The Eastern Keys – My Takeaway
I was attracted to The Eastern Keys to reconnect to my youth. At age 21, I went to South Korea with the Peace Corps. (Long since closed down in Korea due to their amazing economic development.)
When you’re young and stupid and learning the language, you think everyone must be spouting philosophy and Eastern wisdom. Most likely, they are deciding what to have for lunch.
Movies have such an effect on us. Asians were not all Charlie Chan, but I had to get there after watching the World of Suzie Wong. Nancy Kwan was way too beautiful. Only half Chinese, I could not get Asian women out of my mind.
What was reality? Even better. In the 1970s, being a white boy in Asia was candy store time. You were a novelty that many girls wanted to try or even exploit. I guess you are not being exploited if you are a willing participant.
During my first year of Peace Corps, I did manage to earn a black belt in Taekwondo. I worked out daily in an unheated gym down on the ocean. Pain. But worth it. While it seemed crazy at the time, the discipline helps.
No matter how cocky you feel with a black belt, you have to remember that in Korea at that time, every male served 3 years in the military. During that enlistment, each would earn a black belt in Taekwondo. And maybe even higher degrees than I had.
Potentially, any man on the street in Seoul can kick your ass. You just don’t know.
But I digress. What I also did in Korea was visit dozens of Buddhist temples. Being introduced to Buddhism in Asia is the way to experience it. Not that people really learn non-violence or become enlightened, or awakened.
But as individuals we can try.
Asians have a 5,000 year history of incredible brutality toward other Asians. You can’t put their cultures on a pedestal and accept everything without analysis. But you do have paths laid out for you to follow to live a life worth living.
That takes me to the Eastern Keys. Heavily influenced by the work of Bruce Lee, Mike O’Neal has laid out a series of steps to reboot your life and live in harmony with nature and your own self.
We know Bruce Lee from movies and TV (Kato on the original Green Hornet TV show), or at least we think we know him. I know of no other martial arts expert who studied fighting and human nature so deeply, even to the point of creating his own martial art – Jeet Kune Do.
One note: in Hong Kong, the Green Hornet was known at the Kato Show.
His power and form are absolutely perfect.
Aside from fighting, Bruce Lee’s philosophy of life has much to be admired.
You have to look inside yourself. Learn from your past mistakes. More forward.
Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful Reject what is useless. Add what is essentially your own.
I have drifted so much of my own life. No structure to speak of. No self-awareness.
Now that I’m older (age 64), I’m not done yet, but time is not on my side. I have to study all I can, and pull out what will enhance my life, reduce stress, and help me live the life I was meant to live.
But as with most systems, try it out as written, and tweak where you must.
I can sure use some revive and thrive for my remaining years.
Many of these keys will look familiar to you. And they should. If a religion or philosophy can be said to get to the truth in life, the ideas expressed will be almost identical. How many “truths” can there be?
The difference is having someone express these truths in a way you can understand.