An interesting question was posed in this class: why is it that babies can cry all day and not and not lose their voice, or dogs can bark all day and night and not lose their voice? And yet, professors can lecture a lot and by the end of the week they have no voice left?
Ruby’s thought on this was that babies and dogs don’t lose their voices because they are still connected to their true nature. They have not been disassociated from their Tao, as it were.
At some point as children, the adults begin to tell us that we can’t do this or that anymore, that we have to become part of the “real world”, whatever that is. And so begins the long process of becoming separated from our true nature, and becoming who those around us wanted us to be. Or perhaps who we have to be in order to be a productive participant in this world. I’ve seen it in my own life. I was much more of a mystic and much more open to possibilities when I was younger. Now that I’m in my 40’s, that has been crowded out by work and family responsibilities, to do lists, and all the other things that are required of a productive adult. I have become separated from my true nature, and sometimes I am uncomfortably aware of that.
One of the things that Ruby believed that Tai Chi could do was to help us reconnect with our true nature, to reconnect to that part of ourselves that we have been disconnected from by the society in which we live. He believed that that disconnection has hurt us in ways that we don’t even understand. And I think he was correct. When I was deeply involved in Tai Chi practice, I did experience a return of my openness and mystic tendencies. Unfortunately, that part of me felt like it died when Ruby did.
But perhaps it didn’t die. Perhaps it only went into hibernation, buried under all the grief. Perhaps it will yet re-awaken, as I’m getting back into the practice. Only time will tell.