Since Tai Chi Chuan is becoming ever more popular in the U.S. many of the teachings and much of the information surrounding Tai Chi is concentrated on the health aspects of the art to the exclusion of the martial applications. Tai Chi Chuan is Supreme Ultimate “Force” or “Fist” or “Style of boxing” and was developed as a martial art at its inception, which brings me to the thought concerning exclusion and absolutes.
There is a teaching that says “From the unreal comes the real” another discipline teaches that “Rain is real, how then can its cause be unreal.” These teachings appear to be at odds with each other and in fact contradicting. However, neither is incorrect, but both are correct. Each lesson above is appropriate for a certain level of study. As we continue to study, attaining more knowledge and wisdom we find, that which is substantial, can be at another time insubstantial. For instance, what if you come in contact with a block of ice giving the appearance of being very substantial, so much so that you could actually pick it up and move it at your pleasure. Yet, the block of ice is water moving on a slower vibration. So you move it inside your garage forgetting about the heat and this same block of ice begins to move into a more subtle form that you later call water which you can no longer pick up and move at your will.
In so much as ice can become fluid water and fluid water can become ice, when practicing Tai Chi Chuan we should be just like the water in our study and play. We should become like the water moving from fluid water to a block of ice back to fluid water as each situation presents itself.