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Buck
07-21-2008, 09:22 PM
In the thread Violence under the Pretext of Love (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14826) I talked about how I think O'Sensei meant by Love. I think I wrote pretty good pieces on that ( I am wildly ducking now- waiting for the criticism to fly. If anyone cares that is).

With ego in hand, I want to expand on why I think O'Sensei's idea of love came from. Purely to get other's opinion's of course.

Because I will be talking about Onisaburo I feel it is appropriate this should be in the Spiritual Forum.

If Onisaburo words always had multiple meaning, and I am assuming this isn't something new for Japanese writers, and like Shioda said it was common for samurai to write and speak in code, etc. then it can squarely be assumed that O'Sensei also wrote in the same way of having many meanings to what he wrote. And Onisaburo believed in "The Japanese spirit" which to him when he wrote it has one really interesting profound meaning that may have been carried through to O'Sensei. This is what make it so difficult to understand what O'Sensei meant by love because there maybe more than one meaning or definition.

Onisaburo said, it was a fighting spirit that had to do with fighting those who where against Japan's liberty and independence-Japanese patriotism of the time, plus the culture of Japan; pro-modernism. He was against the unreasonable and unjust and about defending the rights of the weak ( politically and those needing human rights?). Plus, it also meant it had to do with fighting against those pro-war and anti-peace, and those not observing human rights.

"The Japanese spirit" explained by Onisaburo might give us insight to what O'Sensei was talking about when he spoke of love. O'Sensei may have not meant love thy neighbor as thy self like I first interpreted at all.

Absurd, brilliant or on the mark or off?

Charles Hill
07-22-2008, 12:47 AM
Hi Phil.

Can you give your Onisaburo source?

Thanks
Charles

senshincenter
07-22-2008, 02:20 AM
I think one will be hard pressed to suggest that there were no Christian influences in the thinking of Onisaburo. But, first, another question: Why connect "The Japanese Spirit" to "Love"? I'm not sure I understand how that was first connected in your post. If you wouldn't mind, could you also explain this a bit more - please/thanks.

dmv

Buck
07-26-2008, 12:04 AM
I think one will be hard pressed to suggest that there were no Christian influences in the thinking of Onisaburo. But, first, another question: Why connect "The Japanese Spirit" to "Love"? I'm not sure I understand how that was first connected in your post. If you wouldn't mind, could you also explain this a bit more - please/thanks.

dmv

As an example, upon my first reading of the Doka's and other spiritual philosophical writings by O'Sensei I didn't read them in the context or culture of which they were written. The context I used was that of my own. Now over-time and with some help of college education of Japanese culture that familiarize me more with the Japanese, beyond dojo manners and the common Japanese words and phrases used in the dojo, I make an effort to place what O'Sensei said in its native context. Part of that effort is making connections that are available from where O'Sensei drew from and was inspired from.

I don't think that I can any longer substitute my native context for the original context. I may not be able to completely read O'Sensei in the full proper context, and this is better than relying on my context as a substitute . But what I don't want to do is to make any substitutions of my own, especially if I have accesses to the original context, at any degree. If there is no context or complete context originally in what O'Sensei said, then it is better to have none at all.

Because, I feel, then you are not fleshing the words with the proper context and if you do that then your result is inaccurate, and misleading subject to anyone's and everyone's own personal interpretation. WOW how confusing is that to hear a million different people purporting and their interpretations, all screaming know what he meant. So at least if we can go back to the root sources like Onisaburo, Budo culture, and in that time period of O'Sensei's which all played a major role in what O'Sensei was saying at least gives us a change at the Turkey Shoot with ol' Bess Brown.

Buck
07-26-2008, 01:19 AM
I got an email from a friend who read by post here, and corrected me saying, "it isn't Bess Brown, it is Brown Bess" and I could know better. I told him, yep I know it was done on purpose to make a point.

Then I was reading on another martial arts board that a well-knew scholar and researcher with solid credentials mine you, also has to trouble shoot O'Sensei's writing for the proper context O'Sensei had in mind. I am not going that far, I am just looking at what had a strong influence upon O'Sensei spiritual to give some kind of understanding that his use of the idea of Love ain't what is familiar to most non-Japanese who didn't live at the time he used the word. I am betting most Japanese have trouble with that Turkey Shoot too. I just don't want to throw everything but the kitchen sink by default at what O'Sensei's meant by love. Looking the possibility there was a double meaning to love and it doesn't include a non-Japanese idea of love, or another religious definition, or a psychological definition, and isn't left up to personal interpretation does help me. It helps me to know that it wasn't about compassion as seen by Christians or Buddhists, and alike. Love used by O'Sensei may have more then one meaning too. What where those possible other meaning, and what what his meaning, so far, it isn't about romance, or the 60's cultural revolution, [pick a famous guru or indian self help author] indian spirituality, or the Dali Lama. I think the meanings maybe unique to O'Sensei.

Sources... gee, many different posts, old AikiNews sitting on a friend's coffee all over sometime ago.

senshincenter
07-26-2008, 09:31 AM
I guess to me it sounded like you were saying that there is some relationship between "the Japanese Spirit" is how we should understand "Love" within the thinking of Osensei - I was hoping you would clear that up by explaining how the two terms came to be related in your earlier post. At this point, I'm afraid I still do not understand your exercise of relating them (how, why, etc.).

I think there are two other things you might find worth thinking on...

- There may indeed be Christian understandings of Love in the thinking of Onisaburo and perhaps then of Osensei. This notion of Love might very well be aiming at an all-inclusive understanding of the term/notion/practice.

and,

- Whatever Osensei's notion of Love may have been, it was heavily marked by universals - in my opinion. In that case, whatever it was, it was NOT ever meant to be his and his alone.

In other words, what one may be looking at may indeed be the confines of a cultural/historical context that delineates us all, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, what one is seeing are great efforts to move beyond such confines, to the Truth with a capital T, to absolutes, to universals, to vantage points where the confines of cultural and history are proven not only false, but irrelevant.

(Speaking abstractly here - with no reference to anyone) If that is the case, should one set out to know the history of Osensei, to make the historical-cultural context the end-all of understanding what Osensei was saying and/or doing, he/she may in the end be a very good historian, but he/she may also be by that very act a lousy and/or very ignorant Aikidoka.

Buck
07-26-2008, 09:51 AM
It is pretty evident to me just based on the context of what O'Sensei's war and post war experience, how he was for peace in society. In case then love could have meant peace, or anti-fuedalism. That is peace on a global scale and not a mirco-scale such as mediation, or mental etc.

And the scholar I mention is a seasoned and well respected Aikidoka.

I hope that clears it up. :)

Michael Hackett
07-26-2008, 03:25 PM
Being a westerner who doesn't speak Japanese, isn't conversant with the current culture, and almost completely ignorant of recent Japanese history and culture, I find most of the writings almost incomprehensible. I think that to properly interpret and convey the message, one would have to be steeped in the language, culture and history. I can think of two examples.

We had a Brazilian native visit our dojo and give a BJJ seminar to our students. He spoke very little English, but did his best. He commented to the class that he loved our "hot bodies" and he may have been as puzzled as we were. It turns out that he liked our warm ups at the start of class. That was both a language and culture disconnect.

As a kid I watched an old movie from the late 30s-early 40s and one of the actors watched a beautiful woman walking past and made the comment "That's a beetle if I ever saw one!" John, Paul, George and Ringo hadn't hit our shores yet and I had no idea of what he was talking about. My mom, or some other adult explained that the term "beetle" applied to really attractive and available young women during that time. I had a language, culture and historical disconnect.

I appreciate these discussions and the works of people like Stevens and Amdur for helping make sense of this material.

senshincenter
07-26-2008, 05:39 PM
It is pretty evident to me just based on the context of what O'Sensei's war and post war experience, how he was for peace in society. In case then love could have meant peace, or anti-fuedalism. That is peace on a global scale and not a mirco-scale such as mediation, or mental etc.

And the scholar I mention is a seasoned and well respected Aikidoka.

I hope that clears it up. :)

Again, where issues collide is where Onisaburo and Osensei (by extension or exposure) affiliated themselves with ideas that were global (at the least) in nature. And, this, is only relevant to those current practitioners that have a stake in preserving what has passed - which I have to admit, for me, is not the reason for establishing a historical context to Osensei's thought. As, for me, as a practitioner, not as a historian, the real question is what do I mean by relating Love to Aikido (or vice versa) and not what did Osensei mean.

Buck
07-28-2008, 07:51 PM
Hey, to each is his own, I am not here to tell a man he can't believe what he wants. If you are to insert your own spirituality and reject O'Sensei's in their dojo, then there is no argument from me. But, if someone doesn't completely replace O'Sensei's philosophy with their own philosophy and instead interprets his writings, with there own meanings and contexts, then they are distorting Aikido. In example, that would be Love. I don't know what O'Sensei was really getting at when he use the word love. But I know it doesn't mean "love thy neighbor as thy self."

To put the Christian context of love, and saying that is what O'Sensei meant by love is bassackwards. He didn't mean it like since logically he wasn't a Christian. Basically, with a little digging on the amateur level a better argument would be for love is it is more akin to social behavior opposed to that of the past history of Japan. Or in terms of psychology, as I don't believe O'Sensei was trained in western psychology.

I have no issue with for example a Christian replacing O'Sensei's philosophy, What I think this is important is people can't go around spouting Doka's or O'Sensei's writing, and putting their own meaning and context behind it, then saying that is what O'Sensei meant. Like something very common and familiar as the word love.

Again on a basic llevel, love could have many different and coded meains when O'Sensei wrote it. I think it is important for people to know that O'Sensei's philosophy isn't something that can easily be understood. That it is so difficult and abstract that even scholars of Aikido have difficulty understanding what O'Sensei meant. Therefore, so does everyone else. And that should be known, right?

senshincenter
07-28-2008, 09:17 PM
Hey, to each is his own, I am not here to tell a man he can't believe what he wants. If you are to insert your own spirituality and reject O'Sensei's in their dojo, then there is no argument from me. But, if someone doesn't completely replace O'Sensei's philosophy with their own philosophy and instead interprets his writings, with there own meanings and contexts, then they are distorting Aikido. In example, that would be Love. I don't know what O'Sensei was really getting at when he use the word love. But I know it doesn't mean "love thy neighbor as thy self."

To put the Christian context of love, and saying that is what O'Sensei meant by love is bassackwards. He didn't mean it like since logically he wasn't a Christian. Basically, with a little digging on the amateur level a better argument would be for love is it is more akin to social behavior opposed to that of the past history of Japan. Or in terms of psychology, as I don't believe O'Sensei was trained in western psychology.

I have no issue with for example a Christian replacing O'Sensei's philosophy, What I think this is important is people can't go around spouting Doka's or O'Sensei's writing, and putting their own meaning and context behind it, then saying that is what O'Sensei meant. Like something very common and familiar as the word love.

Again on a basic llevel, love could have many different and coded meains when O'Sensei wrote it. I think it is important for people to know that O'Sensei's philosophy isn't something that can easily be understood. That it is so difficult and abstract that even scholars of Aikido have difficulty understanding what O'Sensei meant. Therefore, so does everyone else. And that should be known, right?
I think some deeper research is in order on your part - if you will allow me to say so. When I first said that one would be hard-pressed to demonstrate that there was no Christian influence in Omoto-kyo, and by extension in Osensei thought, I was meaning that it is impossible to suggest this.

You can look this all up for yourself on the Omoto-kyo website - where there are plenty of writings by Onisaburo and plenty of history whereby you could look into other things that show this influence. In particular, you might want to look at Omoto-kyo's notion of salvation and Heaven on Earth, crucifix symbolism, references to the OT creator deity, messianic notions surrounding Onisaburo, Omoto-kyo's participation at the World Parliament of Religions, Omoto-kyo's relationships with Christian groups that were also espousing a universal oneness as a means to peace on Earth, etc.

In the past, I earned several advanced degrees in the study of Japanese religious culture. As I was earning those degrees, I often came across folks that bought into the notion that Japan presented an alternative to Western traditions and ideas - making it an exotic other. However, this "otherness," at least after 1600, was part of the political re-imagination, huge efforts, by the power institutions that have had stakes in Japan's cultural identity. As such, someone studying Japan, and especially things like Japanese religious history/culture, has to be very careful about not buying the party line hook, line, and sinker.

To be blunt: There would be no Omoto-kyo without Christianity, and by extension, there would also be no Osensei without it either. This, I say to the historian.

To the practitioner, again, using your example, who would want to practice or cultivate a love that could not easily include the notion of loving self and neighbor as one and the same?

dps
07-28-2008, 09:28 PM
. I don't know what O'Sensei was really getting at when he use the word love. But I know it doesn't mean "love thy neighbor as thy self."

If you do not know what O'Sensei was getting at, then how do you know what he doesn't mean?

.To put the Christian context of love, and saying that is what O'Sensei meant by love is bassackwards. He didn't mean it like since logically he wasn't a Christian. Basically,
You don't have to be religious to understand that loving your neighbor as thy self is a means to peace.

David

Buck
07-29-2008, 08:28 AM
David, I don't know what O'Sensei means. I am sorry if that wasn't clear ealier.

Peace isn't love by our standards and thinking. You don't have to love someone to be at peace with them. A peaceful nation isn't at war with another nation. But being at peace doesn't mean the nations love each other.

jennifer paige smith
07-29-2008, 02:05 PM
Love and peace are synonymous with the maturity level exemplified in nature's interactions of generation and regeneration. In a forest community the neighbor is the self inter-reliantly.

Natural Wholeness=Peace
The Place of Unconditional Infinite Regeneration=Love

There is no sentimentality to this: No relativity, No conditions, No withholding, No fragmenting, No anaylizing.

Mu, Wu, Bu; It exists without our permission.

Buck
07-29-2008, 08:46 PM
Jennifer please let me know where this place is, I want to move there :D

Buck
07-29-2008, 08:53 PM
You don't have to be religious to understand that loving your neighbor as thy self is a means to peace.

David

I agree, but is that what O'Sensei meant by love? I wouldn't bet on it. If I had to place a bet, between "love thy neighbor, and what Jennifer said...hmmm...I would place by bet on what Jennifer said. But, we really won't ever find out. :)

dps
07-29-2008, 10:51 PM
" Love thy neighbor as thyself."

Other ways of saying it are;

"Do to other as thou wouldst they should do to thee, and do to none other but as thou wouldst be done to." Socrates

http://www.humanitarian.net/interfaith/studycenter/Omnia_vincit_amor/

* Christianity: "So in everything, do to others, what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets" -- New Testament: MT 7:12 NIV

* Buddhism: Treat not others in ways that yourself would find hurtful.-- Udana-Varga 5.18

* Baha'i: Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself. -- Baha'u'llah Gleanings

* Confucianism: One word which sums up the basis for all good conduct...loving kindness. Do not do to others what you would not want done to yourself. -- Confucius Analects 15:23

* Hinduism: This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. -- Mahabharata 5:1517

* Islam: Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself. -- The Prophet Mohammed, Hadith

* Judaism: What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole torah; all the rest is commentary. -- Hillel, Talmad, Shabbat 31a

* Native Spirituality: We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive. -- Chief Dan George

* Janism: One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated. -- Mahavira, Sutravitanga

* Sikhism: I am no stranger to no one; an no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all. -- Guru Granth Sahib, pg.1299

* Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbors loss as your own loss.-- T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien, 213-218

* Unitarianism: We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent of all existence of which we are a part. -- Unitarian principle

* Zoroastrianism: Do not unto others what is injurious to yourself. -- Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29

---------------------------

I bet O'Sensei's definition is in there somewhere.

David

dps
07-29-2008, 11:13 PM
Hi David,
I know you're onto something. O'Sensei was a part of Omoto Kyo Shinto which included neo-christian context.
And so an above assertion that he was 'not a christian' is inaccurate.

Okay, my thought is that O'Sensei's meaning of love is a universal shared by religious and nonreligious thought.

David

jennifer paige smith
07-29-2008, 11:18 PM
Okay, my thought is that O'Sensei's meaning of love is a universal shared by religious and nonreligious thought.

David

I deleted the post that you're referring to, but I'll answer you for clarification.That is my thought to. Except I'll add that Love exists without our thoughts. Just like we do.

jennifer paige smith
07-29-2008, 11:22 PM
And I guess since I'm back on this thread I'll offer this quote

"Aikido manifests a way to order the world to be united as one family.
It is to help God build a paradise on earth. The unity of the world comes from the unity
of each country, and the unity of a country depends upon that of each family. As a unit of the
universe as well as a part of a family, each person should fulfill his duty to unite the world.
What he should first do is training himself well enough for that purpose. Without completing
one's training, it is impossible to be of service to God.
Every creature on the earth pursues its own way. Even if it is an animal or a plant, its
way should not be thwarted. This is the law of Nature. Obey Heaven and God. Respect others
and yourself. That is the spirit of Aikido."

Best


Professor?

Peter Goldsbury
07-30-2008, 02:17 AM
And I guess since I'm back on this thread I'll offer this quote

"Aikido manifests a way to order the world to be united as one family.
It is to help God build a paradise on earth. The unity of the world comes from the unity
of each country, and the unity of a country depends upon that of each family. As a unit of the
universe as well as a part of a family, each person should fulfill his duty to unite the world.
What he should first do is training himself well enough for that purpose. Without completing
one's training, it is impossible to be of service to God.
Every creature on the earth pursues its own way. Even if it is an animal or a plant, its
way should not be thwarted. This is the law of Nature. Obey Heaven and God. Respect others
and yourself. That is the spirit of Aikido."

Best

Professor?

OK, now I'm supposed to say, "Hmm, that's interesting, but...” then you say...
...”but what?"
But... you already know what I'm going to tell you.

And she doesn't tell him. In the end he has to find it out for himself.

jennifer paige smith
07-30-2008, 10:50 AM
Jennifer please let me know where this place is, I want to move there :D

Find it yourself:o .

Buck
07-30-2008, 07:40 PM
Find it yourself:o .

Yea, me and about everyone one else in the world who is looking for it:eek: .

Buck
07-30-2008, 07:45 PM
" Love thy neighbor as thyself."

Other ways of saying it are;

"Do to other as thou wouldst they should do to thee, and do to none other but as thou wouldst be done to." Socrates

http://www.humanitarian.net/interfaith/studycenter/Omnia_vincit_amor/

---------------------------

I bet O'Sensei's definition is in there somewhere.

David

I don't think it is anywhere in there David, but I think I know where it is. Knowing where it isn't the problem. It is deciphering it accurately :eek: .

Mary Eastland
07-31-2008, 06:41 AM
I don't know what O'Sensei meant...
Here is what I have learned about love, Aikido style.
I am responsible for my choices...
I cannot feel another persons feelings or tension...anything I feel is my own....
I can lead....
Controling my uke or partner is not my goal...
I have to go to work...now.
Mary

Mark Uttech
08-02-2008, 07:54 AM
Onegaishimasu. Enlightenment is the wish to communicate. Babies do it; all of Nature does it. Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei did it too.

In gassho,

Mark

jennifer paige smith
02-28-2009, 01:52 PM
Momentary thread revival ( i found an excerpt online. thusly inspired.....)

Yea, me and about everyone one else in the world who is looking for it .

An most people :
Look for their cellphones while they're talking on them
Search for their car keys while they are in hand.
Panic because they can't find their sunglasses while they are sitting right on top of their head.

The point is, stop looking and you will discover that you already have it.

Best,
js

mathewjgano
03-01-2009, 12:30 PM
Momentary thread revival ( i found an excerpt online. thusly inspired.....)

An most people :
Look for their cellphones while they're talking on them
Search for their car keys while they are in hand.
Panic because they can't find their sunglasses while they are sitting right on top of their head.

The point is, stop looking and you will discover that you already have it.

Best,
js
There's that Hidden in Plain Sight thing again! It's amazing to me how much in this world seems so deceptively simple. If we can just get past the whirring of our own minds we might get to simply enjoy it unpeturbed.:D

jennifer paige smith
03-01-2009, 05:55 PM
There's that Hidden in Plain Sight thing again! It's amazing to me how much in this world seems so deceptively simple. If we can just get past the whirring of our own minds we might get to simply enjoy it unpeturbed.:D

Yeah, huh;) .

In between the hidden and the manifest is the divine. Or so I've heard.
Now, where are those keys? :D

Chris Parkerson
03-06-2009, 06:37 PM
Is that like saying, "if it ain't simple, it simply ain't?"

Buck
03-07-2009, 09:49 AM
What I was getting at when I started this discussion was to look at what influenced the concept of love and where did it come from. What Japanese stuff O'Sensei took from to say that word and where did it come from. What type of love is it? But since that is a mountain of stuff to write here, I decided to take sum it up on the subject. Thinking all those details are not needed to get my point understood.

O'Sensei was greatly effected by war, and from it it changed his views on life from taking it to protecting it. Not an uncommon view of those who have seen war and it destruction of life. His new attitude like many others he wanted to share it. But I don't think O'Sensei understood how to get that message across the best way for other languages.

The word love, I believe is a poor translated word choice. Because it has too many meanings and definitions behind it. Compound that with that the idea behind the word love is coming from the language of Aikido. A language that borrows and is in the context of many different languages combined. Such as, Japanese, Budo, Omoto, Shinto and other things. All of them make up the Aikido language he created to communicate the ideas for Aikido. A very intentionally complex and abstract language indeed even for the Japanese. Even more difficult to understand with all the different meanings and definitions attached to the word love in all the other languages.

Though we have so many meanings for love in the west it is hard to figure which really applies. We know (or at least we hope) that we know it isn't the same as the type of love isn't romantic, or the affectionate kind. Or emotional state of being in, or other such things.

A better word to use for at least the English language instead of love, to get that view point that O'Sensei had,imo, is mercy, compassion, and conflict resolution. As awkward as it is, these combination of words are more precise and accurate to the experience and meaning of O'Sensei.

As difficult as the language of Aikido is in Japanese and even more when translated, it is not up to us to give our own meaning and definition to the word love in the context of Aikido. It is an injustice and stuff to Aikido and the message of O'Sensei. It is up to us to put the mental effort into bridge that translation gap rather that making O'Sensei's words fit the way we want them too so that they reflect our personal philosophy. When we do that stuff, it is a great disservice to the thing we love.

jennifer paige smith
03-07-2009, 02:14 PM
Is that like saying, "if it ain't simple, it simply ain't?"

yes.;)

Buck
03-07-2009, 07:24 PM
Let me provide more information on what I mean my mercy, as it is my favorite definition as devilish as it is.

MERCY, n. An attribute beloved of detected offenders.