The article originally published at Marta Tibaldi’s blog
Republished thanks to the courtesy of the author
Joe Lansdale, the American author of over forty ‚noir’ novels and numerous short stories, ascribes most of his success and his life style to the practice of martial art since he was a child: „Everything in my life, also my writing, comes from the discipline of martial arts”. According to him, the experiences of „resistance, determination, concentration, full self-awareness” along with his professional realization came from this practice. Martial arts helped him to overcame his fears, to increase his self-awareness and to improve his inner streght, making him feel competent towards his life and work (G. Andruetto, „Una vita sul tatami cercando la forza interiore”, La Repubblica, April, 25, 2015). Then Joe Lansdale sees in the martial arts’ discipline the base on which he builds his entire personal and professional life.
Working with some East Asian trainees, I noticed that, generally speaking, their way to react to the small and great challenges of life is somehow different from that of some of their Italian colleagues: a strong discipline in respecting the training rules requested to achieve the goal they want to reach and a clear assuption of responsibility towards their choices. No time and space for self-pity, passivity and individual and social irresponsibility.
In the Jungian analytical psychology the issue of discipline and the ethical stand are two main points of reference. On the one hand, as long as the client and the analyst agree to share the rules of the analytical setting – although in the different positions as a trainer and a trainee – they work together at achieving the common goal of „making visible the invisible” (the unconscious mind) and integrating it into the personality. On the other hand, taking an ethical stand means for both of them to accept consciously to follow the individuation process’ indication and the ethical obligation „to transform [that] knowledge in life. As Jung writes: „The images of the unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man. Failure to understand them, or a shirking of ethical responsibility, deprives him of his wohleness and imposes a painful fragmentariness on his life” (C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. London: Fontana Press 1995, p. 218)
In a time of great uncertainty and destructivness as the one we are facing in the Western culture, becoming aware of the role these aspects play in our daily lifes can help us to proceed consciously and responsibly in the direction of a creative transformation of ourselves at the personal, the cultural and the archetypal level.
Copyright 2015 Marta Tibaldi