by - C.S. Lewis
So I've been reading this book of late between airplane trips up and down the east coast. It is pretty entertaining, a challenging read, and an absolute dressing down by one author of two others that he finds to be more that a little inferior.
There are several very interesting passages and the one in my head right now is:
Our intellect makes us spirits.
Our appetites make us animals.
Reason makes us men.
If you wish to read the book online you can find it transcribed here:
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/ar ... ition1.htm
Lewis' major point thus far in the text (I'm 1/2 through the second section) is that it is incumbent upon educators to not just teach their own opinions but to impart reason in to the minds of youth. If an educator lacks a clear and fundamental understanding of reason then they will create "men without chests" which is the author's term for people who are only thinkers in the abstract or people who only satisfy their carnal appetites.
This is actually quite close (in my mind) to the age old discussion of the role kata and kihon have in training - as neither kata nor kihon resemble a fight. Without reason then kata and kihon are only empty repetitions.
It is man's reason that allows him to transform what could be only a thoughtless rehearsal into thoughtful practice.
So a student or a teacher who mechanically performs these movements in an academic cloud or performes them without thought in a rage of emotion are completely missing the point of these training tools.
Reason takes the abstract to the concrete in a reflective way that allows for discernment, consideration, and improvement.