You are intuitive. You are capable of metaphysical observation that would make angels jealous. And yet as mortals we are all susceptible to the eternal rule applicable to systems in impermanence; move it or lose it. If you do not practice enhancing your observations, but instead focus on limiting them you limit yourself to the mere tangible. Metaphysical intuition is very much like chi, metaphysical energy, and is in fact enhanced in the same meditative practices. To initially feel the flow it is required one must first believe, one must first imagine then the chi, the metaphysical intuition will arise. This runs completely contrary to our postmodern mind state that refuses to believe until being presented with proof, sometimes even after being presented proof.
We are trained to sense only the tangible and physical. We believe we are not trained, we think we are completely developed, but take a step back, there is no limit to our development. If you do not practice developing your chi or your metaphysical intuition, instead concentrating on the tangible routine, you are limiting your comprehension and being. If you’re not training, you’re being trained. Meditation and meditative movements are called practices because one is never finished, for if you are not practicing or training, especially in the extensively meditated postmodern world, you are being steered or trained by others.
Sometimes we catch metaphysical intuition and then convince ourselves that our physical senses revealed the observation, not our metaphysical intuition. This is part of the predominant training of outside influences, that we do not have intuitive insight, that the institutions have the answers and that it’s not in us. We convince ourselves to even stop listening to our own insights because we have been trained.
The idea of balance in tai chi and all meditative movements for that matter is best expressed using a dual linear cross reference. Consider one can be tense or limp and that relaxed awareness is balance between the two, the midpoint of a horizontal line. Consider also that one can perform actions out of form or function, optimally expressed in a balanced midpoint between the two points on a vertical line. Relaxed awareness is a requirement and conversely a result of meditation and meditative movement and can be represented as the point where these two ideas intersect and balance. This point of relaxed awareness is achieved when one properly intersects and balances the linear ideas of tense and limp and form and function. Whenever performing any activity the proper state is required for optimal result, be it tai chi or meditation or shedding burdensome training.
“The loose string , which is like a life of indulgence, produces a poor sound when struck. The overly tight string, which is like a life of extreme asceticism similarly produces a poor sound when struck and is moreover likely to break at any moment. Only the middle string, which is like the middle path, produces a pleasant and harmonious sound when struck.” ~Story of Buddha
Tai chi and meditative movements activate all aspects of awareness, physical awareness and metaphysical awareness. The first level of awareness multiplied through practicing meditative movement is interoception, the understanding of the one’s material self, how you feel and move. The second level of understanding is exteroception, the understanding of the material world outside oneself. Thirdly is proprioception, the understanding of how much strength, speed and from what position one can best manipulate or deal with the material world outside oneself. The fourth aspect of this set of four forms of perception is preprioception, the utilization of intuitive understanding and sensitivity for metaphysical observation. Tai chi and all meditative movements enhance these four forms of perception, expanding one’s perimeter awareness metaphysically. Interoception, exteroception and proprioception are commonly understood terms, but the fourth part, obvious to meditative movement practitioners, preprioception is mostly unconsidered. And it’s mostly omitted and unconsidered along with metaphysical intuition because otherwise institutions could not lie to us. If one practices enhancement of intuition, proprioception, institutions cannot lie.
Language is a map and omitting words rubs whole regions from the map. Simply understanding the four forms of perception can help enhance metaphysical intuition and make it so one might not be lied to so easily. Practicing meditation and meditative movement will enhance your perception also, of course.
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Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour.