choose and accept
Internal martial mastery requires a very difficult existential choice and then that vital choice requires acceptance. We come to see that the quest to conquer the small self is the main martial issue rather than conquering others.
Choice is active (yang) much like desire. Acceptance is passive or yin. More like the kind of gratitude that deems one worthy of grace. Choice is what we do. Acceptance is something we allow.
We must make choices at every moment, to be sure. But the simple choice for ethical martial artists is to accept gracefully the internal results of grace.
Ethical internal artists choose to train in an illuminated manner while others train just to defeat people. When we choose internal or soft art, at first it appears to train us to defeat others. But that’s just a metaphor for the inner work we have to do which is the harder battle.
After we choose martial art over martial brutality then we must accept the silence it leads to. In other words the choice is to begin searching ourselves for that which Plato called “the good” and then we proceed to the profound. That matter of choice is the first step.
To choose (with enough sincerity and discipline to succeed) to be a monument to the light is a life-altering achievement but choosing to be the conductor of the light is not the final goal. The light always rests on our shoulders but the next choice is the one that allows us to transcend common martial art.
Grace is not something we can obtain or possess by struggling after it. Grace descends upon us. It’s always pouring over us. It’s always available. That’s its nature. Grace is not a periodic thing like romance or any other emotion. Grace is always offering us the goal of the spirit but we fail to receive it except on extraordinary occasions and in certain situations.
Grace chooses us and it does so constantly. Grace is infinite and we decide to accept or pass it over. The hard part, the part that’s worth pursuing, is not obtainable or pursuable. It’s something we learn to accept because of our training in fearlessness.