When martial arts meet philosophy

O actor-filósofo Bruce Lee sobre a arte da expressão:

Instinct + Control (“unnatural naturaliness” or “natural unnaturaliness”)


Instinct (un-scientific) or Control (mechanical)

«These people are coming in and asking me to teach them, not so much how to defend themselves, or how to do somebody in, rather, they want to learn to express themselves through some movement, be it anger, be it determination or whatever. So, in other words, what I’m saying therefore, is that they’re paying me to show them, in combative form, the art of expressing the human body. (…) It might sound too philosophical, but it’s unacting acting or acting unacting… (…) So what I’m saying, actually, you see, it’s a combination of both. I mean here is natural instinct and here is control. You are to combine the two in harmony. Not… if you have one to the extreme, you’ll be very unscientific. If you have another to the extreme, you become, all of a sudden, a mechanical man… no longer a human being. So it is a successful combination of both, so therefore, it’s not pure naturalness or unnaturalness. The ideal is unnatural naturalness or natural unnaturalness.»

«I do not teach, you know, Karate, because I do not believe in styles anymore. I mean I do not believe that there is such thing as, like, a Chinese way of fighting or a Japanese way of fighting… or whatever way of fighting, because unless a human being has three arms and four legs, there can be no different form of fighting. But, basically, we only have two hands and two feet. So styles tend to… not only separate man because they have their own doctrines and the doctrine became the gospel truth that you cannot change! But, if you do not have styles, if you just say, “here I am as a human being, how can I express myself totally and completely?”… Now, that way, you won’t create a style because style is a crystallization. That way is a process of continuing growth.»

«You have to, you see, because that is the expression of the human body. I mean, everything, not just the hand! When you are talking about combat, well, if it is a sport… well now your talking about something else, with regulations, and rules… but if you’re talking about fighting… with no rules, well then, baby, you’d better train every part of your body!»

«Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, water can crash. Be water, my friend.»

«Well, let me say this. First of all, the word “superstar” really turns me off… and I’ll tell you why… the word “star” man, it’s an illusion. It’s something what the public calls you. You should look upon oneself as an actor, man. I mean you would be very pleased if somebody said [punches his fist into his open hand]: “Man, you are a super actor!”. It is much better than, you know, superstar.»

«You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I mean, I don’t want to sound like as Confucius, sayyyyyy… [joking] but under the sky, under the heaven, man, there is but one family. Iit just so happens that people are different.»

Bruce Lee, transcript


Milky Way? No way!

Gilles Deleuze kept «a phobia of all milk products, which surprised his friends: [Olivier Revault d’Allonnes explains that] “We had invited Gilles to have dinner several times. He always asked the mistress of the house if there was the least drop of milk in the dish and if that was the case, he would not want to eat”.

– François Dosse, “Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Intersecting Lives”, p. 124.


This “anecdote” should be taken seriously, since “milk” is Oedipus’ land:

«The hypnosis and the reign of images, the torpor they spread; the hatred of life and of all that is free, of all that passes and flows; the universal effusion of the death instinct; depression and guilt used as a means of contagion, the kiss of the Vampire: aren’t you ashamed to be happy? follow my example, I won’t let go before you say, ‘It’s my fault,’ O ignoble contagion of the depressives, neurosis as the only illness consisting in making others ill; the permissive structure: let me deceive, rob, slaughter, kill! but in the name of the social order, and so daddy-mommy will be proud of me; the double direction given to ressentiment, the turning back against oneself, and the projection against the Other: the father is dead, it’s my fault, who killed him? it’s your fault, it’s the Jews, the Arabs, the Chinese, all the resources of racism and segregation; the abject desire to be loved, the whimpering at not being loved enough, at not being ‘understood,’ concurrent with the reduction of sexuality to the ‘dirty little secret,’ this whole priest’s psychology—there is not a single one of these tactics that does not find in Oedipus its land of milk and honey.»

– Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, 268.


Elizabeth Fraser, “Underwater” (2000)


Uma canção infantil não infantilizante

Por José Barata-Moura

Vamos lá imaginar
a Cidade do Penteado,
onde as casas, p’ra variar,
têm cabelo e não telhado.

Na Rua da Charamusca,
mesmo junto do passeio,
fica uma casa patusca:
a Casa do Risco ao Meio.
No Largo Pinto Calçudo,
mesmo em frente do mercado,
há um prédio barrigudo:
o Prédio do Risco ao Lado.


No Beco Sarapintado,
há uma casa escondidinha,
com o telhado cortado,
mesmo rente, à escovinha.
Logo a seguir, na Travessa
do Jardim dos Girassóis,
há um prédio com a cabeça
cheiinha de caracóis.


Na Praça do Nabo Cozido,
a Casa das Três Chaminés
usa o cabelo tão comprido,
que quase lhe chega aos pés.
E na Avenida Maria
– coisa levada da breca! –
a casa da minha tia,
tem o telhado careca.



La fe en la embriaguez

«50. La fe en la embriaguez. Los hombres que viven momentos de sublime arrebato y que, en estado normal, se sienten miserables y desconsolados a causa del contraste y de su eno…rme desgaste de fuerza nerviosa, consideran esos momentos como la auténtica manifestación de ellos mismos, de su yo, y piensan, por el contrario, que la miseria y la desolación son efectos de su no-yo. Por eso quieren vengarse de los que les rodean, de su época y de todo lo que significa su mundo. La embriaguez les parece la verdadera vida, el verdadero yo, no viendo en los demás sino enemigos que tratan de impedirles o de obstaculizarles el disfrute de su embriaguez, ya sea ésta intelectual, moral, religiosa o artística. Una buena parte de los males de la humanidad se debe a estos ebrios entusiastas, ya que siembran incansablemente la semilla del descontento con uno mismo y con el prójimo, del desprecio del mundo y de la época en que viven, y sobre todo el desaliento. Puede que todo un infierno de criminales no hubiera bastado para producir unas consecuencias tan nefastas y duraderas, unos efectos tales de pesadez y de inquietud que corrompen la tierra y el aire, y que es lo que lega ese pequeño grupo de individuos desenfrenados, lunáticos y medio locos, de genios que no saben controlarse, que sólo disfrutan plenamente de sí mismos extraviándose por entero; mientras que el criminal, en cambio, da muchas veces muestras de un admirable dominio de sí mismo, de sacrificio y de sabiduría, contribuyendo a mantener vivas estas cualidades en los que le temen. Para él, la bóveda celeste que se eleva sobre la vida se va tornando quizá oscura y peligrosa, pero la atmósfera sigue siendo saludable y clara. Por otra parte, esos iluminados hacen todo lo que pueden para implantar en la vida la fe en la embriaguez espiritual, como si ésta fuera la vida por excelencia. Se trata, ciertamente, de una creencia terrible. Al igual que hoy se corrompe a los salvajes con aguardiente, hasta hacerles perecer, toda la humanidad ha sido envenenada lenta y radicalmente por los aguardientes espirituales que producen esos sentimientos embriagadores y por quienes mantenían vivos el deseo de experimentar dichos sentimientos. Hasta puede que la humanidad perezca por esta causa».

– Nietzsche, “Aurora”