Yes and No... and the significance of Yin Yang!


Before continuing the story of my quest for the ultimate combat technique, I take a moment to light a candle in the dark to shed light on the previous tale - which provoked many sleepless nights for some disciples and, being considered a Kouan (1), there should not be this intervention of the world of doors.


Existence and Nonexistence

"Master. I would like to understand the essence of life and death behind ultimate combat. Thus, if it pleases you, I pray that you will show me the way, if my desire is legitimate, and that you will enlighten me on the path of the warrior if possible!"

With a cold and neutral voice as usual, he looked at me severely:
"The masters who can teach you these techniques are everywhere! Go look for them, you will find them!"

It is necessary to understand that there is a principle that applies to most Masters that discouraged them from revealing their secrets when the desire, understanding and determination of the disciple is not up to their standard. Second, especially in this case... when you haven't thoroughly researched your subject, how can you tell something doesn't exist?

One year later I stood again in front of the wooden palisade of my masters' house. Hesitant and confused, I confided in him:
"Master, I have searched and searched again throughout Saigon-Cholon, I inquired by any means. I asked children and old men, but the answer was always the same. Master! There aren't any expert-masters in ultimate combat."

The grand master looked at me profoundly, as if trying to gauge my sincerity, then, with a mystical smile he said:
"These masters no longer exist in this society, come!"

Understand, while time is both a constructive and destructive agent, time was also proof of my understanding, and my determination before coming back to his home. When you've truly looked for something and haven't found it, then and only then can you truly say it doesn't exist!

Back to the story of the dog from the world without doors...

"A monk asks his Master:
'Venerable Master, does a dog have an "Original Self"?'

The Master answers:

This answer rippled like a shockwave through the disciples because according to the teachings of Buddha, every living being whether Man or animal has an Original Self.

To be sure of the correct answer, another monk presented himself before the Master with the same question.
'Venerable Master, does the dog not have an "Original Self"?'

To his stupefaction, the master answered:
'Yes! ... '"

It is a common phenomena in life, and this simplified explanation will help you understand.

A rich man that never spends his money is as poor as a vagabond; so we could say he is both rich and poor at the same time! A living being possesses an original self, but didn't use it in a past life and was thus reincarnated as an animal. Thus, the Yes and No of the old monk cuts straight through the Cartesian logic that stands in the way of truth, a logic where humans have mired themselves for so long!

The old monk is trying to move the "heart" of his disciples, by showing them a different perspective of the Yin-Yang. The teaching of the Wing Chun Nam Anh Kung Fu school touches the Path, it is thus imperative that every disciple lights his/her own candle in the vast darkness of human ignorance.

This is the real meaning behind the Kouans and anecdotes of Masters.


Grand Master Nam Anh, June 3rd 2016


(1) Kouan : A brief anecdote or small exchange between a master and his/her disciple that is either absurd, enigmatic or paradoxal, foregoing ordinary logic.


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