Legend Of A Mind

16 06 2017

Archimedes, a Greek philosopher, was one of the first westerners to describe the impact that wisdom and knowledge have on physical reality. ‘Give me the place to stand, and I shall move the earth.‘ This phrase was said to have been used in describing the lever. I mention that he is one of the first westerners to mention this idea, as the saying ‘use four ounces to move a thousand pounds‘ is an oft quoted Cheng Man Ching saying in the practice and study of Tai Chi which is also paraphrased in T.Y. Pang‘s On Tai Chi Chuan in the Tai Chi Classics part of the book.

While Archimedes states the principle with what may be perceived as the western bias towards self and ego, ‘give me’ and ‘I shall,’ it is within the Tai Chi tradition that the principle is described. Perhaps then, it is no surprise, that in English speaking communities, the correlations which describe this principle are musical, therefore offering a perspective and knowledge enhancing comprehension and growth, which after all is the point of art and philosophy (love of wisdom).

‘Only by using four ounce jin to apply leading to a thousand pounds, then you can move it.’ from Cheng Man Ching’s 12th Oral Secret, which compares easily to lyrics from The Moody Blues song ‘Legend of a Mind.’ ‘He flies so high, he swoops so low, He knows exactly which way he’s gonna go.’ Initially this is a bit of a stretch, consider though, the Archimedes quote, and also from The Moody Blues, ‘He’s outside looking in.’ Each of these statements are clearly describing perspective, and with that realization, it is not so difficult to relate Cheng Man Ching’s philosophies to a musical description of one of the sixties great psychologists who was also a philosophical leader in terms of consciousness and personal growth.

Another similarity in the ideals being expressed: ‘By making a distinction between the two words lead and move, we can explain their separate functions and perceive their marvelous use.’ Which with poetic license or geographical difference being allowed, can become ‘He’ll take you up, he’ll bring you down, He’ll plant your feet back firmly on the ground.’ With any luck, you’ll find yourself ‘back the same day.’