Bruce Lee On #Conformity & Open-Mindedness | #Mindset | #Motivation | #Inspiration

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
– Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind – Beginner’s Mind

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 10, 2019

As a preamble, it must be stated that Bruce Lee was not a conformist in any way shape or form.

Martial artist and philosopher Lee was the very antithesis of conformity.  In a modern era where the system seeks to social engineer you in more ways than you can imagine, Lee’s take on the oft-overlooked subject of conformity is monumentally refreshing and well thought-out.

Lee valued individuality far more than most.  In fact, in Striking Thoughts – Bruce Lee’s Wisdom For Everyday Living, writer John Little expounds upon this very notion:

Bruce Lee rejected blind obedience to external authority.  He urged human beings to hold themselves and their lives as their highest values and wrote in praise of “the artist of life” who lives by his own judgement…”[1][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added].

Lee also cautioned the following against conformity:

“We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate.”[2]

In this sense, imitation is not the highest form of flattery, not even close.

Likewise, Little notes that the result of conformity crisis is that:

“…we are encouraged – and have optedto look to anyone but ourselves for the answers of our most unsettling questions.”[3] [Bold Emphasis Added].

The system teaches you to search from without, not from within; away from the individual and their inner consciousness.

Due to knowledge of this conformity crisis, Lee was very careful not to impose his beliefs and knowledge onto his students.   In fact:

“[a teacher] employs a minimum of form to lead his student to be formless.  Furthermore, he points out the importance of being able to enter a mold without being imprisoned by it, or to follow the principles without being bound by them.“[4] [Bold Emphasis Added].

Lee sought for others to remain fluid, malleable, like water.  An apt analogy if there ever were one considering Lee’s timeless water analogies.

Moreover, Lee also cautioned about an individual’s knack for clinging to artistic principles which curtail an individual’s growth as an individual.  Lee warned:

“If we cling to any artistic technique it can limit our artistic expression.  Art is the expression of the self; the more complicated and restrictive a method is, the lesser the opportunity for expression of one’s original sense of freedom….If we cling to them, we will come bound by their limitations.”[5] [Bold Emphasis Added].

Freedom of expression, and freedom of creativity should always be sought after and merely clinging to any artistic system restricts this in myriad detrimental ways for all individuals.

For those following artistic systems, Lee also forewarns:

“The second-hand artist, in blindly following the teacher, accepts his pattern and, as a result, his action and, above all, his thinking becomes mechanical, his responses automatic according to the pattern – and thereby he ceases to expand or to growHe is a mechanical robot, a product of thousands of years of propaganda and conditioningThe second-hand artist seldom learns to depend upon himself for expression; instead, he faithfully follows an imposed pattern.  So what is nurtured is the dependent mind rather than independent inquiry.”[6] [Bold & Underline Emphasis Added].

Lee shows why it’s critical to maintain an open mind, clear of any previous dogmas. 

Along the same line of thought, Lee states:

Do not restrict yourself to one approach, there are different approaches, you know?…We must approach it with our own self – we are always in a learning process, where as a “style” [or system] is a concluded, established, solidified something.  You cannot do that, because you learn everyday as you grow older.”[7] [Bold Emphasis Added].

Allow me to translate: the individual is ever-learning, ever-growing, ever-evolvingA static mindset is counterproductive to that and the antithesis to open-mindedness and growth.

For those seeking truth in a world that seeks to conform, Lee also cautiously intimates:

The truth is outside of all set patterns.  Conditioning is to limit a person within the framework of a particular system.  All fixed set patterns are capable of adaptability.  [Bold Emphasis Added]..”[8]

The only way to attain truth is outside of set patterns, outside of a closed mind, which is already set in its ways.

On the very significance of maintaining an open mind against any sort of conformity, Lee states:

Keep your mind uncontaminated by past conditioning.”[9] [Bold Emphasis Added].

Just as author Shunryu Suzuki trenchantly notes in his illuminating Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind, Lee is every-steady in urging individuals to remain fluid and flexible, maintaining an open-mind, a beginner’s mind.

If the individual is to ‘adopt’ anything, Lee suggests to:

Use ‘no way’ as wayWhen there is a ‘Way,’ therein lies the limitation.  And when there is a circumference, it traps.  And if it traps, it rots.  And if it rots, it is lifeless.”[10]

Systems lead to stagnation and to decay.  On the other hand, flexibility, fluidity, open-mindedness – the open-mindedness of a beginner’s mind – allows for ceaseless learning to be had in ever moment, at every instance.  And isn’t that what life is about, learning?

Conformity is the very antithesis of learning.  Conformity leads an individual to stagnation and to hold their mind, their very being, their creativity, under lock and key.  And what is allowed to manifest, is always within the confines of a box – the system-imposed matrix social engineers seek.  That is not an approach that fosters growth.  The opposite side of the spectrum is what offers it.

A clear mind of all preconceptions – of all notions – that holds open-mindedness is they key.

And isn’t it logical that the mind of a beginner, if it is always maintained, is ever-ready, like a blank canvas, a blank page, prime for learning, for it is inherent in a beginner’s nature.

In that way, all life is learning, all learning is life; endless growth follows  – the endless growth of you; the seed of today, the juggernaut of tomorrow.

___________________________________________________________

Footnotes:

[1] John Little, Striking Thoughts – Bruce Lee’s Wisdom For Everyday Living, pg. xx.][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added].
[2] Ibid., p. xx.
[3] Ibid., p. xx-xxi
[4] Ibid., p. 90.
[5] Ibid., p. 138.
[6] Ibid., p. 172.
[7] Ibid., p. 154.
[8] Ibid., p. 149.
[9] Ibid., p. 148.
[10] Ibid., p. 154.

___________________________________________________________
Suggested Reading:

Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
Wings Are Made To Fly, Seeds Are Made To Grow
Consciousness – The Key To Life
Why A Sound Mindset Is Crucial: The Light Side Of Mindset Vs. The Dark Side Of Mindset
Mindset Mindset Mindset!
A Sound Mindset Amidst The Obstacles Of Life
Mindwaves & Mindfulness
Modern Misteps Meet Mindfulness
How You Deposit A Truckload Of Black Pearls Into An Emotional Bank Account
How Are Your (Emotional) Bank Accounts Doing?
Emotional Bank Accounts: Investing In Yourself
Emotional Bank Accounts: Mutual Funds
Emotional Bank Accounts: Deposits & Withdraws
Emotional Bank Accounts: Gems Gems Gems, Babies Everywhere!
Emotional Bank Accounts: I Call Your 7 Cents & Raise You A Dollar
Poker & Life: Pulling The Friend’s Card
Imagination Unleashed
IT’S A DECEPTICON!!!
The Inherent Power Of Curiosity
A 7 Cent Investment Into An Emotional Bank Account To Convert A Hater?
What Do You Find Inspiring?
Poker FlashBack: Swimming With Sharks, Swimming With Whales
Imagination Rises Out Of The Jaws Of Defeat
What’s Your Story?
You The Individual Are Author Of Your Own Journey, Of Your Own Destiny
Harry Potter Fans Trash Talk?  Say WHAT?!
Consciously Creating The Road Of Change, The World Of Tomorrow
What Are Your Personal Defaults?
The Opening Salvo, The First Minute
The Seeds Of Today, The World Of Tomorrow
Assumptions Are Mother Of All F@!$ Ups
Piercing Perspectives #1: Taking Things For Granted | Health & Mindset
Piercing Perspectives #2: You The Individual Are Extraordinary
Piercing Perspectives #3: The Divide & Conquer Left Right Paradigm
Piercing Perspectives #4: Poker As A Mirror For Life
The Individual, The Foundation Of Society

___________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, feel free to share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

Published by

Noctis Blackburn

Open-Minded Skeptic, Book Reviewer, Introvert, Researcher, Writer, Creativity Connoisseur, Yoga Dilettante & Carmel Macchiato Addict.

7 thoughts on “Bruce Lee On #Conformity & Open-Mindedness | #Mindset | #Motivation | #Inspiration”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s