The influence of Phosphenism in human history is significant. To truly understand its importance, one needs to be familiar with its main concepts.
The phosphenes are all the subjective sensations of light. To obtain a phosphene, one simply needs to focus on a white, opaline, 75 watts light bulb for thirty seconds at a distance of two meters. The post-phosphene that is consecutive to focusing lasts for three minutes.
All historical and cultural studies show the importance of fire and light in all human cultures. Indeed, all great spiritual or religious traditions have advocated the practice of focusing on sources of light. This fact is nevertheless misunderstood as studies have always focused on the outer form of myths rather than on the actual teachings that they provide. Dr Francis Lefebure, a French physician and scientist, was the first to demonstrate that fact. He discovered the relationship between focusing on sources of light and religious practices and designed a set of techniques for developing cerebral abilities.
Phosphenic Mixing consists in mingling an auditory thought (by repeating mentally a phrase or a mantra), or a visual thought (for example, the visualization of a movement) to the phosphene (the multicolored patch that appears in the field of vision after focusing on a source of light).
The fundamental principle of practicing with the phosphenes in the framework of martial arts is simple: do a phosphene, then induce a regular rhythm to your body (kata), together with an auditory rhythm (kiai),, and induce a rhythm in your thoughts (visualization, repetition), or practice breathing at a particular rhythm (breathing kata). Through regular practice, these rhythms synchronize themselves and awaken higher mental abilities, in a progressive though quick way.
For Westeners, the notion of martial arts mainly refers to asian combat forms, though it sometimes includes other activities: various techniques of meditation, massage, relaxation.
Then, a whole vocabulary, terminology, philosophical rethoric was added: a modern mixture of concepts from China, Japan, India, Tibet, etc.
There is a massive difference between what the first Japanese experts who came to the West would teach to their students and today‘s practice. Though the exoticism of martial arts was attractive, practice was too hard, too fastidious and was conducted with no explanations whatsoever, only through examples, thus repelling many students. The experts had to soften practice, adapting it to the Western state of mind and consequently emptying their art of its substance. Why? Because martial arts are techiques of war that deal with life-threatening situations.
In the context of the ancient society of Asia, the master of martial arts was by all means an artist as he had gone past all physical and psychological constraints, reaching a state of consciousness. Beyond all the technical aspects, it is this state of consciousness that all seeked during a search that would often last a lifetime. It is this state of consciousness that made a difference.
It was simple and natural to make an amalgam of Indian and Asian concepts, as these cultures are related. This is not necessarily easy to understand as most Asian and Indian concepts have no equivalent in Europe. Terms like ki, chakras or kundalini do not mean anything for many Europeans.
Even though these concepts are mentioned more and more in books, who can say for sure that they have ‟awakened their chakras” and explain what it corresponds to. Generally, those who claim having done so confuse perception and imagination.
Many books relate the beauty and the power of kundalini, though most authors assert that it is a dangerous force to awaken. This seems contradictory. Most authors do not accept the fact that many elements that would explain what kundalini actually is are missing.
Moreover, even though millions of people practice martial arts, there are very few Masters. The main reason for this is that martial arts have been emptied of their substance.
So, why can‘t people realise the same feats attributed to the ancient Master of martial arts? Probably because the answer does not lay in the technique.
Most martial arts have been created by mystics. The warriors who designed a technique or a form of combat have always done so in a temple or a monastery or by living in nature, outside of society, ‟according to their beliefs”.
Around 500 BC, the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma left India (where he was born) for China. He arrived at the famous temple of Shaolin, but the monks refused to welcome him. So, he meditated for nine years in front of the monastery. There, he created the internal and external styles.
The internal style (nei-chia) is meant to allow the students to understand the energetic potential that lays dormant within them and to develop and project that energy.
The external style (wai-chia) consists in violent and physical fighting techniques.
Bodhidharma also created the Ch’an which became Zen in Japan.
It is also a Buddhist priest, Wong kwang Bobsa, who created Hwa Rang Do in Korea, for an order of elite warriors who served king Chinhung (540 AD). They were formidable warriors and many stories relate their feats. Their feet were compared to swords, able to smash the wooden armour of their opponents, killing them instantly.
On an engraving depicting the Korean hero Yoo Shin Kim, we can see the famous general kneeling, hand joined. His sword is placed on a stone altar, near a vase filled with burning incense. In front of this character, stands an old man, leaning on a large staff. The title of the engraving is General Yoo Shin Kim at Mount Dan Suk, Practicing Hwa Rang Do (611 AD). It is interesting to note that the general is not depicted in combat, neither practicing with weapons. Instead, he is focusing on a ray of light that enters the cave through a small opening. Nevetheless, the title clearly states: ‟practicing Hwa Rang Do”. Originally, asian religions are all solar worships.
The basic principles of this martial art are symbolized by the yin and the yang (Um and Yang in Korean). The yin aspect symbolized the moon, darkness, flexibility, and circular movements. The yang aspect symbolized the sun, light, hardness and direct movements.
Moreover, like most martial arts, this Korean art was not considered as an end but as a means allowing the connection of the inner universe contained in humans with the Universal Principle.
The ambition of the creators of martial arts is to elevate the notion of combat to a way of developing the individual. This concept can be found in India, Korea, China or Japan. Originally, martial arts were very intimately connected to religion.
The term ‟religion” comes from the Latin ‟religare” and means ‟connecting”. This concept is parallel to the Eastern concept of ‟path or way”. It thus not surprising that mystics have expressed their faith through combat techniques. We can conclude that the active principle of martial arts can be found in Asian religions, bringing power and efficiency to those who practiced them.
We have done our best to provide you with the most accurate translation of our french website. Nevertheless, it is possible that some language errors may remain. So, don’t hesitate to contact us to communicate them to us.
Thank you for your indulgence and for your consideration of the many hours spent translating all our pages and, more particularly, all the testimonies we share with you so that you may become aware of the impact that Phosphenism can have on those who practice it.
Wishing you the best with your practice of Phosphenism.
Daniel Stiennon (Dr. LEFEBURE School Director, France)