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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,938,130


In General Bob Dylan/O Sensei Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #19 New 09-11-2010 11:00 AM
Bob Dylan/O Sensei "Does it really matter precisely when the young Robert Zimmerman first heard Pete Seeger sing?"
Bruce Handy, reviewing Bob Dylan in America by Sean Wilentz in the International Herald Tribune, September 2010

Wow yes. That's a great question. That gets right to the essence. Knowing when and where Dylan first heard Pete Seeger sing might help you with a music history test but it won't make you a better musician.

And so does it really matter precisely when O Sensei first met Takeda Sokaku? Will knowing it make your aikido better? Even a little? One percent of one percent? Nah.

If we look forward we can have a vision of the future. We can even change the future. But if we look back the past is already fixed.

Voltaire said, "Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers."

So choose your questions wisely.

And I'll let Dylan have the final word.

the present now
will later be past

(The times they are a-changin')

poster by ROOTS UP on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/pazwaz/3471259412/ used under creative commons licence by very kind permission

niall matthews 2010
Views: 5336 | Comments: 11 (1 Private)

RSS Feed 11 Responses to "Bob Dylan/O Sensei"
#10 11-19-2010 05:38 PM
niall Says:
Thanks, Carina. Peter is right about history in the general sense. For aikido I don't think all the interminable discussions about the details of the founder's life are productive - it doesn't happen in other martial arts. So it's only of passing interest to me. The future is much more interesting than the past!
#9 11-19-2010 04:33 PM
guest1234567 Says:
I also think like Peter that if you study the past you will know what to ask.Does it really matter precisely when O Sensei first met Takeda Sokaku?If instead to meet him with 30 he had met him before, would it have change his daito-ryu jujutsu? Would his aikido then be different and affect us? No, knowing it will no make my Aikido better.
#8 09-17-2010 10:11 AM
niall Says:
Thank you vey much, David. I agree with you about influences. The minutiae of where and when are not so relevant for practical budo. Or music. Cheers, Niall
#7 09-16-2010 09:21 PM
David Orange Says:
Interesting post, Niall. I also liked the ones on Del Dennis and the lapis ring. But I'm not sure what you're saying here. I don't know the significance of when Dylan heard Seeger or O Sensei met Sokaku, but I recognize the importance that Dylan did hear Seeger and O Sensei did train with Sokaku. To appreciate Dylan, it's good to see how Seeger influenced him. And I think Sokaku's influence remains vital to the bun, bu and michi of aikido. Thanks. David
#6 09-11-2010 10:44 PM
niall Says:
Thanks, Peter! Yes. Bun Bu Ryo Do 文武両道 the way of the pen and the way of the sword - follow them both (and you are right, shi 史 history is of course bun 文). Aikidoka are renaissance men and women - also looking for a unifying (cosmic) principle of the universe!
#5 09-11-2010 09:04 PM
Hello Niall, Yes it was meant as a compliment, being first used of the philosopher Heraclitus. Of course, like good would-be samurai, we have to keep the right balance between 武 and 文, which also includes 史. Best wishes, PAG
#4 09-11-2010 08:14 PM
niall Says:
Thanks Peter. I will take cosmic fragment as a compliment. Your contributions always have particular credibility because you also do aikido and teach it. Yes of course I talked about all aspects of aikido including history with my teachers Asoh Sensei and Arikawa Sensei. But I have almost never heard any judoka talk about the founder. Same for karate. I take the Christopher Marlowe approach to aikido: ...that was in another country, And besides, the wench is dead
#3 09-11-2010 07:17 PM
Hello Niall, Ah, another of your cosmic fragments. There is one aspect of studying the past that Mr Zimmerman appears to ignored. It is possible that studying the past enables one to learn the best questions to ask about the future. Did you ever talk about this with your famous teacher, Arikawa Sensei? I did, quite often. Best, PAG
#2 09-11-2010 05:56 PM
niall Says:
Thanks for that, Billy.
#1 09-11-2010 11:28 AM
Makochan Says:
Hi Niall; I like this blog very much, as you know I like all your blogs, but this one in particular has meaning for me for reasons that you will be aware of. I also remember many time is Japan hearing people say that the question was very important, the example given was; does this train go to Kyoto? Yes it does. When you arrive at Osaka, you wished that you had asked; does this train stop at Kyoto? Best, Billy

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