Sunday, 3 January 2010

Dirty Filthy Hippy Writers Rant

I have recently been reading up about breathing (chapter one breath in,chapter two breath out) , its actually quite a fascinating topic. The reason I have been reading about breathing is I have a Hiatus Hernia which is really beginning to piss me off and whilst looking that up, I got led onto the subject of breathing. I may do a future post on the subject, but a few things that have perked my interest is the strength of the diaphragm muscles and the subject of Diaphragmatic breathing; How most people in the west tend to shallow breath, the importance of oxygen to the body and how those in the east and far east have known about this type of thing all along.

On that last note, Both Yoga and Tai Chi for example, put emphasis on deep breathing. I have to admit I am very ignorant on what both the aforementioned actually are. I have decided to start with looking into Yoga and Pranayama, which is the 'Yoga art of breathing'. As well as getting the heavy duty reading material.I wanted to get something a bit light to give us an overview - and this is where the problem starts...

I really can't stand dirty filthy hippy writing, you know, the kind of book you see on someones mantle piece next to the 'health crystals'. Normally, they have a cover with a picture of a candle on it and have slugs which read 'improve your inner ding dang' and printed by some press with new age delusions.

What annoys me most is they try and emulate the great classics and fail miserably on all counts;

  • Firstly, they forget works such as Meditations, the Tao Te Ching were written along time ago in a world very different to the world that we live in today. 
  • Next the original classics are normally the collection of a lifetimes worth of knowledge, study or enlightenment - They are not being churned out at the rate of six a year to fulfill publishing quotas.
  • Probably the biggest cock up, is language. Not only the differences in the language of today and when they were written, but in the fact they have been translated. If we then look at the people who have translated these works, normally there is a list of Phd's attached to their names and they would of have scoured countless dictionaries finding the right phrases and words to translate the text to its nearest original meaning.  Take the saying for example "Every great journey starts with a small step" from The Way of Lao-tzu. A more correct translation would be "Even the longest journey must begin where you stand" or if you wanted to be more accurate in translation;"Even a 2,440 mile journey begins with a single step". The point is the translator has had to make decisions, normally backed up with a knowledge of vocabulary far beyond your average Joe Bloggs. Most certainly above and beyond that of a Media Studies /Sociology graduate who normally lend their talents to such New Age crap.
  • There are many points I could continue to rant ont, but I will end with the fact that the original works have inspired, guided and have stood the tests of time and will continue to, long into mans future. 
So I say to you existing and potential Dirty Filthy Hippy Writers - What are you doing reading this post and why are you on a computer ? go outside into the world and spend your lifetime looking for enlightment and then write your magnus opus. If it is still be quoted in say 600 years, to be fair, then I will read it. 

So back to my problem about trying to find a quick read to get the quips of Pranayama breathing. In the end I went for a book entitled "Yoga Breathing" by Scott Shaw  who seems, in all fairness, someone who really enjoys life and a good distance from Dirty Filthy Hippy Writers. I have yet to read it as I'm currently working my way through the Bhagavad Gita, but I will stick a review up here when I do. 

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