Pa Kua Chang, Walking the Circle, and Insanity
Pa Kua Chang, or Bagua Zhang as some describe it, is a peculiar martial art where in one participatings in walking the circle till one locates the reality of one self.
Like a pooch chasing his tale till he discovers Buddha.
Like Black Sambo converting leopards into … liquid gold.
Like exactly what is the race of guy racing to?
Dong Hai Chuan was a likable man with a fascination for martial arts. He engaged in Shaolin Kung Fu, so the tale goes, and reached a point where he was so great he took to the road and started roaming, seeking instructors able to instruct him more.
His search led him throughout the Wudan Mountains of rural China, back where the mystic sanctuaries stood, and legends had it that old understanding existed in pure design. His search led him to a rare religious sect whose specialists thought that one could certainly uncover the reality of the universe by … walking the circle.
So Dong walked the circle, day in day out, in search of his divine nature. For 9 years he walked the circle, and one might well picture the taunts of passersby.
“Examine the old man chasing his shadow!”
“Hey buddy! Place it on a straight line and you could get somewhere!”
“Har de har har!”
Yet, rain or shine, under blazing sunlight and during freezing snow, Dong carried on his trek, looking for the reality of himself.
At last, some 9 years into his quest, he spoke about to the monks of the mysterious sect that … wasn’t it odd that … the tree he was walking around appeared to be chasing him? That the tree in fact appeared to bending over?
Was the tree bending over? Or was something in his mind bending over? Or was something in his mind simply coming to be … unbent?
The monks eyed one other, and one delicately put forward, “An additional 2 years.”
So on went Dong, round and round, circle after circle, nose after tail. And probably this is where he integrated his Shaolin with the never-ending walking of the circle. Maybe this is where the circle came to be imbued with the art of violence, and came to be not simply a repository of religious fanaticism. Probably this is where the creative mixture of self with the fanatical seeking of God comes to be … whatever it comes to be.
Did Dong at last manage to catch the reality of himself?
No reference of ‘the bolt out of the blue’ striking the formerly young lad is made in the histories. Just what is recognized, nevertheless, is that he accomplished a high degree of skills, that he was so profound at circle walking that he had the ability to defeat the Emperor’s bodyguards, and come to be primary teacher of that celebrated ‘clan.’ And there are tales of him fading away under the attacking hand, of tiing up mighty warriors in fragile knots merely to view them fall, of contacting his followers even after demise.
Bolt out of the blue or skills, this author thinks that skills is the more valued. However, that stated, we visit the heart of the fable.
We understand not whether Dong discovered himself, however we do understand that an individual who walks in a circle is insane. Such purposeless endeavor, particularly in this godless earth, is the heart of insanity. Yet … is insanity not just a quality that others can not discover? Does not one have to go ‘in’ sane to discover real sanity?
The guy who pounds his palm upon a stone, hour after hour, day in day out, year after year … does he make solid the hand? Or at last divine that the universe genuinely is created of space?
That young child who will come to be old doing his kung fu forms, does he battle hordes and legions in his mind? Or does he clear his mind of all hordes and legends?
That acorn … will it actually come to be an oak?
The acorn could fall down a deserted gopher hole, and it may root into fertile ground … however it is time that makes the mighty oak, and the unlimited and insane urge to grub into the ground … merely to discover the sky.
We are all grubs … however have we discovered the earth? Will we see the heavens?
Trust Dong Hai Chuan for the answer to that one, yet only ask if you are walking the circle, if you are pursuing yourself with Pa Kua Chang, round and round, year after year, breath after breath.
The writer walked the circle, did Pa Kua Chang for 2 years, till individuals started to bend over, lightening filled his legs, and energy stripes barber poled out his arms … you can easily discover his Pa Kua Chang at Monster Martial Arts.