A Letter to Rokas

Rokas —

Humility is inversely proportional to conceit and no brand owns this relationship, though brands may try to attribute them as the “best” at it.

The destruction of self-view, and its valence of we-view (inclusive of brands), is a function of purification of perception, where perception is no longer interrupted by conceits. Mistaking correlation and cause is a slippery slope to tyranny (tyranny being rule by arbitrary).

Graphing Lineage Clusters and Mean Scores of Conceit

A correlation of lack of conceit seen between clusters of martial art school lineages on a graph whereby the axis of herd identity is plotted against individual conceit may seem compelling, however another axis is most likely at play (demonstrated by empirical evidence across a plurality of studies). That is, this other axis mostly is a causal desire to purify perception, an environment that purifies perception, raw talents, or a variety of additional causes, some chemical, some quite unknown at this time, and lastly, pre-existing conditions in the target demographic that the martial art school promotes members from. A last and final aspect is autotelicism, yet we’ll save that for another discussion.

Suppression of Conceit for the Development of Perception

What better purification than an environment that suppresses room for perception to generate mental proliferation… than a pedagogy that generates flow state entrainment which temporarily suppresses self-view in wider distributions than narrow distributions (and is researched as such by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi). This temporary suppression then allows freedom from conceptual elaboration within which to develop direct perception and thus realize that what is perceived, perception, and that which accompanies it, is empty, and not self. This is a major aspect of many lineages of martial discipline.

While disciplines may have different training methodologies, instructors themselves may offer differences, and these instructors may vary based on individuals in the class or even when visitors arrive. Take for example 60 minutes of practice interrupted by 5 minutes of narcissistic/obsessive compulsive transference behavior and 20 minutes of counter-transference behavior in students interrupting flow state and training vs 60 minutes of practice interrupted by 30 minutes of psychopathic/paranoid transference behavior and 50 minutes of counter-transference. Both trigger counter-transference behaviors which may or may not contribute to reification of self-view and we-view, the former building walls in the individual, the latter building walls around the identification with the brand one is practicing within.

Which one of these is most likely going to allow the opportunity to advance more readily? Which one has a higher probability of letting go of self-view and allow the body to sense at greater resolutions and build more feed-forward movements in order to survive? Yes. Practice. And the lack of interruptions, transference behaviors, and counter-transference behaviors will allow for power to accumulate and compound, and through realization, reservation and prudence in its expenditures for the benefit of all beings.

Having visited individuals and herds practicing across a variety of martial arts, and preferring actual military or intelligence communities over commercial activities, I would prefer to practice at an ~3% of challenge/skill proportion for rapid progression regardless of environment, where the limit in uncertainty is the lesser of the abilities of the parties in contact. From here, rapidly moving to battlefield situations where there are multiple parties, and then moving to theater situations where there are multiple groups of parties engaging, as demonstrated on battlefields, corporate mergers and acquisitions where due diligence exercises between various departments are at play, or national exchanges where again, various departments are at play.

Peak Suppression of Conceit and Peak Experience of Flow

While I do not recommend PTSD inducing environments — these environments are causal to peak induced flow states. In fact Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi suspects and seems to have tested this fact that a battlefield is the best place to experience flow. Do generals go around saying WAR is the best at eliminating ego as flow state is correlated to an absence of self view?

This is a dangerous realization, yet intelligence communities are well aware of its play in societal conflicts. Need not say more here.

Attribution Errors

Unfortunately, where things fall apart, and rightly so, due to a lack of follow through in areas of asceticism, attribution is usually cut short because a complete knowledge graph capturing the reality of attribution is metabolically cost prohibitive. Self-view or we-view herd dynamics rears its head by way of incomplete attribution models. In that the realization “wow, this really works better” is attributed to the individual or herd (brand), rather than the functions at play within, which unfortunately in an environment celebrating antagonism and news generation, helps with marketing the individual or herd, in the acquisition of conversions, cart adds, memberships, revenue, and customer retention, such as in the aforementioned M&A or national exchanges whether on battlefields of the courts of public opinion by way of media and artistic mediums, courts of law by way of jurisprudence, etc. etc. etc.

What to do?

So what does a martial artist do that gets far but fails to complete the liberation of self-view?

“It doesn’t work.”


And what kind of mentality according to science is correlated with a higher level of temporary happiness? Those seeing in black and white rather than grey. And what sees in black and white?

Competition, opposition, polarization, absent dialectic.

And what drives transactions which lead to faster accumulation of assets both fixed and non-fixed for market makers?

Competition, opposition, polarization, absent dialectic.

And what does the warrior whose honor has been tarnished do?

Defend it.

And what is the honor?

Wisdom, it is not self, it is not other.

No Rokas — self-view’s aikido doesn’t work because aikido requires the suspension or uprooting of self-view and other-view, and the valences of we-view and they-view.

This is Masagatsu Agatsu Katsu Hayabi.

Victory is not self,
Victory is not we.

Victory is liberty,
for all beings,
and parties.

It is beyond brand,
It is beyond party,
It is beyond they,
It is beyond we,
It is beyond other,
It is beyond I.

Practice Rokas,
it’s always been the practice,
and its fruit is realization,
not the brand.


PS: The most loving and compassionate people I know as a distribution are hunters and servicemen, yet the most loving people I know as individuals, are mothers.

PPS: Here is a cheat sheet for those curious about transference and counter-transference.

PPPS: And what is the meaning of the name Rokas? Old German, ‘roch’, meaning… to roar.