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jeff.
06-04-2006, 12:02 PM
hey all

been thinking a lot about the word "su" that osensei used, and the contexts he used it in. as john stevens sensei pointed out, it bares a striking resemblance (in definition, as well as sound) to the word "hu" used as a name of god in islam (particularly sufism). as a comparative religions nerd, this fascinates me. further: according to a friend who has studied nordic mythology and religion, the word is "yu", which is the name of the tree that odin was / will be crucified to in the myths, but ultimately carries the same meanings as "su" and "hu" (that is: refering to the singular origin / godhead / whatever you wish to call it). fun, huh?

so.... i was wondering if anyone out there might have some info or leads on the origin of the word "su" in japanese thought and religions. i'm assuming it came via esoteric shinto or shingon buddhism (or both) to osensei. any verification of this assumption out there? and even if so, how did it get into these faiths?

any thoughts, ideas, texts, etc. are appreciated!!

thanks!

jeff.

Don_Modesto
06-04-2006, 01:47 PM
The KOTODAMA stuff is way beyond me, but you might do searches on--

The aikido FAQ with an article on it by Fred Little;

Also, see especially George Ledyard's post (#2) at:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6915&highlight=mysterious+action+kotodama

William Gleason's book The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido;

Such is the paucity of materials on this, that one cannnot ignore John Stevens' dubious writings, but in one of his books, he goes into some detail on KOTODAMA stuff;

Also, a fellow named Nakazono has written books on it. Impenetrable to me, but maybe I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Good luck.

kocakb
06-05-2006, 04:46 AM
"su" means "water" in turkish...have not thought about its origin, but I will search it. Will write you If I find also something...interesting :)

diesel
06-05-2006, 09:18 AM
This is taken from my person notebook. I found this article a long time ago.. very interesting and technical look at the kotodama ideas..
---

SU, the seed-sound of the universe. SU is the kototama of creation, the pure vibration out of which all things emanate. From this incomprehensibly dense point steam, smoke, and mist pour forth in a nebulous sphere while the kototama spirals forth, giving birth tó the phenomenal world as it rotates in an pattern. According to kototama theory U = procreation; YU = harmonization of fire and water; MU = physical birth. In Shinto mythology, SU is identified with :I Ame-no-minaka- nushi-no-kami, "Lord Deity ofHeaven's Center." The U-U-U-YU-MU progression evolves into two primordial generative forces: Takami-musubi-no-kami, "High August Growth Deity," and Kami-musubi-no-kami, "Divine August Growth Deity." Allegorically, Ame-no-minaka-nushi-no-kami is the fulcral point of creation, while Takami- musubi-no-kami and Kami-no-musubi-no-kami are the two poles of centripetal and centrifugal force which hold things together. Takami-musubi- no-kami expands, swells, exhales, and diversifies; it is most active in Spring and Summer. Kami-no-musubi-no-kami contracts, absorbs, inhales, and unifies; it is most active in Autumn and Winter. Simultaneously SU expands vertically into the kototama I. (These kototama are strikingly similar to the "simple" vowels that form the core of most of the world's languages; such vowels are the vibrant sounds that bring speech to life when combined with the more inert consonants.)

--
Take it to mean what you will. ;)

Cheers
e6

Erick Mead
06-05-2006, 11:33 AM
been thinking a lot about the word "su" that osensei used, and the contexts he used it in. as john stevens sensei pointed out, it bares a striking resemblance (in definition, as well as sound) to the word "hu" used as a name of god in islam (particularly sufism). as a comparative religions nerd, this fascinates me. further: according to a friend who has studied nordic mythology and religion, the word is "yu", which is the name of the tree that odin was / will be crucified to in the myths, but ultimately carries the same meanings as "su" and "hu" (that is: refering to the singular origin / godhead / whatever you wish to call it). fun, huh?"Kirisuto ga ‘hajime ni kotoba ariki' to itta sono kotodama ga SU de arimasu. Sore ga kotodama no hajimari de aru."
(‘In the beginning was the Word', spoken by Christ is this kotodama SU. This is the origin of kotodama.)
This quote is attributed to O-Sensei -- "Andre Nocquet Returns To Japan," Aiki News #85 (Summer 1990)( quoting the Gospel of John).

In fact, this concept of the "Word," the divine Logos, places O-Sensei in a stream of tradition that came across the Silk Road with both Buddhist and Christian missionaries to T'ang China in the seventh century where these concepts intermingled. The pagan Greek idea of Logos has referents in Buddhism even older, dating back to the Hellenic expansion into Central Asia.

The idea of the Logos, Cf. -- Shingon ="True Word"; Kotodama ="Word Spirit" came to Japan in the person of Kukai (Kobo Daishi) and in a different focus with Saicho (Dengyu Daishi of Tendai sect) contemporaneously in the early ninth century, and some elemetns perhaps even earlier than that. Between the seventh and ninth centuries the Tien-t'ai Buddhist and Christian foundations in Ch'ang-An, the T'ang capital, were reportedly cooperative in their joint translations of Indian texts into Chinese, of which the Christians had special knowledge as the Church of the East had a major center in India (Goa), and after the spread of Islam perhaps the only major center it retained.

Ch'ang-An was famously cosmopolitan during this period. Chinese Monks such as XuanZang brought back some original Indian Buddhist texts from India in the mid-seventh century, just as the Christian scholarly community was being organized and settled in Ch'ang-An. While Xuan Zang is credited with translating numerous major works of Indian Buddhism into Chinese, the only resident body of scholars in Ch'ang-An knowledgeable in Indian language that could have aided him in this regard would have been the Christian monks.

Dosho, a Japanese Buddhist scholar studied with Xuan Zang and the primarily Yogacara texts he brought from India. Dosho brought the resulting school of Hosso Yogacara Buddhism to Japan. Hosso was a variant of the Yogacara "consciousness-only" school of Buddhism, representing a kind of negative phenomalism, in distinction to the Huayan, which was focused more on a non-dual idealism.

At least one of the major Yogacara scriptures was historically reputed to be inspired by the Maitreya Buddha, the saviour figure so popular among the Greco-Buddhists in the area that is now Afghanistan. This is an earlier alternate source of the same personified-Logos-as-savior metaphysics (cognate with the nearly contemporaneous Christian formulation from common pagan Greek philosophical roots with strong dose of Persian adorational ecstaticsism) which was then going East into the Buddhist saviour schools of Amidism.

"Namu Amida-butsu." is the formula said to save the righteous from their remaining burden of karma by the action of the Amida Buddha. Compare this to the regular Order of the Christian Mass -- "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, only say the Word and I shall be healed."

For Hosso and other Yogacara schools, the impressions left by words, the signposts of the mind, are seen as the image or traces of prior perceptions of phenomena, which are themselve the images or traces of more fundamental consciousness which is the basis for all reality. Shingon took this tantric (=yoga) approach in a direction using a more esoteric discipline (i.e.- initiation into special knoweldge and a guided process, vice "direct" perception systems such as Zen( which come from a different tradition altogether).

There are more explicit suggestions of such ecumenical technical cooperation between the Ch'ang-An scholars in Martin Palmer's book "The Jesus Sutras," which covers this period of history, with English translations of primary Chinese texts. Basically, the Buddhists gained new insights from the Indian translations, while the Christian monks learned more about Chinese and Buddhist thought for their own proselytization, which the successive translated texts show they put to good use.

Kukai and Saicho came to Ch'ang-An to study in the early ninth century and brought back to Japan the fruits of these efforts. Japan received scholarly Buddhist refugees from T'ang China when all "foreign" religions (non-Taoist or Confucian) or sects were suppressed by the Tang emperors, beginning in the mid-ninth century. Whether any Christians went to Japan at this time is not known.

What is known is that a substantial Christian community and scholarly foundation existed in Ch'ang-An until it was suppressed. The Chinese prohibition was not inherently violent or murderous, but policy-driven and periodically relaxed, giving time for an orderly removal or dispersal. After 751, when Islamic Arab armies defeated Tang forces at Talas, somehwere in Kyrghizstan, the centers of Christianity in Central Asia had been overtaken by Islam, making any recourse by these Christian scholars overland westward increasingly difficult.

The Christian scholars' knowledge of Indian texts and Chinese would have been considered valuable in Japan. Given the currency and previously cooperative relationship in Ch'ang-An (Xian) between the Tantric Buddhist sects such as Shingon and Tendai and the Christian missionaries it is not unlikely at all that some may have come, at least for a short while. Even then, shipping routes existed south and west again to India, and if the Silk Road was essentially barred on both ends -- that was the only way back to then Christian centers in India.

Buddhism hung on just barely in China, and Christian teachings that had been enjoying broad exposure from the T'ang capital, all but died out as an active movement in China. There is a later suggestion that Christian scholars fleeing China may indeed have taken refuge in Japan. A Jesuit report from Japan of the early 16th century saw explicit parallels in many teachings of an ostensibly Buddhist flavor in Japan, and Christianity was initially sufficiently indistinguishable from Buddhism to native eyes, that the leaders of the country assumed them to be a new teaching of esoteric Buddhism from the West.

Suffice it to say that there are no "pure" strains of thought in this area (whatever that might mean). The Kojiki, and with it the kotodama tradition that O-Sensei followed, was written down in the eighth century, in the middle of this ebb and flow of esoteric ideas within and from mainland China to Japan. Shingon "True Word" and Kotodama are closely related developments, playing off different traditions. This concept of the divine Logos as a mediating and creative principle connecting the divine and mundane, along with the explicitly trinitarian elements of O-Sensei's thought premised on the Kojiki are not accidents.

Cordially,
Erick Mead

George S. Ledyard
06-05-2006, 11:44 AM
This is taken from my person notebook. I found this article a long time ago.. very interesting and technical look at the kotodama ideas..
---

SU, the seed-sound of the universe. SU is the kototama of creation, the pure vibration out of which all things emanate. From this incomprehensibly dense point steam, smoke, and mist pour forth in a nebulous sphere while the kototama spirals forth, giving birth tó the phenomenal world as it rotates in an pattern. According to kototama theory U = procreation; YU = harmonization of fire and water; MU = physical birth. In Shinto mythology, SU is identified with :I Ame-no-minaka- nushi-no-kami, "Lord Deity ofHeaven's Center." The U-U-U-YU-MU progression evolves into two primordial generative forces: Takami-musubi-no-kami, "High August Growth Deity," and Kami-musubi-no-kami, "Divine August Growth Deity." Allegorically, Ame-no-minaka-nushi-no-kami is the fulcral point of creation, while Takami- musubi-no-kami and Kami-no-musubi-no-kami are the two poles of centripetal and centrifugal force which hold things together. Takami-musubi- no-kami expands, swells, exhales, and diversifies; it is most active in Spring and Summer. Kami-no-musubi-no-kami contracts, absorbs, inhales, and unifies; it is most active in Autumn and Winter. Simultaneously SU expands vertically into the kototama I. (These kototama are strikingly similar to the "simple" vowels that form the core of most of the world's languages; such vowels are the vibrant sounds that bring speech to life when combined with the more inert consonants.)

--
Take it to mean what you will. ;)

Cheers
e6

Eric,
Thanks so much. Where have you gotten this information? Gleason Sensei did his Kototama training under Odano Sanae. Her take on this was largely drawn from her own spiritual experience but was not at odds at all with how O-Sensei viewed things, in fact, they were good friends, as I understand it.

THE most detailed (and I do mean complex) book on this subject in English is by Stephen Earle and it is called Words, Characters, and Transformation - An Introduction to the Art and Science of Kotoha

Stephen Earle was a student of Odano for many years, Gleason Senseo knows him well... apparently, while Gleason Sensei split his efforts by trainig in Aikido, Stephen Earle really went deeply into Odano's teachings.

Anyway, I belive that I got my copy on Amazon.

Mike Sigman
06-05-2006, 01:46 PM
Just to add a note, there were separate sounds practices recorded in China as early as the Qin dynasty in 221 BC (which means they started some time before that). The traditionally accepted first sound, usually in a series of 5 or 6 separate sounds, was "Xu" (pronounced, "Shuu"). But this practice of meaningful "sounds" also was common in India. There is and was a noted relationship between the vibrations of sounds and the "qi"; the different "kiai" sounds are meant to have a vibrational and pressure relationship to the fascia/ki structures, somewhat in the way that different notes will have sympathetic vibrations with a drumhead.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Fred Little
06-05-2006, 03:24 PM
There are a great many orthodoxies regarding "the meaning" or "the origin" of a great many "meaning-carrying-units," and when we look at those units, we often find that they are less "units" than "compounds." (And Eric's post above is a good example of just how compounded things can be when we start tracing a river upstream to its sources.)

Even asserting that there is "one meaning" or "one origin" which is "the meaning" or "the origin" is problematic, no matter how you feel about post-modern thought or French language theory.

But let me suggest that "su" is the sound made when air passes through moisture, as when a new-born's first breath passes through the residual mucus in its mouth and throat. Once the theme presents itself, a lifetime of variations follows.

FL

Suru
06-05-2006, 04:49 PM
My favorite shodo of su is on the cover of Mitsugi Saotome's "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature." Upon close examination, the dot in the middle of the incomplete circle looks like a mouse, or the shadow of one, eating with chopsticks. I wonder if that's just how the paint fell, if the ASU Shihan meant it metaphorically, or if he was just having fun. Has anyone else noticed this?

Drew

Mike Sigman
06-05-2006, 04:58 PM
But let me suggest that "su" is the sound made when air passes through moisture, as when a new-born's first breath passes through the residual mucus in its mouth and throat. Once the theme presents itself, a lifetime of variations follows. :freaky: Fred! Su or Ssu or Shu is still a sibilant, which requires some sort of restricted air flow near the front of the mouth. ;)

Mike

Fred Little
06-05-2006, 06:31 PM
:freaky: Fred! Su or Ssu or Shu is still a sibilant, which requires some sort of restricted air flow near the front of the mouth. ;)

Mike

Mike --

How many babies have you seen born with fully open mouths and lips?

Not that it takes them terribly long to get that way.....

Cheers,

Fred

Mike Sigman
06-05-2006, 06:41 PM
How many babies have you seen born with fully open mouths and lips?Actually, that was my question to you, Fred. How did you visualize a newborn baby making a sibilant sound? ;)

Fred Little
06-05-2006, 07:16 PM
Actually, that was my question to you, Fred. How did you visualize a newborn baby making a sibilant sound? ;)

I take it your answers were no and none.

You're asking about symbols and I'm talking about signs.

Best,

Fred

Mike Sigman
06-05-2006, 07:53 PM
I take it your answers were no and none.

You're asking about symbols and I'm talking about signs.It's a beautiful image, Fred:

But let me suggest that "su" is the sound made when air passes through moisture, as when a new-born's first breath passes through the residual mucus in its mouth and throat. Once the theme presents itself, a lifetime of variations follows

Let me suggest that long ago during the development of this body technology, probably in India, it was felt that "Su" or "Shu" vibrated the body in a certain "primal" way. It resonated, so to speak. Just like the component sounds of "Om". It had a practical basis, not a metaphysical one... because a lot of the religious and cosmological explanations were attempts to reconcile and explain what was seen/felt to actually happen. Somehow, as piercingly sweet as the baby image is, I just can't feel any validity to it.

But that's just my guess. Everyone is entitled to one. "You tell me your dream, I'll tell you mine". One of my favorite songs. ;)

Mike

Fred Little
06-05-2006, 08:46 PM
It's a beautiful image, Fred:



Not an image. An empirical perception.

"Pigs and fishes" is an image.

Happy trails,

FL

Erick Mead
06-05-2006, 08:51 PM
It's a beautiful image, Fred:
Let me suggest that long ago during the development of this body technology, probably in India, it was felt that "Su" or "Shu" vibrated the body in a certain "primal" way. It resonated, so to speak. But let me suggest that "su" is the sound made when air passes through moisture, as when a new-born's first breath passes through the residual mucus in its mouth and throat.
A newborn's first sound is the inhalation -- So......... "SU" is the Great Cosmic Sucking Sound ......??

Cordially,
Erick Mead

eyrie
06-05-2006, 09:01 PM
Or the sound of this thread going down the toilet... :)

Mike Sigman
06-05-2006, 09:39 PM
Oh well, this thread couldn't go too far, anyway. I think what bothers me with a lot of the complex analyses of the Kototama, the Douka, etc., is that the obvious connection to prior Chinese practices is not there in the practical sense. It's like the analyses of the Douka where the translator is apparently unaware that the literary references are not of Ueshiba's devising and that they're simply parrottings of earlier Chinese allusions, etc. All the pithy relationships suddenly go out the window, unless those factors are knowledgeably and meaningfully dealt with by a particular "learned source".

The Yin-Yang cosmology is so well meshed with the 'body technology' things that I have the (unproven) feeling that the religious connotations of "the ki of heaven", etc., are probably more blatant than we realize. "Ki" *is* sort of a religion/cosmology of the ancient times. That would explain the secretiveness and the constant relationship of Ki things to religious activities, self abuse, etc., all through Asia.

And while variations to beliefs and ritual are common, it's seldom that the key principles/beliefs are changes.... so "Su" probably reflects some transposition from either China or India. If that's true, then mulling over the Japanese view of "Su" is a waste of time. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Erick Mead
06-05-2006, 10:06 PM
Oh well, this thread couldn't go too far, anyway.
...
And while variations to beliefs and ritual are common, it's seldom that the key principles/beliefs are changes.... so "Su" probably reflects some transposition from either China or India. If that's true, then mulling over the Japanese view of "Su" is a waste of time. ;) Despite my quip, actually I don't think it is so pointless. It just helps to have a sense of the richness of the weave that others have left us before we decide what new garment to make of it, or what new embroidery to place upon it. Tradition stabilizes and provides a norm (which literally means "upright"). Innovation that violates traditon isn't worth having. Innovation that extends and emends tradition -- that people cannot do without. Whether the tradition is mine own or not, all tradition holds wisdom that any individual human being cannot. It is worth considering, which is why I took the question seriously, although some of the commentary I have not :p .

I hope that those participating here no matter how recent or of longstanding your participation in this art, will realize how much you are privileged to be part of both shaping and passing on a living tradition, that cannot really be written down in any meaningful way. Aikido is among the oldest types of wisdom in this way, despite the relative innovation in its lineage. If you think of this for very long, you realize how valuable and irreplacable each session of practice really is. If the innovations remain true to the tradition we can do no harm. If we err in any really significant way, well, -- someone out there will catch me up, I am quite sure.

Cordially,
Ercik Mead

Suru
06-05-2006, 10:28 PM
Let me suggest that long ago during the development of this body technology, probably in India, it was felt that "Su" or "Shu" vibrated the body in a certain "primal" way. It resonated, so to speak. Just like the component sounds of "Om". It had a practical basis, not a metaphysical one... because a lot of the religious and cosmological explanations were attempts to reconcile and explain what was seen/felt to actually happen.
Mike

Isn't it the repeated "uuu" or "mmm" then, that creates the vibration? Why begin with 's' (su) or 'o' (om)?

Drew

eyrie
06-05-2006, 10:42 PM
My uneducated and unsubstantiated supposition is it's not the actual syllable that is at work, but the timbre and resonance of the resultant sound wave that is the crux of the matter.

But then to my musically untalented ears, it all sounds the same.... ;)

Charles Hill
06-06-2006, 07:23 AM
SU, the seed-sound of the universe. SU is the kototama of creation, the pure vibration out of which all things emanate. From this incomprehensibly dense point steam, smoke, and mist pour forth in a nebulous sphere while the kototama spirals forth, giving birth tó the phenomenal world as it rotates in an pattern. According to kototama theory U = procreation; YU = harmonization of fire and water; MU = physical birth. In Shinto mythology, SU is identified with :I Ame-no-minaka- nushi-no-kami, "Lord Deity ofHeaven's Center." The U-U-U-YU-MU progression evolves into two primordial generative forces: Takami-musubi-no-kami, "High August Growth Deity," and Kami-musubi-no-kami, "Divine August Growth Deity." Allegorically, Ame-no-minaka-nushi-no-kami is the fulcral point of creation, while Takami- musubi-no-kami and Kami-no-musubi-no-kami are the two poles of centripetal and centrifugal force which hold things together. Takami-musubi- no-kami expands, swells, exhales, and diversifies; it is most active in Spring and Summer. Kami-no-musubi-no-kami contracts, absorbs, inhales, and unifies; it is most active in Autumn and Winter. Simultaneously SU expands vertically into the kototama I. (These kototama are strikingly similar to the "simple" vowels that form the core of most of the world's languages; such vowels are the vibrant sounds that bring speech to life when combined with the more inert consonants.)


Mr. Ledyard,

This is a word for word quote from John Stevens' dubious book, The Essence of Aikido.:)

Charles

Mike Sigman
06-06-2006, 07:48 AM
Isn't it the repeated "uuu" or "mmm" then, that creates the vibration? Why begin with 's' (su) or 'o' (om)?
Beats me. I get the idea, but I was never interested enough to get too deeply into it. If the sounds thing was still a big deal, I would have explored it more, but when I asked around I was assured that it wasn't a major factor.

"OM", by the way, is often considered 3 syllables: "A-U-M". There is a complicated byplay that has to do with the 3 tandens, starting with the one just above the perineum, then the main middle one, then the one behind the juncture of the eyebrows. These tandens are respectively are the "jin", "qi", "shen" centers. "A", "U", and "M" are the sounds used to "open" them, get them working, etc. There are a couple of pretty funky (if I may be so bold as to use the technical term) qigongs that start off with those sounds "opening" those tandens... real eyebrow raisers.

Oh well. FWIW

Mike

Fred Little
06-06-2006, 11:49 AM
Beats me. I get the idea, but I was never interested enough to get too deeply into it. If the sounds thing was still a big deal, I would have explored it more, but when I asked around I was assured that it wasn't a major factor.

"OM", by the way, is often considered 3 syllables: "A-U-M". There is a complicated byplay that has to do with the 3 tandens, starting with the one just above the perineum, then the main middle one, then the one behind the juncture of the eyebrows. These tandens are respectively are the "jin", "qi", "shen" centers. "A", "U", and "M" are the sounds used to "open" them, get them working, etc. There are a couple of pretty funky (if I may be so bold as to use the technical term) qigongs that start off with those sounds "opening" those tandens... real eyebrow raisers.

Oh well. FWIW

Mike

Not bad, Mike.

There's also a whole riff on Sanskrit lettering in there that has been largely lost in China though preserved in Japan.

Whether or not the sounds are a big deal depends on who you are asking, what that respondent sees as the purpose of his or her practice and the purpose of your question.

I just note that Bodhidharma isn't reputed to have taught meditation to his monks to improve their martial arts practice, but to have introduced martial arts conditioning to them so they would be sufficiently robust for meditation practice.

But skillful means is a way of catching people by their inclinations and using what they think they want to get them to what they actually need.

Whichever door people come in through, study only goes so far, then practice is required. A great many questions only resolve themselves with practice, a great many apparent resolutions are only plateaus.

Only reading the cookbook, one can starve in the midst of plenty.

Only taking what one grabs with two hands, one can eat raw food like any animal.

Eating, then studying the cookbook on a full stomach, one has another chance to cook a fine meal.

But you're right about one thing: almost any food is better than no food at all.

Gotta run.

Fred

bkedelen
06-06-2006, 12:49 PM
On to something constructive:
Jews are often cited as having reservations about intoning or writing the name of their god. In order to facilitate this reservation, Jews developed the tetragrammaton, essentially a way of writing the name of god in a pseudoencoded form which shields the penman from transgression. Today the tetragrammaton is known in its encoded form as YHWH. The encoding scheme entails using replacing vowels with consonants which when pronounced using the "breathiness" characteristic of the Hebrew language have an associated sound. Interestingly, the unencoded name of god contains only vowel sounds and therefore takes the unencoded form IAUE (compare YAHWEH). Therefore you can add ancient Jewish tribesman to the list of spiritual people who attach divinity to the vibratory sounds available to man via his vocal organs.

bkedelen
06-06-2006, 12:59 PM
I think what bothers me with a lot of the complex analyses of the Kototama, the Douka, etc., is that the obvious connection to prior Chinese practices is not there in the practical sense. It's like the analyses of the Douka where the translator is apparently unaware that the literary references are not of Ueshiba's devising and that they're simply parrottings of earlier Chinese allusions, etc. All the pithy relationships suddenly go out the window, unless those factors are knowledgeably and meaningfully dealt with by a particular "learned source".

My god mike. If you think so little of us and our ability to acquire meaning from Osensei's doka and quotes, why do your come here? Is there really a need to punctuate your relevant points with this type of disparagement?

Mike Sigman
06-06-2006, 04:15 PM
I think what bothers me with a lot of the complex analyses of the Kototama, the Douka, etc., is that the obvious connection to prior Chinese practices is not there in the practical sense. It's like the analyses of the Douka where the translator is apparently unaware that the literary references are not of Ueshiba's devising and that they're simply parrottings of earlier Chinese allusions, etc. All the pithy relationships suddenly go out the window, unless those factors are knowledgeably and meaningfully dealt with by a particular "learned source". My god mike. If you think so little of us and our ability to acquire meaning from Osensei's doka and quotes, why do your come here? My god mike. If you think so little of us and our ability to acquire meaning from Osensei's doka and quotes, why do your come here? Is there really a need to punctuate your relevant points with this type of disparagement? Ummmmmm.... who is this "us" you're talking about, Benjamin? And unless you flunked "reading comprehension", surely you see that I was speaking directly about complex analyses, not any particular person.... have you done a complex analysis that I've missed? Can you give me a referral or cite, please?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
06-06-2006, 04:28 PM
Whether or not the sounds are a big deal depends on who you are asking, what that respondent sees as the purpose of his or her practice and the purpose of your question. That's one perspective, Fred. Another perspective that I would suggest is "show me the substantive effects". For instance, I know and understand and have seen the substantive effects of adding "kiai" or "trial of voice" to qi/ki development. It works and adds something measureable to a person's abilities. The kototama sounds I haven't seen the same results, although I would certainly be interested in looking. If the results only give a "feeling" to someone or some other subjective thing, then I'm not too interested. That was my point. It also happens to be the point with a lot of Asians, BTW. Most of the western interpretations of the Kototama things is usually a "here's my take on it". I just can't get that interested in a "maybe". I just note that Bodhidharma isn't reputed to have taught meditation to his monks to improve their martial arts practice, but to have introduced martial arts conditioning to them so they would be sufficiently robust for meditation practice. Sure, but the Yi Jin Jing and the Marrow Washing Classic are far more clear-cut with known effects than the Kototama, unless you know something substantive you could add? But skillful means is a way of catching people by their inclinations and using what they think they want to get them to what they actually need. ???? Whichever door people come in through, study only goes so far, then practice is required. A great many questions only resolve themselves with practice, a great many apparent resolutions are only plateaus.

Only reading the cookbook, one can starve in the midst of plenty.

Only taking what one grabs with two hands, one can eat raw food like any animal.

Eating, then studying the cookbook on a full stomach, one has another chance to cook a fine meal.

But you're right about one thing: almost any food is better than no food at all. I think I just got platituded. ;)

Regards,

Mike