Old World

The way is the target

What is twitt?

It is a way (of life,  seeing, feeling, philosophy, ...) where the goal is set on the way and not on the target, on the means and not on the end purpose.

It is a way which requires permanent full attention, awareness, of the here and now. Including the moment(s) while I write this, the moment(s) while you read this!
Are you enjoying reading?, are you really aware of what you are doing NOW?

It is easier to talk about it than to do it. (Maybe that is why I talk about it...?)

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The way is the goal!
A very simple idea which is so often and so light-heartedly referred to but is very difficult to follow.

In western (or westernized) societies, the focus is almost always on the goal.
As a result concepts like "the ends justify the means" become almost commonplace.
Or, if a concern for the "fellow human being" develops, someone says "the ends do not justify the means".

But often this is accompanied by some comment like "he/she went too far" as if suggesting ends do indeed count and a certain measure of sacrifice to attain any end is justifiable... only if someone "goes too far" and sacrifices something valuable like a life or a friendship it is (in some cases, not always) a means which should not have been used, which is not justifiable.

Three things disturb me in these well meant criticizing of exaggerated sacrifice of means to attain some end:

- first:

that this critic almost always sounds like an excuse

as if it were normal to apply any means to attain an end and only in some cases that should be controlled and limited;

- second:

that indeed the goal is all that counts

when reached if the goal is "good" the sacrifice of any means is almost always excused...
the means are strong and openly condemned only if it the goal was not fully reached;

- third:

that the discussion or need of "justification" is needed at all!

why do we need to discuss whether the end justifies the means?


Having grown up in the western and westernized societies I too was controlled by "mixed" feelings: saying to myself "the ends do not justify the means" but actually trying to apply any mean available (or which I was able "to sacrifice") to reach all sort of ends or, worse, feeling guilty if some means had not been used to reach some end (meaning "I had not been able to sacrifice something").

Why should we need to discuss whether the ends justify the means or not?
Why not just accept the means as the important part?
Why must one (instead of the other) be important?
Why do we need to justify anything?

The way is the goal
, not the end(s).

Anyone that has tried to search for "his way", find "his purpose" or in any way tried to follow any kind of "self-discovery" process mentions the importance of each step, the essential truth found in the way and the means, not in the ends!...

This site is dedicated to all things which "aim at the way", taking as title the well known, often cited and possibly often misunderstood sentence about the relation of way and target in Kyudo (about it see f.i. The Myth of Zen in the Art of Archery, Zen in many other arts or my own Kyudo Photos).

The relevance given to the way is not an exclusive of oriental (or Zen) related philosophies. Many westerners have discovered that the way to reach a goal does not require concentration on the end. Instead, attention given to the steps, the way, allow a better way to reach the ends or even reaching better ends!!!

But the attention to the way has to be given "on the way", it has to be experienced and not simply applied as words or intellectual exercise, it has to be lived. Living out is not about getting results, it is about getting involved in a process. Results will come, and eventually will come constantly but only once we have learned not to be waiting for the return and not to be evaluating immediately the return to be gained by each step.

This is the single most difficult passage required on the way to discover and enjoy the way, as opposed to living on ends, and consequently feeling the need to justify whether the sacrifice of a means was worth it or not.

This passage, the internal change required to start understanding a way (any way), is not only part of the way but the goal itself!
The goal of the way (any way) is not only to understand but also to experience this change.

And this kind of "passage" is indeed present not only on "ways" like Meditation, Zen, Kyudo, etc. but also or what might arguably be called (as described in the free encyclopedia Wikipedia) the "grandfather" of all somatic processes: the Alexander Technique (in Wikipedia). For less encyclopedic information you might also want to take a look at my own Alexander Technique (personal impressions).

For comments or suggestions please contact  (e-mail): António Guerreiro To return to the top of the page: Twitt / António

Disclaimer: it is very difficult to understand what a disclaimer must be, for a good (in German) discussion of the legal aspects see Wirksamkeit von Disclaimern für Webseiten.
I have given up hope on understanding what I should or can do and try to keep on the side of good-sense: the links contained in this page lead either to my own pages or to public, serious webpages for which I am not responsible (even if it seems the german law does not accept as enough that I say I am not responsible because exactly by saying that I acknowledge my links lead to dubious material for which I could be made responsible...). So, PLEASE, If you find any link which does not work or leads to anything you find offensive (or do not want me to link to your page) please e-mail me: everything changes continually and I cannot check the validity or content of linked pages everyday. Chances are I might find it offensive also and will remove it as soon as possible.

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