People practice martial arts for different reasons. Whether your aim is to defend yourself or learn self respect, you will come to achieve mastery of self as your practice progresses.
Your enhanced focus helps you to tune deeper into your mind and, eventually, into yourself. This is clearly seen in the iconic martial artist Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee did not only amaze people with his prowess in martial arts but also with his spiritual philosophy that ignites the hearts of many.
His unwavering dedication to his art, coupled with a commitment to understanding himself, lead him to his path of spiritual awakening.
He wrote himself personal letters that documented his journey to self actualization.
The Personal Awakening Process Of Bruce Lee:
Who Am I?
Each of us may have different answers regarding the question Who Am I. While there is no right answer to this question, our answers vary depending on our personal growth.
Bruce Lee may have been more spiritually awakened than most of us when he wrote the following words to himself.
“At the moment I’m wondering for whom am I writing this organized mess? I have to say I am writing whatever wants to be written.
I have come to the realization that sooner or later what it really amounts to is the bare fact that even an attempt to really write something about one’s self demands, first of all, an honesty towards oneself to be able to take responsibility to be what we actually are.
What it boils down to is my sincere and honest revelation of a man called Bruce Lee. Just who is Bruce Lee? Where is he heading? What does he hope to discover? To do this a person has to stand on his own two feet and find out the cause of ignorance. For the lazy and hopeless, they can forget it and do what they like best.”
Self Actualization And Self Image Actualization
Bruce Lee pointed out the big difference between self actualization and self image actualization.
Self actualization is being your true self while self image actualization is the image you want to create based on how you want others to see you.
“Of course, this writing can be made less demanding should I allow myself to indulge in the standard manipulating game of role playing, but my responsibility to myself disallows that… I do want to be honest, that is the least a human being can do… I have always been a martial artist by choice, an actor by profession, but above all, am actualizing myself someday to be an artist of life. Yes, there is a difference between self actualization and self image actualization.”
Life As A Process
In his journal entry entitled “In My Own Process,” Bruce Lee described life as a process that each one of us goes through.
And in this process, one continues to expand and grow until one comes to term with his genuine self and has the courage to be what he is.
“I have come to accept life as a process, and am satisfied that in my ever going process, I am constantly discovering, expanding, finding the cause of my ignorance, in martial art and especially in life. In short, to be real.”
“The truth is that life is an ever going process ever renewing and it just meant to be lived but not lived for. It is something that cannot be squeezed into a self constructed security pattern, a game of rigid control and clever manipulation. Instead, to be what I term “a quality human being” one has to be transparently real and have the courage to be what he is.”
“Being” Versus “Having”
Bruce Lee seemed to have arrived at a conclusion that ranked him among the world’s greatest philosophers and sages. It’s the final realization that we’re not “having” it but simply “being” it.
“Where some people have a self, most people have a void, because they are too busy in wasting their vital creative energy to project themselves as this or that, dedicating their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like rather than actualizing their potentiality as a human being, a sort of “being” vs. having, that is, we do not “have” mind, we are simply mind. We are what we are.”