This came about from a man named Leland Val Vandewal, through Bob Proctor, well the seed of it. When people are asked to think of their car, they see their car in their mind (well, most do Josh). Their home, they see it. When people are asked to see their MIND, maybe their brain comes up, or something else. But that isnt their mind. The Mind is movement, and the body is a manifestation of that movement (sounds like internal arts to me, though it took me 10 years of study to get it!).
Leland created a picture of the Mind. he called it the Stick man. It is in 3 parts. The top is a large circle with a line across the equator. The top he called Conscious mind, the bottom is Subconscious mind. He added a small circle beneath, attached by a small line, this is the BODY. So very quickly, the conscious mind creates an image, that is impressed on the subconscious mind and manifest in the body (fear is an excellent QUICK acting manifestation of this).
The article came about because i was wondering HOW we get to internal. There are so many people claiming to do internal martial arts, but show ZERO principles as to what makes an art internal (i know you and i have differing ideas on this). So i looked at why.
The very first thing we are told by a good teacher is to watch. Most of us, in our excitement attempt to figure out what is going on, and with our untrained eyes, we miss TONS. We also are moving our bodies around, so we never let the image just sink in.
See, the subconscious mind, once an image is impressed on it, works regardless. Until that happens, the movement stays with the conscious mind and we have to think about it.
The idea is that, watching your teacher do the movements, and just letting him do it without ANY mental interference on your part (meaning, you are not analyzing it), allows, what I believe to be the seed for later growth.
Bruce Frantzis wrote about standing in qigong for entire taiji classes for a full year watching form. He says he learned so much. I asked Erle (as he was alive when i did this), and he told me that he sees the teacher that taught him the form when he did it. That image should be your standard. It is what your subconscious relies on when you BE taiji.
What if your teacher doesnt have internal ability? Find one who does! Seriously. How can you learn ANYTHING from someone who has no clue themselves? From someone who understands, simply being there is more than enough to learn IF YOU ARE READY, and that is a big part of it. You may, like so many have, watch Erle do his advanced forms, then they copy that, but they never get it right. I dont mean to pick on anyone, but this guy has this out there, for people to see, so here it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=750HsY1j8Jc&feature=plcp
I have had a conversation or 2 with him, and despite being in the UK, in the hub of the WTBA, he has either learned from someone who learned from a DVD or he himself has (without credit to Erle, which is interesting in and of itself). His form is full of errors because he is copying the advanced form, but has not corrected the basics. His subconscious mind is attempting to manifest something that he has no foundation for.
In the WTBA, we have been discussing this sort of phenomena lately, as it is rampant through the organization (everyone wants to be better than they are!) so no one is immune. Even that clip I have up is incorrect as i was doing what this gent is doing. I have since went back to basics to correct things.
When I do my form, I see Erle doing it at a basic level. It may or may not manifest as that image, depending on the qi flow, what i ate, etc, but that is the driving force behind it. It in NO WAY diminishes the amount of training you have to do. What it does do is help get the right stuff inside, so when you start to get to the internal part of training, that jelly comes out.
How would someone apply it? Simply, whenever you are learning something new, just watch it the first time or 2. Dont think "oh he's doing that, ok" or "that is from".. just watch it (if it is something you WANT to learn). It may even be helpful to run through the images in your mind (repetition is one of the ways you impress the subconscious mind). Then go about learning the material. If you are in person, you can get lots of input. If you are watching a DVD, watch the entire DVD this way FIRST. Then go back and start to work on it (i wrote an article about learning from DVD on a friends webpage taijirenegade).
Mate, it is just my way of looking at things. How do we get to the internal? We first need to get something inside! The easiest is the image of the thing (and the subconscious manifests pictures).
I have no idea about autism. I know that the mind works in pictures, but some people, the pictures arent clear (dont think of a pink elephant). Words are pictures. Even music is attached to images (if you really pay attention to what is going on). I have heard of people with no sight who see from their nose or taste buds (the mind creates the pictures). In fact, it can be argued that EVERYTHING you see is really only an image in your mind that you created (yes, it gets deep).
I am one of those "different" martial artists. I wanted so much, 30 years ago, to be a zen student! To be eastern! But i never really enjoyed that stuff. I found western ideas (or interpretations of ideas) and studied them for a period of time. Then, all of a sudden, I found i didnt have mind and taiji/bagua. I had taiji (Erle said repeatedly, Taiji is the mother). Now, it is all just one thing. People have 50 forms! I have more forms now with Erle's stuff than i did previously, but it is only ONE. How did I get there? The only way I can explain it is that it started with this simple idea.
hope that helps Josh. I havent read that article in a LONG time (i wrote it 5 months before that mag came out), so this may help clarify (or confuse) as it is how i feel today.