Monday, May 4, 2009

Nothing great, said Epictetus, is produced suddenly, since not even the grape or the fig is. If you say to me now that you want a fig, I will answer to you that it requires time: let it flower first, then put forth fruit, and then ripen. Is, then, the fruit of a fig-tree not perfected suddenly and in one hour, and would you possess the fruit of a man's mind in so short a time and so easily? Do not expect it, even if I tell you.

Epictetus, a Greek Stoic Philosopher born in 55 AD, taught in Rome and Greece.

This also well applies to Zen and Budo. There is no sudden enlightenment - out of the blue - Nothing magic, no sudden achievement.
The difference between the Master and the Beginner is that the Master repeated the move tens of thousands of time. Some people may be gifted at birth, but without hard training, their gift will be lost (I believe this is what Jesus' Parable of talents is about).
Fall 7 times, get back up 8 times.
"Sudden" enlightenment is only apparently sudden, it actually is the result of long training and dedication. All of a sudden, one may have this "AH AH" moment, but this only comes when the fruit is ripe. Before that there was a need for a bloom, it transformed into a fruit, it ripened, and then it fell from the tree.

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