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Tony Sova
04-19-2008, 04:16 PM
Greetings and Sh'lama (peace),

It is a pleasure and honor to be here. Here is a quote that I would like to explore:

"The earth was born from the universe and those who flourish in that life-giving environment can directly become one with nature. They never oppose natural law," - (What is Aikido?;by Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba)

It appears that Aikido philosophy is rooted in a form of non-dualism. I am a dualist and as such I see two opposing forces of nature operating within the world, those of Light and of Darkness and never twain shall the two meet. Organic Nature is in and of itself harsh, cruel, chaotic, competitive, self-serving and merciless. This is Darkness. Most Martial Arts reflect these inferior qualities and the organic consciousness of the individuals that created them. In retrospect where Organic Nature is harsh the spirit is gentle; where it is cruel the spirit is caring; where it is chaotic the spirit is harmonious; where it is competitive the spirit is co-operative; where it is self-serving the spirit is self-sacrificing; where it is merciless the spirit is compassionate. The world is largely an admixture of these two opposing forces and as a dualist I am ever seeking to separate the two so as to align myself with the Light - the primordial origin of my spirit. In this respect I am in opposition to natural law (Darkness) in favor of spiritual law (Light). The Spirit is Light and according to my understanding Aikido appears to be characteristically aligned with the principles of Light. This brings a question to mind: can I as a dualist find success in Aikido when I aspire to separate myself from rather than becoming one with a world that is malign in nature?

In the Name of the Great Life,

- Tony

"When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside of you"

Jonathan
04-19-2008, 04:59 PM
"When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside of you"

If you really believe this, then, being God, you already know the answer to your question. ;D

Organic Nature is in and of itself harsh, cruel, chaotic, competitive, self-serving and merciless.

But it is not only these things. It is also beautiful, complex, delicately balanced, subtle, powerful, etc.

What is "the spirit" you're writing of? You say it is "light" and describe its characteristics, but you don't say, precisely, what it is.

This brings a question to mind: can I as a dualist find success in Aikido when I aspire to separate myself from rather than becoming one with a world that is malign in nature?

Why don't you try it out and let us know how it goes? :)

Tony Sova
04-19-2008, 05:51 PM
Greetings Jonathan,

Thank you for your response!

You said: "If you really believe this, then, being God, you already know the answer to your question."

Understanding the Content of O'Sensei's beliefs (I was quoting him) I would say that the quote does not imply that I am God quantitatively speaking, but, rather, more so a part of God qualitatively.

You said: "But it is not only these things. It is also beautiful, complex, delicately balanced, subtle, powerful, etc."

A clear understanding of evolutionary theory tells a different story, that nature is wasteful, inefficient, and imperfect. Hardly worthy of veneration from my perspective.

You said: "What is "the spirit" you're writing of? You say it is "light" and describe its characteristics, but you don't say, precisely, what it is."

Yes, I was deliberately trying to express my beliefs in generalizations without revealing their religious origins. I am a Gnostic, specifically a Nazorean of the Magussaean Gnosis originating within the ancient Aramaean-Chaldean mileau of the pre-Assyrian Empire. Spirit then is the immaterial aspect of humanity that is trapped in this material world and manifests itself as Consciousness. Light is but a symbol of this meta-physical concept.

You said: "Why don't you try it out and let us know how it goes?"

A good suggestion but to 'try it out' requires an investment or certain amount of 'faith' in its perspective value. It is unwise to marry someone without having gotten to know them first through the gradual cultivation of a relationship. Likewise I prefer to get to know Aikido through undertstanding its philosophy so as to determine whether it is worth taking it further.

I do not seek to engage in it for self-defense, though I am sure it has something to offer in this regard, but, rather, for its spiritual application within a physical context so as to enhance my approach to the grappling arts of which I engage in. It is O'Sensei's spiritual potency that has drawn me to its manifest expression in the form of Aikido.

Thank you for taking an interest in my post.

Sincerely,

- Tony

"When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside of you."

mathewjgano
04-19-2008, 06:44 PM
Greetings and Sh'lama (peace),

It is a pleasure and honor to be here. Here is a quote that I would like to explore:

"The earth was born from the universe and those who flourish in that life-giving environment can directly become one with nature. They never oppose natural law," - (What is Aikido?;by Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba)

It appears that Aikido philosophy is rooted in a form of non-dualism. I am a dualist and as such I see two opposing forces of nature operating within the world, those of Light and of Darkness and never twain shall the two meet.[/I]

I suppose it depends on what it is you're trying to be sucessfull at. Certainly a person can find something useful in Aikido regardless of their philosophical bent. What you're talking about seems largely a matter of perspective...how you organize the world around you. And while for all I know that may affect your training, I don't know how. There are plenty of Christian Aikidoka who seem to find Aikido providing some level of success for them and they certainly often believe in the light/dark duality.

Jonathan
04-19-2008, 07:34 PM
A clear understanding of evolutionary theory tells a different story, that nature is wasteful, inefficient, and imperfect. Hardly worthy of veneration from my perspective.

As much as I'd like to discuss the significant flaws in the Evolutionary Theory with you, this doesn't seem to be the place to do so.

I wouldn't urge "veneration" of Nature, but even in spite of your objections, admiration certainly seems warranted. I can't look at a blazing sunset and say, "Yeesh! What a waste!" or watch a cheetah running and think, "He shoulda' been born with wheels, not legs!" No, instead, I find myself staring at the vast expanses of stars that fill the night sky and feeling very much in awe.

Yes, I was deliberately trying to express my beliefs in generalizations without revealing their religious origins. I am a Gnostic, specifically a Nazorean of the Magussaean Gnosis originating within the ancient Aramaean-Chaldean mileau of the pre-Assyrian Empire.

Goodness! That's a mouthful! Sounds almost aristocratic!

Spirit then is the immaterial aspect of humanity that is trapped in this material world and manifests itself as Consciousness. Light is but a symbol of this meta-physical concept.

Ah, I see. You mean what others refer to as the human soul. I probably could have got that without the Gnostic lineage thing.;)

A good suggestion but to 'try it out' requires an investment or certain amount of 'faith' in its perspective value. It is unwise to marry someone without having gotten to know them first through the gradual cultivation of a relationship. Likewise I prefer to get to know Aikido through undertstanding its philosophy so as to determine whether it is worth taking it further.

For myself, the religious stuff that O-Sensei was into I ignore entirely as I practice Aikido. The philosophical idea of harmony and peace with people, however, is a prime factor in my training. Am I doing Aikido if I'm not a follower of Omoto-kyo, or adhere to some oriental, dualistic religion like O-Sensei? I think so, and so do most of his direct students. My point is, if you want to inform yourself about the religious ideas held by O-Sensei, practicing Aikido may not be the best way to do so. Very few Aikido instructors will make any reference to O-Sensei's religious views at all. If you want to "marry" into O-Sensei's religious beliefs, get to know those beliefs through books on the subject, not practice of Aikido.

Thank you for taking an interest in my post.

You're welcome!:)

SeiserL
04-19-2008, 09:30 PM
can I as a dualist find success in Aikido when I aspire to separate myself from rather than becoming one with a world that is malign in nature?
IMHO, yes. Physically practice with the spiritual intent you profess and you should be just fine. Many people find success in Aikido without religiously converting to Shinto/Omoto. Get on the mat and enjoy yourself. Welcome.

gdandscompserv
04-20-2008, 12:20 PM
Organic Nature is in and of itself harsh, cruel, chaotic, competitive, self-serving and merciless. This is Darkness.
Do you not see the light? "Organic Nature" is the giver of our lives as well.

Michael Douglas
04-20-2008, 05:39 PM
Dang, I thought he said 'duellist', I was hoping for some swordy swordy action.

gdandscompserv
04-20-2008, 05:41 PM
Dang, I thought he said 'duellist', I was hoping for some swordy swordy action.
funny

Ketsan
04-20-2008, 05:46 PM
Greetings and Sh'lama (peace),

It is a pleasure and honor to be here. Here is a quote that I would like to explore:

"The earth was born from the universe and those who flourish in that life-giving environment can directly become one with nature. They never oppose natural law," - (What is Aikido?;by Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba)

It appears that Aikido philosophy is rooted in a form of non-dualism. I am a dualist and as such I see two opposing forces of nature operating within the world, those of Light and of Darkness and never twain shall the two meet. Organic Nature is in and of itself harsh, cruel, chaotic, competitive, self-serving and merciless. This is Darkness. Most Martial Arts reflect these inferior qualities and the organic consciousness of the individuals that created them. In retrospect where Organic Nature is harsh the spirit is gentle; where it is cruel the spirit is caring; where it is chaotic the spirit is harmonious; where it is competitive the spirit is co-operative; where it is self-serving the spirit is self-sacrificing; where it is merciless the spirit is compassionate. The world is largely an admixture of these two opposing forces and as a dualist I am ever seeking to separate the two so as to align myself with the Light - the primordial origin of my spirit. In this respect I am in opposition to natural law (Darkness) in favor of spiritual law (Light). The Spirit is Light and according to my understanding Aikido appears to be characteristically aligned with the principles of Light. This brings a question to mind: can I as a dualist find success in Aikido when I aspire to separate myself from rather than becoming one with a world that is malign in nature?

In the Name of the Great Life,

- Tony

"When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside of you"

One part enters, one part retreats. Normally we call it tenkan.

HarlieG
04-20-2008, 06:26 PM
A good suggestion but to 'try it out' requires an investment or certain amount of 'faith' in its perspective value. It is unwise to marry someone without having gotten to know them first through the gradual cultivation of a relationship. Likewise I prefer to get to know Aikido through undertstanding its philosophy so as to determine whether it is worth taking it further.

I do not seek to engage in it for self-defense, though I am sure it has something to offer in this regard, but, rather, for its spiritual application within a physical context so as to enhance my approach to the grappling arts of which I engage in. It is O'Sensei's spiritual potency that has drawn me to its manifest expression in the form of Aikido.



For myself, I find it hard to separate the 'spiritual' side of aikido from the physical practice. Thus if you really want to find out, you are going to have to try it.....just reading about it or typing about it on the internet isn't going to lead you anywhere.....

George S. Ledyard
04-21-2008, 11:46 AM
Yes, I was deliberately trying to express my beliefs in generalizations without revealing their religious origins. I am a Gnostic, specifically a Nazorean of the Magussaean Gnosis originating within the ancient Aramaean-Chaldean mileau of the pre-Assyrian Empire. Spirit then is the immaterial aspect of humanity that is trapped in this material world and manifests itself as Consciousness. Light is but a symbol of this meta-physical concept.


Damn, I thought you guys disappeared after the Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade...

Anyway, obviously you can practice Aikido but I don't see any possibility that you could understand the Founder's Aikido from your spiritual perspective. For the Founder, conflict is an illusion caused by a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the Universe. The source of all creation was a single unified source. Manifest creation comes from the interaction of fire and water (yin / yang or in / yo). Opposites always exist as movement, part of the kokyu of the universe but they are not at war with each other and there is no opposition.

So, the conflict of which you speak, the fundamental opposition of light and dark doesn't exist in Aikido and, in fact, the art is based on reconciling these opposites. The Kannagara no Michi or Way of the Kami is about purifying ones own spirit to the point at which ones will is brought into accord with the Kami. In this state there is no conflict.

Frankly, I think your way of thinking is opposed to the spirit of Aikido as I currently understand what the Founder had in mind. I don't think it would make any difference in your practice initially but I think that in thirty or forty years of training your Aikido would necessarily become something different from what someone's practice might be who was more in line with the Founder's viewpoint (and the vast majority of Asian spiritual tradition).

dragonteeth
04-21-2008, 03:56 PM
Okay I'm gonna go waayyyy out on a limb here, and hopefully won't have to practice any virtual ukemi. My knowledge of Gnostic beliefs stems more from the amateur study of early Christian history and the alternative religious texts and sects floating around at that time, and as such is very rudimentary.

That said, please allow me to quote from the 32 Fold Confession of the Order of Nazorean Essenes.

New Moon

I. If, O Great Life, we have sinned in any way against the five kinds of living beings: the two-legged, four-legged, those that fly, those in the waters, or those that crawl on their bellies -- if we should have hurt or frightened them, stolen or used their milk, eggs, or body parts in any manner, participated in the preparing, serving or eating of their flesh or oozings, or benefited directly or indirectly from their death or torture - then we now, O Great Life, pray to be forgiven.

My (again amateur) understanding of O Sensei's ideas of being in harmony with nature is that of protecting nature, living in harmony with it rather than destroying it, and seeking to live in harmony with others around us. If one honors nature and living things the way the above confession indicates, I don't see how that is in conflict with O Sensei's teachings on harmony with nature, except that to my knowledge he did not go to that extreme. One of the 32 Commandments of the Order forbids contamination, including the contamination of the environment. Again, I see that as perfectly in line with what O Sensei taught and what others after him have also said. I do have to ask in sheer ignorance and honest curiosity, however - if nature is so evil and the natural world was created by dark forces deserving of no reverence, then why do you seem to have laws and confessions that seem to hold the earth and all of its life in such high regard?

When I think about aikido and religion (especially in regards to my own odd little Zen Christian thoughts), oddly enough a commercial comes to mind. Do you remember a few years ago when BASF was running a series of commercials to build their brand identity and awareness? They'd say things like "We don't make the snowboard, we make it faster," "we don't make the paint, we make it brighter," etc. That's how I look at aikido. Aikido does not make the religion. Aikido makes it stronger, brighter, harmonious, deeper, whether you're Shinto, Christian, Buddhist, athiest/humanist, or whatever. Take from aikido that which makes your faith stronger and your life more enlightening and fulfilling, then smile and nod at the rest of it. I think that's what most of us do anyway. :o

mathewjgano
04-21-2008, 04:38 PM
My (again amateur) understanding of O Sensei's ideas of being in harmony with nature is that of protecting nature, living in harmony with it rather than destroying it, and seeking to live in harmony with others around us.
...When I think about aikido and religion...Aikido makes it stronger, brighter, harmonious, deeper, whether you're Shinto, Christian, Buddhist, athiest/humanist, or whatever. Take from aikido that which makes your faith stronger and your life more enlightening and fulfilling, then smile and nod at the rest of it. I think that's what most of us do anyway. :o

That's very much in line with my own (amateur) understanding as well. The only possible conflict I can see is one of perception regarding the fundemental nature of existance: whether or not it's a duality or a singularity at its most fundemental level. As an agnostic, I'm not sure that's a knowable/applicable set of information, but the practical applications of harmonizing/joining/entering seem to apply pretty readily to an enormous range of relationships. It's that aspect which I think makes Aikido so universal. Like Sensei Ledyard said, it may make a difference later on down the road, but I think the bulk of one's Aikido training would probably be pretty useful.
As a side note, I know of several Christians who practice Shinto (not unlike your own Zen Christian description I imagine) and find it profoundly complimentary. In the same way I imagine a dualist can appreciate a Natural philosophy.

Erick Mead
04-21-2008, 04:41 PM
A clear understanding of evolutionary theory tells a different story, that nature is wasteful, inefficient, and imperfect. Hardly worthy of veneration from my perspective. Or, the Source of Nature is profligate, abundant and given to revel in excess, and innumerable inventions --- some which might even work ...

... I am a Gnostic, specifically a Nazorean of the Magussaean Gnosis originating within the ancient Aramaean-Chaldean mileau of the pre-Assyrian Empire. Spirit then is the immaterial aspect of humanity that is trapped in this material world and manifests itself as Consciousness. Light is but a symbol of this meta-physical concept. Oh Mani, we hardly knew ye ...

Likewise I prefer to get to know Aikido through undertstanding its philosophy so as to determine whether it is worth taking it further. NOT possible. The only way to understand the spirit of Aikido is to DO the carnal action of aikido ( .. ooh that sounds -- naughty -- (except it isn't)) Aikido is a profoundly embodied spirit -- I would say ..., incarnational, even.

Unfortunately for you, you cannot make the spiritual judgment of it unless you have the physical experience of it. Now, if you were presuppose, as all good dualists must, that all physicality is opposed to the Light, then you must reject aikido out of hand (indeed, you must reject all grappling arts or other physical self-defense as evil per se). (Where is a Bogomil when you need one ? Oh wait, they all died or converted. )

If you dismiss this spirituality in advance of experiencing it -- then you have made a judgment without the key facts. But, since the spirit of aikido can only be understood through the body, merely trying it acknowledges that something spiritual can only be understood through a physical instrumentality, which denies dualism.

Some days it is perilous to get out of bed, and ponder the theological implications of one's cup of coffee.

mathewjgano
04-21-2008, 05:36 PM
NOT possible. The only way to understand the spirit of Aikido is to DO...aikido...Aikido is a profoundly embodied spirit...
I would agree that doing Aikido is the best way of knowing it, but I'm not convinced the only way to achieve an understanding of it (which exists as a graduated thing) is through doing it. One can gain some understanding through contemplation of familiar concepts. For example I understood aspects of Aikido long before I learned of the proper noun. Part of the reason I began studying it was because it already made sense to me (ie-the basic philosophy fit with my preexisting perceptions). Over time that's only been reinforced as that understanding has deepened through the actual practice (though I still consider myself to be wading in the shallow end of the proverbial pool of understanding).

But, since the spirit of aikido can only be understood through the body, merely trying it acknowledges that something spiritual can only be understood through a physical instrumentality, which denies dualism.
Insofaras experience itself is a physical thing (perception being filtered through the physical brain and senses) I'm not sure this brand of dualism takes all physicality to be bad (thus it's not necessarily a denial of learning by doing), but rather that it tends toward the bad, allowing for the idea that some virtue may be gleaned through the physical...though to be honest I'm not familiar with the original poster's school of thought. My understanding of gnosticism is that it is more of a mystical approach, which demands direct interaction with virtue in order to understand it (as opposed to revelatory practices in which someone tells you what is and is not good).

Erick Mead
04-21-2008, 05:54 PM
... As a side note, I know of several Christians who practice Shinto (not unlike your own Zen Christian description I imagine) and find it profoundly complimentary. In the same way I imagine a dualist can appreciate a Natural philosophy.I doubt it. Shinto thought is very non-dual, even apart from Buddhist influence. The Shinto understanding of kami is that they are all attached to particular mono "things," -- save only the Shinto creator "trinity" who are deemed to be "hidden." Those are: Ame no Minakanushi no Kami, Takamimusubi no Kami, and Kamimusubi no Kami. The first is the "Lord of the Center of Heaven," and the latter two of which respectively have charge of the visible and invisible aspects of creation. Not so far off actually, from God, the Father Lord of Heaven and Earth, the Incarnate Son (through whom all things were made), and the Holy Ghost ("the Lord, the giver of life", the "divine spark"). O Sensei, several times, made this quite explicit, referring to the kotodama ("word spirit") of Creation "Su" as denoting "the Lord" and as referring to "the Logos" -- the divine "Word" of creation in Christian theology. He even made refernce to to the spirit of "aiki" being identified with the Archangel (kami?) St. Michael's appearance in the Book of Daniel.

That basic debate about deep consonance between beliefs has been going on -- in Japan -- since before Norinaga wrote Kojiki-Den. Several native authors in the Nineteenth century Nativist revival (Kokugaku) believed Japan to have an independent source of ancient revelation -- long prior to that of St. Francis Xavier, even -- that is nonetheless consistent with substantial aspects of the Christian understanding of divine truth. There is nothing in the teaching of the Church that precludes this being a reality, and several dogmatic doctrines assume it to be universally true of all human cultures, to greater or lesser extent, in any given case. .

mathewjgano
04-21-2008, 06:25 PM
I doubt it.
You doubt that there are folks who find Christianity and Shinto to be complimentary?

Shinto thought is very non-dual,
My understanding is that duality can be viewed as a relationship existing within the singularity that is existance.

...Not so far off actually, from God, the Father Lord of Heaven and Earth, the Incarnate Son (through whom all things were made), and the Holy Ghost ("the Lord, the giver of life", the "divine spark"). O Sensei, several times, made this quite explicit, referring to the kotodama ("word spirit") of Creation "Su" as denoting "the Lord" and as referring to "the Logos" -- the divine "Word" of creation in Christian theology. He even made refernce to to the spirit of "aiki" being identified with the Archangel (kami?) St. Michael's appearance in the Book of Daniel.
How does this contend with my assertion that a dualistic paradigm like Christianity tends to be can be complimentary with a non-dualistic one like Shinto? You seem to be agreeing with me and doubting me at the same time.
Sorry if I'm missing something.
Take care,
Matt

Erick Mead
04-21-2008, 06:51 PM
You doubt that there are folks who find Christianity and Shinto to be complimentary? ... You seem to be agreeing with me and doubting me at the same time. How does this contend with my assertion that a dualistic paradigm like Christianity tends to be can be complimentary with a non-dualistic one like Shinto?.. Sorry if I'm missing something. In the same way I imagine a dualist can appreciate a Natural philosophy.
I doubt it.
Does that help?

Christianity is not dualistic:

"For in him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28.
Paul was quoting Epimenides, actually.

This can be seen most clearly in looking at Gnosticism, by contrast, which very much is.

Tony Sova
04-22-2008, 06:48 AM
Greetings and Sh’lama (Peace),

Thank you all for taking the time to give me your opinions on my question I truly appreciate it.

Sensei Ledyard said: “Damn, I thought you guys disappeared after the Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade...”

Ah yes, we are a determined bunch. Yet can that which is infinite ever truly disappear ?

Sensei Ledyard said: “So, the conflict of which you speak, the fundamental opposition of light and dark doesn't exist in Aikido and, in fact, the art is based on reconciling these opposites.”

This is good to know. The Nazorean perspective is that the two are irreconcilable and as such we seek to extirpate the darkness from the Light so that we may actualize our inherent divinity and attain union with God.

Sensei Ledyard said: “Frankly, I think your way of thinking is opposed to the spirit of Aikido as I currently understand what the Founder had in mind.”

Perhaps on this important point my view is in opposition to the founders yet there are other beliefs that we have in common. Many of his views are quite ‘Gnostic’ in character.
******************************************************************************

Lori Snidow said: “I do have to ask in sheer ignorance and honest curiosity, however - if nature is so evil and the natural world was created by dark forces deserving of no reverence, then why do you seem to have laws and confessions that seem to hold the earth and all of its life in such high regard?”

I’m truly impressed! Though I am affliated with O:N:E my views are not in direct accordance with theirs. To clarify – It is not organic matter that is evil, a point that I did not specify and elaborate on in my previous post, and a form of dualism that often gets confused with the academic understanding of Manichaean dualism, but, rather, it is ‘hyle’ or psychic energy that is most vulnerable to dark influence. When I speak of Nature it is in the qualitative sense meaning whose nature. Thus according to the Nazorean perspective we are here to experience this dark world in order to help us better grasp and appreciate the benevolent nature of the Living God and subsequently our own divine nature. We hold all life in high regard because that is a characteristic of benevolence- the divine quality of our Spirits.

Lori Snidow said: “Aikido does not make the religion. Aikido makes it stronger, brighter, harmonious, deeper, whether you're Shinto, Christian, Buddhist, athiest/humanist, or whatever. Take from aikido that which makes your faith stronger and your life more enlightening and fulfilling, then smile and nod at the rest of it. I think that's what most of us do anyway. ”

That is good advice, thank you. In many ways I feel that my dualistic beliefs actually enhance many of O’Sensei’s spiritual teachings.
******************************************************************************

Erick Mead said: “Or, the Source of Nature is profligate, abundant and given to revel in excess, and innumerable inventions --- some which might even work ...”

Indeed, the anatomical perfection of a carnivore works quite well for its intended purpose – killing. A mind that could conceive of such an ‘invention’ as you say must be malignant in nature.

Erick Mead said: “Oh Mani, we hardly knew ye ...”

Clever, but Chaldean Magussaeanism pre-dates Mani by several millennia.

Erick Mead said: “Unfortunately for you, you cannot make the spiritual judgment of it unless you have the physical experience of it.”

That is incorrect. If the philosophy behind it is flawed there would be no need to go any further to make a ‘spiritual’ judgment of it.

Erick Mead: “Now, if you were presuppose, as all good dualists must, that all physicality is opposed to the Light,”

Contrary to your belief it is not a pre-requisite for a dualist to believe ‘that all physicality is opposed to the Light’. Physicality (matter) in and of itself is neutral in my view.

Eric Mead said: ”But, since the spirit of aikido can only be understood through the body, merely trying it acknowledges that something spiritual can only be understood through a physical instrumentality, which denies dualism.”

You mistakenly presuppose “that something spiritual can only be understood through a physical instrumentality”. Enlightenment is not attained through the body i.e. the senses, but, more correctly through the spirit that inhabits the body. Without the spirit the physical body is useless which actually confirms dualism my friend.

Erick Mead said: “Some days it is perilous to get out of bed, and ponder the theological implications of one's cup of coffee.”

I’d switch to green tea if I were you. It’s high in anti-oxidants.

Regards,

- Tony

Erick Mead
04-22-2008, 09:53 AM
The Nazorean perspective is that the two are irreconcilable and as such we seek to extirpate the darkness from the Light ... Many of his views are quite ‘Gnostic' in character. ...To clarify -- It is not organic matter that is evil, ... but, rather, it is ‘hyle' or psychic energy that is most vulnerable to dark influence. When I speak of Nature it is in the qualitative sense meaning whose nature. This discussion is worthwhile because it makes explicit an implicit dualism that underlies many problems in thinking about aikido. And that is precisely the dualism of which I speak -- good versus evil spirit-- in Christian teaching there is no independent existence of evil -- darkness is defined only by the privation of light. And so it is for Ueshiba of Aikido:

"There is no discord in love. There is no enemy of love. A mind of discord, thinking of the existence of an enemy is no more consistent with the will of the kami."

"Good and evil beings are all one united family in the world. Aikido leaves out any attachment. Aikido does not call relative affairs good or evil. Aikido keeps all beings in constant growth and development and serves for the completion of the universe."

O Sensei's views are NOT gnostic. There is NO secret knowledge to be imparted -- you just have train honestly in the basics of the art -- and be mindful of WHAT you are DOING when you are doing it.
" "In these teachings listen most to the rhythm of the strike and thrust, to train in the basics (omote), is to practice the very secrets of the art." "Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere." Progress? When you have trained and when you have the unseen things, look not for "Secret Teachings" for all is there, before your eyes.""This is not mere theory. You practice it. Then you will accept the great power of oneness with Nature."

Erick Mead said: "Or, the Source of Nature is profligate, abundant and given to revel in excess, and innumerable inventions --- some which might even work ..."

Indeed, the anatomical perfection of a carnivore works quite well for its intended purpose -- killing. A mind that could conceive of such an ‘invention' as you say must be malignant in nature. No, merely that my individual understanding of death and suffering are not adequate to the task. Even Buddhism recognizes this. The problem is not malignant intent -- but creativity in the context of finitude. Were the wolf to leave the sheep unmolested, there would be sheep without limitation. They would consume their finite fodder. Then there would be no fodder, no sheep -- and no wolf.

Aikido lives in the heart of this problem -- engendering creativity in the narrowest and most significant circumstance of active attack. It is of necessity both dark and light. It is both sheep and wolf. Or if you prefer it as the Psalmist says -- "The night and the day are both alike."

Darkness has a purpose -- only in the context of light. We are unable to perceive the depth in reality without the shadows that bring it into relief. It brings things into relief -- from a perspective of limited two dimensional view we can perceive, if imperfectly, the further depth of form and reality that exists beyond our direct perception.

The shadows cast as the light moves on its subject place some things now in light -- and now in shadow. But the fault is neither in the light nor the shadow framed nor in the subject but in our limited perception. We can try to turn our backs to the source of the light, whether from disregard of it -- or in a misguided attempt to see in the same way as the source sees -- directly and therefore without shadow. But then we see only the shadow our own form casts in front of us. We cannot cast our own light.

Erick Mead said: "Unfortunately for you, you cannot make the spiritual judgment of it unless you have the physical experience of it."

That is incorrect. If the philosophy behind it is flawed there would be no need to go any further to make a ‘spiritual' judgment of it. Really? I give witness and simply tell you, whether you choose to believe me or not, the philosophy of Aikido does not exist in words that you may adequately comprehend unless you first have a depth of experience in the action it refers to.

Aiki is a primary quality of perception -- even though a subtle one -- it is not a derivative or abstracted aspect amenable to purely philosophical appreciation -- at least not until you have perceived it. You may as well say that one can understand the taste of absinthe, philosophically, without ever tasting it, and without having had a less complex mere anisette to contrast it with.

Contrary to your belief it is not a pre-requisite for a dualist to believe ‘that all physicality is opposed to the Light'. Physicality (matter) in and of itself is neutral in my view. Or they are of one substance and fundamentally good, though in need of serious repair and reconnection. On this, O Sensei and Christianity are clearly in one accord.

The understanding of Ki -- which in Aikido is a physical understanding -- I will emphasize -- there is light ki and heavy ki. In Chinese thought, one makes physical light and the other makes solid matter. And everything in between is in mixtures of them -- in-yo. In terms of physics it is wave-forms. Thus, visible or invisible, I have one thing that explains many things. You, on the other hand have two things to explain, supposedly independent of one another, good spirit and evil spirit, and actually, three things, since you maintain that matter is neutral between them.

Suffice it to say that in the physical world -- light and matter are fundamentally one in both Eastern and Western understandings, and that if the spiritual world is actually dual then it is you as an advocate of spiritual dualism that have the burden to show the reason for the disparity.

-- Chaldean Magussaeanism pre-dates Mani by several millennia.Yes, but we know where the Magi went ...

You mistakenly presuppose "that something spiritual can only be understood through a physical instrumentality". Enlightenment is not attained through the body i.e. the senses, but, more correctly through the spirit that inhabits the body. Without the spirit the physical body is useless which actually confirms dualism my friend. I don't presuppose. I know -- by actual experience -- that it cannot be understood any other way. And I tell you, my friend, as a matter of direct experience, that aikido is learned through the body instructing the mind, which instructs the body. There is only endless cyclic motion, there is not division. Without the form of the body to ground perception, spirituality is in vain.

I may believe my philosophy invincible, but the bokken about to strike my philosophically impregnable skull may have a different opinion on the matter. ;) Sooner or later, everyone gets their philosophy whacked upside the head. There is more spiritual learning to be gained in that split second than in ten years of quiet sitting. The problem is getting to the point of honing perception to an edge that slices finely enough to gain from a nearly infinite benefit contained in that brief moment.

Erick[/url] Mead said: "Some days it is perilous to get out of bed, and ponder the theological implications of one's cup of coffee."

I'd switch to green tea if I were you. It's high in anti-oxidants.
Swing ... and a miss --

"Coffee is number one source of antioxidants" http://www.physorg.com/news6067.html

Dan Rubin
04-22-2008, 11:07 AM
You doubt that there are folks who find Christianity and Shinto to be complimentary?

I've never considered them to be complimentary. ("I find your concept of the origin of the universe to be fascinating." "Why, thank you, I find your explanation to be fascinating, too.")

Now, as for them being complEmentary, well, that's open to discussion.

:)

mathewjgano
04-22-2008, 12:15 PM
I've never considered them to be complimentary. ("I find your concept of the origin of the universe to be fascinating." "Why, thank you, I find your explanation to be fascinating, too.")

Now, as for them being complEmentary, well, that's open to discussion.

:)
Heheheh...dough! Well on "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader" I'm sad to say it's the spelling problems I'd probably flunk out on.

ChrisMoses
04-22-2008, 12:34 PM
I'd say it would depend on the Aikido dojo. It sounds like you're going to be bringing a lot of baggage into the dojo about what you *think* Aikido is already. That doesn't work where I train, but we're not a public dojo so we're free to pick and choose who trains with us. I would talk to any prospective teacher about your concerns/worldview and see if what they think.

mathewjgano
04-22-2008, 12:55 PM
Does that help?
It does, thank you.

Christianity is not dualistic...
[Gnosticism, by contrast, very much is.]

It appears I was operating within the topic of moral dualism without realizing it.
That there are supposedly two eternal sources, one of good and the other of evil, seems to imply to me a sort of de facto duality (other than moral duality), but I digress. When it comes to most things, I'm definately a lay person and you seem to have done more study on this topic than I have.
Take care,
Matt

Tony Sova
04-22-2008, 04:47 PM
Erick,

You said: "This discussion is worthwhile because it makes explicit an implicit dualism that underlies many problems in thinking about aikido. And that is precisely the dualism of which I speak -- good versus evil spirit-- in Christian teaching there is no independent existence of evil -- darkness is defined only by the privation of light. And so it is for Ueshiba of Aikido:"

What does Christian teaching have to do with my Gnostic dualism? Is that your faith? If so that would explain everything.

You said: "O Sensei's views are NOT gnostic. There is NO secret knowledge to be imparted -- you just have train honestly in the basics of the art -- and be mindful of WHAT you are DOING when you are doing it."

Your understanding surrounding the characteristics of Gnosticism appears to be quite limited. Not all Gnostic traditions hold to a ‘secret knowledge' as you say. In fact, I find it alarming that you portray yourself as one who understands Gnosticism and yet you don't even seem to know the esoteric significance of what secret knowledge really is. Hint: we all have it, n'uff' said.

Furthermore I never said that O'Sensei's teachings were Gnostic, but, rather, that some of them had Gnostic characteristics. For example, his statement and I quote, "When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside of you" implies the inherent divinity within us all. This is a core teaching that permeates Gnostic beliefs. But you knew that right?

You said: "No, merely that my individual understanding of death and suffering are not adequate to the task. Even Buddhism recognizes this. The problem is not malignant intent -- but creativity in the context of finitude. Were the wolf to leave the sheep unmolested, there would be sheep without limitation. They would consume their finite fodder. Then there would be no fodder, no sheep -- and no wolf."

Indeed, Buddhism has a lot to say about nothing -‘sunyata'. The essential problem is that such a sorrowful system where one life exploits and consumes another for food should exist in the first place. You can mask this harsh reality in whatever euphemistic terminology you wish. It's called denial.

You said: "Darkness has a purpose -- only in the context of light"

I would agree that Darkness does have a purpose I would not however attribute the creation of Darkness to a being of pure benevolence.

You said:" The shadows cast as the light moves on its subject place some things now in light -- and now in shadow. But the fault is neither in the light nor the shadow framed nor in the subject but in our limited perception. We can try to turn our backs to the source of the light, whether from disregard of it -- or in a misguided attempt to see in the same way as the source sees -- directly and therefore without shadow. But then we see only the shadow our own form casts in front of us. We cannot cast our own light."

Limited perception is sense perception. To attempt to see from this platform would be a misguided attempt to see as the source sees. Unlimited perception is spiritual perception, however, and one who is aligned with the Light will see things as the ‘source sees' as we are qualitatively one with the source by nature.

You said: "Really? I give witness and simply tell you, whether you choose to believe me or not, the philosophy of Aikido does not exist in words that you may adequately comprehend unless you first have a depth of experience in the action it refers to."

If the philosophy is flawed then I do not have to engage in it to determine whether it would be worth my time. I can only tell you what would or would not work for me. Nobody knows me better than myself. This is Gnosis. Thus I am fully qualified to make this spiritual judgment for myself.

You said: "You, on the other hand have two things to explain, supposedly independent of one another, good spirit and evil spirit, and actually, three things, since you maintain that matter is neutral between them."

I owe you and explanation? To cast pearls before swine (unlearned or uninitiated) is an exercise in futility. My friend, perhaps you should start by educating yourself on the historical aspects of Gnosticism and how it evolved within the ancient Mesopotamian milieu so as to understand the influence it had on later religions and civilizations before you attempt to engage in a debate on it philosophical workings.

You said: "Suffice it to say that in the physical world -- light and matter are fundamentally one in both Eastern and Western understandings, and that if the spiritual world is actually dual then it is you as an advocate of spiritual dualism that have the burden to show the reason for the disparity."

Where do you get your information? The existence of Gnosticsm (both eastern and western forms) and its dualism automatically refutes your erroneous assertion.

You said: Yes, but we know where the Magi went ...

Given the elementary understanding of Gnosticism that you've exhibited thus far I highly doubt you know anything significant about ancient Chaldean Magussaeanism (not to be confused with Persian Magianism). For example, do you know what the essential difference is between them both historically and doctrinally? Answer that off of the top of your head and we might be able to engage in a meaningful exchange on the subject.

You said: "I don't presuppose. I know -- by actual experience -- that it cannot be understood any other way. And I tell you, my friend, as a matter of direct experience, that aikido is learned through the body instructing the mind, which instructs the body. There is only endless cyclic motion, there is not division. Without the form of the body to ground perception, spirituality is in vain."

Without Consciousness there is no perception. With no Spirit there can be no Spirituality hence your reliance on the body is in vain and nothing more than another form of Materialism.

You said: "Sooner or later, everyone gets their philosophy whacked upside the head. There is more spiritual learning to be gained in that split second than in ten years of quiet sitting."

Words to the wise: Religion without philosophy is sentiment and fanaticism and philosophy without religion is mental speculation.

You said: "Swing ... and a miss" --

"Coffee is number one source of antioxidants" http://www.physorg.com/news6067.html

Where did I make a reference to Green Tea being higher in antioxidants than coffee? Take a look at it again counselor and I quote, "I'd switch to green tea if I were you. It's high in anti-oxidants". Being high in anti-oxidants is not synonymous with being higher in them.

Cordially,

- Tony Sova

Dewey
04-23-2008, 09:35 AM
I'd say it would depend on the Aikido dojo. It sounds like you're going to be bringing a lot of baggage into the dojo about what you *think* Aikido is already. That doesn't work where I train, but we're not a public dojo so we're free to pick and choose who trains with us. I would talk to any prospective teacher about your concerns/worldview and see if what they think.

Beat me to it!

Unless you train in a "closed" dojo where deshi are handpicked, then you will undoubtedly encounter folks in Aikido who are all over the board in regards to spirituality & religion.

I myself am a devout Roman Catholic. I spent several years in the seminary studying to be a priest, following a semi-monastic lifestyle. My spirituality very much informs my study of Aikido and compliments it. It is because of my spirituality that I study Aikido over other martial arts.

Now, if you ask my dojomates how much they care about my spirituality and religious beliefs, guess what sort of answer you'll get: "couldn't care less...just as long as you don't push them on me." The same is true for me in regards to them. That's where the mutual respect comes to play.

Just like my shoes and my ego, I leave my religion at the door.

tuturuhan
04-23-2008, 10:05 AM
And God said "Let there be light"

In the creation story, whether chistian, hindu or pre-religion, there was the dark, the deep the unknown.

It was a time before organized religion decided to call "the dark" evil. If God is the creator of all things, and lived in the darkness before creating "light"...what does this mean?

The goddess Kali is the female goddess of death and destruction and the goddess of birth and creativity. It is easy to see her as embodying a duality. But, in truth she represents a "process". We are born, we grow and then we die. There is the growth of the forest and then the forest fire. With the death of the trees by the "light" of fire, there is the making of room for youth and new life.

They Yin and the Yang, male/female, in/out, up/down, does not speak of right and wrong. It instead observes the process of nature...

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

Tharis
04-23-2008, 04:09 PM
Greetings and Sh'lama (peace),

It is a pleasure and honor to be here. Here is a quote that I would like to explore:

"The earth was born from the universe and those who flourish in that life-giving environment can directly become one with nature. They never oppose natural law," - (What is Aikido?;by Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba)

It appears that Aikido philosophy is rooted in a form of non-dualism. I am a dualist and as such I see two opposing forces of nature operating within the world, those of Light and of Darkness and never twain shall the two meet. Organic Nature is in and of itself harsh, cruel, chaotic, competitive, self-serving and merciless. This is Darkness. Most Martial Arts reflect these inferior qualities and the organic consciousness of the individuals that created them. In retrospect where Organic Nature is harsh the spirit is gentle; where it is cruel the spirit is caring; where it is chaotic the spirit is harmonious; where it is competitive the spirit is co-operative; where it is self-serving the spirit is self-sacrificing; where it is merciless the spirit is compassionate. The world is largely an admixture of these two opposing forces and as a dualist I am ever seeking to separate the two so as to align myself with the Light - the primordial origin of my spirit. In this respect I am in opposition to natural law (Darkness) in favor of spiritual law (Light). The Spirit is Light and according to my understanding Aikido appears to be characteristically aligned with the principles of Light. This brings a question to mind: can I as a dualist find success in Aikido when I aspire to separate myself from rather than becoming one with a world that is malign in nature?

In the Name of the Great Life,

- Tony

"When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside of you"Sounds like what we call gnosticism, maybe manicaeism . I'll admit I'm not a fan of either religion (and that's an essay I don't want to bore you all with), but I don't think such would necessarily keep a person from Aikido, though it will necessarily alter the way you approach the mat (just like everything does).

Maybe the only concern I can find is that Aikido ultimately is about learning from and through your material body. If you really think that the material, physical world is evil, you'd either have to ignore these aspects or make some sort of adjustment, perhaps by associating your practice with your spirit.

MikeLogan
04-23-2008, 07:15 PM
So is light a physical phenomena, or a spiritual existence? Am I perceiving just the symbol of light's spiritual existence, er?To cast pearls before swine (unlearned or uninitiated) is an exercise in futility.Is that the spiritual existence of light I feel simply radiating from you?

If you're genuinely interested in a sustained dialogue in all topics theological/metaphysical/mystical/philosophical/quantum mechanical then I'm afraid you won't do any better here than Erick, a veritable Prince among we, the many porcine.light and matter are fundamentally one in both Eastern and Western understandingsIt would be helpful to read your arguments refuting the above as opposed to simply stating one is wrong. This goes for most of your other statements as well.

As for being able to determine:If the philosophy is flawed then I do not have to engage in it to determine whether it would be worth my time.then allow me to save you and the rest of us the bother of discussing this any further. If you can do the above without stepping onto a mat, then you can certainly check a few books out at the library and figure this out in the in the, unfortunately, all too corporeal comfort of your own home.

Though really, if you deem us worthy from your perspective, it being so benignly in accord with the Light, then illuminate. Don't lease us in the dark. Connect. Catch up with us, or slow down to our speed long enough for us to understand you. Why would you enter this fantastically ethereal media just to get defensive?If God is the creator of all things, and lived in the darkness before creating "light"...what does this mean? This gets into theological/philosophical deep waters. Google Searching : "Theoreom of the Un-Caused Cause" will show you the basics. One such being the idea that a creator of this universe we perceive (the universe and all physical phenomena) does not necessarily exist inside of said universe. It might even state that such a creator must exist outside of the entire universe and encompass it. Time for more beer.

Thanks,

michael.

Erick Mead
04-23-2008, 11:19 PM
You said: ... an implicit dualism that underlies many problems in thinking about aikido. ... the dualism of which I speak -- good versus evil spirit-- in Christian teaching there is no independent existence of evil -- darkness is defined only by the privation of light. And so it is for Ueshiba of Aikido:"What does Christian teaching have to do with my Gnostic dualism? Nothing. The point was that Christian understanding of a non-dual nature of evil is closely echoed, or replicated in O Sensei's own understanding of the problem of evil and thus they are closer related or analogous than a dualist understanding.

You said: "O Sensei's views are NOT gnostic. There is NO secret knowledge to be imparted -- you just have train honestly in the basics of the art -- and be mindful of WHAT you are DOING when you are doing it."
Your understanding surrounding the characteristics of Gnosticism appears to be quite limited. Not all Gnostic traditions hold to a ‘secret knowledge' as you say. By all means, enlighten us, as it may relate to your judgment of aikido.

Furthermore I never said that O'Sensei's teachings were Gnostic, but, rather, that some of them had Gnostic characteristics. For example, his statement and I quote, "When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside of you" implies the inherent divinity within us all. This is a core teaching that permeates Gnostic beliefs. But you knew that right?Why, yes ... Emmanuel -- "God with us." "I Am" necessarily echoes within me. But what has that to do with your verdict on aikido?

... such a sorrowful system where one life exploits and consumes another for food should exist in the first place. You can mask this harsh reality in whatever euphemistic terminology you wish. It's called denial... I would not however attribute the creation of Darkness to a being of pure benevolence. My children do not understand if I strike them to keep their hands from the hot stove, but their pain is an expression of my love for them, and my desire to protect them in ways they cannot (yet) understand. In this sense is Aikido and its approach to the violent expression of the spirit of loving protection, consistent with the Christian understanding of the problem of good an evil, in the context of a loving Parent we should emulate and are thus both non-dual in a similar way.

The positing of evil independent of created order understood in this way is not necessary -- and hence such dualism is in need of proof to be admissible as a more reasonable complex cause. Apparently, such a proof is not self-evident -- for all systems that tend to dualism also tend to esoteric teaching -- which by not being transparent, is not readily capable of being independently compared with other understandings. You seem to admit this.

... one who is aligned with the Light will see things as the ‘source sees' as we are qualitatively one with the source by nature.

If the philosophy is flawed then I do not have to engage in it to determine whether it would be worth my time. I can only tell you what would or would not work for me. Nobody knows me better than myself. This is Gnosis. Thus I am fully qualified to make this spiritual judgment for myself. You do NOT know yourself in the context of the physical action of aikido. Thus your gnosis of yourself is ignorant of you-doing-aikido. Your gnosis does not reach to what you do not know, and which, I repeat, you cannot know without actually doing it.

Try it. You'll like it.

You said: "You, on the other hand have two things to explain, supposedly independent of one another, good spirit and evil spirit, and actually, three things, since you maintain that matter is neutral between them."

I owe you and explanation? To cast pearls before swine (unlearned or uninitiated) is an exercise in futility. Dear me, is my snout showing? You owe me nothing. I simply posit the systemic problems illustrated by your position, as it relates to aikido and its understanding of in-yo ho, which is not dualistic. You started this discussion seeking such information. The funny thing about seeking is that it disturbs settled understanding -- but then having gnosis is one beyond seeking? And thus, why exactly did would you ask any one for information here, again?

Being high in anti-oxidants is not synonymous with being higher in them. You're right. Lay off the tea and coffee. I'd suggest a stiff whiskey.

Dewey
04-23-2008, 11:28 PM
You're right. Lay off the tea and coffee. I'd suggest a stiff whiskey.

No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

-St. Paul (1st Timothy 5:23)

Tony Sova
04-24-2008, 07:19 AM
Greetings Michael a.k.a. "Mr. Johnny come lately",

You said: "If you're genuinely interested in a sustained dialogue in all topics theological/metaphysical/mystical/philosophical/quantum mechanical then I'm afraid you won't do any better here than Erick, a veritable Prince among we, the many porcine."

I'm glad that you are infatuated with Prince Erick's pseudo-spiritual ramblings as well as his less than accurate understanding of Gnosticism proper. I, however, am not intoxicated by his brew.

You said: "It would be helpful to read your arguments refuting the above as opposed to simply stating one is wrong. This goes for most of your other statements as well."

I didn't have to argue. Erick said, "light and matter are fundamentally one in both Eastern and Western understandings". It is far from unanimous that light and dark are fundamentally one in Eastern and Western understandings. There are Gnostic groups in both the eastern (Bonpo) and western (Chaldaean Magussaeanism, Persian Magianism, Syriaic Nazoreanism, etc…) religious traditions that hold dualistic views similar to mine and that pre-date the traditions that endorse the non-dual philosophy. Thus their very existence in both hemispheres in and of itself refutes his statement automatically.

You said: "then allow me to save you and the rest of us the bother of discussing this any further. If you can do the above without stepping onto a mat, then you can certainly check a few books out at the library and figure this out in the in the, unfortunately, all too corporeal comfort of your own home."

Good advice and that is precisely what I am doing in the ‘all too corporeal comfort of my home' as you say.

You said: "Though really, if you deem us worthy from your perspective, it being so benignly in accord with the Light, then illuminate. Don't lease us in the dark. Connect. Catch up with us, or slow down to our speed long enough for us to understand you."

I find many of O'Sensei's teachings to be aligned with the benevolent teachings that permeate Nazorean ethics. Criticism is not a wise method of trying to understand someone. Acceptance and respect would be superior tools of choice in the execution of such an endeavor don't you think?

You said: "Why would you enter this fantastically ethereal media just to get defensive?"

If you take the time to look, the majority of my interaction with others on this thread has been very positive. I do not, however, respond well to unprovoked sarcasm and sequential arrogance like Erick's and now yours.

Regards,

- Tony.

Erick Mead
04-24-2008, 08:32 AM
I didn't have to argue. Erick said, "light and matter are fundamentally one in both Eastern and Western understandings". It is far from unanimous that light and dark are fundamentally one in Eastern and Western understandings. Non sequitur, sir. I spoke of the physical realm to show that dim matter and luminous energy are one thing, in terms of physics or in terms of the Eastern understanding of Ki and the Taiji. I simply pointed out that the assumption that the spiritual realm diverges from the physical realm in its unitary (though bifurcated) structure in that regard lacks inherent rational appeal from the evidence we have. In a unitary understanding, light is light and dark is not anything at all, it is is absence -- of light.

I have not met a dualist yet who did not assert that his belief in fundamental duality was more reasonable from the evidence he sees, and you have confirmed that by your primary attention to the supposed "substance" of evils of this world reflecting a larger spiritual reality. Duality is not necessary to explain evil flowing from lack of en(light)enment, and thus, you must supply more evidence than that to convince anyone that it is or ought to be, different from the common ground of unity that Aikido and Christianity share -- a deep trust in a spirit of loving protection that we seek to emulate -- especially in the worst circumstances encountered in this life...

There are Gnostic groups in both the eastern (Bonpo) and western (Chaldaean Magussaeanism, Persian Magianism, Syriaic Nazoreanism, etc…) religious traditions that hold dualistic views similar to mine and that pre-date the traditions that endorse the non-dual philosophy. Thus their very existence in both hemispheres in and of itself refutes his statement automatically. This is an example of the fallacy of ad populum (appeal to popularity) or ad vericundiam (appeal to authority), or a mixture of the two. Truth does not depend on either popular agreement or mere respect for persons "in the know." The unitary nature of physical state of the universe is held in Chinese understanding (an empirically arrived-at understanding, whatever its differences of method from the West) and in Western empirical physics. Those are empirical facts, albeit framed from different approaches, but to the same conclusion, lending both approaches more rigor in the assertion, not because they agree, but because they find the same things to be evidenced from their wildly differing forms of investigation.

I find many of O'Sensei's teachings to be aligned with the benevolent teachings that permeate Nazorean ethics. Criticism is not a wise method of trying to understand someone. Acceptance and respect would be superior tools of choice in the execution of such an endeavor don't you think? In a martial arts forum??? We deal expressly with issues of conflict and in conflict here. Aikido is a spirit of loving kindness in the slap-your- hand-from-the-hot-stove manner -- not hugs and warm caramel crumpets. The fact that we deal with it in a spirit of loving protection (or try to) does not diminish the fact that by practicing this art we do not shrink from necessary conflict where it presents itself.
I do not, however, respond well to unprovoked sarcasm and sequential arrogance like Erick's and now yours.You asked if your beliefs conflict in some regard with the practice of Aikido. I suggested that they do -- and in some detail. You are free to deny it, on whatever grounds seem admissible to you. But then do not complain if I point out that your position is still as conflicted as when you asked the first question, -- implying a recognition of the possibility of that conflict.

It is not personal -- any more than my partner swinging a bokken at my head is meant as anything other than a loving challenge to practice. Everyone is entitled to his own follies, and I certainly have mine -- like preferring to believe that coffee is a better source of anti-oxidants than green tea, and drinking entirely too much whiskey on occasions, and only then imagining that I am the Prince of anything.

Tony Sova
04-24-2008, 08:47 AM
Prince Erick,

Please forgive me your highness. I didn’t realize I was mingling with royalty as your loyal subject Sir Michael has made abundantly clear.

You said: “By all means, enlighten us, as it may relate to your judgment of aikido.”

Have I made a judgment on Aikido? I don’t think so.

You said: “Why, yes ... Emmanuel -- "God with us." "I Am" necessarily echoes within me. But what has that to do with your verdict on aikido?”

For the second time, I have made no verdict on Aikido. Yet, apparently much to your dismay I have made connections with it in relationship to Gnosticism much like you have with Christianity.

You said:”consistent with the Christian understanding of the problem of good an evil, in the context of a loving Parent we should emulate and are thus both non-dual in a similar way.”

And yet again Christianity comes up in a conversation that is based solely on the differences and or similarities between the philosophies of Gnosticism and Aikido. Where’s the relevance? Your motives are starting to stick out like a sore thumb old friend. I am gonna’ go out on a limb here counselor and speculate that you are a Christian and that your interest in my thread is directly in relationship to Gnostics being deemed as the religious antagonists and veritable Antichrists of your beloved faith. Am I right? How cliché that would be.

You said: “You do NOT know yourself in the context of the physical action of aikido. Thus your gnosis of yourself is ignorant of you-doing-aikido. Your gnosis does not reach to what you do not know, and which, I repeat, you cannot know without actually doing it.”

Let’s get something straight counselor. First, let me state for the third time and the record that I have NOT made a judgment on Aikido. Second, and more importantly, my Gnosis does reach to what I know in relationship to MYSELF. Thus I CAN make a judgment on whether something would or would not work FOR ME without having to try it. For example, I am pretty sure that killing someone wouldn’t be a profitable thing to do. Only I can make such a determination for myself. So do I have to engage in the physical action of killing someone to KNOW that such an action would not be a beneficial one? Of course not, case and point.

You said: “Try it. You'll like it.”

At some point I just might do that but only if you promise to be my partner!

You said: “You owe me nothing. I simply posit the systemic problems illustrated by your position, as it relates to aikido and its understanding of in-yo ho, which is not dualistic. You started this discussion seeking such information. The funny thing about seeking is that it disturbs settled understanding -- but then having gnosis is one beyond seeking? And thus, why exactly did would you ask any one for information here, again?”

So rather than instigating this pathetically infantile testosterone charged pissing contest with me of which I no longer have the stomach for, why didn’t/don’t you just simply extend me the courtesy of answering my question? My how easy that could’ve been! So my question still stands, can a dualist find success in Aikido? Though your understanding of Gnosticism is sorely lacking, I do trust that your understanding of Aikido is not and that you are qualified to answer the question.

You said: “You're right. Lay off the tea and coffee. I'd suggest a stiff whiskey.”

Whiskey’s for you wild eyed southern boys. I prefer a tasty Bloody Mary made with a good ole commie’ top shelf Vodka, lol !

May the Love of Christ Bless You and Keep You…
- Tony

Dewey
04-24-2008, 09:15 AM
Wow...this thread has really spiraled out of control. The debates and ad hominum arguments sparked here are perfect examples why I advocate a Jeffersonian understanding of Aikido training: leave your religion (along with your shoes and your ego) at the door when you come to train. An aikidoka, in my opinion, is free to believe whatever they want in regards to religion...just as long as they're willing to take ukemi just like the rest of us. Aikido is a budo first and foremost.

Tharis
04-24-2008, 09:20 AM
Wow...this thread has really spiraled out of control. The debates and ad hominum arguments sparked here are perfect examples why I advocate a Jeffersonian understanding of Aikido training: leave your religion (along with your shoes and your ego) at the door when you come to train. An aikidoka, in my opinion, is free to believe whatever they want in regards to religion...just as long as they're willing to take ukemi just like the rest of us. Aikido is a budo first and foremost.That's easier for some than for others. I probably couldn't leave my religion "at the door."

At the same time, the mat is not place for intellectual argument or *gag* proselytizing. Maybe that's better left to the bars or locker rooms.

And to the OP, as I just posted somewhere else, I think what you train, if you train sincerely, will change the way you think about things.

Whether that will lead you away from dualism or to a reinterpretation of said dualism isn't certain, but if you're really a gnostic (at least according to what I tend to associate with gnosticism), it may require some adjustment. I think I'd agree that Aikido generally requires a synthesis of spirit with flesh.

Erick Mead
04-24-2008, 10:02 AM
Prince Erick, I hereby abdicate.

And yet again Christianity comes up in a conversation that is based solely on the differences and or similarities between the philosophies of Gnosticism and Aikido. Where's the relevance?Well, let's just say I am not making it up --- "Kirisuto ga ‘hajme 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.)

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=2 ( Tr. -Peter Goldsbury, from the Takemusu Aiki lectures)
----------------------------------

[From Takemusu Aiki Lectures (1)] http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=636

Today, as requested, I will attempt to describe for you what aikido is.
* Aikido is the principle of eternal continuation throughout all ages of the one and same system of the Universe.
* Aikido is Heaven-sent truth and the marvelous work of Takemusu Aiki.
* Aikido is the Way of union and harmony of Heaven, Earth and humanity.
* Aikido is, moreover, the Way to take care of the entire creation.
* Aikido is the supreme work of kotodama1 and the Great Way of Universal Purification (misogi).

... Aikido is the Great Way to completely purify the entire world. It purifies and clears away sins, malice and evil thoughts of the Universe and takes care of them.

This is accomplished through kotodama.

... my Gnosis does reach to what I know in relationship to MYSELF. Thus I CAN make a judgment on whether something would or would not work FOR ME without having to try it. A remarkable standard. The Neo-Confucian philosopher, known in Japan as Oyomei, held that that knowledge and action are one thing. If you believe you know something but fail to act on it, then you do not truly know that. If you fail to act but claim to know then the knowledge is a vain and impotent thing. It is not I that have said this, but Oyomei.For example, I am pretty sure that killing someone wouldn't be a profitable thing to do. That depends on what they are doing at the time -- and more importantly -- to whom.
Only I can make such a determination for myself. So do I have to engage in the physical action of killing someone to KNOW that such an action would not be a beneficial one? Of course not, case and point. If you ever kill, it will very likely be without making any such determination at all, you will simply do it and it will be done before you ponder the circumstance. Most killing happens in this way. Determining the whys and wherefores is not a part of that particular problem, excepting only the odd sociopath.

That is why Aikido is so important -- to train for conflict in a spirit of loving protection so that the instinct and reflex is both fierce AND rightly guided. Time is not available for making such determinations consciously in the moment of attack. The time for deciding the targeting program of the missile is before the "launch" button its pressed.

At some point I just might do that but only if you promise to be my partner! Come and play.

So my question still stands, can a dualist find success in Aikido? Not as a dualist. In the moment of attack there is no duality at all. There is no room for more than one thing in that instant.

May the Love of Christ Bless You and Keep You…And you also. Christ said and did many things -- however he is only recorded as having made two things with his own hands -- a chair -- to takes one's ease; and "whip of cords" -- to beat people with. Worth thinking about.

Jonathan
04-24-2008, 10:46 AM
And you also. Christ said and did many things -- however he is only recorded as having made two things with his own hands -- a chair -- to takes one's ease; and "whip of cords" -- to beat people with. Worth thinking about.

Actually, the Bible teaches that Christ is the Creator of all things.

Colossians 1:13-17 (KJV)

13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

akiy
04-24-2008, 10:56 AM
Hi folks,

Please watch the tone that some of you are using in this thread (and in the Forums) and stay away from personal attacks and discussions of a personal nature.

Thank you,

-- Jun

Tony Sova
04-24-2008, 02:06 PM
Sorry Jun, I will conduct myself in a more respectable manner from now on.

- Tony

Tony Sova
04-24-2008, 03:06 PM
Sh’lama Erick,

You said: “Well, let's just say I am not making it up ---“

Making what up? That you are or aren’t a Christian? You could just give me a straight answer. Are you a Christian?

You said:
Quote:
Morihei Ueshiba wrote:
"Kirisuto ga ‘hajme 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.)

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=2 ( Tr. -Peter Goldsbury, from the Takemusu Aiki lectures)
----------------------------------

[From Takemusu Aiki Lectures (1)] http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=636

Today, as requested, I will attempt to describe for you what aikido is.
* Aikido is the principle of eternal continuation throughout all ages of the one and same system of the Universe.
* Aikido is Heaven-sent truth and the marvelous work of Takemusu Aiki.
* Aikido is the Way of union and harmony of Heaven, Earth and humanity.
* Aikido is, moreover, the Way to take care of the entire creation.
* Aikido is the supreme work of kotodama1 and the Great Way of Universal Purification (misogi).

... Aikido is the Great Way to completely purify the entire world. It purifies and clears away sins, malice and evil thoughts of the Universe and takes care of them.

This is accomplished through kotodama."

Thank you for listing this information.

You said : “If you ever kill, it will very likely be without making any such determination at all, you will simply do it and it will be done before you ponder the circumstance. Most killing happens in this way. Determining the whys and wherefores is not a part of that particular problem, excepting only the odd sociopath.”

The sad part about the concept of killing is that it happens in the first place. Ironically the Martial Arts are largely a bye product of patriarchal cultures where war and violence are valued. It is interesting that women do not create fighting systems or wage wars. That is something worth thinking about.

You said: “Not as a dualist. In the moment of attack there is no duality at all. There is no room for more than one thing in that instant.”

That is good to know. Thank you for answering my question.

You said: “And you also. Christ said and did many things -- however he is only recorded as having made two things with his own hands -- a chair -- to takes one's ease; and "whip of cords" -- to beat people with. Worth thinking about.”

Indeed it is but he displayed his commitment to non-violence while enduring a terrible beating at the hands of his aggressors all the way to the cross showing the superiority of spirit over matter (flesh). May we all attain such an exalted state of spirituality!

Blessed are those who heed to the Call to Life, for Life is victorioius!

In the Name of the Great Life,

- Tony

“If you know yourself you will become known, and you will know that you are the children of the Living Father. If you do not know yourself you dwell in poverty and have become that poverty.” - (Yeshua;GOT)

ChrisMoses
04-24-2008, 04:11 PM
Indeed it is but he displayed his commitment to non-violence while enduring a terrible beating at the hands of his aggressors all the way to the cross showing the superiority of spirit over matter (flesh). May we all attain such an exalted state of spirituality!



Not that you said it was, but just to be clear, this is not the philosophy of Aikido. OSensei was never a pacifist. OSensei clarified his view on what he meant by non-violence as being so in control of your attacker that he is an extension of yourself that *you control*. Taking a beating to show one superiority over matter is something else.

Dieter Haffner
04-24-2008, 05:30 PM
Tony,
May I ask you to use the Quoting system when you want to quote somebody.
Copy/Pasting text and then putting it in Italic does not make for a good read.
Please, think about my poor eyes.

Good luck with finding your answer(s).

Erick Mead
04-24-2008, 05:38 PM
You said: "Well, let's just say I am not making it up ---"
Making what up? That you are or aren't a Christian? You could just give me a straight answer. Are you a Christian?You tell me ... I am not a follower of Kant, and thus I have no desire to get to a categorical imperative to resolve my standing in the divine order once and for all -- I couldn't do it if I tried anyway. The world is simultaneously determined (Divine) and contingent (Natural), and it works just fine that way. It is error to demand too much of either one.

My point is simply that the parallels of O Sensei's Eastern understanding are tracked more closely by Christianity than by any version of Gnosticism I have had the pleasure of engaging, be it Basilides, the oracles vouched by Julian the Chaldean, or even Phillip Pullman's sexed-up neo-Valentinianism in the Golden Compass series.

Thank you for listing this information. You are welcome.

The sad part about the concept of killing is that it happens in the first place. Ironically the Martial Arts are largely a bye product of patriarchal cultures where war and violence are valued. It is interesting that women do not create fighting systems or wage wars. That is something worth thinking about. Patriarchal. I had not heard that in several years. That is a very Romantic view -- in the philosophical sense. I would doubt that you have seen two women fight -- it will remove any romanticism about the presumptive "non-violence" of the fairer sex. Women are less effective than men as a rule in sheer levels of violent capability and their proclivities for overt violence have been culturally suppressed or channeled into areas of particular vulnerability. However, female violence is merely different -- not better -- and no less inherent in the species. Women commit the majority of child homicides in the United States; more than 80 percent of neonaticides; an equal or greater share of severe physical child abuse; an equal rate of spousal assault; about a quarter of child sexual molestations; and a large proportion of elder abuse... The rate at which infants are murdered by women in the U.S. is higher than the rate at which women are murdered by men."

That is good to know. Thank you for answering my question. My pleasure.

You said: "Christ ... having made two things with his own hands -- a chair -- to takes one's ease; and "whip of cords" -- to beat people with. Worth thinking about."

Indeed it is but he displayed his commitment to non-violence while enduring a terrible beating at the hands of his aggressors all the way to the cross showing the superiority of spirit over matter (flesh). May we all attain such an exalted state of spirituality! According to Mark and John his last words were:

"My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?!" "I thirst." "It is finished." That does not sound like a triumphal spirit, but of an utter desolation of spirit, a continuing deeply unsatisfied longing of the human body, and, at last, a surrender -- not a triumph.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

It is not a lesson in non-violence -- it is immensely more subtle than that -- ("I come not to bring peace, but a sword" "... whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." ... " Peace be with you; My peace I give you, but not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your hearts be troubled and be not afraid.")

Gandhian nonviolence presumes that non-violence will awaken an inherent moral restraint. There was no moral restraint on offer in the execution of a state criminal by the Roman soldiery in first century Judea. It is lesson rather in ukemi, in calmly receiving the fullness of the attack.

Jonathan
04-24-2008, 06:53 PM
Indeed it is but he displayed his commitment to non-violence while enduring a terrible beating at the hands of his aggressors all the way to the cross showing the superiority of spirit over matter (flesh). May we all attain such an exalted state of spirituality!

Displaying a commitment to non-violence? Hmmm...The Bible says that "for the joy that was set before him Christ endured the cross." (Heb. 12:2) What joy was that? The joy of demonstrating the superiority of spirit over matter? No. The joy of showing his commitment to non-violence? No. The joy Christ fixed his eyes upon and that sustained him through the tortures of the cross was the joy that came from seeing His Father's will fulfilled and knowing that fulfilling it meant the salvation of many lost sheep.

It is lesson rather in ukemi, in calmly receiving the fullness of the attack.

That's a novel take on the Crucifixion. Purely on a physical level as a lesson in ukemi Christ's crucifixion isn't very good. As I understand it, ukemi is supposed to protect me and perhaps even allow me to reverse the technique applied to me. I don't see this in Christ's crucifixion. His "ukemi," as you've described it, was fatally harmful. He had no thought of "reversing technique" either, which, as God, he could have done at any time. Yes, Christ did "calmly receive the fullness of the attack," but the fact that doing so resulted in his death, for me, rules out his actions as a lesson in ukemi (or at least good ukemi). ;)

MikeLogan
04-24-2008, 08:16 PM
I was simply responding in kind, and more mildly to boot. You started the diminuation, ignored sincere questions, tossed a request back in my face, and then ended with more of the same self-righteousness.

Is it not a little odd to enter a community and expect everyone to warmly shake your hand after you refer to them as swine? Is that unreasonable?

All I think I can offer with regard to your original question is that from I understand of your words, (and I suppose your bearing), Dualism demands conflict. Aikido demands the nullification of conflict. It is the absence of conflict. If there is conflict that is impossible to resolve from the dualistic perspective then it would seem the idea of aikido (in my limited understanding) is anathema to your philosophy/religion.

Somewhat off-topic Tony, but how does dualism inform you regarding physics of the natural world, thermodynamics, chemistry, all that junk. Just curious.

michael.

Erick Mead
04-24-2008, 09:32 PM
[Re ukemi That's a novel take on the Crucifixion. Purely on a physical level as a lesson in ukemi Christ's crucifixion isn't very good. ... I wasn't thinking purely on a physical level :) But, hey -- any death you can walk away from is a good one...

Tony Sova
04-25-2008, 10:56 AM
Greetings Jonathan,

You said: "The joy Christ fixed his eyes upon and that sustained him through the tortures of the cross was the joy that came from seeing His Father's will fulfilled and knowing that fulfilling it meant the salvation of many lost sheep."

Since we are going in this direction:

The Fallacy of Blood Atonement:

Commandment number six states "Thous shalt not kill' and the breaking of such a commandment is considered a sin. God then commands himself (in the Trinitarian sense) in the from of his Son to break his own commandment by committing ritual suicide (I and my Father are one) for the removal of sin. Thus we have sin removing sin and additionally sins that I, you and the entire human race after that had yet to even commit (unless you hold to the doctrine of reincarnation denoting the eternality of the soul).

According to this concept God is hypocritical for breaking his own commandment, murderous for desiring the death of living beings to remove sin (animals were killed prior to Jesus), psychologically unstable for committing suicide, unjust for punishing individuals who had yet to commit sin after the crucifixion, and unintelligent/illogical for attempting to remove sin with sin.

With all due respect, this has nothing to do with God and everything to do with both ancient Levitical Judaic tribal beliefs, Greco-Roman Paganism, and the limited intelligence of the men who attempted to marry the two.:)

Regards,

- Tony

ChrisMoses
04-25-2008, 11:31 AM
Tony, Ellis Amdur just posted some good stuff that might help you get a better idea about what OSensei actually meant by some of the things he said over here. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14140&page=8) Scroll down to #193.

Ron Tisdale
04-25-2008, 12:37 PM
Tony, while I may not agree with everything you just said, I have to admit it gave me quite a loud laugh! My cube neighbors now want to know what I'm reading! :D

Best,
Ron

Tony Sova
04-25-2008, 12:47 PM
Sh'lama Christian,

A quote from the post on the thread you mentioned: "He was a Shinto, god-possessed, self-proclaimed avatar of cosmic energy, and saw his students as sources of power for him to do his cosmic work."

The above characteristics mirror quite closely the Gnostic concepts of Divine Aeons or Uthras who take human form for the pupose of executing Divine work.

Another quote from that post: "In a Western sense, he was not a moral man, nor did he preach morality. That's wishful thinking based on interpolations of translations which mean something very different in the original Japanese. The peace Ueshiba preached was the reconciliation of cosmic forces, NOT world peace."

Based on this I can see that I am one of those westerners who have been inspired by western interpolations of Ueshiba's message.

Thank you for understanding the purpose and intent of my original question, and facilitating the process of rendering it an appropriate and effective response. I am most appreciative.

May Kushta (Truth) Keep you...

- Tony

Tony Sova
04-25-2008, 01:08 PM
Ron,

Heresy is alive and well in the 21st century my friend!;)

Regards,

- Tony

Jonathan
04-25-2008, 01:09 PM
... I wasn't thinking purely on a physical level But, hey -- any death you can walk away from is a good one...

Yup, I agree. Mind you, Christ didn't actually walk away from death - he walked right through it. What kind of ukemi would that be, I wonder?:D

Jonathan
04-25-2008, 01:18 PM
The Fallacy of Blood Atonement:

Commandment number six states "Thous shalt not kill' and the breaking of such a commandment is considered a sin. God then commands himself (in the Trinitarian sense) in the from of his Son to break his own commandment by committing ritual suicide (I and my Father are one) for the removal of sin. Thus we have sin removing sin and additionally sins that I, you and the entire human race after that had yet to even commit (unless you hold to the doctrine of reincarnation denoting the eternality of the soul).

According to this concept God is hypocritical for breaking his own commandment, murderous for desiring the death of living beings to remove sin (animals were killed prior to Jesus), psychologically unstable for committing suicide, unjust for punishing individuals who had yet to commit sin after the crucifixion, and unintelligent/illogical for attempting to remove sin with sin.

With all due respect, this has nothing to do with God and everything to do with both ancient Levitical Judaic tribal beliefs, Greco-Roman Paganism, and the limited intelligence of the men who attempted to marry the two.

Well, I could wade into all the theological and doctrinal matters involved in answering your above assertions, but I don't think Jun would appreciate it. This isn't a Christian theology site - or a Gnostic one. ;)

Suffice it to say, strawman tactics don't really strengthen your contentions.

Ciao!

Tony Sova
04-25-2008, 02:13 PM
Jonathan,

You said: "Well, I could wade into all the theological and doctrinal matters involved in answering your above assertions..."

I've beat that dead horse a million times, however, if you so desire I will invite to post your objections at www.essenes.net on the forum there where such discussions are encouraged.

You said: "but I don't think Jun would appreciate it."

I agree.

You said: "This isn't a Christian theology site - or a Gnostic one."

Ironically the purpose and intent of the original thread had nothing to do with theology.

Regards,

- Tony

Erick Mead
04-25-2008, 04:38 PM
Ironically the purpose and intent of the original thread had nothing to do with theology. ?????

I am a dualist and as such I see two opposing forces of nature operating within the world, those of Light and of Darkness and never twain shall the two meet. Organic Nature is in and of itself harsh, cruel, chaotic, competitive, self-serving and merciless. This is Darkness. Most Martial Arts reflect these inferior qualities and the organic consciousness of the individuals that created them. ... The Spirit is Light and according to my understanding Aikido appears to be characteristically aligned with the principles of Light. This brings a question to mind: can I as a dualist find success in Aikido when I aspire to separate myself from rather than becoming one with a world that is malign in nature? What part of the original post, exactly, was NOT theological?? -- I mean, apart from the definite and indefinite articles, the prepositions, and the punctuation. Oh, and the word "twain." Twain would not have appreciated being associated with anything remotely theological. ;)

Tony Sova
04-25-2008, 05:16 PM
You said: "What part of the original post, exactly, was NOT theological??"

I did say specifically say 'purpose and intent of the article' mind you. The purpose and intent of the article was/is philosophical NOT theological.

- Tony

Tharis
04-25-2008, 05:44 PM
Can a dualist learn from his own body?

I think, to me, that's the main question. I associate gnosticism with a lot of mind/spirit over body, and I associate Aikido with synthesizing the three. I'm not sure these two are ultimately compatible.

Tony Sova
04-25-2008, 06:03 PM
Hello Thomas,

You said: "I associate gnosticism with a lot of mind/spirit over body, and I associate Aikido with synthesizing the three. I'm not sure these two are ultimately compatible."

Thanks to the efforts of people like yourself, Christian and others on the forum I am beginning to believe this as well. I would like to continue learning more about Ueshiba's teachings and beliefs. Can you or anyone else on this thread recommend any books or articles that are not tainted with western interpolations on Ueshiba?

Thank you.

- Tony

Dewey
04-25-2008, 06:08 PM
Hello Thomas,

You said: "I associate gnosticism with a lot of mind/spirit over body, and I associate Aikido with synthesizing the three. I'm not sure these two are ultimately compatible."

Thanks to the efforts of people like yourself, Christian and others on the forum I am beginning to believe this as well. I would like to continue learning more about Ueshiba's teachings and beliefs. Can you are anyone else on this thread recommend any books or articles that are not tainted with western interpolations on Ueshiba?

Thank you.

- Tony

First, stay away from John Steven's works. Second, go to AikidoJournal.com (http://www.aikidojournal.com)...which is the most scholarly & reliable source of information on Aikido in the English language. Use the ever-helpful search function and read all pertinent articles. Will take several hours...but well worth it. There is a goodly amount of info on Ueshiba.

Specifically, Peter Goldsbury's articles you might find of interest: here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=2) & here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=54)

Erick Mead
04-25-2008, 06:24 PM
Can you or anyone else on this thread recommend any books or articles that are not tainted with western interpolations on Ueshiba?Here's himself. Fairly authoritative. Transcribed by Hideo Takahashi, and translated by Sonoko Tanaka, and introduced with approval by Ueshiba's son Kisshomaru, Nidai Doshu. However, you will need A LOT of background to digest this wide-ranging discussion.

Takemusu Aiki Lectures (ca. mid seventies)
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=636
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=638
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=639
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=641

An early work, Budo Renshu (1930's), is also helpful, but there is no online copy I know of. That is his only major written text, I am afraid, apart from the Doka (versified "Songs of the Way.") One version of the Doka (there are several translations around) is found here in Seiseki Abe's translation. What I said about needed background for the lectures goes quintuple for the Doka:

http://www.aikidofaq.com/doka.html

There is an interview of him and his son available. (late 1950's) It is translated by Stan Pranin, a well reputed reporter of such things (and which I find unobjectionable as translation). However, I must mention that certain aspects of that interview have been the source of some qualifying linguistic comment by others, which is too abstruse to try to explain here.

http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews.html

Enjoy.

Tharis
04-25-2008, 06:44 PM
Hello Thomas,

You said: "I associate gnosticism with a lot of mind/spirit over body, and I associate Aikido with synthesizing the three. I'm not sure these two are ultimately compatible."

Thanks to the efforts of people like yourself, Christian and others on the forum I am beginning to believe this as well. I would like to continue learning more about Ueshiba's teachings and beliefs. Can you or anyone else on this thread recommend any books or articles that are not tainted with western interpolations on Ueshiba?

Thank you.

- TonyIs there any place in the world that has not been "polluted" by "western interpolation"?

Peter Goldsbury
04-25-2008, 08:04 PM
Can you or anyone else on this thread recommend any books or articles that are not tainted with western interpolations on Ueshiba?

Thank you.

- Tony

Mr Sova,

If these books or articles are written in English (and not translated), western interpretations, and perhaps interpolations, might well be unavoidable. It is difficult to avoid this with translations, also.

I first learned aikido in the UK and the US, at the hands of Japanese teachers who travelled there with the express purpose of teaching aikido to non-Japanese. This experience led me to come and live here, in Hiroshima, in order to learn the Japanese language and then read O Sensei's discourses in his own language. This is a major challenge and there are no short cuts possible here.

Living here has also led me to look at all the books and articles written about O Sensei in Japanese, that have not been translated. I found one, for example, recently. The title is 古事記と植芝盛平 合気道の神道世界. In English this would be something like, Kojiki (=Records of Ancient Matters) and Morihei Ueshiba: the Shinto World of Aikido. The author is a certain Yutaka Shimizu. The book is directly relevant to the Takemusu Aiki lectures, cited by Erick Mead his post above.

I think that the point I am making is that for a westerner it would be difficult (and also wrong) to slough off this heritage and attempt to become a cultural 'blank slate', so to speak. It is certainly not possible in Japan, which is rather possessive of its culture. However, it was Kisshomaru Ueshiba, not Morihei, who decided that aikido should become available for non-Japanese and so we have the situation that aikido is already 'interpreted' by the west (including those Japanese experts like Koichi Tohei who first wrote about the art in English).

In this situation, the study of O Sensei's discourses and other writings about aikido becomes rather like training itself. There is a constant need to question oneself and go back to the beginning--to the basics, to learn to distinguish the grains of wheat from the (rather larger amount of) chaff.

So, with this caution, I would recommend anything by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, but (1) these are translations, and (2) must be supplemented by the archive built up over the years by Stanley Pranin at Aikido Journal.

Best wishes,

Erick Mead
04-25-2008, 10:16 PM
I first learned aikido in the UK and the US, at the hands of Japanese teachers who travelled there with the express purpose of teaching aikido to non-Japanese. This experience led me to come and live here, in Hiroshima, in order to learn the Japanese language and then read O Sensei's discourses in his own language. This is a major challenge and there are no short cuts possible here.... I think that the point I am making is that for a westerner it would be difficult (and also wrong) to slough off this heritage and attempt to become a cultural 'blank slate', so to speak. It is certainly not possible in Japan, which is rather possessive of its culture. ...There is a constant need to question oneself and go back to the beginning--to the basics, to learn to distinguish the grains of wheat from the (rather larger amount of) chaff.

If I may, there are (at least) two major ways of examining such things in anthropology:

1) by recognizing and examining spaces within organic cultural boundaries (Malinowski's participant perspective); and

2) by examining continuing cultural transfers across those boundaries. (Boas).

You seem to have taken Malinowski's approach. I find myself more drawn to Boas', (although I find his relativism less appealing). One looks at the evolving expressions of one culture; the other looks at the evolving relationship of boundaries between cultures. Both are important perspectives to maintain.

Japan must be understood in its own terms. But Japan is not, and has never been, as isolated and unaffected by world cultural movements as its modern nationalist prism (beginning with Norinaga) might have preferred to color the view. And in this is not merely the very significant Chinese contribution. Even Lao Tse took the road West.

There is much else, whether the layer of catholicized Kakure Christianity, the ongoing receipt of the "Dutch" learning, or more tenuous but real connections in Kukai's contemporaneous receipt of tantric learning in the T'ang capital with a Syrian Christian church active there, or even more remote connection in the common heritage between Hellenic Christianity and Greco-Buddhist teaching on the Silk Road. There has been and remains much of common currency under layers of accumulated history. Not all similarities are mere analogous development or naive imitation.

The history that contributes novelty also preserves continuity. The mokume is there, no matter how you cut the wood or what shape it takes or is given. The sword records in its structure every blow of the hammer that forged and folded it.

Peter Goldsbury
04-26-2008, 08:07 AM
Hello Erick,

In my Comparative Culture classes at Hirodai, I used the two works of Geert Hofstede Culture's Consequences and Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, plus three works by Colin Turnbull (The Mountain People, especially). I am uncertain whether this makes me a Malinowskian (?) or a Boasist (Boas-constrictor?).

Have you come across a work called Aristotle in China? It is a study of how the Chinese saw Aristotle's Categories. The author is Robert Wardy, a don from Cambridge (UK).

As you state, Japan must be understood in its own terms. I hope you understand that this is what I have been trying to do for the past thirty years by living here. Here the issue is the taint of 'western interpolations' on Ueshiba.

Best wishes, as always,

Tony Sova
04-26-2008, 10:31 AM
Thank you Brian, Erick and Mr.Goldsbury for your lending me your guidance and expertise. I've already begun reading the material in the Aikido Journal.

Sincerely,

- Tony

jennifer paige smith
04-26-2008, 07:25 PM
Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Well, that would have to be a 'yes' and a 'no'.
hahahahahahah

Erick Mead
04-26-2008, 09:19 PM
... Geert Hofstede [I]Culture's Consequences and Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, plus three works by Colin Turnbull (The Mountain People, especially). I am uncertain whether this makes me a Malinowskian (?) or a Boasist (Boas-constrictor?). Well, going there initially was definitely weighted toward the participant perspective. They are the ends of one dimension of a full spectrum.

You have mentioned Hofstede before and I have looked at some of his work. I find it an interesting perspective. He seems to extend Jung's method of psychological typology to the sociological realm. Like Jung's work for individuals, classification of various dimensions of cultural variation may avoid unintended conflicts brought about by differing culturally-borne assumptions. In that, his work seems to have some affinity to Aikido, actually, and I can see the appeal. On the other hand, as with the older sociological concept of race, the variations within types may be as great or greater as the variation between them.

Japan is insular, in every sense, but its insularity is often in tension with its differing senses of both curiosity and "mission," as seen dramatically in the last century. Those differing perspectives could both align and conflict, and that is seen in the life of O Sensei himself.

Have you come across a work called Aristotle in China? It is a study of how the Chinese saw Aristotle's Categories. The author is Robert Wardy, a don from Cambridge (UK).Nope. I did my undergraduate work on Wang Yang-ming (Oyomei). Then the Navy called. I tend to look at distinctions as developmental complexes rather than discrete types in Aristotelian terms. How they engage one another seems more intriguing somehow than how they "are" at any point in the progression of things. I think Oyomei deserves another look on such issues and is very harmonious with Whitehead's process thought -- and the whole concept of takemusu aiki, to my mind.

... this is what I have been trying to do for the past thirty years by living here. Here the issue is the taint of 'western interpolations' on Ueshiba. But he plainly desired (nearly demanded) that his art and thought engage the Western mind. If that was the point, and the flow of the art into the West is a mirror to the spontaneous creation of "technique" in aiki, then perhaps that 'interpolation' is the point -- not the distraction. Finding "pristine" antecedents in that context is of less concern -- at least to me.