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The Silent Flute

I wish neither to possess,
Nor to be possessed.
I no longer covet paradise,
More important, I no longer fear hell.

The medicine for my suffering
I had within me from the very beginning,
But I did not take it.
My ailment came from within myself,
But I did not observe it
Until this moment.

Now I see that I will never find the light
Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel,
Consuming myself.


A Flauta Silenciosa

Não desejo possuir,
Nem ser possuído.
Já não cobiço o paraíso.
Mais importante: já não temo o inferno.

O remédio para o meu sofrimento,
Estava comigo desde o início,
Mas não o tomei.
A minha doença veio de dentro de mim,
Mas não o tinha percebido
Até este momento.

Agora vejo que nunca encontrarei a luz
A não ser que, como a vela, me incendeie,



O guião do filme The Silent Flute (também conhecido por Circle of Iron), de onde foi retirado este poema, foi originalmente escrito por Bruce Lee e dois amigos: Stirling Silliphant e James Coburn. Entretanto Bruce Lee não chega a participar no filme e este é realizado por Richard Moore, que lhe dá um toque algo diferente do originalmente planeado (para mais detalhes ver esta entrevista).

Vale a pena ler o prefácio que o próprio Bruce Lee escreveu ao guião do filme:

    The Silent Flute - Foreword of the script by Bruce Lee:

«Three swordsmen sat down at a table in a crowded Japanese inn and began to make loud comments about their neighbour, hoping to goad him into a duel. The master seemed to take no notice of them, but when their remarks became ruder and more pointed, he raised his chopsticks and, in quick snips, effortlessly caught four flies on the wing. As he slowly laid down the chopsticks, the three swordsmen hurriedly left the room.

This story illustrates a great difference between Oriental and Western thinking. The average Westerner would be intrigued by someone's ability to catch flies with chopsticks, and would probably say that has nothing to do with how good he is in combat. But the Oriental would realize that a man who has attained such complete mastery of an art reveals his presence of mind in every action. The state of wholeness and imperturbability demonstrated by the master indicated his mastery of self.

And so it is with martial arts. To the Westerner, the finger jabs, the side kicks, the back fist, and so forth, are tools of destruction and violence, which, indeed, are a couple of their functions. But the Oriental believes that the primary function of such tools is revealed when they are self-directed and destroy greed, fear, anger, and folly.

Manipulative skill is not the Oriental's goal. He is aiming his kicks and blows at himself, and when successful, he may even succeed in knocking himself out. After years of training, he hopes to achieve that vital loosening and equability of all powers, which is what the three swordsmen saw in the master.

In everyday life the mind is capable of moving from one thought or object to another--"being" mind instead of "having" mind. However, when one is face to face with an opponent in a deadly contest, the mind tends to stick and loses its mobility. Stickability or stoppage is a problem that haunts every martial artist.

Kwan-yin (Avalokitesvara), the Goddess of Mercy, is sometimes represented with one thousand arms, each holding a different instrument. If her mind stops with the use, for instance, of a spear, all the other arms (999) will be of no use whatever. It is only because of her mind not stopping with the use of one arm, but moving from one instrument to another, that all her arms prove useful with the utmost degree of efficiency. Thus this figure is meant to demonstrate that when the ultimate truth is realized, even as many as one thousand arms on one body may each be serviceable in one way or another.

"Purposelessness," "empty-mindedness," or "no art" are frequent terms used in the Orient to denote the ultimate achievement of a martial artist. According to Zen, the spirit is by nature formless, and no "objects" are to be harbored in it. When anything is harbored there, psychic energy loses its balance, its native activity becomes cramped, and it no longer flows with the stream. Where the energy is tipped, there is too much of it in one direction and a shortage of it in another direction. Where there is too much energy, it overflows and cannot be controlled. In either case, it is unable to cope with ever-changing situations. But when there prevails a state of "purposelessness" (which is also a state of fluidity or mindlessness), the spirit harbors nothing in it, nor is it tipped in one direction. It transcends both subject and object; it responds with an empty-mind to whatever is happening.

True mastery transcends any particular art. It stems from mastery of oneself--the ability, developed through self-discipline, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surrondings. Then, and only then, can a person know himself.»

retirado daqui.

Esta é uma das melhores sínteses que conheço sobre o que uma arte como a do Kung Fu Toa - Flor de Lótus pretende atingir.

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