It is impossible to emphasis too much the influence of Fritz Perls on Gia-fu’s thought. Through the idea of Tao as Gestalt process, we have the emergence of self as awareness ‘floating’ (somewhat) over still nature. Through the acceptance of ego/self – and the practice of attention – transcendence is reached, the blending of self and other, self and environment. Actually total involvement. Gia-fu always emphasised ‘expanding the ego’ – accepting, not trying to crush it.
He once said, “remember Richard actually to detach, you have to attach”.
Giafu easily recognised this as the ecstasy of the Taoist. He puts it quite simply in his auto-biography…and also in his later writings on Wuwei and inner vitality.More importantly he did not have a static view as regard the ego, he did not see it as something to be removed….(more to be expanded, until it popped)…No, much more realistically through the acceptance of our ego, ‘warts and all’, we come ultimately to transcend…Am I caught in action? So accept this Eventually, or instantly, as the case may be, we are moved into action. Self and environment meet, mirror and merge.I remember our first Tai-chi workshop. He found it greatly amusing to say, ‘don’t wobble, if wobble then wobble’. This sums it up beautifully.
We try our utmost. Yes how could it be otherwise? And if we fail then we accept that. Recognize the paradox of self – which is seen as a tawdry idea anyway. One famous Taoist said, when bothered by government officials, what are you doing in my house/?! This whole world is my body, and this house is my trousers. What are you doing in my trousers?!?
Yes, the whole world is my body. Viz: the sensorium.
Sensory awareness – being comfortable – was close to Giafu’s heart, along with his long walks in nature and soakings in the bath.