It seems reasonable to believe — and I do believe — that the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.
In a passage that applies to nearly every field of human achievement, far beyond science, Chargaff revisits the subject of the great teacher’s gift to the student:
If there is such a thing as a great scientist … that greatness can certainly not be transferred by what is commonly called teaching. What the disciples learn are the mannerisms, tricks of the trade, ways to make a career, or perhaps, in the rarest cases, a critical view of the meaning of scientific evidence and its interpretation. A real teacher can teach through his example — this is what the ducklings get from their mothers — or, most infrequently, through the intensity and the originality of his view or vision of nature.
For this reader follows the poet not the way a horse obeys his driver but the way a hunter follows his prey, and a glimpse suddenly gained into what lies beyond the apparent freedom of the poet, into the poet’s compulsion and passivity, can enchant him more than all the elegance of good technique and cultivated style.
Read all the books! Gee… about a hundred books on my to-read pile, where should this one go now that the pre-order wait is finally over?!
Breaking the Jump on Amazon
(Part 18 of 22 in ~ Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)
I’ve now read the entire book several times, and Chapter 6 never ceases to inspire!
I may not be the strongest. I may not be the fastest. But I’ll be damned if I’m not trying my hardest.
It ofttimes requires heroic courage to face fruitless effort, to take up the broken strands of a life-work, to look bravely toward the future, and proceed undaunted on our way. But what, to our eyes, may seem hopeless failure is often but the dawning of a greater success. It may contain in its debris the foundation material of a mighty purpose, or the revelation of new and higher possibilities.
Failure is often the turning-point, the pivot of circumstance that swings us to higher levels. It may not be financial success, it may not be fame; it may be new draughts of spiritual, moral or mental inspiration that will change us for all the later years of our life. Life is not really what comes to us, but what we get from it.
~ Chapter 14, “Failure as a Success”, from Self Control, Its Kingship and Majesty, by William George Jordan, 1907
The application in the Ways is to falls in life. To be able to take a disaster or a great failure, with the whole personality, without shrinking back from it, like the big smack with which the judo man hits the ground. Then to rise at once.
Not to be appalled at a moral fall. Yet it is not that it does not matter. The judo man tries by every means not to be thrown, but when he is thrown it does not hurt him and in a sense it does not matter. It matters immensely, and yet it does not matter.
‘Falling seven times, and getting up eight.’
~ “Falling”, from Zen and the Ways, by Trevor Leggett, 1978
(Part 3 of 12 in 2016 Boston)
This IS why LVPK doesn’t use a certain word.
Words Can Change Your Brain on Amazon
Latest additions to the library. Much grey matter exercise ahead!
(Part 2 of 22 in ~ Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)
On September 4th, Vincent Thibault’s latest book, Parkour & Art du Déplacement: Lessons in practical wisdom1 came out on Kindle. (A print version is eminent.)
I was in Québec at the time, and it felt like an early birthday present. I took most of the day off to sit in a beautiful park, on a spectacular day. I devoured the entire book in one sitting. With every page, I became more convinced that I was going to be spending a lot of quality time with this book.
This book brings a fresh approach to understanding and exploring Parkour/Art du Déplacement/Free Running. No pictures, no explanations of techniques. Instead, it provides 90 distinct thoughts and ideas giving you the option of exploring your Parkour/ADD in your own way. You can read the entire book, or dive into one particular idea at a time. If you read it overall as one piece it will give you a great introduction to the Spirit and Philosophy of Parkour/ADD; If you want to “dive deep”, you can pick each of the ideas apart separately and explore them through your own thinking, exploration and communications with others.
The book includes both English and French written by the author — this is an exceptional feature of the book. Rather than being translated, Thibault is able to convey the ideas naturally in both languages. Native speakers of English or French will benefit equally.
Finally, this is the first book (that I’m aware of) which literally bridges the two most important languages encountered in the context of Parkour/ADD. If you are working on one of them as a second language, you can flip between the two language versions of the material and be assured you are getting a nuanced, and accurate, translation of the concepts.
Parkour and the Art du déplacement on Amazon
(Part 21 of 24 in 2015 Quebec (sep))
Resting the ‘ol bones, and exercising the grey matter, with a superlative book by Vincent Thibault in my new, favorite-spot.
Update: I’ve started an entire series of posts as part of my studying this book. Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault.
Parkour and the Art du déplacement on Amazon.
Quiet on Amazon.