Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wabi Sabi

There is often a lot of philosophy that is ascribed to Japanese martial arts. I will direct the reader's attention to one more - wabi sabi.

Wabi sabi represents a Japanese world view centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection ... imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

It acknowledges three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

I first came across the concept of wabi sabi when it was explained to me that traditional Japanese pottery deliberately incorporated an imperfection to reflect nature where nothing is perfect.

This idea may be seen in the Borobudur, a Buddhist temple near Jogjakarta I visited with Jan de Jong. At the very top of the temple, under a solid bell is an image of Buddah that is incomplete. The idea is that it is the pinnacle of human/spiritual existence but the image of Buddah could not be completed because we do not know what perfection looks like.



  1. i guess Martial art is not just about fighting or defending. i think it more about self control. Such a hardest level of achievement

    1. Ah yes, but what does self control mean? You get a better understanding of the concept when you understand the intellect and emotion are separate. That the neocortex and amygdala are separate. Self control is the use of the intellect/neocortex to control emotion/amygdala. It's a fascinating subject that is the subject of the book I'm currently writing.


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