Our Berlin group has a Facebook group to organise.
The name of the group has changed three times in its existence. The first name was “Joseph Bartz Training“, until I became sick of seeing my own name there. I then changed the name to “my small movement training group“, but only kept this name for one minute because I felt that a group should not belong to someone. I try to avoid using the first person possessive. I much prefer to say “the participants of the training“ than “my students“. I try to make myself obsolete with the teaching; if I die tomorrow the people in the group should have the tools to continue the training. It’s the old giving someone a fish versus teaching him to fish metaphor. So I directly changed the name again, this time to “our small movement training group“. We were all happy. We kept that name for a good while.
But recently we changed names again. When we celebrated the birthday of one of our guys, at some point around one o’clock in the morning some of us started a two hour long discussion about the goals, paths and ideas of our group.
It was a great discussion.
In short, we were talking about what is of actual importance to us and our community.
Is movement the end goal of what we are doing? Or is movement more of a vessel that helps us stay afloat in a sea of metaphysical, or you could say spiritual, ideas? Should we actually care about a handstand? Or gaining more strength? Or being able to flow across the floor? Or should we not? Should we keep a skeptical distance to these things? Dancing with the ideas without getting absorbed by them. Should we become monks that find utter importance in the minuscule? Or stay fools that can only grin at such self-importance? Is the fool not actually the one seeing clearly through the things? The only one that allows himself to say the truth, that the king is a mere joke on ourselves. A narrative.
What is movement? Is it not a synonym for doing? Can we actually allow ourselves to abstract that word in a way, and come up with something we can call movement training? Is that not a mere dilemma of words as we cannot and do not want to explain what we actually do?
Should we take the machete and violently cut through the jungle of explanations of why and what for? Take all of the abstractions by the throat and choke them until they croakingly tell us “it just makes me feel better“ or “It’s a way of being“. Until we get to those simple basic truths and the fool nods to us, appreciating our honesty.
Is our movement training a drop we catch from a metaphysical fountain that is higher up the mountain? Is the water clearer further up? Does it matter if I catch a different drop? Do I just exercise some ideas that can be also exercised differently? In other words, could I take up pottery tomorrow with the same outcome? Is the intention not the only thing that matters?
How much becoming do I need to do; to be?
Can I become a fool-monk dualistic being that is laughing at himself and taking it seriously at the same time? How much sense do I need to fake in order to stay sane? How much “I do x because of y“ do I need to invent?
Six times a week I offer the possibility to forget the absurdity of our existence for two and a half hours.
This is all.
I changed the name of the group that morning. To revolt. Against ourselves. We are now called “a community with unclear goals“.
Drowning and floating at the same time.
Joseph Bartz 2017