SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
JULY 2011 PART 3
In the past I used to feel physically strong. What I lacked internally could be made up by the physical. I had an inner strength I could summon that was not like internal force. I then developed internal force and was able to choose between physical or internal.
Then the types of force became distinguishable -- being chi or jing force. At this stage I could still summon physical strength if required. However since my recent experience I feel that I am no longer physically strong. In fact I cannot summon physical strength.
— Sifu Tim Franklin, UK
You are actually physically stronger than before, but you do not feel it because of the tremendous increase of your internal force which makes your physical strength not significant by comparison.
This apparent feeling of less strong than before is a normal aspect of force development, regardless of whether comparing internal force with physical strength, or comparing either internal force or physical strength by itself now with before.
For example, when a student starts to experience internal force, he feels the force to be significant.. Later even when the increase of force is more, he may not feel it as distinctly..
This is what we call normalization. We have become normal to the increased force that we may not feel anything special about it. This process of normalization applies to other forms of development, like increase in income, health and happiness, and is beneficial to us. These benefits which may be special to other people, become normal to us.
Where in the past I could tense and feel strong, I can no longer tense. I mean I really cannot tense. When I try it seems like my flow of chi stops me. It is a strange feeling.
I remember when I first started learning the Shaolin arts I felt physically weak as my old strengths left me to be replaced by chi and this feels a little like that but different as I am aware of the expansive force that can now be summoned.
Isn't it wonderful that you are not tensed even when you try to? This is because of your vigorous chi flow. Even when you tense your muscles, your chi flow immediately clears the tension.
As an analogy with cash flow, isn't it wonderful that you are not poor even when you try to? Your cash flow is so vigorous that whatever expenditure that could make you poor before is now cleared by your vigorous cash flow.
But if you really want to tense your muscles, you can, though it is unwise and unhealthy to do so. Bite your teeth, hold your breath, and tense your muscles. If you do so for a second or two, and then let go, your natural chi flow, being very vigorous, will immediately clear the tension and discomfort without you doing anything special. So you have to tense your muscles for a longer time to experience the tension and discomfort.
As your natural chi flow can clear away your tension spontaneously, does this mean that you cannot summon your physical strength?. No, it doesn't mean this. You still can purposely tense your muscles to use physical strength. You can, but you need not to. You can use internal force instead. It is more efficient and more pleasant.
Could you please explain further the various levels and stages of force development?
The increase of internal force would first make you feel very strong. This may make some students vain, and lead to their downfall.
Then you feel peaceful and joyful. The feeling of peace and joy comes from within.
At the third stage, you feel a tremendous sense of freedom. You feel free because your spirit expands beyond your physical body. You may feel you are no where and every where. You will develop cosmic wisdom.
At the next stage you feel compassion for all beings.
This is the usual progression -- from strength to peace to joy to freedom to compassion. Often there is over-lapping, and sometimes the order may change slightly, like one feeling peaceful before feeling strong.
I am having an identity issue with my sexuality. I fear I am bisexual, at least to a degree. I don't want to be, but I will tell you some reasons why I have these painful questioning.
When I was 16 I had an unhealthy experience. I was looking for an experience, spiritually speaking, not really knowing what that meant. I sadly ended up being manipulated by a sick man in his late 30s who said he acted as a medium for spirits of local belief in the region. I fell for it. I was told good things about myself and my spiritual gifts that at the time made me feel I had found something special.
After two months of making me think I was special, I was ready to do anything for what they called my spiritual development. According to this man, the spirits said I was homosexual and it was good for me to sleep with this man. For almost two months we had sexual contact, but no penetration because I couldn't get an erection long enough.
— Tom, Holland
First of all I would like to assure you not to worry, as your problem can be overcome. I shall explain your situation and show you how to overcome your problem point by point.
The cause of your problem is due to a wrong perception. Read my article on Perception and Reality for details. Don't read it now, but read it after you have finished reading my reply here. What you experienced, unfortunately, is a common trick homosexuals use to entice innocent young men.
You were not, and are not, bisexual or homosexual, but he was so successful in tricking you that you thought you were. The impression was so deep that you still harbour doubts of your identify to this day.
The shame, guilt and fear were terrible. At some point I came to terms with it, and now can talk about it with people I trust.
I left this bad group after almost loosing it with the anxiety the situation produced in me. Since then a lot of good things have happened. I finished college, have had 2 girlfriends ever since, and have been in love. I'm very interested in spirituality, and searching inside myself what my fears are, and where my actions come from.
This is good evidence that you are not homosexual. If you were, you would not feel such shame, guilt and fear.
The fact that you could at times come to terms with it is a good sign. It shows you are capable to overcome the problem. Leaving the group is another good piece of evidence that you are not homosexual. If you were, you would not consider this group bad and you would not be interested in women.
For the time being, don't worry about spirituality and searching inside you. Overcome this identity problem first, and I shall show you how. This itself is spiritual cultivation. You are now mentally and spiritually confused. But I shall show you how you can have mental clarity and spiritual assurance.
Sexuality wasn't easy for me even when I was younger. I remember at 15 having a girlfriend and not being able to make love with her, because I wouldn't get a full erection. This made me very insecure. That problem I have mostly solved now. I have been blessed and can make love to the women I have been with, and the sex feels good.
Not being able to make love does not indicate homosexual tendencies. Today, many married men between 30 and 40 cannot have a satisfactory errection because of stress in their work.
It was actually a blessing in disguise that at 15 you could not make love to a girl. You were too young then, and had you been successful in penetrating her, it might result in many problems that both you and the girl would not be able to cope with at your tender age.
When I was younger, at 5 or 6, I remember reading about homosexuality somewhere, and thinking what if I was it. I did not like the idea, and have feared it since a young age. I don't remember being attracted to any man when I was a young kid or teenager.
This unfounded fear at that tender age of 5 or 6 could be another cause of your doubt in your identity.
Thoughts are the most important of the three factors causing karma, the other two being speech and action. This is confirmed by the latest science. Whether an electron is a wave or a particle depends on the thought of the investigating scienctist. If the scientist wishes to measure the electron as a wave, it will always turn out to be a wave. If he wishes to measure it as a particle, it will always turn out to be a particle.
Your not being attracted to men is a clear sign that you are not homosexual. If you were, irrespective of whether you thought you were a girl in a boy's body or a boy in a boy's body, you would be attracted to men.
I have noticed that gay men look at me a lot, almost more then they look at my friends, and actually look at me much more then women look at me. I see this in clubs or bars, places of social meeting. I don't like this and I said to myself some years ago "let me face what's going on", so as not to escape out of something for only fear. Sexuality must be important to learn about who we are.
This could be true or just a wrong perception. In other words, it was true that gays looked at you more than women looked at you. Or it was not true, but you thought it was so.
Either way, it did not prove that you were homosexual. Gays also look at normal men, though they may look at other gays more. On the other hand, and this may be a surprise to some people, women do not normally look at men; they look at other women more, not because they want to have lasbian sex with them but because they are interested in the other women's fashion.
To enable you to see the situation easier, let us put some numbers to the times gays and women looked at you and other people. Suppose gays looked at you 10 times, looked at your friends 9 times, and looked at other gays 15 times. Woemn looked at you 5 times and looked at other women 10 times.
Because you only observed the number of times gays and women looked at you, but did not know the number of times the gays looked at other gays and the women looked at other women, you compared 10 times of gays looking at you with 5 times of women looking at you. Because you were already prejudiced, you formed a wrong perception that you too could be gay when actually you were normal. In the same way, had you know the number of times women looked at other women, comparing with the number of times they looked at you, which was 10 and 5, you might form a wrong perception that the women were lasbians when they were actually normal.
You mentioned that gays looked at you almost more than they looked at your friends. Let us say gays looked at you 10 times and at your friends 9 times. This should add to your confidence that you were normal. Had you been gay, the difference would not be marginal. Gays could have looked at you 20 times compared to 9 times looking at your friends. Moreover when gays looked at other men, it was not necessary for homosexual activities; they could be other reasons.
Editorial Note : Tom's other questions can be found in the August 2011 Part 1 issue.
- Wei Foong's Wedding Photographs
- The Aims and Objectives of Practicing Kungfu
- Chi Kung and Academic Excellence
- Tiger Claw and Chin-Na
- Praying Mantis Eighteen Collection