thoughts. Finding a method here is useful because then with this method you can give others your insight into freedom from fear & into connexion. So the essence of the warrior is to never forget the technique that brought him through death & the overweening useless fear of it, & into life. One who has not made this journey will inevitably talk of suffering. But the fighting eye of life is death, & one experience to the warrior is no more or less important than any other, & therefore will not be indulged. Thus the rush of love has its own character, the rush of reaction in a self-defence situation has another, the rush of pain due to injury or disease is yet another. But all are equal so there is no point in talking about suffering. The warrior’s fighting eye blesses what it delights on because it neither detracts nor adds anything. What is brought into your being through your senses is what is there. The rest of nature understands this & harmony is bound to exist with it. Mankind generally does not understand this so harmony is lessened. Connecting through the heart, ever forwards, open, hooking, embracing, along the connecting natural process, is all you can do. Transform. Nothing can escape, so it is important that each warrior does his best to sharpen his fighting eye & reach as far & as deep as he can for all our sakes.’ John Kells – Blakeney – 29th May 2004

Published by Caroline Ross

Founder of Great River T'ai Chi. Maker of drawings, paintings and illustrations, teacher of earth materials.

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