Monday, 7 December 2015

Spiritual Teaching of the Banana Peel

*Originally posted on the FMK blog on the 22nd of August, 2015.

Hello FMK

Firstly, I wish Sifu Freddie Lee the smoothest transition from Vimeo to Daily Motion. You were my original philosophical inspiration and I look forward to this next stage in the evolution of your online expression with much enthusiasm! Rest with the knowledge you will have my support every step of the way.

Secondly, I'd like to detail why I have not posted anything in almost two months. Some of you may already know why. To sum it up in one word, it's school. I'm now devoting nearly all of my time and energy to 'doing well' at school. It hasn't been easy for me to stop writing about my philosophies. I feel as if I had to peel myself off this blog. However, the extra time I'm putting in to my studies at school is paying off. The way I look at this situation is that this blog will be here after November 2015, but school won't. Since I've got limited time in school, I might as well make the most of it.

Thirdly, a shout out to Steve Caissy. Steve, the video about your Kickboxing club is impressive. Your Kickboxing club looks like it's the real deal. I also really liked your remix of Justice. Thank you for sharing it. If anyone hasn't seen the video, I encourage them to check it out via the following link:

Now I shall explain why I gave this post its rather peculiar title. I, along with about 99.9% of people at my school get to and from school via bus. Each bus has about two senior students who have been given the role of 'bus captain'. It's a leadership role that I occupy. Being the bus captain involves making sure all the younger kids are behaving themselves, settling any arguments they might have, making sure they are seated properly and ticking their names off the list to keep a record of who's been traveling at what days and times. It was the ticking of this list that led me to a an opportunity for spiritual growth.

I have occupied the role of bus captain since February this year. Now days when ticking their names off the list, I normally don't need to get up out of my seat at the back of the bus. I can tell who all of the kids are by looking at the back of their heads. Sometimes however, I do have to get up and see specifically who is present in the primary area. The primaries sit at the front of the bus and are all 11 to 12 years of age. The other day I had to go up there and make sure a particular student was present. I did this and retired to my seat at the back of the bus. About 2 or 3 minutes later, they were calling me back. I thought they had a problem and jokingly said "Okay, who's just been killed". They responded by saying something that I didn't expect to hear. "Ben", some of the less mischievous ones said; "You've got a banana peel in your hoody!". The primaries were all giggling away. I laughed and put the banana peel in the bin. I went and sat back with my fellow senior students. They told me that I am far too soft and that by doing nothing to punish those who did it, I was breeding little monsters. When it comes to punishment, the power I have is to inform the students teacher, who will send a note to the students parents detailing the undesirable behaviour. It is not in my nature to do this though. For me, respect has always come from a place of love and passion, not fear and punishment. I questioned the seriousness of that kids actions. I thought, "did anyone get physically hurt?", the answer to that was "no". I did however feel a little bit embarrassed. I then thought "Is causing humiliation worthy of punishment?". This was tricky for me because it was a new situation that I had not encountered previously. I then thought of Osho. I thought of how people used to try to humiliate and deface him. I then thought of how Osho would say that he can't be hurt, for he has no self, no ego. If a person has no ego, what is there to be hurt? I then applied this teaching to my situation. I questioned why I might retaliate. It would be because I had been hurt, because my ego had been damaged. I then considered the fact that if I am to ever obtain mastery of my self, there must be no self. This situation also reminded me that there is no right or wrong. That kid putting the banana peel in my hood was movement that occurred in this Universe. What makes universal movement right or wrong? I believe it's the way we as humans view such scenarios. Like Buddha said, "With our minds, we make the world." Actions in essence are not right or wrong, they are just neutral occurrences. I consider a True Martial Art practitioner to be someone who strives to represent the never ending path that leads towards perfection. By "leads towards perfection" I mean leading the practitioner to becoming one with universal reality. It reminds me of that line from the FMK song, "Perfected Perfection". These are the ideals I try to live by in my day to day life; to be the best version of myself attainable.

I now feel like I want to thank the 11 year old who put the banana peel in my hood. His actions were a catalyst to a spiritual growth that occurred inside me. I then asked myself what I would do if a similar situation were to occur. Would I or wouldn't I punish him? I have decided that I would need to punish him if he did something similar. If respect doesn't come naturally to that 11 year old, then respect will have to be a learnt behaviour. I wouldn't punish him out of anger and revenge, I would punish him for his own good. I doubt many people in this world would be quite as open minded and lenient as I have been. People don't tend to get very far in this man made structure we call society without respect for others and themselves.

It fascinates me that something seemingly insignificant such as a banana peel could be the centre of such a valuable lesson to me. As I interpret this aspect of this lesson, I should not take any stimuli (object or event) as insignificant. Everything in our lives plays a role in shaping who we are as people, even something like a banana peel.

I wrote this blog because I wanted to share with you the details about my recent spiritually enhancing experience before they fade from my memory too much. I doubt I will produce any posts between now and the middle of November because by then I would have finished all of my final high school examinations. I already have many ideas about what I'd like to write about in future posts. Until then, keep striving towards perfection FMK! Let me say once more that to me, this new phase in the evolution of FMKs online expression is very exciting!

Thanks for Reading

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