Friday, December 30, 2005

Can I pick em or can I pick em?

One fine sunny day we were all standing around enjoying each others company. It was summertime. The day was beautiful. People and children running all over the park. The sides roads busy with cars. Birds and dogs making a racket. A wonderful day.

It must have been the end of class because there was no pressure. People were just standing around. I think it was me, Mike, George, Lonnie and Jeff for sure. It might have been Tim and Arol though I don't think so.

Something came up. I think Mike and Jeff were joking. Because they had known each other for a long time, there relationship was always a good one. Mike, in response to whatever was being disucussed said "Can I pick em or can I pick em?. I have this ability to pick generators".

What he meant is that he felt he had an eye for special people. People who were able to generate energy. This usually showed itself in as an ability to draw other people to them.

Mike obviously was a generator. He had 35 students in the Ba Gua class. He was an instructor at a small school. He had a successful psychology practice.

Jeff was odd to me. Even though he was friendly and spoke to people, he was really a very hiding kind of person. Regardless, he could, if he wanted to, draw people to him. Or they were drawn to him. You can say it however you wish.

George, even though he is a big galoot, is a likeable guy. He is like one of those hound dogs you want to pet because they are so likeable. He could be friendly with just about anyone. He was too. His job was a public relations type of job.

Lonnie was outspoken and outgoing. He was a farm boy and had that nature about him. An open face and an open attitude. He had previous medical experience which to me shows his facility in dealing with people.

I am bringing up this situation mostly for me. ;) In the midst of some of the negative things there was good. Even though I was in bad health and my relationship with Mike and the group was not so good, he included me in his "Can I pick em or can I pick em" comment that day. His comment to the group included all of us.

Even though I was anxious, nervous, standoffish and hard to get to know, I am an honest and caring person. People can tell that about me. That no matter how things may be, on the inside I have a caring heart. People are drawn to me for that reason and because I either have good energy or strong energy, take your pick.

It made me feel good to hear Mike make that comment that day. It was something I had always felt. I never knew how to express it. I had been the kind of person to draw people to me my entire life. Because I did not understand what was happening, I pushed them away. They were suffocating me. I understand all of this now. I didn't then. Maybe I will describe it one day.

After Mike made that comment, I had a positive way of describing one quality of myself that I had never understood, or had always viewed as a curse or as an affliction.

The comment also served to cement all of us as a group. There was no doubt he meant all of us. We all felt as if we were part of something special. There was no doubt he felt pride in his ability to pick special people. And pride in each of us for bearing out his predictions.

Explanation of my behavior to Mike

Now is a good time to mention my talk with Mike. Previously I wrote about how George had told me that Mike mentioned to him that I never said hello to Mike. This made me feel guilty. I felt like I needed to rectify the situation. The way George spoke, it felt like Mike thought I was rude. That was not the case at all.

I mustered up the courage to approach him. I feel pathetic writing that but that is how it was. As I have said, Mike spent 95% of the class time with the women. When he approached the men, it was for a reason. He was going to talk to someone or show something. There was never any place for me to speak to him on my own. I did not want to have the discussion in front of others.

Somehow I manage to get him alone. I said George had let me know that Mike wondered why I never said hello. I reassured him it was not from rudeness. I told him that I was fearful. I held my previous instructor responsible for my current health situation. Even though I knew it not to be true, on some level, when I saw Mike, I saw an authority figure that had hurt me. I unconsciously avoided him for that reason.

That was my intellectual reasoning for what was happening. It was what I believed. My world had no other explanation for what was taking place. Now that the previous post has broached the subject of energy, I can describe what it was that was really going on.

I was reacting to Mike's energy.

My health condition had left me strongly sensitive to the energy of other people. When someone strong approached me, or was in my vicinity, my body would react to the incoming energy. I would feel strong anxiety and distress. What was happening is their powerful energy was entering my body and causing the reactions because I was so physically twisted up. I was like a balloon filled with air. When a powerful person came towards me, it was like someone was blowing me up with more air. But I was already full of air. The extra air made the balloon stretch so much it felt like it might pop.

When I told Mike I acted the way I did because in my mind I equated him to my previous instructor, what I hoped for is that he would see the irrational fear in me. Then he would know my behavior was not based on rudeness or disrespect.

As with most of my contacts with Mike, he might have acknowledged what I said, then moved away. Though I didn't know it at the time, my energy had the same effect on him as his had on me. He was a master martial artist which meant he was strongly grounded and settled. I could unground and unsettle him just by talking to him.

I am disappointed in thinking that Mike did not see what was going on. That I was extremely sensitive to energy. He never mentioned it to me or talked to me about it. I wonder now if some kind of intellectual understanding of what was happening could have helped me control myself. Now that I do know what is going on, well enough that I can describe it in words, even though the same thing can happen to me, I do not react nearly as strongly because I do understand what is happening.

I am not recieving fear inducing sensations of some impending health crisis. I am merely reacting to the input into my body of more energy than I am used to. No heart attack, no anxiety, no stress, no mystery. Just the plain old addition of more energy to a container than the container is prepared to accept.

I don't think I mentioned it before. I think Mike was younger than I was. If not, we were very close to the same age. I put Mike on a pedestal because of his abilities. Perhaps the failings in him that I see as a failure of his martial arts or doctoral training were due to his young age.

I entertain that idea to be fair and open. I do not believe it because of Mike's pride. He talked about how he was such a good healer, the doctors at the college wanted him to heal them. If he was that good and that special, why couldn't he see what was going on with me and fix it? Age does not sound like an excuse here.

I am feeding you

I never believed in energy or acupuncture or chinese medicine or anything else. I was a good little western educated boy who believed in science and technology. Anyone who said anything else was superstitious, just like the TV and my authority figures told me.

The only reason I even became involved in acupuncture was desperation and a friend. This guy at my kung fu school kept at me about how I needed acupuncture. He wouldn't leave it alone. I was rude and dismissive to him. He continued to talk about it. When my health problems became intolerable, I decided I had nothing to lose and finally went to the acupuncturist.

I owe that friend I was rude and dismissive to a debt I can never repay. His name was Mike. He was a real looney tunes kind of guy. That is what everyone thought. That is one of the reasons I was dismissive to him. Yet this looney tunes guy helped me more than any of the "respectable" people I had contact with.

I had been reading books on kung fu all along. I had read about energy and acunpuncture enough that I was familiar with the ideas. I did not understand what the books said about energy. It made no sense to me. I thought most of it was translation problems between asian languages and english.

After I started the acupuncture, I became more open to the idea of energy and grounding and that kind of stuff. By the time I left the school where I was sick, and joined Mike's class, I believed there was such a think as energy, though I didn't really know much about it in a real life hands on way.

As said many times before, Mike would talk to us at the beginning of the weekend classes for an hour or so, then we did our exercises. There were the lunches we attended as a group together and various other group meetings.

I have mentioned how many people were sheep or lemmings. They always had a reason or a problem that required Mike's attention. I had nothing but scorn for these people because they were so pathetic. They were like puppies running to their mother. I think I actually felt angry sometimes. I would get caught in the mass rush of people crowding Mike. I would not go along with the crowd because I thought their behavior was demeaning. Their desires still pulled on me hard enough that resisting them made me angry.

At some point in time, I think it is in the future of this narrative, Mike got angry with me about something or the other. I do not want to discuss the details because it gives away part of the ongoing saga.

Mike looked me square in the face and said "I am feeding you".

I got really angry. Not at what he said, but at his tone. I did not understand what he meant with the words. He did not feed me. I fed myself. I cooked my own dinner every night and ate it. All I really knew was that Mike was saying words to me with anger, derision, contempt, disregard and frustration in his voice. Naturally I felt that did not apply to me. Especially as the words themselves made no sense to me.

What Mike meant was that he was feeding me energy. He was trying to tell me that I wanted to be around him because I wanted his energy. To me, it felt like he said that I was telling lies to him in order to get close to him so I could steal something from him. I was outraged. I consider myself honest to a fault. To have Mike, whom I respected as an accomplished martial artist. A man whom I was looking to for help, to say in that awful tone of voice that I was trying to do bad things to him, was shocking.

Feeding, in essence, was what he did to the entire group. All those lemmings and sheep that always had a reason to go to Mike? It was them that were going to Mike to be fed. They were always bothering the man for foolish or senseless reasons. They were the ones that made up excuses to get close to him.

I think what must have happened was that, after years of this kind of behavior, Mike was getting cynical and unhappy. In fact I know this to be truth as other events to be described will show. Mike was cynical about helping people and cynical about their motives.

What he did is apply the actions and motivations of the majority of the group to me. He accused me of hanging around so he could feed me energy, when in reality it was about 30 of the 35 other group members. Looking back, my claims are easy to verify. You could interview any group member and ask them about me. They would say I was a loner kind of person who always hung back from people. I never crowded Mike or chased after him the way they did. I never acted like a baby bird asking the momma bird, Mike, for food.

When Mike made that accusation against me, it was one of the blocks in our deteriorating relationship. At the time, I had very bad feelings for people that judged me incorrectly. I felt it reflected their abilities. I had put Mike up on a huge pedestal because of his martial arts and chinese medicine abilities. That he could be so totally wrong in his judgement of me knocked that pedestal right out from under my respect.

I am also a person that never forgets anything. I could never forget that Mike thought I was one of the sheep, one of the lemmings, that were always bothering him. I lost trust in him that he could judge me so wrong, then make a hurtful accusation the way he did.

I am the kind of person I would never have a debt to another. If Mike had told me on the first day of class "I am going to feed you energy. That means you are in my debt. You are my slave and you owe me. You will do what I say". I would have walked away.

What I wanted was to be taught to do things on my own. I did not want to be dependent on some man who claimed to be feeding me. If he really was, that wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to be taught to feed myself.

Funny thing was, Mike never taught that. Not to me anyways. He never taught me anything about energy generation or anything else. From the outside, it looked like he purposefully did not teach people to be independent, because if they were, why would they pay him?

What Mike was doing was basically peddling drugs. People would come to the class and pay him the $70 or whatever every month. Every weekend, the people would show up and Mike would give them the drugs. He would feed them energy. The people got "high" and were satisfied until the next weekend.

Teaching people to generate energy on their own would be like teaching them to get their own drugs. Or giving them their own drug connection. They would not need Mike anymore for energy.

I still get angry to this day thinking of Mike telling me he was "feeding" me like I was some animal. He was trying to make me feel guilty for something he was doing for me that I was not even aware of. From my perspecitve, even if he was feeding me, I paid good money for it. I paid him money every month. If he really was feeding me, he had nothing to be angry about. He was paid for his troubles.

Not to mention getting angry thinking that this situation was one of the first or few times I had even heard Mike mention energy. I had asked him from time to time about various things I read in books. I recall Mike specifically saying that the old masters never really talked about energy to the students.

If the masters never talk to the students about energy, how can you hold the students responsible for any of their actions? If they do not know about energy, the rules of how it works, and the etiquette for energy in human society, how can you be unhappy with these people when they break rules you never told them about?

The man repsonsible is the master. That is why he is called master. Because he publicly agrees to take on the responsiblity of the people who are under him. If the students fail in some way, it is not the students fault. The master has not fulfilled his responsibilities that he, of his own volition, agreed to accept.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Ideals versus Reality

In among all the talking of family style and loyalty and righteousness and pride and upright and good, there was talk of relaxation. Part of being healthy was being relaxed and not reacting to provocations from the outside. Any person who is familiar with Asian culture or Asian people will recognize this concept.

In speaking about Yin Fu Ba Gua, the main emphasis was on opening. Opening up the body and being an open person. Because the mind and the body are inextricably intertwined, anything that happens to the body happens to the mind. And vice versa. If the forms of Ba Gua opened up the body, then the mind would have no choice but to be open.

In the kung fu style that had made me ill, the instructor encouraged being hard. In Tai Chi and in the Yin Fu Ba Gua, the emphasis was on being softer and more relaxed. This was a mantra when performing the forms. They must be done in a soft and flowing way. Stop being so tense. Do not be hard or jerky. The power comes from the inside of the body and is delivered thru the limbs. The power cannot flow thru a hard body. The hard body acts as a blockage to the flow of power from the inside.

All of this made absolute sense. After years of life and kung fu, the idea is a proper one. There was a conflict though, between what was said, and how people acted.

Mike said that Ba Gua was about relaxing, yet he was one of the most tense and controlling individuals I have ever known. Sitting here right now writing this, I had a flash of intuition. I cannot help but wonder if his tense and stiff attitude was a result of his Tai Chi. I mentioned a post or two back about how Mike was defined by his Tai Chi skill. How he apparently did not want to give it up for complete devotion to Ba Gua. I wonder if the hardness and stiffness of the back from his style of Tai Chi made him mentally hard and stiff.

When Mike was around, no one did anything without his permission. Maybe not explicit permission. It was not necessary. His attitude was available to anyone who cared to look at him. If people were talking and Mike had a bad look on his face, that person shut up as soon as possible. If people were acting and Mike had a bad look on his face, the stopped whatever they were doing and looked to him for instruction.

The contrast was considerable. In the talks, the class and Ba Gua itself was about relaxing and being open. In reality, everyone was always repressed because of Mike's influence.

This was not an overbearing attitude. I do not want to give the impression of a prison guard over prisoners. People laughed and talked and enjoyed each others company. Mike included. The tension was an unspoken and low level thing that was always there. The kind of feeling you might have if you are in a room with a troublesome person. You are not controlled by that person, but you do feel uncomfortable that they might cause trouble at some point in the evening. You are always a little on edge, a little wary.

I did not realize most of what I wrote until years later. While I was with the class, I did not consciously think and feel the way I describe above. It wasn't until a particular event in my life that I realized how things were in the Ba Gua class.

After I left Ba Gua, I consciously went looking for people that enjoyed life. People who found joy in everything they did. Nothing was too mundane to be considered fun. I didn't know why. I only knew that was what I wanted. I spent a long time with people like this. Years of time that I have fond memories of.

With one of these groups of people, I was in another instructional setting. The instructor was the most admirable man I have ever met in my life. Likable, fun, enjoyable to be around. It is hard to think of a negative thing to say about him.

I arrived for the class early. There were two women there early also. The doors were locked for the room we were to use. The room was in a large building with poor ventilation. The instructor was going to go open some windows to get some air for the lobby area we were in.

One of the women was sitting on the ground. She might have been stretching or just sitting. The other woman was standing up doing something or the other. I was standing also, not really knowing what to do with myself. The lobby was small. The class was open to anyone that came by. I did not know the other two women well enough to speak to them. The situation was uncomfortable for me.

The instructor said something about sitting down to wait. He was going to go open the windows. I sat down and it was like someone pulled a switch. The second my butt hit the ground, the instructor shouted "relax". This was weird because he was 10 or 15 feet away, walking away from me to the windows.

It was obvous who his advice was for. Me. What I had unconsciously done was take the attitude and posture I had in the Ba Gua class. One of tension and hardness. I was not even aware I did that. In that small lobby, with only 3 other people who were strangers mostly to me, they instantly saw and recognized what I was doing.

I wonder if the other people in Ba Gua class were like me. Did they even realize that on some low level, they were tense and repressed? Looking back in my mind's eye right now, I can pick out people whose body language tells me that they were tense and uptight in the same way I was. I wonder if they knew they were like that, or if they were blind to it they way I was.

I was mortified that the instructor was forced to shout "relax" because my tension was making him and the women feel bad. By that time in my life, I had begun to accept the idea of human beings having energy. I could believe that even though many feet seperated all of us, my tension could reach across that space and make those innocent strangers ill.

I was grateful to him though because after he shouted, I sat there and had the epiphany this post is about. That on some subconscious level I was not even aware of, my time in Ba Gua had trained me to be a tense and tight, repressed person. Actions that were so obvious, total strangers could see it in my behavior. All of which was directly against the verbal instructions repeated almost every weekend about Ba Gua being for relaxation and openness.

Words are like noises animals make at each other. It is the subtle body language and unspoken communication that is what human interactions are truly about. I feel that Mike's personal tendency towards tension and control subtly affected all of the students.

I am also open to the idea that Mike attracted students predisposed to that type of behavior. Perhaps all of us were tense and controlling. When we met Mike, we saw ourselves in him, so we signed up for the class.

Whichever it was, I don't think I saw the Ba Gua open and relax any one of the 35 students or the instructor. Of course maybe they were monsters before. What I was seeing in Ba Gua class was the improved version of the people after Ba Gua training.


Sunday, December 25, 2005

The biggest mistake of Mike's Ba Gua Class

There are a few things that led to the dissolution of the Ba Gua class in the end. One of them in my opinion was the training.

Mike, being the man he was, was the source of ultimate authority. I know that I never thought to question any pronouncement he made about kung fu. He had 15 years of Tai Chi. He knew some famous Ba Gua guy from China. He displayed the signs of advanced training. He was the kung fu God.

The weekly classes consisted of an initial set of Ba Gua stretches. Maybe 10 in all. Then we would perform one complete long style Tai Chi form. Then we would do 8 of the forms from Ba Gua.

For those that do not know, Tai Chi is performed with the tailbone tucked underneath. This is the same thing as saying with the pubic bone thrust forward. The entire form is performed with the tailbone held underneath like this.

Mike's Ba Gua style was unique in my experience. In this Ba Gua style, the practitioner crouches down very low. The buttocks and hips are strongly thrust to the rear while the chest is strongly thrust forward.

If you think about it for a minute, you will see that the two styles were complete opposists. Tai Chi tucked the tailbone under so that the back acted as one large piece. Tai Chi will stiffent the back up and make it very strong. This is good from a health perspective. Yin Fu Ba Gua thrust the tail bone to the rear, totally breaking the continuity of the back. The theory behind Ba Gua was that flexiblity was the key to long life. By stretching the back as strongly as it was, all of the internal organs and the body received maximum stretching.

The most obvious question in the world to me is, won't practing the two styles together clash? One style is designed to make the back one big piece. The other style is designed to break the back down into a flexible unit.

For some reason or the other, Mike never really thought about this. Actually there was a very good reason. Mike had been doing Tai Chi for much longer than the Ba Gua. He felt safe and strong as a Tai Chi practitioner. In Tai Chi, he was very strong, very skilled, very dangerous. He could feel that within himself. He knew it for fact.

Even though he knew the Ba Gua and trained it and taught it, I do not believe he trusted it. He knew he was a big man in the Tai Chi world. If he switched to Ba Gua, he would be a little man learning all over again. As a man whose goal was power and money, he simply could not mentally let go of the power his Tai Chi training gave him.

This was bad for the class. Because in reality, the two styles did clash. I cannot speak for the others. I know for a fact that training the two differnt styles slowed down my learning. I feel it also may have actually caused me more problems. It would requre another post and the reader would have to be knowledgeable about kung fu for me to explain why it caused me problems.

Even though I cannot speak for the others, whether they felt training both styles was a problem, I think it was. As I said before, There were maybe 4 or 5 people in the class that showed any real comprehension of what was being taught. Maybe there was some other reason the people did not get it. I think a big part of it was the unconscious mental confusion caused by pushing the tailbone forward for some training, then pushing it to the rear for some other training.

Related to this mistake was Mike's refusal to talk about the Tai Chi. We would perform one complete long form during the full class practice. That was it. I and the others requested some additional instruction in the Tai Chi. We were refused. I did not know why at the time. Looking back, knowing Mike as I do, I am going to guess that since he felt that was where his real power came from, he was not going to teach anybody.

Lonnie and Jeff both knew the full Tai Chi form. Mike had no problem speaking to them about it. Mike's attitude seemed to be that if you could not learn the form and remember it from the full class practice, you were a problem. Instead of asking questions, you were supposed to learn from doing the form.

This was a foolish attitude to have. There were 35 people in the class. I had to try and watch Mike thru the other 35 people. We are all obviously moving as the form progresses. Trying to twist your head around to see how the instructor is performing a move never works. If I did not know the Tai Chi long form before I came to the class, I would have been in trouble.

As it was, the only reason I could keep up was because the style I learned before was similar to the one that Mike practiced. I was taking another Tai Chi class simultaneously with Mike's Ba Gua class. I went there 2 or 3 times a week. I recieved more Tai Chi instruction from them than I did at Mike's class that I paid money for. The other Tai Chi class was a free one put on by a nice old Chinese Man who wanted to help people.

The Tai Chi styles were very different. The free style was a soft and flowing style. Mike's style was different in a hard to describe way. The person was supposed to be hard. That sounds totally wrong when describing Tai Chi. That is the only word that really works.

Mike said that "other Tai Chi teaches you to be soft and circular. My Tai Chi says you need to be straight before you can be circular". I don't think I can explain it without some huge post. Then it still would not make sense if you do not know Tai Chi.

At first I didn't know what to believe. I had been at the other Tai Chi class for a bit. I liked it's soft and flowing movements. Mike's style reminded my of the Wing Chun I had done that made me sick. After some time though, I came to realize that Mike was correct.

Mike's Tai Chi was real fighting Tai Chi. The free Tai Chi was more of a health thing. Don't get me wrong. The old Chinese man who taught the Tai Chi class was bad news. He used to talk about how he was a gang member in his youth. The style he taught free to people was for health purposes mainly. The old guy had a private Tai Chi class. Maybe he taught the same way Mike did in private. I know the private students seemed to progress and show the effects of the training much faster than the free students.

Feeling Good

I have been a member of the Ba Gua group for months around now. I think I started around May or April, and by now it must have been summer. July or August. In spite of the things I have related, not just a few of which sound negative even to me, I felt good.

The talking that Mike did before class was the main reason for my good feelings. He spoke about what he called family style kung fu trainging. Instead of a class of strangers training, then leaving to be seperate people, he emphasized how the class was like a family. The physical training was just something we all did together. We were all friends, we all looked out for each other, we all tried to help each other.

I needed to hear that. I had trusted my previous kung fu instructor and had ended up so sick I was near death. I had no trust at all. I needed to hear someone talking about trusting others and working together. I needed to have my faith in people restored. It was slowly happening. Mostly because I was part of the group and people were polite.

I should probably mention that people were unfailingly polite. No one ever yelled or got mad or caused trouble. Except James of course. This constant politeness also made me feel very good. I had never been around people who tried so hard to adhere to a specific style of behavior and actually were able to do it. To me, people were coarse. They were not polite, educated, thoughtful etc. It was quite a pleasant change to see how the Ba Gua class as a whole behaved.

Mike also talked about Chinese medicine theory etc in his talks. This too made me feel good. This was the kind of thing I wanted to learn. I was convinced that this kind of knowlege would be my way to better health. I mentioned before that we brought notebooks to the talks. I wrote down so much of what Mike said my fingers would hurt and I would have to shake them out.

Mike also spent time talking about keeping a positive attitude. Now, that is such second nature to me I almost feel foolish mentioning it. At the time, I had never in my life heard anyone talk like that. I loved it. The idea that there were people who tried to stay postive, tried to do what made everyone feel good was my dream. My life experience was that every person on earth did what they could to make every other person on earth feel as bad as they could. The behavior of the Ba Gua class was almost like stepping into another dimension or going to another planet. The behavior of the people was that different and special.

Even though I did not speak to Mike, or I was not overly friendly with everyone, I began to consider myself part of the group. I am a loner by nature. That was a huge step for me to take. To look myself in the mirror and say "I am part of the Ba Gua group". I could not do that unless I trusted them. Obviously I trusted them, even if it was on a subconscious level I might not admit to myself.

I looked forward to the weekly meetings. Being exposed to these new and special people. Learning how they behaved and thought. Learning their customs. It was special and new and almost exactly what I wanted. I felt special to be learning an advanced art like Ba Gua. I felt special to be part of such a group of good and advanced people.

I settled in and considered Ba Gua my future. That is how good I felt about things. How much I trusted Mike and the group. How special I thought the class and the training was. I was a disciple of Mike's Ba Gua.

Turning point

The meeting at Jeff's house must have been some kind of turning point. The meeting in which I described how one thing or the other was said, then Steve, Chris and Jeff moved to one side of the room, leaving Arol, Tim and I on the other side of the room.

In light of later events, I believe that Jeff and Chris must have reported back to Mike what had taken place. I wish I could remember the issue that sparked the events. From my recollections, the disagreement was more of Arol, as a young man, putting his foot down and saying "I will not be ordered or treated as an underling". That was how I interpreted his statements.

From the point of view of authority, Jeff or Chris's point of view, Arol could be seen as a trouble maker who was challenging the boss. Sort of like a worker talking about starting a Union in front of the bosses. To the workers, it could or could not sound like a good idea. To the bosses, it was a bad idea and the man putting it forth was the enemy.

I don't recall noticing anything different in the weekend classes that occured after that men's meeting. But then, that was the way things were in the group. No one would say anything. They would watch you, judge you, then let the hammer fall. There was no reason to talk to a person about what was going on. From the point of view of the judge and jury, the people in question knew what they had done and they had done it purposefull. End of story.

I imagine they must have decided that Arol was trouble for standing up for himself. Tim was a kid still. He was staying with Arol just because. I don't know if he was even aware of what was going on. The judge and jury would have lumped Tim in with Arol. Me. I just sat there and never moved. I did not put myself into Arol's group. I would guess because it appeared I was not working out, that they would have gone ahead and included me in the group of the 3 of them.

Steve was a real brown noser. As I mentioned, he had blatantly got up and physically moved over to the position of Jeff and Chris to clearly show his loyalty. He would say and do anything to please authority. As an older man, he was fully aware of the interplay between people. He knew how to manipulate others, such as making a bold statement by physically standing up and moving over to the head guys physical position.

I mention this because to my way of thinking, Steve was brand new. Been there maybe a month, yet apparently the head guys felt he was worth more than Arol, Tim and I, who had been there for months. Being told we were part of the group, part of the family, and that we were all going places. We were all friends and part of Mike's kung fu group.

Friday, December 16, 2005


I am the kind of person that believes in straight talk. I am not much of a polite person. I don't mean I am rude. I am courteous to people. I am not polite in that I do not lie to people to make them feel better. I say whatever I think.

People who lie politely bother me. To them they are doing good. They are saying something to make you feel good. It is a lie though. The good feelings are the result of a lie. Also, so many things go wrong when people tell polite lies. They seem to snowball until the cause some real damage.

I am also an information oriented person. When talking to people, I view it as information exchange. People asking for answers and recieving them. Try doing this with someone who lies. You can't talk to them because you cannot rely on the information they provide. If they want to, they will lie without hesitation. Can you imagine what would happen if you had a calculator that gave you results based on what it thought you wanted to hear?

I have been at Ba Gua a few months by now. I never speak to Mike. After him rebuking me at the restaurant and setting me up to fight the sadist on my first day there so he could check me out, I did not trust him. From my point of view, the safest thing to do was keep my mouth shut and make myself small. Mike could not take issue with me if I never said anything and he never noticed me.

At one point George even mentioned that Mike said I never even said hello to him. It was true. I didn't. You had to know Mike. He was very authoritarian. Because he was always making people guess what he wanted, I always felt like I was on quiksand. Acting like a regular person was a sure way to earn some kind of remark meant to let you know that you were a failure.

I think I mentioned that I had breathing troubles when I joined. I wanted Mike to alleviate the problem by teaching me proper breathing exercises. He ignored my request. Multiple times. After months, I realized he was never going to respond to my request. That too affected my willingness to speak to him. Why speak to someone who ignores what you say? I don't think Mike even acknowledged my request for breathing exercises other than to say "later".

After these few months at Ba Gua, with Mike ignoring my requests for breathing exercises and I felt ignoring me, I was getting desperate. I was still deathly sick. Mike had really made no effort at all at doing anything to cure me. He had taught me some of the Ba Gua forms that everyone else learned. Really that was it. I can hardly believe I am writing that because it seems brand new to me. I can't believe I was there for months and Mike never tried to do anything about my illness.

If you spoke to Mike, he might say he was helping me. He might say he was putting good energy on me. Or he might say he was changing my energy in some way. When I say he did not help me, I mean that Mike never offered any specific exercises to help my specific problems. He did not talk to me about what it was that was wrong with me. He never said anything about seeing him as a doctor for some kind of cure.

Mike might have suggested that I go to the psychologist office. I rejected that mainly because I did not have the money. Also because I had physical health problems, not mental problems. I did not understand that the psychologist office also functioned as a front for what he really did.

There I am, still deathly sick. I still have trouble breathing. I am tense and stiff as a board. I get anxiety when I am around people. Life was truly hell. I became so desperate that I decided to approach one of the other men. I did not feel comfortable talking to Mike, so I decided I would speak to Jeff. He was the second in command. I could tell that he really knew kung fu. He was also a doctor of chinese medicine so I thought that was my best choice.

After class is over, I wait. People are hanging around and talking. I was planning on waiting till everyone cleared out, then approaching Jeff. I did not want an audience. People finally began to drift away. As luck would have it, the sheep were following Jeff. That happened alot. They would follow him to his car just to be near him. I shook my head in dismay at the mindlessness of their actions.

I had no choice. If I was going to speak to Jeff, it would have to be while some of the sheep were around him. I followed Jeff out towards his car, hoping the sheep would leave. No luck. That is when I found out they would literally follow him to his car just to be near him. I walked all the way to his car and the sheep were still there.

I just blurted out my problem. I told Jeff, "I think my other teacher Chris did something to me to make me sick".

I hate to bore people with talking about how sick I was. It is because when I have spoken to people before, they cannot understand why things happened the way they did. My energy was very strong. Becuase I was sick, it was a confused and unfocused kind of energy. When I blurted out my problem to Jeff, it was not just words. He felt the full force of my confused energy. This is a problem because confusing energy can confuse a person. It confused Jeff.

It is not exactly accurate to say confused. It is more accurate to say flustered. My energy was causing his energy to flare up like mine. He was trying to control his energy and pay attention to me simultaneously.

This is when the lie happened.

Jeff told me "Oh. I doubt if he did anything to you". Not understanding what was going on, I pressed the issue. I thought Jeff was saying I was wrong. I told Jeff that at one point in time, Chris had stuck his hand inside of me. I did not know what he did then. Now here I was sick. In my mind, I connected Chris sticking his hand inside of me with the sickness.

Chris had me doing Chi Sau with one of the Asian guys. I was doing the drills when Chris put his hand on my side. He then began to wriggle his hand back and forth. This was disconcerting. I am standing there doing Chi Sau with another person and the instructor is wriggling his hand into my side. Then I started to get scared when I realized that he had gone into or in between the muscles. It was a scary feeling. It felt as if his hand was maybe 4 inches inside of me. He had inserted his hand underneath the latisimuss muscles and worked his way in. It almost felt like he was about to touch my heart.

I explained this to Jeff, then I said, "I think when he did that to me he did something that made me sick like I am". Jeff said no. He said he doubted it. He said it was not a big deal. A massuese could do the same trick with wriggling under muscles. He said I was worried about nothing and I should forget about it.

That was another nail in the coffin of my trust for the group. Jeff was lying to me. He was using his doctor or kung fu or asian culture or whereever it came from attitude. The kind of attitude where you tell a man with cancer that everything is fine and not to worry.

I was angry. I felt Jeff had simply ignored me. Or he had made me look panicky or stupid. The sheep were standing there listening to the entire conversation. I would have respected Jeff more if he had offered some kind of detailed insight, or if he had asked me some probing questions. As it was, it felt like he said what he had to in order to get rid of me so he could get in his car and leave.

I realized as I walked away that I had rattled Jeff. He wanted to get rid of me because I rattled him. He was not frightened of me. He could beat me up easy. He was rattled because my energy was so strong and inescapable. Maybe if I say to you that being around me was like having a chainsaw running right next to you, that will give an idea of what my energy was like. A person could not be comfortable listening to the chainsaw. The chainsaw is so loud that it would be vibrating the person's body as it was operating next to them. That is what my energy does to people.

I made Mike run away from me if you can believe that. ;) 15 year Tai Chi man, 10 years or so Ba Gua and he ran away from me as fast as he could because my energy was so intense. I will have to tell you about that later.

I was disappointed. I respected Jeff as a man who had the drive and intelligence to go to college and be a Dr. To have this man glad hand me until I went away, without ever saying a meaningful word about my health problem, made me completely rethink my opinion of him. I had two choices. Either Jeff could care less about me and wanted to get rid of me. Or Jeff was a young man who did not know what was wrong with me and could not offer advice.

That is the crux of my problem with Jeff, Mike and Ba Gua. It is the reason for the title of the post. Men like Mike and Jeff will lie in order to retain their dominance, authority and status. Jeff could have told me he had no idea what Chris had done to me, or what my health problem was. If he did this, I would no longer respect him. The sheep who were listening would no longer respect him. Besides reassuring me by saying my problems were nothing, he also kept his reputation intact. He did not say "I don't have a clue what is going on with you", which is what he might have said if he was honest.

It did not matter that I was sick. It did not matter that I might have believed Jeff that nothing was wrong with me and stopped looking for a cure. The only thing that mattered was that Jeff emerged from the exchange looking like a doctor and the senior student of the class. I honestly cannot say if that was his motivation. I know my energy flustered him. I can think of no other reason for why he would tell me nothing was wrong and completely disregard everything I said if it was not to protect his own reputation.

If I was not stubborn as a mule, I might have beleived him and stopped looking for some way to alleviate my problems. I probably would have ended up dying if I had accepted his statements.

By the time this event took place, I had been in the weekend classes for months. I had heard Mike talk about dignity and pride and rightousness for week after week. How the kung fu man did what was proper and good. The difference between Mike's advice, and Jeff's lies of convenience was so strong that I blanked it from my mind. I refused to follow my thoughts to their natural conclusion.

Someone was lying. How could Ba Gua be about pride, dignity, integrity etc, when Jeff, the top student, was telling lies of convenience?

I need to say that Jeff was not a bad man. He was not a person who lied maliciously. He was like a supervisor at a company who feels it is his right to lie to the little people under him because he is the supervisor. The supervisor is probably a good man. But he thinks it is his right as supervisor to lie to other people. Jeff, being a doctor and having such high energy that people literally followed him around like sheep, had reached that spot where a person says "I can lie to other people if I want to".

It is a judgement call for the reader if they think people are justified in lying. A case can be made for supervisors or whoever need to lie. I am rational and can understand those arguments. I am also certain that no matter what is said, in the end the people are liars. Nothing they say can be trusted. There is no point in investing time and energy in a relationship with a liar. You can never tell when one of their lies could cause major problems.

I never trusted Jeff again. I talked to him and asked him questions. I never believed what he said 100%. I was always looking for the lies or what it was he was trying to hide from me.

The Monster

So here I am. Attending the weekend classes every week. Attending the men's meetings. Soaking up Mike's talks every weekend and trying to figure them out. Trying to apply them to my life.

Mike is spending the majority of his time with the women. He would come over and talk to the men after the main group. He might talk to the senior students. I remember him hanging out with the women all the time. What was really odd was that a couple of times, he made a genuine effort to come over and talk to the men as a group. When he did, it was as if the men's group pushed him away. I could never discern why. Mike would come over, say a few things, then I could literally feel the energy change and it was as if the group was pushing Mike away. Then he would retreat back to the women.

I am not certain but I think it could have been territoriality. If you practice kung fu for some time, and you learn real kung fu, something grows inside of you. It is like a monster actually. It really seems like there is a separate entity inside of you that is beyond your control. This monster is an animal. If it does not like someone, it will bust right thru a person's regular personality and let it's opinion be known.

I am something of an expert on this because it was why I finally left the teacher that made me sick. Without realizing it, I had finally attained the particular level of kung fu where this monster became a part of me. One day, for no reason I could think of, I almost got in a fight with another student. It was suicide too. The other guy was bigger and he was a senior student. I would have been smashed flat as a board. I would not have had a chance.

That didn't matter. That monster inside of me wanted to fight. Luckily Chris saw what was happening and came over and said "What's going on here?". What was so strange about it was I could not tell him. At the time, I did not understand what was happening. I felt like something beyond my control wanted to fight this guy while I was standing there thinking "This is crazy. That guy will murder me. What the heck is going on?".

I was finally forced to leave the school when that monster began to act up towards chris. I think that it acts on your true feelings. My true feelings were that I thought Chris was making people sick, he had made me sick, he had not trained me because I did not pay him. I resented him. After this monster developed inside of me, when Chris came by, my energy would flare up like it wanted to attack him.

The most vivid instance of that was when I was standing by the front desk hitting a sand bag. There were 4 or 5 other guys all hitting sandbags too. We were all talking and joking. Chris was in the back with some student. He finished with the student and came walking to the desk. My energy flared up like it resented Chris approaching the desk. It was his school! My actions were totally out of line. I could not control them. That monster inside of me did what it wanted to.

The instance was memorable because when my energy flared, everyone around me went quiet. That is the way energy works. The people around you will pick it up. Or, if you are strong enough, you will control them into doing things. I think they picked up my monsters bad thoughts towards Chris and they all shut up. It was one of those moments when everything goes quiet. Here I was in Chris's school and I am treating him like "What the hell are you doing here asshole?". It was really embarrassing. It was a struggle too. I could feel the monsters anger and resentment. At the same time I thought everything I wrote above. I could not stop the monster because I did not even realize that is what it was.

It was soon after that event that I was forced to leave. I can see why. How could Chris run his school if I was being an asshole to him? He had to be the top dog to control the class. He cannot allow me to act up. What I resent and hold against him is, why didn't he tell me what was going on? He was the kung fu instructor. He must have known what it was that was happening to me. Maybe if he had talked to me about it, I could have controlled it somehow. It took me years to even be certain enough about what was going on before I could think about it in the clear way I have described above.

Getting back to Ba Gua, I wonder if Mike stayed away from the men's group because someone in the group had a monster that resented Mike. It is no joke. You can literally feel a pressure pushing you away. Usually you can feel the associated emotion. Hate, anger, competitive instinct, whatever. As Mike was a highly skilled man, I am certain he got a full dose of whatever it was.

Mike was not the kind of man to push people. He would tell them something and if they did it fine. If they didn't do it, too bad for them. I think his comment at one of the instances when the men pushed him away was "Wow". That was it. Mike was like that. Making you guess what was going on or what he was after. His one word "Wow" was meant to say "Wow. Why are you guys pushing me away? I guess I will go back to the women".

This was not only at the main group. There were plans from the very beginning when I joined for Mike to come to the men's meetings. I think at first they may have said something about letting me get used to things before Mike came. Because I had such trouble staying calm it would not do much good for Mike to come by if I was so nervous and tense it ruined the atmosphere.

Would you believe that after 3 years, Mike NEVER attended a men's group meeting? That should tell the insightful person something. If you are paying attention to what was written above and before, the whole point of the class was to turn the men's group into a unit that could be used for whatever goal. How can a group of men turn into a unit when the leader never comes to talk to them as a group?

Mike talked to the men individually at the weekend classes. He saw them during the week at the psychologist practice. I heard that he had a friendship with some of the men that included the freedom to call up and bullshit if they felt like it. But he never in 3 years made it to a men's meeting.

You can take that as you wish. A failing on the part of the men, or a failing on the part of Mike. I think Mike should have worked harder. I think he should have pushed or forced the men in the proper direction instead of ignoring them. I think I am right because in the end, the group collapsed. It collapsed in my opinion because Mike did not work with the men enough. He was too busy with all the women.

Mike might say it was the men's fault. He would say some New Age kind of thing like "they weren't ready". It can see that and understand it. I can also see that I think Mike took the easy route. Why bother with the men when you have 25 vaginas and 50 breasts that hang on your every word and follow you around like a puppy?

I know I sound bitter at times. I feel it is deserved. As I said, the men's group fell apart. Guess what? The women's group did not. The women's group that Mike spent all his time at held together and they still work at something or the other till this day.

I think if that if all of us had vaginas and breasts, or if Mike was gay, then the men's group probably would have held together just as the women's group did. Mike would have spent time with us to hang around our vaginas and breasts, or, if he was gay, he would have spent time with us because he liked men.

There are only two men that are still with Mike from what I hear. Both of them are sheep. They do whatever the sheepherder, Mike, tells them. All the independent men went their own ways.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Evolution says that human beings evolved from animals. That is such a dry thing to say. For me it really never had any meaning other than as something that was learned in school or from the news.

Then I actually saw animal behavior in human beings. I was astonished and fearful. I was astonished because there was no doubt that what I was witnessing was animal behavior. I felt like an explorer watching the movements of animals in the wild. I was fearful because I realized that these human beings had lost their intelligence. They were acting like animals without a conscious thought about what they were doing. That was frightening to me because, how do you reason with an animal? One can only deal with an animal thru violence and intimidation if the animal causes trouble.

My experience in the Ba Gua class provided some of the most striking and personal examples of animal behavior I have ever witnessed. I am specifically referring to the herding instinct. When animals will crowd together for safety or some other instinct. The first time it happened was surreal. I again felt as if I was an explorer who was witnessing the behavior of animals who behaved without conscious thought.

At this point in time, the male class was chris, jeff, george, lonnie, me, arol, tim, james and the new guy steve. At some point in time after Steve's arrival, there was another of the men's meetings that I discussed previously. This one was over at Jeff's house. Chris's apartment was smallish, and there was an agreement to spread the load of visitors among people.

All of us lived in widely varied locations. As much as 40 miles apart. The majority of us lived in the central location where Chris lived. Jeff lived about 15 or 20 miles away in another city. It was difficult to get too because of big city traffic. His apartment was larger though still smallish. He was a young man who was beginning his life. The city was expensive to live in. He was lucky to have found a largish one room type house.

That night at the meeting was jeff, me, chris, steve, arol and tim. For whatever reasons, george, lonnie and steve were not there. For some reason I recall how vividly lit the room was. It was painted a light yellow or white color. Everything in the room seemed vivid and intense.

There was university within walking distance of Jeff's place. It was up a hill thru a scenic neigborhood. The university had a large quad type area. The meetings were around 7 or 8 at night. The were usually very few people about. We would go up there to practice. We would do the basic stretches, perform the forms together, do some walking, then split up for individual practice. Then we walked back to Jeff's place.

We got back and warmed ourselves up. The area was usually cool, especially on top of the hill at the university. Then we sat down with some hot tea to talk about whatever. Jeff and Chris were the senior students. Arol, Tim, Steve and I were the new students. Arol and Tim to my mind were what could be called boys. That sounds insulting to me but that is what I think of. I did not think of myself that way. I viewed myself as an experienced martial artist who was years older than both of them. Steve was that much older than me. His appearance was that of an obviously older person. This gave him the.....respect or wisdom of an older person. Whether it was deserved or not.

Jeff and Chris were sitting in one corner of the room. That is significant in that both senior students were together. Arol and Tim were sitting at the opposite corner of the room. The room was so small that the distance was not as far as you might imagine. It was significant that Arol and Tim were together because they were what I have described as the young boy students.

I was sitting in between the two groups, closer to Arol and Tim. That is significant because it shows that I felt kinship with Arol and Tim. I did not feel like one of them so that I was actually in their group. I felt more like them than I did the senior students though. The senior students in my mind were people to keep a distance from. I felt it was best to avoid senior people because then no misunderstandings can ever take place. My health problems also made me fearful of anyone I considered a threat. Jeff and Chris, as established martial artists, were both a threat to me. I felt no threat from Arol or Tim.

Steve was also sitting in the middle close to me. I would say that he and I were a group. I don't remember that feeling of closeness. I know he was physically close to me because of the small room size. I do not remember feeling as if he and I were a group the way Tim and Arol or Jeff and Chris formed a group.

We all sat there and talked about this and that. It bothers me I cannot recall the specific subject that was being discussed. It was insignificant from my point of view which was why I think I don't recall it. I was in a state where I was not paying real intellectual attention to the conversation. I was there and observing. The conversation did not concern me, whatever it was. So I sat there, kept my mouth shut, and listened.

Arol and Jeff or Chris were discussing something. Suddenly there was a change in the room. It was as obvious as if a wind hand blown thru the room. Someone was upset or angry or challenging. I felt all of this. I did not register the words associated with what was happening. The senior student repeated whatever it was he had said in a stronger and more definte, a challenging way. Arol very clearly, whatever he said, made it clear he did not agree and that the senior student could take a flying leap.

It was as if all of those words had been spoken clearly and outloud. There was a silence for a minute. Then, drawing attention to himself because the room was silent, Steve deliberately moved himself from his position by me and over to include himself in the group of Chris and Jeff. It was so obvious I could not believe my eyes. I was literally dumbfounded.

Steve had heard the exact same angry exchange I did. He heard the dismissive retort the same as I did. Then he carefully looked at both groups, and as obvious as you please moved himself into the group of the more powerful men. The senior students. When you hear the term "bootlicking" or "buttkissing", I cannot think of a better example. I would not have been surprised to see Steve stand up and say "I reject what he just said. I don't believe a word of it. I am with you guys, the senior students. So help me God!"

I was in shock. I saw all this as if it was happening in slow motion. I could not move because I felt as if I was witnessing two separate conversations. The verbal conversation with things left unsaid, and the physical conversation which left no doubt as to what was being said. In my view, it was animal like behavior that motivated Steve to move as he did. If he was a dog or a cow, he would have looked at the big dogs Chris and Jeff, looked at the other dogs and cows, Arol and Tim, and gone over and laid on his back in front of Chris and Jeff to show his submission.

I refused to behave like that. It violated the way I view myself on a basic level. I abhor people that act without thinking. What made the situation worse for me was the feeling of compulsion. When Steve moved, his need was so strong that I could feel it. His body language screamed at me to join him with the big dogs and submit myself. I would never do that. For any reason.

I sat there, looking at Jeff, Chris, and Steve in one corner far away. Then I looked at Arol and Tim who were basically right next to me. In this world of animal behavior I suddenly found myself in, it looked like I was part of the bad guys. It looked physically like I was sitting with the troublemakers Arol and Tim. I could see this thought flitting thru the minds of Jeff and Chris and Steve. If it was my imagination, I know I could see it. I may refuse to behave like an animal. I can still interpret their actions and what they are thinking.

I sat there and consciously refused to move myself to the "safety" of the group of Jeff, Chris and Steve. I refused to obey the compulsion to make a choice and move. To me, my physical location had nothing to do with what was being said. Any human being could see that Arol and Tim had their own verbal opinion. My physical proximity to them did not mean I agreed with what the said. Any thinking rational human being could see that.

In this animal world I found myself in, no one was rational. The conversation then continued with Steve playing the role of peacemaker. He was going to mediate between the senior guys and the young boys. This was a role that would become familiar. It was how Steve ingratiated himself to authority. We would move close to authority like he did, then say what they wanted to hear.

The conversation continued for some small bit. I don't think I played much of an active part. I felt if I said a word, I would be validating this weird exchange that was taking place. As long as I kept my mouth shut, it was all something that was taking place between all of them.

The mediating didn't work very well. The mood turned sour. Chris, Jeff and Steve were behaving as if Arol and Tim were some kind of traitors or something. They were not surly or rude. There was something about the energy of the room. The friendliness seemed gone. I don't know if Arol and Tim were aware of it.

Thruout all of this, Arol was the lead man. He was older and had a job so he was what people label responsible. Tim was a young guy going to school. Tim was an instigator of trouble or he would back trouble. Whatever had been going on, Arol was the speaker, but Tim was on his side with comments or nods or what have you. There was no doubt that the senior guys considired Arol and Tim as part of a group or problem. I don't know if they felt that way about me or not.

Chris suddenly announced he had to leave. He was upset and did not want to stay. Steve was old enough to see how things were developing and he too said that he had to leave. Arol and Tim said they did not have anything to do. They were free to stay. I wanted to be seen as an attentive person so I said I too could stay. That left Jeff as the senior student who was going to lead......something.

Arol and Tim, as the young boys, looked at Jeff as one of themselves. Another young boy to talk to and have fun with. Jeff played along with this because he wanted to fit in and project the proper image. He did not really feel like that though. Jeff was a graduate of a college and a Dr of Chinese Medicine. He had much more status than someone like Arol or Tim. Even though he was being friendly to them in the spirit of the men's group, he was not at their level.

Arol and Tim were not aware of that I don't believe. After we had said farewell to Steve and Chris, we all sat down to talk some more. Arol and Tim were bubbly and happy. From their point of view, the trouble, Chris and Steve, had left. They were ready to have fun with Jeff who they viewed as a fellow. I was my usual quiet self.

We sat back down and Jeff said something about what did people want to talk about. Arol and Tim did not really know. They just knew they wanted to stay and talk. It was late. Maybe 9 or 10. Arol and Tim were asking Jeff to stay up and party with them basically. They didn't necessarily have anything about kung fu or ba gua to talk about.

Another one of those energy changing instances occured. I could tell Jeff was not happy about Arol and Tim. He was not rude to their face. His energy was one of rejection and dismay. I felt very badly because I could tell exactly what Jeff was thinking. I myself felt some of the disappointment. I had stayed because if Jeff the senior student was speaking, I wanted to be there to hear it. When it was apparent that Arol and Tim wanted entertainment, like children, and not information, I was as dismayed as Jeff. I felt like because I was there, Jeff was thinking of me in the same terms as he was Arol and Tim. I wanted to leave. Immediately if possible.

Jeff suggested he talk about Chinese Medicine. Arol and Tim thought this was great. Jeff grudgingly got out some books and began to talk. I was agonzing really. To be able to see this big sign over Jeff's forehead saying "I wish you guys would leave". Then looking at Arol and Tim who were in rapt attention to whatever Jeff was saying, happy as clams.

This went on for a little bit. I want to take credit for ending things. After some minutes, I think I felt so bad that I said I had to leave. That gave Jeff the chance to say he needed to get to bed for in the morning. It could have ended differently at someone else's suggestion.

Watching Steve that night move over into the big dogs group. Feeling like the 3 of them were looking at Arol, Tim and I as if we were an opposing group, when we were all supposed to be friends part of the same group, was one of the most vivid examples of animal herding instinct I remember. It was only the first as part of my experience in the class.

Sitting there observing people who were presented to me as superior kung fu people, elevated people who could help me, behave like animals at the level of unspoken communication gave my belief in them and people in general quite a jolt. I knew regular people behaved in unthinking ways. To see this men who had years of kung fu training that I could see in them behaving like mindless animals....Wow.

Thinking about it right now? It could be Steve, Arol and Tim only that acted like animals. At some elevated level, the need for physical speech becomes irrelevant. People can read each other's energy the way I could read everything I described above. Jeff and Chris's emission of rejecting or angry energy could have been a calculated thing by highly trained people, as opposed to the mindless movement of Steve crawling towards the highest concentration of power.

At that time I did not know them well enough for me to judge if they were capable of communicating non verbally. That is why I attribute their actions to mindless animal behavior. Later on I learned that they were as good as if not much more skilled than I was at reading people.

Monday, December 12, 2005


I believe I mentioned in the first post, if not in others, that my first impression of Dr G was "Can you pay me?" Dr G was about money.

I need to bring this up because later on, it will become an issue in the narrative. Without this background, what happens later on would not make sense.

Dr G was always talking about money. He wanted to be rich. That was not a big deal. I think all of us wanted to be rich. We were all what could be described as yuppies. Enough money to be comfortable and afford to pay for kung fu classes. He wanted to be a millionaire and do lots of other things involving money. He made all of these statements of his own volition. It was not an act or done for a purpose. That was the real Dr G.

In my mind I classified Dr G as being about money. He said so himself. It seems funny to make such an obvious and simplistic statement with such emphasis. Once we get into the territories of people lying to your face, or word and mind twisting to reach a goal, it will become apparent why the statement was made.

This bothered me internally. I never said anything. In my previous kung fu class, the one that caused me to become ill, the instructor was all about money. I did not discover until I had been there for some time that, unless you paid him for private lessons, you would not learn much real kung fu.

That was devastating to me. I had an idealistic view of kung fu instructors teaching people in an evenhanded and fair way. To believe that a person could only learn real kung fu if they had lots of money to pay for it made me lose respect for the instructor.

That was one of the reasons my relationship with my previous teacher had gone bad. When I realized that unless he got the big bucks, I was not going to learn the real kung fu, I became mentally resentful. I never said anything though I wonder now if my actions made my thoughts obvious.

When I realized Dr G was about money, I was nervous. I was concerned it would be another case of somebody paying their bills instead of teaching kung fu.

Dr G was doing OK. He was teaching a weekend kung fu class for 2 or 3 hours every Sunday. I would guess there were about 35 people. The number varied as people came and went. Just to pick a number, let's say that each person was paying $70 a month. That is...

$70 X 35 = $2450 a month.

Not bad for 3 hours a day, 1 day a week, is it? This is a low ball figure. People who were wealthy, or who were long time students, or some other criteria, might pay him more.

I heard from other people that they would also go to see Dr G during the week. They would go to his psychology practice. That was why I needed to talk about emotions in the last post. Recall I said that Dr G believed that a person could never be good at kung fu unless they had dealt with their emotions. Apparently the purpose behind going to the psychology office during the week was to deal with this aspect of the training on a personal basis.

That was out of the question for me. I did not have a lot of money. It was a strain for me to pay the $70 for the kung fu training. I was stressed and unhappy. I wanted to cure my health problems. I was hearing that I needed to go to these psychology office visits to get the whole health treatment package. I did not have the money for that. That made me stress because I wanted nothing more than to do whatever it took to fix the health problems.

At some point that I do not want to discuss yet, I decided that I would find the money to go to the psychology office. I learned that it would be $70 for an office visit. That was as much as for going to the kung fu class all month.

Now get this. People in class would go to see Dr G every week. Let's do the math.

35 people X $70 a week X 4 weeks/month = $9700 a month

9700 month/psychology + 2450 month/kung fu = 12,150 a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you imagine? That is loads of money for teaching kung fu and talking to people that were basically a captive audience. This does not take into account the outside patients that Dr G saw at the psychology practice. The figure does not take into account the people who were asked to pay more than $70 a month.

I think you can see why I believed that Dr G had a strong interest in money.

Part of the reason this relates to the ongoing saga is that during the weekly sunday talks before class, the talk usually included things about self sacrifice, charity, doing good by others. I had a very hard time reconciling the two facets of Dr G'.

I had a hard time paying for the kung fu class. People knew that because if they were going to lunch sometimes, I could not go because I had no money. To my way of thinking, if Dr G was really about charity and giving and sacrifice, why did he charge so much money for people? He could have lived comfortably by charging $35 dollars a month. He had no overhead to justify. We practiced in a public park. If we all paid big money because he had to cover the rent of a building, that would be a different story.

I guess the pertinent thing to remember for the coming story is that Dr G was about money and driving towards the future to make more money. That is an honest assessment of his personally stated feelings. Later on this knowledge will explain certain events and actions.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Another area that needs to be mentioned is emotions. Dr G was big on emotions. He was always talking about emotions this and emotions that. I did not pay much attention in the beginning. The only experience I had ever had with people talking about emotions was crying women, or people with mental problems.

I think I said that Dr G was a Psychologist as well as a Dr of Chinese Medicine didn't I? So when he began to speak about emotions, I mostly felt like he was talking about stuff that didn't apply to me.

What Dr G would say exactly was "you cannot get good at the physical kung fu unless your emotions are balanced". Or your emotions were in good shape or something along those lines. This made no sense to me at all. By that time, I had attended all kinds of classes with all kinds of teachers. It was a given that each instructor would have their idiosynchrocies. I felt that since Dr G had gone to college to get a Psychology degree, he wanted to talk about it.

As time went by, I began to get a better feel for what Dr G was getting at. It was his opinion that if a person was not happy and well adjusted, they could literally never get very good at kung fu in a well adjusted way. A person could become good at kung fu and become a sadist maybe. Dr G would say that was not good because the man should not want to hurt people just because he took kung fu.

I didn't really believe it too much. I thought that Dr G was saying that if you were sad or angry then you could not concentrate on your practicing. That was not such a big deal. Not being able to practice one day because you were angry.

Then Dr G began to talk about emotional energy instead of just emotions. According to Chinese medicine, emotions come from the internal organs, not the mind. If the internal organs are in one shape or the other, they cause one emotion or the other. When Dr G said that a person could not become good at kung fu unless they were emotionally stable, he was implying that the energy of the emotions in the body could interfere with the energy of kung fu practice.

One way to view this is as a series of valves and tubing that is pumping water around. When the person does his kung fu, then water is moving around the tubing to wherever it should go. If the person is angry, it would be like a valve was closed halfway on one of the tubes. The water would go rushing around the tubing, then run into the half closed valve. The water would back up, the pressure would increase. The water is not flowing efficiently. The kung fu is interfered with.

That is the kind of thing that Dr G was trying to say when he recommended that people gain control over their emotions when they were practicing kung fu. He actually gave advice that people should not practice if they were emotional. I know when I first heard him say this, I thought he was a weakling or something. It sounded stupid or womanish to me. "Oh, I don't feel good today. My panties are in a bunch. I better not practice". That was how I heard his advice. Every other kung fu class I had ever attended was geared towards pushing yourself to reach some goal or the other. The kung fu class that I had just left to come to Dr G's class was all about driving yourself to your limits to get strong.

Much much later, on my own, as with most of the other things I learned from participating in Dr G's class, I discovered the real reason why a person is supposed to control their emotions so they can be good at kung fu. I could never decide if Dr G could not find the words to describe what was going on properly. Or if he just plain didn't want to talk about it. If it was a secret he kept for only certain people.

The mind is directly connected to the body. Your brain does not sit up inside of your skull all by itself. Anything that happens to the body will directly effect the brain. When Dr G said emotions would interfere with kung fu practice, what he was trying to say was complicated. If a person felt emotion, say sadness, then the organ associated with that emotion would physically change. It might get soft or hard or change according to the tenets of Chinese medicine. When it did, the brain changed also.

It is important to understand this is not a mental thing. It is not mentally thinking "I feel sad", then having the brain act troublesome. It is a physical connection with physical changes. If the liver shrank for instance, the area of the brain associated with the liver would physically be affected. It might shrink very slightly also.

This is actually an extremely powerful idea if you can understand it. I took kung fu for 20 years and never heard anyone explain it adequately. I feel as if I stumbled across the answer. I have always thought that people recomending that you control your emotions was all philosophy or psychology or mind games. I never for a minute thought that there was an actual physical reason for it.

I think my experience would probably hold true for most western people. Asian people grow up with the ideas that emotions are associated with the organs. For them, if someone said control the emotions for good kung fu, they would instantly understand the reason was to minimize the physical effects on the internal organs that emotions have.

Believe it or not, that is really eye opening for me. Even though I just wrote it, I am sitting here thinking I better write this down somewhere because it is really important. The reason that Asian philosophies recommend that people control their emotions is so that their internal organs stay calm and healthy. I am shaking my head that is so profound, but so odd sounding.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Is the reader easily frightened? If you are, please leave this post. It is my personal experience that people can react very badly to this subject. They can become emotional, violent, or they can develop mental problems for short, or long periods of times.

I am not kidding.

Possession. Yes. The Possession you think I am talking about. Possession like the devil possessing someone in a movie.

Possession is a real phenomenon that really happens.

The previous blog entry talked about people having energy. The phenomenon of Possession works by manipulation of a person's energy. This is what makes Possession believable, instead of make believe movie or story ideas. Possession is an action based on the "science" of human energy. It is not an imaginary idea. It is based on observable phenomenon in the human body.

Possession is also not he exaggerated thing it is in the movies. People's head spinning around on their neck etc. Possession is more along the lines of the happenings described in the Stephen King book, Firestarter. Subtly pushing people to do one thing or another.

Any person can possess another person. There is no way to tell who does and does not have this ability until they use it on you. It is at this point that people usually get scared. For good reason actually. Someone can take control of you and make you dance like a puppet. If you have any sense at all, you should be frightened of that possibility.

There are varying degrees of this ability. As I said above, all people have the ability to some degree or another. A person who always gets people to pay for their lunch or their beers might have this ability. They possess the people to think it is a good idea to pay their bills.

A person who was a salesperson, like the proverbial car salesman, might have this ability. All those stories about car salesman taking advantage of people are really stories about a man who can possess the customers and make them buy a car. This ability comes in handy for any kind of sales position. It does not take much ability either.

At much much higher levels, one person could completely take control of another person. They can make them walk like a puppet. They could kill the person if they chose to. They could possess their body and then make them have a heart attack. This is actually done in real life assasinations. Many men or women who are described as being able to have sex with anyone have this ability. They possess their target and control them to believe they want to have sex with the people.

Any martial arts person who is skilled should have this ability. The higher the skill, the higher the ability. Most higher martial arts are taught by the instructor physically possessing the student, then making the students body perform the moves properly.

This reason is why it is so important for the instructor and the student to be friends with each other. They student must literally trust the instructor with his life. If there is mistrust or anger or some kind of negative emotion, the student will fight the instructor's attempts to possess and teach him.

This is also why, in my opinion, it is important for people to be instructed about energy and how it works. Any person will instinctively resist an attempt to be possessed. Depending on the person, they may or may not be successful. A student learning from an instructor needs to understand about energy so he will not fight the instructor.

I do not know why, but I am naturally sensitive to being possessed. I never understood what was going on. I had no words to describe what I felt. All I knew was that some people made me very angry and that I wanted to hate them, or get away from them. This put me in some very uncomfortable and embarrassing situations in my life.

This tendency of mine is pertinent to mention here because I resisted Dr G. I did not know what was going on, I just know I had a low level of resistance to Dr G approaching me. If he walked towards me for any reason, I would become tense and put out hostility energy. I was not conscious of this. It just happened.

As you can imagine, that must have been quite a turnoff for Dr G. He is approaching a student, and the student puts out hostility and stay away from me energy. Having just written all of this, I can see why Dr G may have avoided talking to me, teaching me or even actively trying to get rid of me. He saw a person who did not like him and pushed him away.

From my perspective, I did not understand what was going on. The only thing I knew was that if someone powerful approached me, I interpreted that as a threat. If I could tell they were powerful, they were powerful enough to possess me, and they might try to possess me. I instinctively threw up barriers to protect myself from being possessed. Even from someone who was trying to help me.

I can imagine that the casual reader will have trouble with this blog entry. I don't know what to tell you. It is all the truth. I can tell you that movies and books of course exaggerate this phenomenon for entertainment reasons. I can remind you of the proverbs about how everything in life is based on something real.

If we had a relationship, I could prove it to you. Not personally. I can't do it. I could provide examples of it occuring though. As I have said, Possession is an everyday occurrence that lots of people can do. I see it on TV or in real life all the time. All I would have to do is get a TV video clip or take a video of it happening in real life and give it to you to watch.

Possession is a real phenomenon. You need to learn about it to protect yourself, and to understand some of the things you see happen around you in life.

Does the reader understand about Energy?

I have been feeling like it might be time to cover some basics. In reading over what has happened up to now, I can see that I take many things for granted. If I read the material from the viewpoint of someone happening across this blog, sometimes I get confused. The first thing I want to address is the concept of energy.

All human beings have energy. This energy behaves like the heat from a stove. It comes off of the human body and it can be felt by other people. There are many different types of energy that can be generated and received. I think the most common and familiar energy would be emotional energy.

In the Chinese Medicine view of the world, different emotions are associated with specific organs. Happiness or hate might be associated with the heart for instance. They belive that when a person is feeling one particular emotion or the other, it is as if the internal organ associated with the emotion is giving off energy, just like a stove.

Just like a stove, giving off energy requires fuel of some kind. A wood stove burns wood to produce heat energy. A gas stove burns gas to produce heat energy. Chinese Medicine says that to produce sadness or happiness or other emotions, some type of fuel is being depleted from the associated internal organ.

This idea is crucial to understanding how some Asian people think and behave. When people think about fuel, what is a usual accompanying thought? Fuel efficiency. People want the best fuel efficiency for their car or home heating so they conserve resources.

Asian people believe in not displaying emotions because they want to conserve their resources. They want to keep the emotional energy in the internal organs like storing gas in a tank. That is the one of the reasons some Asian people have a reputation for being reticent.

This applies to this blog in that Dr G was a American Asian. It was part of his heritage to repress his emotions. Then you add to his heritage the training he received from both Chinese medicine and Kung Fu and you have a person who does not believe in letting out any kind of emotion or feeling unless there is a reason for it. Every release of emotion or energy had to be justified for a very good reason.


Now that we know that people have energy, that they can emit and receive energy, we can talk more about how that knowledge affected the happenings described in this blog.

When normal people interact, they talk to each other, they laugh or smile or interact in some way or another. No one thinks much about what they are doing. Whatever emotion or thought comes to them is what expresses itself in the conversation.

In Dr G's class, nothing was like that. Personal interactions were viewed not as words, information, actions being exchanged between people. Personal interactions were about exchanging energy of one type or another.

For instance. If one person was feeling good, that would mean they had lot's of energy for some reason. They might go around laughing and joking with people. Normal people would think they were laughing at the words of the jokes. What is really happening is that the person with extra energy is giving that energy to the other people. The influx of energy is what makes the person laugh and feel good.

The dark side of this is that a person with some kind of problem is viewed as a person that wants energy. Instead of listening to a person talk about a problem or difficulty, what was really going on was this person was asking or begging for energy. I feel dirty even writing that down.

That was the attitude of Dr G and other people in the class. I had never heard of, or been exposed to, this type of thinking in my life. The differences in world views is responsible for many of the situations that arose.

I would talk to Dr G thinking I was using words, voice inflection and gestures to communicate my needs. I felt that I was asking for a verbal response. I felt I was asking for information to fufill a need. In my mind, I honestly believed that if I had the verbal words containing the information I needed, then I would have what I wanted.

From Dr G's viewpoint, I was a person who was cajoling him or bribing him or selling him on why he should give me energy. Dr G had energy and I was a person who would do anything to get it. I was a kind of dirty person or person to be avoided because I was demanding something Dr G had.

It was very hard to miss Dr G's attitude. When you honestly believe that a person is trying to take something away from you, and you need to push them away, it is obvious what is happening. I would be saying my words asking for verbal information. Then I would see Dr G's body language and words treating me as if I as some kind of low person that he needed to get rid of. From my perpective, that attitude was rude and unwarranted. Dr G was my instructor. I was asking for verbal information. It was his duty as the instructor to try to provide me with verbal instruction.

It was not until much much later that Dr G plainly and bluntly told me to my face what I have related above. That I was a mindless kind of person who was chasing after Dr G for energy, not verbal information. My blood boils just thinking of it. Dr G was wrong. He was right, but he was wrong. I knew nothing about energy. I could have been after him for energy at one time or another. In my heart though, and in my head, I honestly believed that I wanted verbal information. If he would have replied to my questions, I would have walked away. Because he never answered my questions, I was unable to prove my innocence of the accusations he leveld against me. That I was mindlessly after his energy.

This behavior was not limited to me. Once I became aware of how Dr G acted, I could see the same type of reactions with other people. Dr G would literally run away from people, hold them at arm's length, do anything he could to redirect or distract them so they would go away. He truly believed that every person he came in contact with was trying to steal his energy.

I think you can see how this type of attitude could easily lead to paranoid behavior. Now that I am more aware of how life works, I understand Dr G's behavior. I can see why he avoided people the way he did. I can also see that he misjudged people because he did indeed become paranoid. He refused to beleive a person would have any motive to approach him other than to take his energy.

On some level, all human interactions really are like this. Dr G is correct that all human personal interactions are about some kind of energy. It was Dr G's belief that all people were malicious about this that bothered me. Mostly because he misjudged me of course. If I had understood his way of thinking, being the person I am, I would never have talked to him for the rest of our relationship. To prove that I was there to learn. Not to steal anything from him thru dishonest means.

Dr G, being the superior and arrogant kind of person he was, could not believe that he would make a mistake in judging the motives of another. This was bad from the perspective of him being a Dr. I personally took it very hard when Dr G, the guy who was supposed to help me with my health problems, a person I wanted to trust and feel close to, let me know he thought I was a person who needed to be pushed away. A person who was trying to take things that did not belong to him. An unpleasant person to be around.


I think that is it. All people emit and receive energy. There are various kinds of energy. The most common energies are emotional energy, sadness, hate, happiness etc.

When people interact with each other, they exchange energy. The people do not have to be aware of what is happening for the energy exchange to take place. They can actively deny what is going on. It does not matter. The energy exchange is still going on.

People can maliciously or selfishishly take the energy of others without permission. People can freely and generously give their energy to others.

A person who believes that all personal relationships are energy exchanges will behave completely different from a person who has never heard of energy. The unknowing person will be confused about the motivations of the energy knowledgeable person. This confusion can lead to misjudgements and misunderstandings between both people.