Hand of the Subconscious

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain – and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

-R. Frost

 

 

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I got out of the Administrative Law exam a few hours ago.  The overal feeling: shock.  I went into that exam feeling that I knew everything.  Okay, so about 90% of the course.  But when I saw the questions? I felt as if they were worded in a way that just didn’t make sense.  I had everything I needed to know in my head– but from the sound of it, it didn’t sound like they were interested in any of that.  Overal result? I feel like I got anywhere bteween 50% to 80%.  Yeah, I know, it’s a huge swing– but that’s what exam periods are for me.  It’s absolute madness.  The best I can ever do is to maximize my chances.

I’m not pleased with the fact that the exam felt so different from all the practice exams I’d done.  But, regardless, it’s time to move on to other theatres.  The Adminstrative law front is done with– all that’s left is Criminal Law, Property, Equity and Trusts, and Contracts 2.  I can’t let myself slow down now, just need to keep everything in rein, and focus.

 

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There is a calm going through me, that I’ve been feeeling for the last seven days or so now.  I’m not sure if this equates with a state of mushin no shin, or if it’s just exhaustion and resignation to fate.  I’d like tot hink that it’s the former rather than the latter, but I’d imagine the reality is that it’s a bit of column A, and a bit of column B.

I keep reminding myself though that there’s a lot at stake here.  How much does the prospect of being hired in a foreign country depend on how much I can set myself above the average in terms of exam marks?  How much slack can I cut myself?  Probably not much– there’s no way to know for sure just how much I need until I need it, but certainly, if I can improve my chances, then that’s what I have to work on.  I just need to focus. I don’t have the luxury of time to feel sorry for myself and how nobody’s throwing me any easy pitches.

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Bruce Lee said many things regarding the ‘mindlessness’ and ‘flow’ necessary for the decisiveness in battle.  However,  I like Takuan Soho’s words better:

“The mind must always be in the state of ‘flowing,’ for when it stops anywhere that means the flow is interrupted and this interruption is damaging to the well-being of the mind. In the case of the swordsman, it means death. When the swordsman stands against his opponent, he is not to think of the opponent, nor of himself, nor of his enemy’s sword movements. He just stands there with his sword which, forgetful of all technique, is ready only to follow the dictates of the subconscious. The man has effaced himself as the wielder of the sword. When he strikes, it is not the man– it is the sword in the hand of the man’s subconscious that strikes.”

 

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That said, it means it’s time to get back to work.  Preparation.  Practice.  Persistence.  And then when the exam comes? Let the bastard write itself.

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