This thread is facilitated by Ollie from our Shaolin Nordic family. Thank you, Ollie!
Happy Family Life Question and Answer 10 — Part 1
Question 10 by Karol
How to deal with betrayal?
It happens sometimes even in good, long term relationships, and causes a lot of pain.
Is it wise to keep it going in reason of children?
Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
There are different types of betrayals. Betrayals can be between friends, between husband and wife, between father and son, and between master and student.
Although there are different types of betrayals, dealing with betrayals can be the same, but different people may deal with the different types of betrayals differently. In other words, three persons, A, B and C, may have three different ways of dealing with betrayals between friends, between husband and wife, between father and son, and between master and student, but each of the three persons will deal with the different types of betrayals the same way.
A may forgive his friend, forgive his wife (or husband), forgive his son (or father), and forgive his student (or master). B may be indifferent at his friend, indifferent at his wife, indifferent at his son, and indifferent at his student. C may be angry at his friend, angry at his wife, angry at his son, and angry at his student.
To be forgiving, indifferent and angry represents three typical responses to a situation, which are good, average and bad. In real life, when betrayed, very few will be forgiving, almost none will be indifferent, and almost all will be angry. Some may want to take revenge, and a few, if not angry, will be sad.
But I have classified the responses into three categories because they are the usual responses to situations. In some situation, such as health and attitude towards chi kung, most people will be indifferent, some good and some bad.
Whether one’s response to betrayals is good, average or bad depends much on his philosophy of life. Most family members in our school will be forgiving, because that is how we have been trained. Two cardinal values in our school are wisdom and compassion. It is wise and compassionate to be forgiving.
Although forgiving betrayals in our school forms the majority, it is a rare minority in general. As mentioned earlier, very few people in societies will forgive betrayals, almost all will be angry, and almost none will be indifferent.
Why is it wise and compassionate to forgive? Leaving aside fine points of Cosmic occurrences which actually happen, betrayers may not know whether victims forgive them, but the victims will harm themselves if their response is bad, will be indifferent if their response is indifferent, and will be good if their response is good. It is wise to be good, foolish to harm themselves, and mediocre to be indifferent.
How do victims harm themselves if their response is bad, if they are angry or want to take revenge against betrayals? The negative energy resulting from their bad response will clock up their natural energy network and bring about illness. In fact, in my many years of chi kung healing, I have discovered that a lot of so-called incurable diseases are due to blocked emotions. Even if the victims are not clinically sick, the energy blockage will affect many aspects of their daily life. Obviously, it is unwise to be sick or to have poor results in daily life..
When a victim is angry, wants to take revenge or has any manifestations of a bad response to a betrayal, he (or she) not only negates compassion but actively approaches cruelty. It is not just subjective, i.e. cruel people may argue that to be cruel is better than to be compassionate, but cruelty brings harm as it causes energy blockage. Obviously, it is foolish to cause harm to himself.
On the other hand, leaving aside altruism which we believe in and value highly, wisdom and compassion bring benefits. Indeed, many people have kindly commented that I am wise and compassionate. I owe these desirable qualities to being forgiving.
Kungfu practitioners do not have internal force and cannot apply their kungfu for combat not because they do not know the technique but because they do not have the skill
When I first learned the Horse-Riding Stance, it was at the form level. This is the normal introduction to kungfu for almost all kungfu practitioners. In other words, when people first start to learn kungfu, almost all of them would start with kungfu form. Only a few, because of various reasons, may start with skill, application or philosophy.
For example, after being amazed by a master’s vitality despite his age, a person may ask, “Sifu, you are so full of vitality. Can you please teach me how to have half your vitality, or even a quarter?”
If the master is generous, he may teach him the Three-Circle Stance, and then say, “Practise this every day for a year.”
If this person, unlike 90% of other people who may ask a similar question, practises the Three-Circle Stance every day for a year, he may have a quarter of the master’s vitality. In this case, this student starts his introduction to kungfu through skill, though he still needs form to develop his skill, and he may not realise that he is taught kungfu.
Our Shaolin Wahnam students are an exception. When they start to learn kungfu or chi kung from us, they are introduced to all the four dimensions of form, skill, application and philosophy. When our students learn kungfu, they do not just learn the form, but also the skill of right spacing and right timing, applying the kungfu patterns for attack and defence, and how their kungfu training can enrich their daily life. When our students learn chi kung, they do not just learn the form, they also generate an energy flow, feel fresh and energetic, and know why chi flow contributes to their good health, vitality and longevity.
Not only kungfu and chi kung, but all arts, ranging from the simple art of asking your secretary to write a letter to sending a ship into space, may be classified into the four dimensions of form, skill, application and philosophy. Understanding these four dimensions and putting them into practice will enhance any art we practise, and more significantly our daily life.
Most kungfu practitioners focus only on form, neglecting the other three dimensions. If these four dimensions are of equal importance, they can at best have only 25% of the potential benefits. But in reality, these dimensions are not of equal importance. Form constitutes technique, and is generally less important than skill and application. Philosophy provides a map showing the routes and destinations.
A salesperson earning $2000 a month and another earning $20,000 a month use the same form, or technique, but their skill level is vastly different. More important in making their life meaningful is how they apply their earning. Whether they use the $2000 or $20,000 for liquor and gambling, or for making their family happy depends much on their philosophy.
Failing to differentiate between skill and technique is a main reason why most kungfu practitioners today cannot apply their kungfu for combat, and why many chi kung practitioners are not healthy and full of vitality. It is also a main reason why in my book, “The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan”, I mention that more than 90% of Tai Chi Chuan practitioners today are getting less than 10% of its potential benefits.
While Shaolin Wahnam students have all the dimensions introduced to them when they first learn kungfu or chi kung, it took me more than 20 years since first learning kungfu to realise these dimensions. Considering that most kungfu and chi kung practitioners do not realise this useful classification at all, 20 years is a short time.
This useful classification did not happen all at once. It was evolved, and it is rewarding to trace its evolution historically.
A section of my library of kungfu, chi kung and other books which provided me with a sound understanding of their philosophy