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"The Art of Dying": a valuable message from Bruce Lee about our ego.

Die for the Ambition of Victory

A fighter should not concern himself with any expectations about the result. A fighter should continuously improve himself by using enough intelligence and training.

We should rid ourselves of our ambitious minds so we can enjoy our daily struggles without worrying about thinking in terms of winning or losing.

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"The Art of Dying": a valuable message from Bruce Lee about our ego.

"The Art of Dying": a valuable message from Bruce Lee about our ego.

https://medium.com/@nicolas.rufino/the-art-of-dying-a-valuable-message-from-bruce-lee-about-our-ego-5411117da9d9

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

“Like everyone else, you want to learn the way to win, but never to accept the way to lose, to accept defeat, to learn to die is to be liberated from it. So when tomorrow comes, you must free your ambitious mind, and learn The Art of Dying.”

The Art of Dying

“The Art of Dying” is a metaphor and describes the Zen idea of letting our ego die. The ego is the whole set of experiences, accumulations, and memories that make up our view of ourselves. The ego holds our prejudices and distortions.

Death of the ego means we are open to criticism. We are embracing the process of learning to develop our abilities.

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

“Do not think about winning or losing, do not think about pride and pain. (…) The biggest mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the fight. You should not think about whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your weapons will be used at the right time.“

Die for the Ambition of Victory

A fighter should not concern himself with any expectations about the result. A fighter should continuously improve himself by using enough intelligence and training.

We should rid ourselves of our ambitious minds so we can enjoy our daily struggles without worrying about thinking in terms of winning or losing.

Six diseases that a fighter can have

  1. The desire for victory;
  2. The desire to resort to cunning techniques;
  3. The desire to display all that has been learned;
  4. The desire to terrify the enemy;
  5. The desire to be passive;
  6. The desire to get rid of any evil that can affect you.

Bruce Lee describes the desire itself as a problem. Desiring is a bond, but so is the desire not to desire. To be detached, then, is to be free.

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

“The skill and knowledge attained must be 'forgotten' so that you can float comfortably in the void without blockages. Learning is important, but do not let yourself be enslaved. (…) Any technique, however valuable and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind becomes obsessed with it”

Techniques and Knowledge

Knowledge is created from the past. Forgetting knowledge means the fighter can reach a state of freedom to move in the present moment.

Bruce Lee believed the fighter should not submit to or limit himself to the technique. To die then is more connected with the idea of the constant search for improvement.

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

“Jeet Kune Do teaches us not to look back after the course has been decided. He treats life and death indiscriminately. “ (…) To express yourself freely, you must forget yesterday. From the “old” you get security. “New”, you gain fluidity.”

Dying to the Past and the Future

A person with an ego is attached to a warped image, to the past, and to the future.

Letting the ego die requires you to let go of any memories and future expectations so that you can be free in the moment.

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There’s more to Bruce Lee than martial arts

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Self-discovery

Martial arts was not merely a competitive sport for Bruce Lee, but in essence a means of self-discovery and self-expression.

By learning to fight, he was able to better understand who he was — he could force himself out of his comfort zone, test his limits, and confront his fears. 

Be like water

Bruce Lee saw life as being in constant change.

Unless we learn to adapt to it, we’re bound to experience tremendous resistance that will entrap us in a constant state of suffering.

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Bruce Lee: The Symbol

Bruce Lee: The Symbol

In the 32 years he inhabited this planet, Bruce Lee created a legacy that is unparalleled in modern times.

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Be Water

While trying to diffuse his anger, Bruce Lee once started punching in the sea and had a profound realization.

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Giving Form To the Formless

The continued fascination with Bruce Lee and the never-ending need to capitalize on the man and the myth is the opposite of what he really intended.

His insights of being like water showcase his philosophy of having no philosophy at all. The formless structure that has to be assumed to live one’s life is destroyed the very moment anyone is influenced or tries to emulate Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee as a philosopher

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Bruce Lee's impressive life

  • He wasn't a master of any standard form of martial arts. He was closest in mastering Wing Chun.
  • He invented his own style of martial arts. He based his style on the teaching of Man and what he learned of Wing Chun. He called his style Jeet Kune Do "the style of no style"
  • He starred in 20 films in Hong Kong before the age of 18.
  • He popularized the "1 Inch Punch" as seen in Kill Bill Vol. 2
  • He was a prolific poet and philosopher. He studied poetry and philosophy in school and was even published several times.
  • He was so fast, his moves were often too fast for a camera to catch.
  • He only made 5 feature films in the US, his last released posthumously.