A short interesting easy readable story , I read it enthusiastically because I love Zen in the first place and I had such experience in gun shooting . it happened to be that the most succeed and most precise shoots were those that had not much focusing and attention from me . even in Billiards the over-attention and focusing on the ball will make it out of the pocket , that's what the master was teaching the author in the art of archery , forget everything and just let the arrow goes , and " it " will hit the target . Zen is the philosophy of letting go.
I always have a problem with "spiritual" things and try to find rational explanation for everything , I see what is spiritual in Zen , is common in nature , the experience which Herrigel spent six years to learn (he spent six years learning archery as a step to understand Zen ) is naturally embodied in animals, take the Stork for example it practices that " spiritual exercises" and the " letting go of one self " in hunting .the stork stands still for long time in the river watching fishes come and go , until the right fish comes in the right place at the right moment , then the bird pick it up in a fast and perfect way , surely there is no spiritual connection between the stork and the fish nor a philosophy of catching fishes , it just used
to do it congenital , calling this practice spiritual does not make it so , just like calling the tail a leg does not make it a leg , in another word its nature and I see there's nothing mysteries about nature .
Zen philosophy is the philosophy of nature , Zen interpret nature in such away we can understand ,certainly no one will leave the city to trace birds and snakes to take lessons in wisdom ( even Socrates is not willing to do it ) .Since we the civilized ones have taken far and separated from nature ,we see everything belong to it as mystic and incomprehensible . Zen is just the philosophy of melting down with nature and letting go of all that does not belong to it .