Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Armoring, Cycles and Crossroads

In December I awoke one morning feeling pain in my left deltoid muscle. I thought this odd as there was no recent single injury incident. When it didn't go away after a month, I went to the M.D. who diagnosed rotator cuff tendonosis. As I educate myself about tendonosis it looks like I injured myself, possibly through chronic poor posture; hunching eight hours a day at my deskjob. This was festering for a long time and finally came into consciousness. So what does this have to do with armoring, cycles and crossroads?

Tracing a spiral, going around, I arrive at the same place again. The same but different. The sameness part of the cycle is relaxing, opening and then clamping down, closing off. What is different is that the feeling of kinesthetically opening gets a little stronger each time and it takes a little more energy to block that off each time. Also, this pattern becomes a little more conscious each time.

Since the last post (where I described feeling opening), I've swung to the closing down. Why vacillate like this? Why not simply continue to open, open, open on a straight line trajectory to mastery? This is just who and how I am.

Part of the down-swing was due to feeling anxiety about the loss of range of motion and pain in my shoulder. How could my body let me down like this? Of course, my question represents a compartmentalized and dis-integrated frame.
"Then what do you mean when you say, 'My body is sore today'? Who is the 'I' who is separate from the body and speaks of it as a possession?"
Also, I'm becoming aware of how the "I know. They say." manifests not only in my personal life but also how it is revealed in my Wujifa Zhan Zhuang practice where “I know” could mean “opening” and “They say” could mean “closing”. The feeling, the presence, the "I know" arises and bumps into the armor, the fear, the “They say”. (see timepoint 3:06 - 4:17)


The choice to open or close (at whatever level of consciousness this happens) represents a crossroads. A fork in the road. Open? Close? Go with "I know" or "They say"? Or continue cycling between the two in an awareness increasing spiral until.... ?

How is all this revealed in my Wujifa Zhan Zhuang practice? I’m standing, relaxing, letting go, releasing, exploring how far relax can go. The back muscles release... ahhhhh... and then,SNAP! Oh! Stop! Clamp down! The breath grabbing muscle spasm across the lower or upper back. And I block the relax. In fear of inducing another bout of crippling lower back pain, I stop exploring and settle for some level of tension near the edge. For now. Until next time.

The feeling in the climax of the 1974 Blue Oyster Cult song “Dominance and Submission” is as close a representation I can find of what this play feels like to me. For the purpose of this post, Dominance could mean opening and "I know" and Submission could mean closing and "They say". (Timepoint 3:14 – 4:14)

As I continue building integration and functionality, I wonder, How much longer can compartmentalization, dis-integration, and dis-functionality survive?


  1. Hi Mike,

    Enjoying the blog. Wondering where the first video clip is from. I'd like to see more(part 15 and all). I can't get it to open in another window.


  2. Peter,
    The first video clip is part of a series called, "This is John Galt Speaking".

    Different parts are on YouTube. You should find more there. Search on: This is John Galt Speaking.

  3. Mike,


    Like the blog, some interesting ideas.