February 8, 2006 at 7:23 pm #10279
Just a strange thought that occured to me.
I was thinking about bodybuilder’s physique and trying to see beyond some accepted interpretations of bodybuilding (i.e., as being a rather shallow, ultimately unhealthy, freakish ‘sport’ that speaks to males with low self esteem etc.)
I was trying to think about what esoteric side it may have…
This is because originally bodybuilding and wrestling in its modern form stem from 19th century fascination of classical greek culture (also expressed in the reintroduction of olympic competitions).
And then I was reminded of some classical-hellenic sculptures that I’ve seen in art books etc.
Then many question were raised:
Was it actually a form of training to achieve – or express – an element of stone? That is, I do not think it is a coincedence that these male sculptures were made of stone (or bronze). It might have been interpreted that building a muscular physique was actually adding a quality of the stone-earth element, thus strength, to a person.
I might note that some sculptures’ physique are very impressive and compete with drug-laden bodybuilders today. It is easy to think that these features are products of ancient greek imagination, but what if they are not so? Did anyone back then looked like some of their gods? Is this ‘ideal’, which is also ‘ideal’ today, echoes an ancient “truth” of some sort..?
Also, reading in Qigong Meditation book, it is said that muscle is a better conductor for electricity than fat. He was talking about the inner intestines muscles (for lower dan tien) but could this fact have an energetic application when considering an overall muscular physique?
I am wondering what this might mean from a taoist perspective. I might be totally wrong as well. Modern path of bodybuilding seems very far from Taoist concepts, ‘less is more, more is less’ etc.
Just a thought.February 8, 2006 at 8:11 pm #10280
exerpt cross posted from the tao bums but seems relavent…
also, I’m remebering a iron shirt session with ron diana….
we were 30 minutes or so into 50 minute standing session, most of us were struggling. i was next to a guy that was a life long marial artist. (kung fu) he was obviously into weight lifting with impressive toned muscles and had extremely fast reflexes, (not to mention cool tatoos). he was not a “body builder” so to say but showed the result of some serious iron pushing. ron burst out how he usually did laughing and said, “why is the stongest person in the room having the hardest time with this?”
why was this guy struggling so much? he was fit, strong muscles, amazing reflexes and cat like fluid movement but he could not stand comfortably, even with his arms down for any length of time. another note ron mentioned that the people that think the standing practice is about breath are also going to suffer a lot.
his point, driven home by making us hold our arms out for 50 minutes at a time was that STRUCTURE was the key to a strong body. i think creating that structure has a lot to do with OPENING yourself to the deep inner earth as well as this physical earth.
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