Mu Chih Ch'u


“If what you’re going to do is wrong, do it well.”… obviously a bit negative, but if you don’t include everything you may as well not apply it to anything… or the more passive Zen approach, "If you walk, just walk. If you sit, just sit. But whatever you do, don't wobble.”

When I was a teenager I discovered something about the instruments I was playing, acting, and creativity in general, which involved what Alan Watts uses on multiple platforms, but I had no concept of yet: leaping into action. This isn’t something that my music or theatre teachers ever taught me. When you watch “beginners” do anything, the something that is missing is the anticipation and consideration, the thinking.

If you are being tentative to avoid fucking up, or over analyzing the score or scene in anticipation of what’s next, so you’re “prepared”, there is a split second of lag in the moment that loses the connection with your audience, whether they be a live audience or a tape recorder. Yes, people out there still use tapes. They have beards, listen to records, and drink mocha-frappe-latte-ccinos and IPAs.

Alan obviously uses a Chinese term, mu chih ch’u, so as to culture the rest of us, but it’s relation to being used in the practice of a samurai applies to everything all the more beautifully.

"The fighter is to be always single-minded with one object in view: to fight, looking neither backward nor sidewise. To go straight forward in order to crush the enemy is all that is necessary for him.” ~ Daisetz Suzuki.

One of the best things I was taught studying photography was that once I learned how to do everything correctly, to let all that stuff go, don’t think about it, and just do it, attack it, or you’ll miss it, and if you miss that moment you’ll never get it back. I’m sure most of you saw Aronofsky’s Black Swan, and likely enjoyed it, as did I, but for different reasons. What I took away from that film was the scene in which she was rehearsing and the director was yelling “attack it” at her.

That’s it. It applies to every little thing if you want to succeed at it. I honestly only saw that film once in theatres and didn’t need to see it again, so I’m not really sure if that scene exists. Maybe I just imagined it, but for this purpose it exists. Learn it. Learn every little thing about it. Memorize it in your mind and muscles, and when you know it, forget it, because if you have to think about it you’re going to fuck it up, especially if you’re thinking about potentially fucking it up.

Once you get there and you do happen to fuck up, you will do it with such heart and passion that the audience will find it endearing. People don’t want to see a mechanical perfect show; they want to feel the heart and passion of whatever you’re doing. That’s what brings people to their feet, and that’s what sticks with people throughout their lives. Maybe don’t be a samurai, though, cause then they’d just be dead.


I started reading again. It has had a profound effect on my attitude and creativity. What I am reading about is, as per usual, an aspect of eastern thought and philosophy, Tantra, which, as I mentioned in the last post, is simply mental science.

I wanted to write a post immediately after the last post because I was finally able to see the negative affirmations I was giving myself, disguised as humor, but just decided to add that little post script and sit with it for a while. I have since finished that book and started another one, and my thinking has changed dramatically. While I am still a little unclear as to what direction I want to go with all this, I need to start doing all of it the best I can until that becomes clear. I also need to ramble less in these post and have more of something solid to say. I'm evolving. I found a beautiful quote today that I wanted to tie in here, but that's a whole other post, as is how I figured out how lAvaNyamaya means consisting entirely of beauty AND the illusion of beauty.

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