My name is Jamen Zacharias, I was just recently reading some of the posts regarding the “Path of Rest” by Dave Macdonald & found them very insightful and refreshing. As I noticed that there were further inquiries on the subject, I thought I might add a few words to get the ball rolling.
Before we begin to discuss the blossomings of the arts form, in our case the “Path of Rest”, we need to become familiar with an important aspect of human reality. As human beings, we hold within us essentially two distinct natures. One holds its expression in the animal realms, which means it is subject to instinctual, primitive behaviours & impulses.
The other holds its expression in the spiritual realms, which means it is manifest in noble, spiritual qualities such as self control, compassion, truth, humility, justice, composure, peacefulness, detachment, love, creative & scientific thought, reflection, contemplation, prayerfullness etc..
The first is therefore a natural lower response that we may expect from ourselves & others if & when dealing from that plane of our being. Animals by nature, are blameless, they can only act within the confines of there own set and determined qualities. Human beings however, can express themselves through the higher or lower natures, there fore it becomes a case of responsiblity for us to rise above primitive behaviours, by controlling them through our noble potentialities.
The lower aspects are natural, the higher must be cultured, trained, educated, thought about, practiced, striven for & exampled etc…
The Path of Rest is essentially an art form that strives to provide a path/art consistent with ones endevour to over come lower, brute like impulses and replace them with higher, more refined and transcendent qualities.
In the case of it being a ‘Martial Art’ the desire to transcend brute force, and replace it with a subtle, effortless use of force, according to justice & composure, without it being an ego driven, aggressive display becomes a goal. Of course in order to truly do this requires personal commitment to the very ideals/principles behind the form.
Examples of Form:
Dave Macdonald mentioned in his comments that the Circle of Space is a core of the arts practice. This is correct. The reason for this is that the science behind the circle of space is sufficient enough on its own to provide a vehicle for the use of more subtle, effortless, noble qualities, while successfully dissolving force from moment to moment. This is why it feels more like a dance then a quarrel. It is also a free endevour, not overly hinered by the need to memorize steps or postures, but just to function from the core. Form/technique eventually arrives as greater and more refined means reveal themselves throughout practice. To practice ‘well’ from the root of course, deserves efficiency, therefore, form arrives through the consistant demonstration of efficiency under whatever circumstances that arrive.
Therefore, locks counters and the like are also merely avenues to provide a further expression of the ideal. Therefore these techniques are not taught in a manner that may compromise the ideal, but further compliment it.
The ideal again, is simply to manifest qualities from the root of ones higher, noble nature and refuse expression from ones lower impulses.
The term R.E.S.T. is actually a symbolic example of ones personal ladder of ascent. R. stands for resistance, which constitutes the lower impulses and behaviours. E. stands for explosiveness, which constitutes the beginning of learning and thought. S.stands for subtlety, which constitutes ones absorption of ones learning into there being. In a sense, they become a true reflection of the sciences principle and form and are released from any contention with ones lower impulses. T. stands for transcendance. When one has reached this stage, even the science itself that has been learned & absorbed is dissolvable & essentially transecended. It is of a spiritual quality or divine attributes.
Thank you kindly for your interest, peace be upon you!
Jamen Zacharias www.atijkd.com