In Zen in the Art of Archery, the author writes,

"The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him. This state of unconscious is realized only when, completely empty and rid of the self, he becomes one with the perfecting of his technical skill, though there is in it something of a quite different order which cannot be attained by any progressive study of the art "

Is it possible that the emptying of the mind in Jordan's "Oneness" (particularly as seen in the archery scenes) comes from this source?

  • 1
    'The flame and the void' is straight out of Zen.
    – AakashM
    Apr 4, 2014 at 11:53

2 Answers 2


Possible sources :

  • Vedanta Hinduism
  • Taoism
  • Hermeticism
  • Shamanism
  • Shinto
  • ...

Pandeism (1) and Animism (2) are two of the most common concepts in religions troughout the world. Christianity is actually one of the few religions where both notions are practically non-existant. Even in Judaism and Islam, there are schools of thought (respectively Kabbalism and Sufism) based on a Pandeistic, Animistic worldview.

And if not religion and philosophy, another possible source would be psychedelics. The idea that everything that exists is interconnected and we make up but a tiny, insignificant part of that interconnected whole is perhaps thé most common perception during an LSD trip and one of the driving forces behind the hippie community.

(1) The notion that the universe itself is the highest form of consciousness

(2) The notion that consciousness is a product of complexity and interconnectivity, which means both that consciousness is very layered and that everything that exists has some degree of consciousness.


Is it possible? Yes. I dont know any source that would say that it is so for sure. The idea of emptying ones mind isnt unique to arhcery however so he could have gotten that from somewhere else. He was in the military you know, and im sure similar techniques are used when aiming with guns.

  • 1
    Not only in aiming. Every martial art I have ever studied has this element. Abandon conscious thought, as it is slow and easily deceived.
    – DevSolar
    Dec 17, 2014 at 10:56

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