13. The Archer without the Bow, without the Arrow, without Target

The archer learns when he forgets all about the rules of the way of the bow and goes on to act entirely on instinct. In order, though, to be able to forget the rules, it is necessary to respect them and to know them.

When he reaches this state, he no longer

needs the instruments that helped him to learn. He no longer needs the bow or the arrows or the target, because the path is more important than the thing that first set him on that path.

In the same way, the student learning to read reaches a point when he frees himself from the individual letters and begins to make words out of them.

However, if the words were all run together, they would make no sense at all or would make understanding extremely hard; there have to be spaces between the words.

Between one action and the next, the archer remembers everything he has done, he talks with his allies, he rests and is content with the fact of being alive.

The way of the bow is the way of joy and enthusiasm, of perfection and error, of technique and instinct.

But you will only learn this if you keep shooting your arrows.