Friday, January 16, 2009

Set up to leave under my own power

It has been ages since I have written in this blog. Someone hasn't been happy I assume so my mind has been occupied with other things. ;)

As has been the case with many of these later entries, this one is out of time sequence and will have to be ordered chronologically eventually.


At some point in the 3rd year of my time with Dr G, Dr G made references to God. The focus of the group up to that point in time had been helping or changing the world for the better. A laudable goal for any organization whether it was a Yin Fu Ba Gua class or a class at the local high school.

Dr G felt that bringing God into things was equivalent to aspiring towards a higher plane of existence. Since Yin Fu Ba Gua was also focused on aspiring towards a higher plane of existence, talking about God fit into the class.

I did not like this idea. I wasn't much of a God person, and I felt it was a distraction from kung fu. The class was a group though, so if he needed to talk to the group about things that were not important to me, well it was a group so the individual is expected to be tolerant. I didn't mind being tolerant and listening to Dr G talk about God. It was part of my job of being a good student. Besides. I listened to every single word Dr G uttered in the hope I would find some help with my health situation.

Dr G then decided he thought it would be a good idea to talk to me personally about God. The subject came up in the private meetings I had with him. I voiced my discomfort with the subject of God and my rejection of the idea or the need for talking about God. Dr G talked some more about God and how he felt it would be a positive thing for me. I went ahead and agreed with Dr G because I had faith in him as a Dr of Chinese medicine, a Ba Gua man, A Tai Chi man, and a Dr of Psychology, that he was telling me things his experience felt would improve my health situation.

I took Dr G's advice about God to heart. I picked up some books on various culture's beliefs in God or Gods and I thought about the subject on my own. I would parrot some of the things that Dr G said about God, or I would participate in a discussion about God, where before I would have remained silent on the subject because I felt it was pointless.

Dr G probably spent some months, I would say at least 6 or so, bringing up the subject of God. The class meetings might take any direction, so if Dr G began talking about God and talked about God off and on for 6 months, it wasn't so out of the ordinary.

At some point in time there was going to be the yearly class family gathering. Every year the entire class would get together for lunch or dinner somewhere. It was different from the Ba Gua class because many people could not attend the Ba Gua class. At the yearly gatherings, all of Dr G's students would try to show up.

This yearly gathering was held at a church. The gathering was eventful as will be fully described in other entries to this blog. The event of this entry was the entertainment and initiation.

A new person wanted to join the group. The man was an older man who was a lawyer. I personally felt he was not suited to joining the group. I did not know it at the time, but I suspect Dr G had been hobnobbing with the rich, and this lawyer was one of those rich people. He was curious about Dr G and wanted to join to be around Dr G, not because he was interested in learning about Ba Gua.

Dr G told us that we were going to hold the man's interview for joining the group in front of the people at the yearly gathering. That seemed odd to me. The interview process felt to me like a private kind of thing that was not suited for an audience. After thinking about it for some time, I eventually came to the conclusion that Dr G wanted the interview in front of those people, as a way to put pressure on the lawyer for some reason. Dr G was always testing people, so I figured the public interview was just another game to see where the lawyer would jump.

Dr G wanted each of us to say something during the interview. Looking back, I can see that having each of us speak publicaly would give the gathering a chance to see each of us and form some kind of reaction. I didn't want to publicly speak and I didn't understand why he wanted us to speak at the time.

Since Dr G was gung ho for God at that time, I wrote down 3 or 4 paragraphs that basically parrotted everything that Dr G had been saying for the past 3 years, with a special emphasis on how God could help you out. It felt stupid and false to me, but I didn't care. That was what Dr G was telling me would help my health situation, so I was talking about God.

I feel silly now because I honestly at the time felt like talking about God was like taking a pill or doing a special exercise. I honestly felt like Dr G was telling me if I started talking about God, Poof!, my health would improve. My health was so bad at that time, I would have done anything to try to improve it, even going so far as to believe that talking about God would Poof! make me healthy.

The time came for us to do the interview bit. I was incredibly nervous about speaking publicly in front of strangers, because I knew that I was a.......difficult to accept individual. Besides having to speak publicly in front of strangers, I knew there was something about me that seemed to turn people the wrong way.

We all sat up on stage in a semicircle with the lawyer in front of us. The gathering was quite large so it was just as intimidating as I imagined it. The various group members asked the lawyer their various questions as would normally be done during the interview process. Then each person gave their speech about what they felt was important for the lawyer to know about Ba Gua.

It came to be my turn and I read my speech. There was one particular line where I wrote something about how important it was to pay attention to or believe in God. I remember that line because when I read it out loud, it felt like I shouted it. I felt like I shouted the line because it was something I didn't really believe. I shouted it so no one would notice I was saying something I didn't really believe.

The interview finished up and everyone went back out into the gathering for the dinner. Another reason I clearly remember shouting the line about God in my speech, was that someone was talking to Dr G and I, and this person said to Dr G "I never thought I would hear this guy talk about God. He is really changing from being around you".

That statement bothered me because I felt guilty. I knew I was only saying the God stuff because Dr G said it would Poof! fix my health problems. I didn't really believe it. And then here was someone telling Dr G that they believed my act about saying how important God was........

As a Ba Gua man I was supposed to be honest and have integrity. I am naturally an honest person with integrity anyways. To stand their listening them talk about me doing something that I knew was a lie was difficult to deal with.

Nothing else from the yearly gathering is pertinent to this blog entry, so it is time to move on.


Some time later Dr G went on vacation. In my third year with Dr G, Dr G began to disappear with what to me was unpleasant regularity. I was paying Dr G for Ba Gua lessons and for improving my health. I was dependent on Dr G because I needed my health problems fixed. When Dr G began to disappear all the time, I felt like I was being neglected.

One of Dr G's vacations involved going back to China to visit with his instructor who was getting old and close to dying. Dr G was going to be gone for a month. That seemed reasonable with traveling and visiting an old dying guy. It was hard to be upset about that.

The class went ahead and continued on for the month that Dr G was gone. When Dr G came back, everyone reacted with the elation they always had when he was around. No one else in the group was a very good talker. When Dr G was there, he might talk to the group for an hour or more about nothing in particular. When Dr G was gone, the group felt more like work, with people going through the motions and no one having anything to say on their own.

Whether it was his first Sunday back or a later Sunday I do not recall, but after Dr G came back from his vacation, he let the hatchet fall.

Dr G was giving the usual class talk and describing his experiences in China. He described how he had spent time talking with his instructor about the group and all the things the group and done and believed in. Then he dropped his bombshell.

Dr G said that he had talked to his instructor about God, and come to the conclusion that God was a waste of time. When Dr G made this statemnt, he looked right at me.

Dr G had set me up and just sprung the trap.

Dr G had encouraged me to believe in God because he knew I thought believing in God was a waste of time. Dr G was using my trust in him, to encourage me to do something I would never do unless I was encouraged to by someone I trusted.

After Dr G believed I was fully committed to believing in God, or in other words, after I gave Dr G my full trust, and ignored what I believed in order to believe what Dr G suggested, Dr G said something that he felt would completely destroy our relationship.

How else would I be expected to react when someone I trusted, Dr G, said right to my face in front of a group of people, that the advice he gave me was no good? The unstated implication being that anyone that did believe the advice was also no good?

Dr G had heard me put force on that word God in the interview at the gathering. Dr G must have felt that I had taken his advice about God strongly enough, that if he contradicted his advice, and joked about people who actually took his advice, that I would get angry and leave the group.

That really hurt me. To sit there thinking that this man whose hands I had put my trust and my health in, was purposefully manipulating me to hurt me and / or drive me away from the class. Especially when I could look at the 35 other people in the class he apparently had no problem with helping.

I didn't leave the group of course. I am much too stubborn to do that.

The Chinese medicine doctor, the psychologist, the Ba Gua man, the Tai Chi man named Dr G, had accepted me as a student and told me he would help me with my health problems. I knew without a doubt that it was within Dr G's abilities to help me with my health problems.

There was absolutely no way, no way at all, I would voluntarily have left the opportunity to have my health problems fixed. I was that desperate.

Sometimes I wonder what could have been so bad about my presence, that Dr G would have resorted to lies and manipulation, things he regularly condemned in his weekly talks to the group, to try to trick me or force me into leaving.

Then I think about Dr G talking to me about integrity, pride and morality, then lying to me and manipulating me.

If I really was such a hard person for Dr G to deal with, it must have been God paying Dr G back for using God's name in Dr G's petty little manipulation games.


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