Connection And Division

Ultimately, the choice we have is between connection and division.

In all decisions, we are either moving towards or away from our goals, our desires, and each other. We are either connecting deeper with who we are, who we want to be, and with the people in our lives or we are disconnecting and becoming more deeply separated from them. Often, the correct path between these two choices is not always clear and the line between them is blurry because we are always bound and restricted by limited information.

Even the idea that we should ‘follow our hearts’ falls short when we understand and accept the complexity of human desire, will, and motive. We are imperfect creatures with limited insight into what is good and true, especially when the choices in front of us appear relatively benign, even trivial and unimportant, on the surface. The truth of what is right for us and those around us is further obscured when we add fear and ego to the equation.

Even in our imperfection, there is hope if we maintain perspective and bearing, if we understand that, even with all of the complexity, with all of the known and unknown variables surrounding our decisions, we face a simple choice in every moment, and that choice is to either become more connected with or more divided from of ourselves, our fellows, and the truth. This choice between connection and division is not always ours alone to make, but it is always within our power to choose how we respond to the process because every moment is an opportunity to seek connection or division.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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