This is what she was doing. Hitting a back hand shot against the front wall in exactly the same SPOT, over and over again. Just this one backhand shot. There was another person sitting next to me who happened to be her trainer, who said that she has about forty shots that cover all the positions on the court, and she spends about one hour on each one, doing the shot exactly the same.
This player at the time was the world’s Squash champion, and had been for about ten years. An incredible feat, but more incredible is the commitment to all that rehearsal. Here’s a question for you, ‘what do we rehearse with the same passion and commitment, over and over again?
Ok, here’s a little twisted sideline that hopefully will bring all this squash playing into focus. I believe we humans are two people. One is the first person we were born into, and the second is the person we personally constructed.
It’s this construction that brings squash a little closer. In A Course in Miracles, there is a lesson that reads ‘ I give everything the meaning it has for me.’ It’s one of my favourites by the way.
What it means is this, all the world, and everything we know and understand about life is because we were the one’s that constructed that perception. If for instance we see a dangerous world, we were the one’s who gave the world those perceptions for us to see. And of course if the world for you is a safe place, the same thing counts. We were the one’s who gave the world our thoughts about it.
And now for the biggie, … just like the world champion squash player, we rehearse all our constructed meanings about life, not just an hour at a time, but continuously! And here is how we do it …
By Judgement, by contrast and comparison. When we think about deciding if a thing is worthwhile, if we like it, or if we are condemning, we do this by exercising our meanings about things.
We already have an immense storehouse of everything that we approve and disapprove of. And we are continually practicing, and weighing everything up. Every little thing, person and place, feeling, perception, … you name it we decide about it. And we decide based on all those approvals and disapprovals we made in the past.
Each time we do this judging thing, we are rehearsing over and over, every meaning we gave to everything. So at the beginning, when we were very young, these were just thoughts.
Later, with a squash champion’s determination, and a little time, these thoughts about the worthiness of things, became habits. A little later with more practice and more time past, they became beliefs, and finally after years of deciding yea or neigh, on things and people and behaviour we approve of and disapprove of, these things that started out as just thought, have now become finally, …TRUTH!
All of this immensity of practice has made us the constructed people that we are,… But what about that first person we were before all this construction changed us. Who is this person.
Krishnamurti coined the phrase ‘The Tyranny of knowledge ‘ to mean that ‘all we have so over rehearsed’ has turned into a solid immobile block of thought, that blocks our true nature.
So while in Squash, all that constructive practice can make you into a world champion, in life, those same practices turn you into a being, far removed from yourself.
In A Course in Miracles, there is a statement by one of the people responsible for bring the course to our attention. It is this, “There must be a better way!”
Maybe it’s time to start a Squash players practice in an all together different way and Overcome Adversity of all kinds. By Practicing entirely new ways to think, right into our true selves, and be happier for the change.