Striking Thoughts – Bruce Lee

Main message – keep one’s mind, attitude, and senses pliable and receptive, and, at the same time, develop the ability to think critically. The process of inquiry, debate, and practice would lead not only to knowledge of one’s physical strengths and weaknesses but to the discovery of basic truths that allow one to grow towards a state of harmonious unity of spirit, mind, and body.

BL – reject blind obedience to external authority. Live by your own judgement and be willing to stand alone against tradition and popular opinion. 

BL – independent inquiry is needed in your search for truth, not dependence on anyone else’s view or a mere book. 

Principle of Life – Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, unrhythmic movement, as well as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go. 

Only sober moderation lasts, and that persists through all time. Only the mid-part of anything is preserved because the pendulum of life must have balance, and the midpart is the balance. 

When a man is living, he is soft and pliable; when he is dead, he becomes rigid. Pliability is life; rigidity is death, whether one speaks of man’s body, his mind, or spirit. 

To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. 

This evening I see something totally new, and that newness is experienced by the mind; but tomorrow that experience becomes mechanical, because I want to repeat the sensation, the pleasure of it – the description is never real.

Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo. 

What IS is more important than What SHOULD BE. Too many people are looking at “what is” from a position of thinking “what should be”.

Conditioning obstructs our view of reality – we must scratch away all the dirt of our being and influences that accumulate over time to revel reality. 

Pleasure is the flower that fades, but remembrance is the lasting perfume. Remembrances last longer than present realities.

Function of the human being – honest development of potential and self-actualization, the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone. 

False people – either talk more than they are capable of doing or use false humility to cover inadequacy.

Why people don’t reach their full potential – they themselves or society does not allow them to be totally themselves.

Only action can give life it’s strength, and only moderation can give it its charm.

The reward of doing – the doer alone learns.

Action is the high-road to self-confidence and self-esteem. 

Wu-wei- tai chi chuan principle. Only acting in line with nature, not trying to impart your own will. Allow yourself to be guided; learn what the situation requires before deciding on the right course of action. All effort made with a purpose is sure to fail. 

Try not to direct the mind. Stand at the neutral point between negative and positive, no longer directing one’s mind to anything. 

Man’s mind and his behavior are one, his inner thought and outer expression cannot contradict each other. 

The purpose of imagination – helps to form plans and the ideas for the attainment of your desires. 

Knowledge – the remembering of previously learned material. 

Comprehension – the ability to grasp meaning by interpreting material or projecting future trends by using knowledge. 

Application – the ability to use learned material in new and concrete situations.

Analysis – the ability to breakdown material into component parts so that its organizational structure can be understood. 

Synthesis – the ability to put parts together to form a new whole. 

Evaluation – the ability to put parts together and judge the value of the material for a given purpose. 

It is only when we stop thinking, and let go that we can start seeing, discovering. When our mind is tranquil, there will be an occasional pause to it’s feverish activities, there will be a let go, and it is only then in the interval between two thoughts that a flash of understanding can take place. 

The moment we stop analyzing and let go, we can start really seeing, feeling – as one whole. 

The perceiving mind is living, moving, full of energy, and only such a mind can understand what truth is. To see a thing uncolored by one’s own personal preferences and desires is to see it in its own pristine simplicity. 

The enemy of development is the pain phobia – the unwillingness to do a tiny bit of suffering. 

Choiceless awareness – do not condemn or judge. Awareness works only if it’s allowed free play without interference. Don’t start with a conclusion already in mind. 

On being talented – If I tell you I’m good, you will say I’m boasting. But if I tell you I’m not, you’ll know I’m lying. 

On being guided by reason – Both my positive and negative emotions may be dangerous if they are not controlled and guided to desirable ends. I will submit my desires, aims, and purposes to my faculty of reason, and I will be guided by it in giving expression to these. 

Logic – the distinction between correct and incorrect argument.

Posteriori – an argument from effect to cause. Knowledge based on experience.  

Priori – an argument from cause to effect. Knowledge independent of experience. 

Emotions are the most important motors of our behavior. The subconscious mind favors thoughts inspired by emotional feelings. It also gives preference to dominating thoughts. 

I will form habits to encourage the development of my positive emotions and aid me in converting the negative emotions into some form of useful action. 

Happiness is a synonym of well-being.

There can be no initiative if one has fear, and fear compels us to cling to tradition, gurus, etc.

Shame is fear of humiliation at one’s inferior status in the estimation of others. 

Pride emphasizes the importance of the superiority of one’s status in the eyes of others. It is dangerous to have pride since maintaining status becomes the priority for prideful individuals, and this can lead to anxiety. 

Watch what you say – diseases enter by the mouth, misfortune issues from it. 

The spirit of the individual is determined by his / her dominating thought habits.

Religions can divide people. If all the religions of the world were one, people would be united in brotherhood. The source of the trouble with religion are the doctrines, rules, and prejudices.

Happiness is good for the body, but sorry strengthens the spirit.

The active is controlled by the inactive – the active being of form or matter, the inactive being of spirit or mind. 

Confucianist Philosophy – The 5 chief relationships of life: government and those who are governed, father and son, elder and younger brother, husband and wife, friend and friend. 

Be able to enter a mold without being imprisoned by it. Be able to follow principles without being bound by them. 

The poorer we are inwardly, the more we try to enrich ourselves outwardly.

Prosperity is apt to prevent us from examining our conduct; but adversity leads us to think properly of our state, and so is beneficial to us. 

It is not what happens that counts, its how you react to them. Your mental attitude determines what you make of it, either a stepping stone or a stumbling block. 

Defeat is an education. Nothing but the first step to something better. 

One who is possessed by worry not only lacks the poise  to solve his own problems, but by his nervousness and irritability creates additional problems for those around him.  

Rationalism – The rationalist holds that reason is capable of grasping basic truths intuitively and deriving other truths from them by rational procedures, logical demonstration.

Empiricism – emphasizes the importance of experience in knowledge, stressing scientific method. 

Existentialism – want to do away with concepts, and to work on the awareness principle, on phenomenology. 

The problem is in anticipation of suffering. Suffering itself does less afflict the senses than the anticipation of suffering. 

What you habitually think largely determines what you ultimately become. We start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer conditions. 

Choose the positive. You have your choice – you are master of your attitude – choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed. 

Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious to fail. 

Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal. 

Every man is the dominate thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind. 

You have to create your own luck. Be aware of the opportunities around you and be ready to take advantage of them.

Nothing is less sincere than our mode of giving and asking for advice. He who asks seems to have deference for the opinion of his friend, while he only aims to get approval of his own and make his friend responsible for his action. He who offers advice seldom means anything by his advice but his own interest or reputation. When a man seeks your advice, he generally wants your praise. 

Requirement to be an artist: purity of heart. 

A conditioned mind is never a free mind. The more that you are aware, the more you shed from day to day what you have already learned so your mind is fresh, uncontaminated by previous conditioning.

Conditioning is to limit a person within a particular framework. 

Because one does not want to be disturbed, he establishes a pattern of conduct, of thought, a pattern of relationship to man. Then he becomes a slave to his pattern. 

Tradition makes the mind a slave – your mind is the result of a thousand yesterdays. It is the habit forming mechanism for the mind. 

A well-disciplined mind is not a free mind. Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind becomes obsessed with it.  

The classical man is a bundle of routines, ideas, and expressed tradition. When he acts he s translating every living moment in terms of the old. 

People try to hold on to sameness. This holding on prevents growth. 

I must give up my desire to force, direct, strangle the world outside of me and within me in order to be completely open, responsible, aware, alive. 

Zen – the whole trouble is just our failure to realize that there is no problem. 

Meditation is freeing of the mind from all motives. Any effort the mind makes will further limit it. Meditation is a state of zero effort emptiness. 

Freedom equals the absence of feeling of an external constraint. To free yourself, observe closely what you normally practice. Do not condemn, or approve, merely observe. 

We tend to have more faith in what we can imitate than what we can imagine. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone; we are not alone when we imitate. 

Being one’s self leads to real relationships, and the acceptance of one’s self leads to change. Playing a concept (projecting an image) strengthens our negativeness and wastes a lot of energy. 

Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them. 

Self-conquest is the greatest of victories. We have to overcome laziness, ignorance, preoccupation with self, and fear. 

Relationship is a process of self-revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself – to be is to be related. 

If you have trouble communicating with someone, look for your resentment. 

The more you depend on others for esteem, the less you are self-sufficient. 

True mastery – the ability, developed through self-discipline to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surroundings. 

Daily discovery and understanding is the process of growth and learning. Man is constantly growing. And when he is bound by a set pattern of ideas, or “Way” of doing things, that’s when he stops growing. 

The mark of genius is to see and express what is simple, simply! 

Yin-Yang – yang = whiteness. Positiveness, firmness, masculinity, substantiality, brightness, day. Yin = blackness. Negativeness, softness, femininity, insubstantiality, darkness, night. 

Yin-Yang – complimentary system. Extremes in either direction will ultimately pull it back towards the center. No state is permanent. Cooperation and alternation. 

Tao – From Confucius – the right way of action. Moral, Social, and Political. Taoist – The totality of things. 

The struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease. 

Independent inquiry is needed in your search for truth, not dependence on anyone else’s view or a mere book. 

Drop your burden of preconceived notions and “open” yourself to everything and everyone ahead. The usefulness of a cup is its openness.

To know, but to be as though not knowing, is the height of wisdom.  

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