sábado, 23 de agosto de 2008

Bruce Lee, the phylosopher

It was the first week I was living in San Diego, California (September of 2002). I was looking around a bookstore and I got instantaneously astonished by a Bruce Lee book. I bought it. The book is called ‘Jeet Kune Do’ –The way of the intercepting fist-, and it's about Bruce thoughts and trainings. I was used to practice some martial arts like taekwondo or full contact, so I had no problems to improve a bit my skills using Bruce movements. But, if I've been several years practicing martial arts is because it's the best way to fit my body and my mind: throuhgout this stuff one gets elasticity, coordination, mental punch, vigor and strength. Then I used to apply all that in basketball, because basketball is what I really love to play –I’ve never fought at an official combat and I'm not interested on it-.

Bruce Lee studied philosophy –like me- at the University of Washington. Not many people are aware of that, especially, professors of philosophy; they just don’t care, but I do. I mean, in my opinion Bruce Lee has been the most awake thinker of XX’s –To me it looks stupid to talk about philosophers in terms of best or worst-. He put up his spirit over the nihilism! He realized as nobody else in XX’s Reality the physical world- is a flow (the being is not something done, static and immutable, so there are no objects at all neither fixed forms). This is a metaphysical thought! By this reason his moral ‘imperative’ was the famous sentence -"Be formless... shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle; it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot; it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, and it can crash. Be water my friend...”-, which express his will of developing ‘the style of no style’ as a spiritual and physical disposition. Of course, he wasn’t the first freethinker to show this kind of methaphysics and ethics: in XIX’s appeared Nietzsche, for example. By the way, what it really amazes me is appreciate how they both broke the millenary topics have been dominating mentality of western people –the Idealism-: they were strong enough to get rid of the dogmatism of the schools (or nations), the ideologies, the sectarisms, and, at the same time, to respect and take profit of the tradition, the past, the history “Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there. They were not preoccupied to find or to defend the Truth, but to get explanations and interpretations could brings us a highest capacities to dominate and take profit of what we experience: both looked everything from a physiological point of view –The soul is just a physiological expression (Nietzsche)- because they understood reality is just physis –The greek term ‘physis’ must be translated as the verb to flow-. They both understood life as a power form that has no form at all “Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it” “From form to formless and from finite to infinite. They both tore the modern ideal of the individum as a unity of life into pieces, changing the common idea what really matters in ethics is to think about how a human being can be a person. In such a sense, they propose to fight for another moral goal: how a human being can go over his limits and weakness, overtaking himself to grow up as an organism, I mean, as a body and as a soul –“You don't grow unless you go out of the confines of your own system. It is from the old we get security, and the new that we get growth”-. But, above all, Bruce Lee and Nietzsche represent an elite, in other words, they both got an aristocratic mentality: what thinks, considers and judges people is not necessary good neither true; it’s me who has to evaluate the things! Actually, an aristocratic mentality moves just under one obsession: cultivate what he loves giving his best in. An aristocratic mentality is characterized to look for a kind of perfection, of purity, of essential… something that only can be really appreciated by a few, just because it’s strange, difficult even exotic “Some martial arts are very popular, real crowd pleasers, because they look good, have smooth techniques. But beware. They are like a wine that has been watered. A diluted wine is not a real wine, not a good wine, hardly the genuine article. Some martial arts don't look so good, but you know that they have a kick, a tang, a genuine taste. They are like olives. The taste may be strong and bittersweet. The flavor lasts. You cultivate a taste for them. No one ever developed a taste for diluted wine”.

Here we have the famous interview was done to Bruce Lee almost 40 years ago.

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