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BAP
03-15-2009, 12:26 AM
I have only recently began studying aikido, and have enjoyed the experience greatly up to this point. The more I read and study the principles underlying aikido there are a number of philosophical/spiritual components which do tend to underpin the art itself.

At least on the superficial level many of them correspond to what Christians understand and believe and many of the teachings and examples in the Bible. However I do not feel that on the deeper most fundamental aspects of my beliefs allow for a deep journey derived from the teachings of aikido's own founder, though again I am sure there are many principles and "teachings" which themselves would not be objectionable and in fact correspond to my own Christian beliefs regarding how to handle conflict generally.

The question still arises how deep into the training of aikido beyond the learning of technique or form it is possible to go and still call what I practice truly "aikido"..My own answer to that question is that I will continue to think of my practice within the confines of the system as "aikido" even within my own self-defined limits regarding the explicit spiritual elements which I elect forgo, in favor of the doctrine which I have received in my life through the Bible.

The purpose of spirituality in or outside of aikido is to give meaning and purpose within each person in life and beyond. The focus of Christian doctrine is love, first of God, and then for your neighbor, it is only through attaining these first two areas of love, that a person in able to properly love oneself. What we are taught is that there is one way one truth and one light, just as there is one God. This is one of the principal areas in which the Bible and aikido's founder philosophy diverge. I am not saying everyone must agree with me, rather I am merely stating a truth in doctrine. Each person is always free to make their own choice and decision as to what path they will follow, that is also a fundamental doctrine. However with every authority given to make our own decision there is an associated responsibility for how we exercise that freedom.

Each individual brings their own personality, attitude, and spirituality into their aikido training. As with all endeavors in life the time, effort, and endeavor each person places into their art will affect in the final product of that they take out of it. If it ever reaches the stage that my development within aikido is detrimentally affect because of some "conflict" between the underlying spirituality and teachings of aikido as an art, and what my conscience and understanding of my Christian religion teaches then I know for myself which must take precedent. The whole purpose of religion/spirituality is to give hope to the spirit, peace to the mind, joy to the spirit, and righteousness to the world around us. I am thankful I have found that path before I found aikido, and look forward to finding a way to gain the most from my aikido experience within my own spiritual beliefs.

Joe McParland
03-15-2009, 08:22 AM
You have made an idol of your doctrine.

Erick Mead
03-15-2009, 09:14 AM
You have made an idol of your doctrine.What does that mean in this context, exactly? That you do not privilege your own doctrine? If you don't, then why the criticism of another person's doctrine? If you do, then what justification is there to criticize? :)

Joe McParland
03-15-2009, 09:40 AM
I have no such burden, since Erick carries my doctrine for me. ;)

Buck
03-15-2009, 10:37 AM
Blair,

What flavor of Christian faith or doctrine do you follow? Are you Orthodox, Catholic, Mormon, Born Again, etc.

BAP
03-15-2009, 10:58 AM
Born Again is the category listed above I would place myself in.

sorokod
03-15-2009, 11:16 AM
Sounds like Yeshua Do (http://www.yeshua-do.com) is a martial discipline that is better aligned with your beliefs than Aikido.

Joe McParland
03-15-2009, 11:38 AM
That website was interesting, especially where the founder describes his struggle between "fundamentalism" (what the church and pastor would approve) and what was "reasonable" - his words.

In the end, it looks like he decided to do what was right for him.

:-)

Buck
03-15-2009, 01:08 PM
Blair,

Ya got to do what ya gotta do. There is no need to put Aikido before God. Aikido isn't going to get you into heaven. It isn't going to save your soul. It is a path far different than Aikido. I am thinking the path of Aikido is more of a social ideal bottled in a reflective martial art. You practice Aikido to understand the ideals of a better, less violent, world.

Yea, there is Shinto in Aikido and O'Sensei's views like all Japanese. But, those deities in terms of Shinto in general are about spirits that in their complexity aren't similar to the worship of one God, or the gods (Roman, Egyptian, etc.) that conflict with God. Never the less, a Christian individual can feel there is conflict depending on their faith etc.and how they worship. It then would be best for them to walk away from Aikido. Cause, Aikido isn't going to save your soul, or get you into heaven.

Good luck.

Joe McParland
03-15-2009, 01:59 PM
Aikido has Oomoto-Kyo in it just like a crocus blooming has Roman Catholicism in it.

jennifer paige smith
03-15-2009, 03:00 PM
The purpose of spirituality in or outside of aikido is to give meaning and purpose within each person in life and beyond. The focus of Christian doctrine is love, first of God, and then for your neighbor, it is only through attaining these first two areas of love, that a person in able to properly love oneself. What we are taught is that there is one way one truth and one light, just as there is one God. This is one of the principal areas in which the Bible and aikido's founder philosophy diverge.
Each individual brings their own personality, attitude, and spirituality into their aikido training. As with all endeavors in life the time, effort, and endeavor each person places into their art will affect in the final product of that they take out of it. If it ever reaches the stage that my development within aikido is detrimentally affect because of some "conflict" between the underlying spirituality and teachings of aikido as an art, and what my conscience and understanding of my Christian religion teaches then I know for myself which must take precedent. The whole purpose of religion/spirituality is to give hope to the spirit, peace to the mind, joy to the spirit, and righteousness to the world around us. I am thankful I have found that path before I found aikido, and look forward to finding a way to gain the most from my aikido experience within my own spiritual beliefs.

Maybe this will help:
O'Sensei in italics; my reflections in reg.

When anybody asks if my Aiki budo principles are taken from religion, I say, ``No.'' My true budo principles enlighten religions and lead them to completion.-
Christian beliefs included. In fact, in my perspective, it allows us to put into action our christ consciousness and to realize that there is in fact only one god/love and divine source that is functioning in every one of gods creations. What people call them, in the grand scale, are simply nicknames.

The source of Bu is divine love. It is the spirit of love and protection for all things. The training of Budo is the forging in our minds and bodies the power of divine love, which produces, protects, and nurtures all things in the Universe(god's creation). The techniques of budo are signposts pointing the way which leads to this.-Divine love being the embodiment of god aka...christlike being.

Aikido is love. You make this great love of the universe(god's creation) your heart, and then you must make your own mission the protection and love of all things. To accomplish this mission must be the true budo.
-Onward Christian Soldier!

I find that aiki brings together a connection between my spirit and my action. Which helps me with the reading of 'Don't you know that faith without works is dead?'

Anyhow, keep your heart open to practice and toss out that which does not serve you.

Peace my Brother!

marudai
03-15-2009, 09:07 PM
I am a very inexperienced beginner so please take my thoughts with a grain of salt (and perhaps more experienced practitioners will correct me if I am mistaken?)

What if one were to approach the practice of Aikido as an instrument of spiritual growth, rather than an intrinsically religious path? Prayer seems to work this way - many people of many disparate faiths pray deeply and mindfully, yet in spite of the transformative power of that practice they are not all led to the same revelation. Prayer is the medium, but it is not the message. The ability to recognize Truth comes from skepticism, faith, and learning which frequently occur parallel to, but not inside of the act of prayer.

In the same way, couldn't Aikido be seen as a medium or conduit through which all aikidoka can reach closer to the Source, guided by their convictions? That's my impression after reading Jennifer Smith Sensei's reflections.

-Allin Kahrl

Erick Mead
03-16-2009, 10:14 AM
Aikido has Oomoto-Kyo in it just like a crocus blooming has Roman Catholicism in it."Look! 'E's 'avin' a go at the flowers, now!"

jennifer paige smith
03-16-2009, 10:53 AM
I am a very inexperienced beginner so please take my thoughts with a grain of salt (and perhaps more experienced practitioners will correct me if I am mistaken?)

What if one were to approach the practice of Aikido as an instrument of spiritual growth, rather than an intrinsically religious path? Prayer seems to work this way - many people of many disparate faiths pray deeply and mindfully, yet in spite of the transformative power of that practice they are not all led to the same revelation. Prayer is the medium, but it is not the message. The ability to recognize Truth comes from skepticism, faith, and learning which frequently occur parallel to, but not inside of the act of prayer.

In the same way, couldn't Aikido be seen as a medium or conduit through which all aikidoka can reach closer to the Source, guided by their convictions? That's my impression after reading Jennifer Smith Sensei's reflections.

-Allin Kahrl

But I didn't say it as well as you:).

Erick Mead
03-16-2009, 11:22 AM
More seriously, Blair. There are deeper and longer connections than we generally give credit. This is not a question of analogous teachings, but teachings that have a direct historical connection with one another through a very long and complicated journey.

Study the Silk Road. The Shinto Zoka-Sanshin, and the issue/problem of monotheism within Shinto. The Da-Huang manuscripts. The 8th century "Nestorian" Stele erected in the Tang Dynasty capital. Scholarly cross-pollination and cooperative translation amongst Assyrian Christians and Buddhists in 7th-10th cen. Chang'an. Kukai, Sancho and the context of their receptions of the Tantric Dharma at the same place, during the same period. Juuji. (十字) The nature of logos and of kotodama in Shingon and Shinto thought. Empress Komyo's 8th cen. reception of a visiting Persian dignitary. The origin of Maitreya other Miroku sects, and the origin of DaiNichi. Compare nembutsu doctrine and the teaching of unmerited grace in venerating the Holy Name. The connections between Amitabha in Gandhara (Dai-Nichi) and the "Bright Teaching" or "Faith of Light" (JingJiao 景教 -- J. Keikyo). Uzumasa (太秦) (Koryu-ji) and the cultural identity of the Hata (太秦), and the identity of the 7th-10th cen. Christian faith called "of Da Qin" (太秦), later called JingJiao 景教 in China. Isa stories. The origins and probable beliefs of the Hata clan and the significance of the Greco-Buddhist center in Hadda in Gandhara to the Silk Road religious syncretism, and the origin of the first anthropomorphic images in Buddhism there. The immediate confusion of the 16th cen. Jesuit presentation of Christian teaching as a new strain of what most Japanese believed Buddhism was.

Read P. Yoshiro Saeki on the status of the effort to draw these connections together before the War stopped it.

marudai
03-16-2009, 10:21 PM
But I didn't say it as well as you:).

You're generous with both your experience and kind words. Thank you. :)

jennifer paige smith
03-17-2009, 12:02 AM
You're generous with both your experience and kind words. Thank you. :)

Shoshin attracts shoshin. You're very welcome.

js

jennifer paige smith
03-17-2009, 12:14 AM
Sounds like Yeshua Do (http://www.yeshua-do.com) is a martial discipline that is better aligned with your beliefs than Aikido.

Yeshua Do is Aikido and Iaido combined with a westernized ethos of budo. Jordan Sensei is 5th dan in both above mentioned arts.

So there's no need to go looking any further than the truth of where you are.

In āʾ Allāh (إن شاء الله),
jen

Skribbles
03-17-2009, 03:44 AM
umm im not quite sure what the conflict between aikido and christianity is? i dunno maybe i havnt gotten deep enough into aikido to understand the conflict but it seems to me that taking care not to hurt someone whos trying to hurt you is very christianlike...

sorokod
03-17-2009, 05:28 AM
Yeshua Do is Aikido and Iaido combined with a westernized ethos of budo. Jordan Sensei is 5th dan in both above mentioned arts.

So there's no need to go looking any further than the truth of where you are.

In āʾ Allāh (إن شاء الله),
jen

Not an expert on Christianity but it seems that Jordan Sensei disagrees with you:
Finally in April, 2001, in Iowa, holding in one hand the experience of the Way of the warrior and in the other the vision I have decided to name my unique Christian Martial Art -- "YESHUA-DO

Buck
03-17-2009, 08:50 AM
Maybe this will help:
O'Sensei in italics; my reflections in reg.

When anybody asks if my Aiki budo principles are taken from religion, I say, ``No.'' My true budo principles enlighten religions and lead them to completion.-
Christian beliefs included. In fact, in my perspective, it allows us to put into action our christ consciousness and to realize that there is in fact only one god/love and divine source that is functioning in every one of gods creations. What people call them, in the grand scale, are simply nicknames.

The source of Bu is divine love. It is the spirit of love and protection for all things. The training of Budo is the forging in our minds and bodies the power of divine love, which produces, protects, and nurtures all things in the Universe(god's creation). The techniques of budo are signposts pointing the way which leads to this.-Divine love being the embodiment of god aka...christlike being.

Aikido is love. You make this great love of the universe(god's creation) your heart, and then you must make your own mission the protection and love of all things. To accomplish this mission must be the true budo.
-Onward Christian Soldier!

I find that aiki brings together a connection between my spirit and my action. Which helps me with the reading of 'Don't you know that faith without works is dead?'

Anyhow, keep your heart open to practice and toss out that which does not serve you.

Peace my Brother!

Jennifer,

I see where you are coming from, and I would like to share my view.

As you know- the way of Jesus, and the way of God isn't Aikido. O'Sensei wasn't Christian, or Jew. Christian religion has strict laws, and a bible to guide, far more complicated then Aikido. Aikido isn't or shouldn't be a Christian sect, and devote Christians should have an issue with Aikido. Just because of a seemingly similar word in Aikido, doesn't make all things in Aikido acceptable to Christians. For, example, the Shinto elements in the dojo and in O'Sensei's writings, the devotedness to O'Sensei that is in the dojo, the spiritualism, etc. all conflict with Christianity.

Some of us are more secular Christians or are different denominations who have no problems with Aikido. But in this case, we should respect other's concerns who do have an issue with Aikido, and not try to tweak Aikido to look like Christianity, or otherwise be persuasive. If a Christian has an issue with Aikido we should respect it. Shouldn't we? It makes everyone happy that way.

And btw, O'Sensei's message when told to the world was around a thousand years too late. Christ beat him to it, anyway. I think Christianity is a better religion then Aikido. anyway. Aikido is a great martial art with it's own Japanese spiritual composition and complexity. :)

jxa127
03-17-2009, 09:42 AM
At least on the superficial level many of them correspond to what Christians understand and believe and many of the teachings and examples in the Bible. However I do not feel that on the deeper most fundamental aspects of my beliefs allow for a deep journey derived from the teachings of aikido's own founder, though again I am sure there are many principles and "teachings" which themselves would not be objectionable and in fact correspond to my own Christian beliefs regarding how to handle conflict generally.

The question still arises how deep into the training of aikido beyond the learning of technique or form it is possible to go and still call what I practice truly "aikido".

I have several thoughts on this issue, but first I recommend checking out Peter Goldsbury's series of articles on this site titled, "Transmission, Inheritance, and Emulation": http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12008

Those articles are a wonderful history of aikido and really get at a lot of the issues of training, intent, religion, cultural context, and how aikido has changed over the years.

The evidence seems to be that aikido for O'Sensei was a religious practice, but that he did not intend for it to be the same thing for his students, and they did not practice it as religion. His son and his students, did however, promote aikido in conjunction with a bunch of moral lessons regarding the nature of conflict. These moral lessons are based on things that O'Sensei wrote and said, but are largely presented without the religious underpinnings from O'Sensei.

With all that in mind, I don't see any conflict between my religious beliefs and studying aikido -- and I do see a lot of benefits in the study of conflict and how to handle in the best way possible. As a Lutheran, I have no interest in practicing Shinto or Ōmoto-kyō -- although I'm happy to learn more about them to better understand aikido's historical context.

It is also worth noting that spiritual truth revealed through budo is nothing new in aikido. "The Life-Giving Sword" is a work from the 17th century that has a lot of the same feel to it as the "aiki-hug" aikido stuff.

Finally, the bowing and other forms of ritual polite actions and respect can bother some Christians and Muslims (at least), but that topic has been dealt with extensively on this board before.

Regards,
-Drew

jennifer paige smith
03-17-2009, 10:15 AM
Not an expert on Christianity but it seems that Jordan Sensei disagrees with you:

I'm sure it does.

jennifer paige smith
03-17-2009, 10:38 AM
Jennifer,

I see where you are coming from, and I would like to share my view.


Ok.

Eva Antonia
03-17-2009, 10:40 AM
Hi all,

I'm Roman Catholic and have read both this thread and another one where it was more about Muslims' approach towards bowing and mixed gender training with interest.

From my point of view, I don't have any problem to reconciliate aikido spirituality with Christian spirituality, just thinking that I'm not obliged to take everything literally; there are lots of things that are not meant to be believed word by word, but that are written with the intention to make persons THINK about them. In the bible as well as in other holy books. Although I know that there are many people that like the word-to-word approach, I always thought that it's a too narrow way of thinking and that there are many different forms of expressing the same truth.

But then I have another thought about aikido, that it is in a way opposed to Christian beliefs because when doing it you enjoy so immensely the physical aspects of it (for me, it's especially the FLYING when been well thrown...it's an addictive pleasure). So I somehow feel rather that the purely physical feeling of enjoying yourself tremendously smothers the spiritual aspect, and that you get more attached to earthly life and neglect the soul. It is just an impression I have, and it doesn't prevent me from doing aikido (for that, the addiction is in a far too advanced stage), but it provokes from time to time a slight uneasiness.

Best regards,

Eva

jennifer paige smith
03-17-2009, 10:57 AM
To me, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What I see is a confluence of paths.

Quote fro Jordan Sensei:
[Finally in April, 2001, in Iowa, holding in one hand the experience of the Way of the warrior and in the other the vision I have decided to name my unique Christian Martial Art -- "YESHUA-DO]

Quote from Ueshiba Sensei
"I decided to name my unique budo (martial art) Aikido, although the word aiki is an old one. The word which was used by the warriors in the past is fundamentally different from that of mine."

Others are welcome to see it differently. For now, me and Jah are travelin' the Ai and Ai Path.

mathewjgano
03-17-2009, 11:09 AM
Nicely put, Drew. Interestingly enough I would say participating in Shinto, which came about accidentally through an interest in Aikido, has brought me closer to Christianity. Suffice it to say I've been very very critical of Christianity in the past.
Obviously this is just my own belief, but my relationship with Christ exists entirely in my heart. I live my life as best I know how...which means I will undoubtedly make mistakes in how I treat myself and my fellow humans, not to mention my supposed savior. My intent is always for Good to manifest, all the while knowing I have no reasonable/logical way of determining what is "truly" good...because I'm human and I'm dependant on my family and my society to fill me in on the world I happened upon at birth...before i began to make my own conclusions. That said, when i bow to O Sensei's image, I am not worshipping him as the pinacle of divinity (God-head), I am honoring him as but one result of that divinity...an archetype which represents something virtuous. In the same way, when I see a particularly beautiful flower or the kind of kindness which leaves me humbled, I thank whatever divine thing might be the source of such beauty and often beg pardon in case God cares more about what name I call Him than what is in my heart. In other words, my belief is that the particulars of form are meaningless, and the particulars of intent are everything.
This has been my way in and out of Aikido as it relates to spirituality.

Erick Mead
03-17-2009, 04:28 PM
Nicely put, Drew. Interestingly enough I would say participating in Shinto, which came about accidentally through an interest in Aikido, has brought me closer to Christianity. Suffice it to say I've been very very critical of Christianity in the past.Well, someone else was, too. He came around -- complete with the golden light and all, as it happens. Acts 17:21-28; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Titus 1:15. :)

A great perspective on the Zoka Sanshin : http://www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/wp/cpjr/kami/sasaki.html

Joe McParland
03-17-2009, 07:27 PM
An observation: The doctrinal folks of different faiths take issue with how different they are, while the "spiritual" folks of different faiths tend to find their similarities.

Of course, the doctrinal folks and the spiritual folks *within* a faith are sometimes at odds with each other as well.

In any event, if you are *solid* in your faith, you can find yourself anywhere unhindered.

JO
03-17-2009, 09:22 PM
Almost everybody in aikido has a worldview that is very different than O-sensei's. Seriously, how many devout Shinto mystics have you trained with. I often wonder if certain elements of O-sensei's beliefs and sayings have any relevance to my life at all. I'm a Bright (no supernatural beliefs), so I tend to take any discussions of ki, kami and unity with the divine as metaphor or I simply ignore it. However, as a freethinker I try to keep my eyes and mind opened to different ways of interpreting things.

I think the reason certain Christians tend to be the ones to agonize about differences between their worldview and that of O-sensei's is that they have a hell to fear and that if you believe yours is the one absolute Truth, that pretty much makes everybody else wrong. Many Christians seem to live in mortal fear of being led astray.

As the student of one path that has probably led more Christians out of the flock than any other (the science of biology), maybe they're right to worry.

Of course, they're also seems to be no lack of Christians capable of taking the parts of aikido, or biology for that matter, that fit their worldview and integrating them into their lives while training alonside aikidoka with all types of backgrounds and beliefs.

Then you have the Jeshua-do types that mold aikido to their beliefs and surround themselves with like-minded individuals. Personally, I'm not tempted to start an explicitly supernatural free aikido dojo. I prefer the diversity that comes with a broader cross-section of society.

Joe McParland
03-17-2009, 10:01 PM
Free Thinker: another religion! When you tell us what you don't believe, that is your belief.

When the bokken is falling, do Free Thinkers move omote while Christians move ura?

sorokod
03-18-2009, 04:05 AM
Free Thinker: another religion!

Only if you choose to call a world view which excludes supernatural, a religion. I think that this approach dilutes "religion" to the point where it ceases to be a useful concept.

Joe McParland
03-18-2009, 06:07 AM
Only if you choose to call a world view which excludes supernatural, a religion. I think that this approach dilutes "religion" to the point where it ceases to be a useful concept.

People who believe "religion" is a useful concept attack from ai-hanmi, while people who don't attack from gyaku-hanmi.

:)

Erick Mead
03-18-2009, 06:34 AM
Only if you choose to call a world view which excludes supernatural, a religion. I think that this approach dilutes "religion" to the point where it ceases to be a useful concept.The supernatural is an emergent property of nature, not other than nature may be, but other than it has been, yet. It is an entry of real novelty into the system. The source of novelty is and remains a mystery, to both doctrinal religion as to doctrinal science. It is not known to any doctrine that can be taught, but it is known in faith.

If you deny that an emergent property can be, simply because you haven't seen it before, well, that is not a logical objection, it is to be expected -- emergent forms or properties are not predictable from the linear summation of what generated them. They occur almost exclusively in recursive systems, chaotically but deterministically, and not with any linear predictability.

Recursion, or a reflexive function, is an aspect of the observer problem in fundamental physics. If we accept that observation is a necessary component of the reduction of reality to a single state, in each moment (in each wave-function comprising it and this seems to be empirically the case, despite all efforts to reduce the observer out of the system) -- What then, is doing the observing? More accurately, since we cannot seem to define an observer in other than personal terms, WHO is it then, that is watching ?

Aikido, in its takemusu aiki aspect, represents the emergent forms of interaction from joining in well-trained aiki, not planned and executed techniques, and not predictable, but highly aware, and reflexive in awareness, composing both the objective (attack) and subjective (connecting without resisting) into one recursive system that takes on a life of its own, in ways independent from the explicit parameters of the separate components as they entered into the system.

Divine technique, like the man said. It is the universal situation painted in a personal miniature.

Erick Mead
03-18-2009, 06:36 AM
People who believe "religion" is a useful concept attack from ai-hanmi, while people who don't attack from gyaku-hanmi. Mugamae? ;)

sorokod
03-18-2009, 07:02 AM
The supernatural is an emergent property of nature, not other than nature may be, but other than it has been, yet.

By supernatural I meant "that which is beyond rational comprehension". The post was with this definition in mind.

I am not sure why you bring up recursion and non linearity. From my distant uni. days these subject fall solidly within the disciplins of fractal geometry, measure theory and so on. While challenging and difficult no one claims that they are beyond human comprehension.

Erick Mead
03-18-2009, 08:26 AM
By supernatural I meant "that which is beyond rational comprehension". The post was with this definition in mind.

I am not sure why you bring up recursion and non linearity. From my distant uni. days these subject fall solidly within the disciplins of fractal geometry, measure theory and so on. While challenging and difficult no one claims that they are beyond human comprehension.Ah-ah. Sneaky. You neatly elided "rational comprehension" into "human comprehension." Those are not the same things, at all.

Are they really contained by rational comprehension? Determine whether a point in the complex plane is on the Mandelbrot set, and then tell me the solution of the set at that point without selecting a magnification scale of the structure. It can't be done without computing it at a given magnification, very precisely, and yet the pattern itself is coherent, and identifiable (and indeed beautiful) but not merely rationally so. A decent artist familiar with the pattern could more easily draw you a figure approximating a location that is demonstrably on the set (if you analyzed the algorithmic consistency of the geometry of the resulting figure), than you could computationally determine the same structure on the set from the algorithm without a scale and position. The eye sees much more than we can know about an image.

You are looking at the question as about "what we know," when the question is really about "what it is." "What it is" is more than a rational apprehension of reality. Ontological reduction has essentially failed, but it was a useful failure, as Whitehead and quantum mechanics showed programmatically and deterministic chaos and quantum mehcanics show empirically across scales -- in the microscopic aspects of non-locality, AND in the macroscopic aspects of chaotic processes, and emergent properties. The thought that there could possibly be non-predictable yet simply deterministic systems has been and in some quarters, remains, anathema. Niels Bohr said that "It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature..."

That does not deny that there is a real reality, but that our powers of description of it are always exceeded by that reality, at what ever level of precision or quantification we try to apply. Nature slips from our grasp, and this aspect of nature is coincident with its supernature. It is supernatural because our understanding of nature does not encompass it, not because it is other than nature is. Supernature is simple a greater nature than we can know.

sorokod
03-18-2009, 09:17 AM
There is stuff out there that is not computable (in the technical sense), there is stuff out there that is not provable (in the technical sense) and there is stuff there that is uncertain and non deterministic and non local (in the technical sense). These are mathematical facts and accepted physical theories.We gained these insights through a rational process.

Perhaps there is a vagueness about what rational means, here is an example of how I think about this: Godel demonstrated a mathematical fact that is true and not provable in mathematics (skipping "some" :) details here). The fact that it is true can be "rationally" explained to and comprehended by, a bright ten year old.

If you want to call those aspects of reality that can not be proved, determined, computed etc... supernature, that's Ok. Somewhat overloaded with meaning but Ok. I do not think however, that this supernature has enough "volume" to contain a religion in it.

mathewjgano
03-18-2009, 09:37 AM
Well, someone else was, too. He came around -- complete with the golden light and all, as it happens. Acts 17:21-28; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Titus 1:15. :)

A great perspective on the Zoka Sanshin : http://www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/wp/cpjr/kami/sasaki.html

Fascinating reading, thanks Erick! Ogenkide!
Matt

JO
03-18-2009, 11:39 AM
I don't define the supernatural as those things I don't understand. The whole point of science is to try to understand natural phenomena we don't understand. It also has nothing to do with things that are obvious, easy to understand or intuitive. Science has shown that many natural phenomena follow consistent patterns that are completely counter-intuitive.

So what does not believing in the supernatural mean to me. Let me put it this way, I believe that the Universe contains all existence (by definition) and that all of existence is constrained by the same sets of rules and processes. There are no superheroes capable of escaping the laws of thermodynamics, nor are there omniscient gods capable of predicting random quantum events. I don't believe in these things (which is why I self identify as a Bright) because I have never seen any evidence of their existence (and as a freethinker I require evidence on which to base my beliefs; tradition, dogma and cultural norms just don't cut it for me).

Freethought is about how you come about your beliefs and says nothing about what those beliefs are, other than the belief that freethough is the best way to choose your beliefs. Everybody has beliefs, I have never suggested otherwise.

To get back to something related to aikido. The jokes about whether a Christian moves one way and au freethinker another does cut to an important point. Aikido is first and foremost a form of physical training. At a minimum it requires nothing more than a body to train. Which is why, all this philosophical nonsence aside, we should all still be able to train together.

BAP
03-18-2009, 06:01 PM
To get back to something related to aikido. The jokes about whether a Christian moves one way and au freethinker another does cut to an important point. Aikido is first and foremost a form of physical training. At a minimum it requires nothing more than a body to train. Which is why, all this philosophical nonsence aside, we should all still be able to train together.

I do agree that in the basic sense that aikido when defined in the aspect of physical training by itself, that we should all be able to train together. At the same time I think we can all agree that aikido does have some specific religious/philosophical foundations as set froth by its founder. Yet it is not itself inherently religious, in the basic physical training aspect of the art.

The question then becomes can aikido become a religion at least to the individual participant. The answer to this question would appear to be yes. I am sure that probably half the people who read this will strongly disagree. The problem is in defining exactly what religion is. The common definition of religion does revolve around aspects of some understanding of God or gods. Other definitions of religious only require the aspect of sacredness in the thing (this could include nature itself, cultural standards, some other set of beliefs either held individually or by a larger group). Normally these beliefs are so strongly held that they affect the way the individual makes their individual decisions in various areas and aspects of their life. Thus religion, in my own understanding of the term, is like the lens through which all the other aspects of your world around you are viewed and when making decisions by which the options are weighed.

Religion also becomes the basis on which we make decisions today based on future events and consequences which we have no true basis of knowing empirically what the end result will be. This is the element of faith. Each of us, just in the process of living, has to exercise faith, the question then becomes what is it that we base our faith on. Faith can be religious based or not. The fact remains we each make these sort of decisions every day both in the choices we make, and also in what alternatives we decide to reject.

Whether aikido is at a minimum religious if not a religion is a determination made on an individual basis. Aikido becomes what we each let it become in our own lives, like a statue it becomes what we make it, it can either be a paper weight or an idol. When it becomes the lens which we view all our other relationships and base our important decisions then I believe at least in that circumstance that it could be called a religion. For those who choose to keep their religion separate and treat aikido as a paper weight instead then that is what it is and will remain for that person.

Joe McParland
03-18-2009, 06:23 PM
[Lots of reasonable stuff.]

When I practice aikido, it is neither a religion nor not-a-religion (a.k.a., "paperweight" ;) ). While engaged in the practice, what would make such a distinction is otherwise clearly occupied.

Some may argue that this is one of the great lessons of aikido --- one interpretation of the art's name itself.

Erick Mead
03-18-2009, 08:04 PM
There is stuff out there that is not computable (in the technical sense), there is stuff out there that is not provable (in the technical sense) and there is stuff there that is uncertain and non deterministic and non local (in the technical sense). Nigh on Rumsfeldian. ;)

If you want to call those aspects of reality that can not be proved, determined, computed etc... supernature, that's Ok. Somewhat overloaded with meaning but Ok. I do not think however, that this supernature has enough "volume" to contain a religion in it.There is the error. You assert that the limits of your perceptibility (not what you do or have perceived but CAN perceive) are sufficiently large in "volume" to leave only a negligible "volume" of events or processes inobservable (by you or any of us). There is no a priori way to state the limits of events or processes you cannot observe. There is no way to limit by any a priori method the "volume" or size of the class of events or processes that you cannot observe -- we simply know (thanks to Godel and Heisenberg) that there are classes of such events or processes that are inobservable, and nonetheless demonstrably REAL.

Now the kicker-- Bishop Berkeley's point brought up to date by Whitehead : If they are not observable but are real -- what about the observer problem that exists for all other classes of real things? It is not a "god of the gaps," WE are in the "gap" because the "volume" beyond our perceptibility may very well be inexpressibly large -- we cannot say. Cantor showed that even infinite sets can have different sizes.

The metaphysical premise of religion involving personal deity as observer ( if not more) is NOT physically dispensable -- until you can reduce the observer problem out of existence for the class of real objects or processes. This was Whitehead's essential conclusion. He could not do it, much though he tried. Nor has anyone else.

BAP
03-18-2009, 10:19 PM
Thanks. I agree that there is a wide spectrum between the paper weight (as the lowest most base level) and the idol... aikido can very rightly be appreciated for its concepts and as art along with its utilitarian (budo - martial) element, yet not reach the level of "religion" for the person.

Joe McParland
03-18-2009, 10:37 PM
Blair, I agree that there is a full spectrum of thought and consideration that can be assigned to one's practice.

And when you encounter someone else holding a different thought about his practice, conflicts such as the OP's arise.

So, is aikido what you *think* aikido is, or is it something different?

Michael Douglas
03-19-2009, 03:22 AM
.. At the same time I think we can all agree that aikido does have some specific religious/philosophical foundations as set froth by its founder.
What are they?

Not a simple question ... M.Ueshiba seemed not to make clear his opinions on that, and perhaps, sometimes, he fibbed.

Michael Douglas
03-19-2009, 03:27 AM
Sorry to go back some pages, but I must disagree with this (common) view ; umm im not quite sure what the conflict between aikido and christianity is? i dunno maybe i havnt gotten deep enough into aikido to understand the conflict but it seems to me that taking care not to hurt someone whos trying to hurt you is very christianlike...
Didn't Jesus say "turn the other cheek"? : Implying submission to assault will have a transforming effect on the agressor. He seemed to abhor even the smallest violent resistance.
And wouldn't Ueshiba have broken an agressor's arm or head, then imply that wasn't really contention or violence?

I don't see Jesus' recorded teachings as similar to M.Ueshiba's recorded comments.

sorokod
03-19-2009, 05:33 AM
Yes, that "volume" argument is quite weak. Note though, that Heisenberg's realm is the quantum level and Godel's is the "non interesting statemets about mathematics", so there is a subjective sense of smallness. I do not have the Good Book with me right now, but as far as I remember Dawkins rejects a personal deity on grounds of probability.

BAP
03-19-2009, 09:07 AM
Joe, exactly what aikido "is" appears to devolve into the same argument regarding apprehension and understanding which the question of what religion "is". If you randomly asked five people in this forum to define aikido I think you would get five at least slightly, and possibly highly, different responses.

The answer to your question would have to be that aikido for me is what I want it to be, what it is for someone else could be much more expansive in nature. Aikido is often described as the "way of peace" or "harmony" these principles if that "spiritual" aspect is what motivates some people and attracts them to the art then you are seeking more from aikido than others may. The harmony and blending are integral to the physical application of th art itself (along with atemi) which does separate it from other martial art forms. I use the term spiritual to refer to the wider application of these principles as part of ones world view, and ordering your life generally outside of aikido based on its principles.

As a Christian i am not looking or seeking to apply aikido as a world view, or applying its principles in a spiritual sense in my own life. I became involved in aikido initially as a form of exercise which also provided some possibility for self-defense as well. Since I have been taking the art I have become increasingly aware of how very refined nature of the art is, and what is required just to begin to develop the physical application aspects of aikido.

A number of posts also seem to equate the general principles and philosophy of Christianity and aikido, to imply that the two are in many respects no different. Superficially at least that argument can be made, since both do stress the importance of "peace" and "harmony". Yet the same statement can be said for any number of different religions, philosophies, and ideologies. Many have as their basis the search for peace, harmony, and truth. How it is that each sets the path for reaching that goal which is important. As a Christian that path is itself through Christ Jesus, which in turns affects how I make my decisions, which would be materially different than if I had another spiritual foundation, though many of the same outward objectives are present in each. For one thing even though peace and harmony are important, it is not the only or overriding idea, at least in the form of Christianity which I have received. The same Jesus who did teach that we should turn the other cheek, also turned over the tables of the merchants in the temple. The aspects of both grace and judgment are essential within Christian doctrine, and are not mutually exclusive to one another.

Erick Mead
03-19-2009, 09:07 AM
Yes, that "volume" argument is quite weak. Note though, that Heisenberg's realm is the quantum level and Godel's is the "non interesting statemets about mathematics", so there is a subjective sense of smallness. I do not have the Good Book with me right now, but as far as I remember Dawkins rejects a personal deity on grounds of probability."small." Interesting thought, however, while incrementally small it cannot be denied that quantum increments are computationally VERY LARGE, spanning the entirety of your "knowable" reality of mass, energy and indeed even a vacuum flux.

Do you believe just because Dawkins says it? ("Credo quidquid dixit ________ ...") [Google it, if you have no Catholic background] ;) Sounds like you just changed the names in the blank.

And is a probabilistic (i.e. - linear) analysis appropriate to a stochastic or chaotic system? When a "trivial" variation from the average can produce a disproportionate alteration in the computational result, linear probability is not a terribly useful tool. The number of possible linear solutions to a truly chaotic probability distribution is uncommonly large. You might catch some tufts of hair, but the beast slips your snare --- and this is of a piece with the quantum problem which has cast its own finely woven net over every aspect of the macrocosmos -- the problem is one problem -- not two different problems.

And because of non-locality, we cannot rule out that what we see as discrete "small" units of quantum process are but "splintered" irruptions into our scheme of perception of an "elsewhere" connected whole. Certainly Bell's Inequality suggested this, and that was David Bohm's extended solution building from that, in which he also posited the nature of human perception.

Some part of the being, the existence, of the quantum process seems also present "there," but not directly perceptible "here." Part of the balloon is stuck through a very narrow hole in a wall. In fact, the whole net of the universe has balloons shoved through its all of its openings. Pushing and prodding a ballon to try and measure the whole thing makes portions of it recede from view beyond the threshold of that barrier, by the very act of trying to capture it. The fact that we seem unable to effectively "drag" the remander of whole through the hole to our side (despite deploying energies not seen "here" since the Big Bang in places like CERN), suggests that portion on the other side is at least equal to, if not far larger than, the part on our side. I am on sound scientific ground at the very least to assert that there is a "there" there.

Either that, or it's turtles all the way down ...:D

jennifer paige smith
03-19-2009, 09:51 AM
" It's turtles all the way down" ...:D

That's "it".The turtle says, 'mu'.
and, If you really wanna know, ask an old lady, seems like one shows up for every version of the back-story.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down

:-)

sorokod
03-19-2009, 10:43 AM
[Google it, if you have no Catholic background] is now a finalist in my "Cool email signature competition", thanks for that :) .


Do you believe just because Dawkins says it? ("Credo quidquid dixit ________ ...") [Google it, if you have no Catholic background] Sounds like you just changed the names in the blank.

Dawkins makes a rational argument, one is free to follow it and make his/her own conclusions. It might even be available in Latin ( Deus Delusion ?) . Here is a condensed version (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Boeing_747_gambit).
I am not sure what is it that you intent to do with your "supernature". We agree that it is out there (a fact) and disagree on the "size" of it (a subjective thing, as we did not define anything relevant). Will you demonstrate an Aikido-relevant effect that is "supernatural"?

Erick Mead
03-19-2009, 10:55 AM
A number of posts also seem to equate the general principles and philosophy of Christianity and aikido, to imply that the two are in many respects no different. Superficially at least that argument can be made, since both do stress the importance of "peace" and "harmony". Yet the same statement can be said for any number of different religions, philosophies, and ideologies. Many have as their basis the search for peace, harmony, and truth. It may not be a superficial relationship at all, but much deeper. There really is good cause to believe (and therefore reason to inquire much further) the evidence suggesting that a specifically Christian ancestry underlies a significant strain of the Shinto system, particularly in the Zoka Sanshin, the Creator trinity. They possess marks of a wholly distinct nature from that of all other kami understood in Shinto. Similar points of connection of different type can be seen in Shingon, Tendai and the Miroku and Amida sects.

If it were true, as seems suggested by Yoshiro Saeki's initial work int he early 20th cen., that a 7th-8th cen. layer of Christian influence entered Japan through the Chinese Tang capital, much that seems otherwise very ad hoc begin to take on a much more coherent character of historical development.

Assyrian Christians were in the Chinese Captial, and already by then speaking of their Christian concepts quite competently in a well-schooled Eastern religious idiom. From their connections in that same place and time, a distinctive strain of Buddhism was forming itself in Japan (Shingon and Tendai) and the Kojiki was being compiled in written (Chinese) form.

If it were true, then much that is curious about the strongly syncretic elements of Japanese religions, makes far more sense. It means that a continuous historical thread connects, from a very early period, otherwise difficult sensibilities of Japanese thought. Many more things fit together than not: both native and Buddhist religious sensibilities as they took on their distinctive character, and their easily "merged" nature, the powerful "savior" strains of Buddhism in popular piety, from the medieval period to the modern day, as well as the swift and wide-ranging Christian conversions in the 16th cen., the continual wrestling with the implications of monotheism within Shinto in the Kokugaku movement in the 18th and 19th cen, the oddly parallel development of the "secular savior" problem in the early and mid-twentieth century, in the Italian, German and Japanese autocracies, and the many resulting "New Religions" in the late 19th and 20th cen. It explains many more questions than it creates.

Erick Mead
03-19-2009, 11:49 AM
[Google it, if you have no Catholic background] is now a finalist in my "Cool email signature competition", thanks for that :) . De nada.

Dawkins makes a rational argument, one is free to follow it and make his/her own conclusions. It might even be available in Latin ( Deus Delusion ?) . Here is a condensed version (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Boeing_747_gambit). The argument from design while noted by St. Thomas is actually not the strongest that there is. The response to Dawkins complexity counter-argument is "non sequitur." His argument is about the process of evolutionary change -- not the existence of the Creator. The Church does not have a bone to pick against evolution, only against the essential reductionism that it is often used to support, as Dawkins uses it.

Dawkins therefore commences with a category error, at least as regards God (vice "creationism" as such, which is plainly error) This category error was also noted by St. Thomas, and the reason why Catholic theologians mostly do not support the "intelligent design" thesis. The error is this: The creation of forms by mutation from other forms is a process of subsidiary creation, but only of derivable forms, not of their existence or of their essence in the first place.

That process of change is the method of "design" so far as we are able empircially to determine it. But that is not of the same category of the eternal nature of creation of existents (beings) ex nihilo. Something from nothing. It is actually an observable phenomenon -- hard vacuum incessantly fluxes from being to non-being -- constantly -- from what our measurements tell us.

The fact that the universe has an aspect of self-organization, in forming deep chaotically organized eddies of mixed being and non-being, does not explain how it came to BE that it might self-organizein this way. The fact that it is, ontologically, self-organizing, eliminates the "who designed the designer" question -- it IS self-designing. The nature of being of the universe is inherently self-organizing with the flux between being and non being, as its essence -- it is what it is, and it does seem to BE in that way -- but the fundamental question is why IS it at all, and only secondarily why it is in that way. The ontological argument is both primary and stronger. The fact that it self-organizes with the constant flux of being and non-being, in artful concentrations and combinations, means that the act of existence, creation is much an eternal act as the essenital process of design, everywhere and throughout all time. .

Will you demonstrate an Aikido-relevant effect that is "supernatural"?Takemusu Aiki -- Divine technique. It is in aikido, it is in surfing, in gymnastics, tennis, you name almost any form of human endeavor that prizes efficient intuitive action or processes -- It is real, and it is not rational. It provokes unexpected awe in the doer and the observer -- it is kami, in other words. It is why we keep showing up to train.

sorokod
03-19-2009, 12:19 PM
Takemusu Aiki -- Divine technique. It is in aikido, it is in surfing, in gymnastics, tennis, you name almost any form of human endeavor that prizes efficient intuitive action or processes -- It is real, and it is not rational. It provokes unexpected awe in the doer and the observer -- it is kami, in other words. It is why we keep showing up to train.

and this is related to quantum mechanics how?

Erick Mead
03-19-2009, 04:11 PM
and this is related to quantum mechanics how? A chaotic system cannot be decomposed; and as such it has an analogue of quantum entanglement in it, because motion on one coordinate axis is always coupled (spookily) with motion along the other coordinate axis. The image of asagao the opening morning glory flower, was classically used to show this coupling in motions realted to aiki -- it is found throughout the proper motions of aiki arts, and operates in either direction. It is the foundation of things such as Sanchin no kata as well See here: http://www.naturefootage.com/video_clips/BF41_157

Any given motion at a given energy level will not necessarily betray that it is chaotic, and that such coupling is present. Chaos is apparent in the distribution of energy levels the system exhibits, but not at any given energy level. Wigner's distribution for the spectrum of nuclear interaction quanta, turns out to be almost identical to the distribution of spectrum of energy levels in classical chaos. http://www.spectro.jussieu.fr/Chaos/perso/delande/articles/15.pdf (p. 3 of 4)

Every aikido interaction is a three body problem (at least) -- two players + planet = (potentially) chaotic system. (Yes, I know one relatively immobile body leaves large basins of classical stability, but not in relative motion terms. When the two players start moving but maintain only a small amount of (rather critical) relative motion between them, respectively, then -- you have chaotic relative motion, planet included. Moreover, if you look at the subsidiary elements of human structure you see several different ways of defining complex pendula, which give rise to resonance behavior and exhibit chaotic motion when driven at their critical frequencies.

Joe McParland
03-19-2009, 05:45 PM
Joe, exactly what aikido "is" appears to devolve into the same argument regarding apprehension and understanding which the question of what religion "is". If you randomly asked five people in this forum to define aikido I think you would get five at least slightly, and possibly highly, different responses.

The answer to your question would have to be that aikido for me is what I want it to be, what it is for someone else could be much more expansive in nature. [etc.]

If I say, "apple," is the one you see the same as the one I see, or are they different? And where exactly do you see it?

And when I say "Aikido"? What now?

Again and again it comes up, and still no one has defined Aikido. To everyone, Aikido is "what I understand Aikido to be." And then we argue. So ask: "Is Aikido what I think it is, or is it something else?"

Hard style or soft style? Tomiki style, Iwama Style, Yoshinkan style, Ki Society style, ...? Self-defense focus, flowing ki focus? Which is Aikido? Are they the same or different?

Aikido does not require definition. It does not become anything. It is what it is. The rest is how you perceive it, your preferences and dislikes, and so forth. No big deal.

Whatever it is that you are practicing, just practice. No big deal. After all, when the bokken is screaming toward your head, you won't be worried about the other nonsense anyway.

That's Aikido.

... at least how I perceive it :p

sorokod
03-19-2009, 06:28 PM
Let's see if I can decompose this :)

1 . A chaotic system cannot be decomposed; and as such it has an analogue of quantum entanglement...
Chaotic systems have a quality, and quantum systems have a quality. Technically, they are different qualities but they sound kind off similar.

2. Every aikido interaction is a three body problem (at least) -- two players + planet = (potentially) chaotic system.
Every Aikido interaction is a chaotic system.

3.
Consequently Aikido is related to quantum mechanics, and we have that Takemusu Aiki is "supernatural"

Did I miss something?

BTW. the morning glory video is very nice.

Erick Mead
03-19-2009, 10:00 PM
Did I miss something?

BTW. the morning glory video is very nice.My pleasure. And yes, you did.

Let us sum up the discussion so far, so we can see where:

D: Religion is not a useful concept; the supernatural is not within rational comprehension.

E: Supernatural is not other than nature, just other than the nature that is knowable or observable.

D: The nature that cannot be known or observed is trivially small. and all such things are comprehensible by humans.

E: Not all are rationally comprehensible, but are still comprehensible or at least relatable. Real but inobservable phenomena cannot be compared in quantitative significance to the observable; by definition inobservable quantities cannot be measured.

D: No it isn't, and Dawkins says God is not probable and I believe him.

E: What's Dawkins got to do with it? And the class of observable and inobservable phenomena are at least equal by all evidence and the sum of very small things is very large - What's God got to do with it ? Linear probability cannot describe nonlinear systems; because there are things that emerge or recede that we cannot know .

D: Supernature -- what is supernatural in aikido?

E: Takemusu Aiki -- an application of something real and not rational -- and generic.

D: So, .... how 'bout them quantum mechanics?

E; What's quantum mechanics got to do with it? But since you asked ... same pattern of behavior as in Takemusu Aiki

D: They have different names so they must be different; Overgeneralizing (takemusu aiki is chaos so all aikido must be chaotic); and misapplying the overgeneralization in a non-sequitur
---------------------------------------------------------
All told not a bad discussion. :)

To conclude then -- the things that quantum mechanics says are real but inobservable, and the patterns that chaotic systems produce that are real and recognizable but not repeatable are not merely similar sounding they are directly physically correspondent phenomena to a high order of statistical significance, and follow the Wigner spectrum distribution.

Things we are incapable of perceiving in operation (but dimly) and that produce wondrous effects with little change or action, inspire awe and are supernatural -- or as we might say -- kami, or as the quantum physicists like to say -- "spooky action at a distance."

sorokod
03-20-2009, 05:35 AM
Not fair! Where did this "can not be known or observed" came from? We agreed to call a bunch of stuff "supernatural" (your choice of adjective). Now you equating them to "nature that can not be known or observed" and I do not accept this.
Many of your arguments seem to rely on solid scientific work done by physicists. Quantum effects are well known and constantly observed. While counter intuitive and surprising, the "supernatural" is constantly being researched and harnessed by scientists and industry.

D: No it isn't, and Dawkins says God is not probable and I believe him.
Umm...more likely: "Dawkins argues God is not probable and I understand and think it is a fine argument". Bringing god into the discussion was probably a mistake, I got excited by all that Yeshua (more correctly Yehoshua) stuff. :)

This being a martial arts forum, the question "what does all this has to do with Aikido" arises naturally. I am surprised that after all your references to QM, you say: "What's quantum mechanics got to do with it?"

D: They have different names so they must be different; Overgeneralizing (takemusu aiki is chaos so all aikido must be chaotic); and misapplying the overgeneralization in a non-sequitur
No, I am not saying that they are different and I am not saying that they are the same. You are claiming that they are related so the burden of proof in on you.

To bring some of these concepts to more mundane level I'd like to point out the Billiard table+balls is a chaotic system (with no friction and extra bouncy walls) and so are Dow Jones/FTSE/NASDAQ indices. No one refers to these systems as "supernatural", they do not have essential quantum properties and no Kami arises out of them.

Erick Mead
03-20-2009, 09:13 AM
Not fair! Where did this "can not be known or observed" came from? We agreed to call a bunch of stuff "supernatural" (your choice of adjective). Now you equating them to "nature that can not be known or observed" and I do not accept this. Many of your arguments seem to rely on solid scientific work done by physicists. Quantum effects are well known and constantly observed. While counter intuitive and surprising, the "supernatural" is constantly being researched and harnessed by scientists and industry. You are entitled to your belief, but the both the mathematical conclusions as well as the empirical conclusions are that some things are irrevocably hidden from us as a matter of ontological consequence, because of what they are, and not as an epistemic consequence, because of any defects in our knowledge of them. It seems we are permitted to see the shadow cast, but not the body nor the light that cast it.

This being a martial arts forum, the question "what does all this has to do with Aikido" arises naturally. I am surprised that after all your references to QM, you say: "What's quantum mechanics got to do with it?" I relate aikido and chaotic motion; you and I are also discussing God and creation, and Godel and quantum mechanics came up. There also happens to be a principle of correspondence between chaotic processes and their emergent properties and quantum mechanics and their complementary "receding" properties. They happen to correspond in physical terms, according to work on corrsepondence in quantum chaos, and that's it. It is an observation of the state of the art, no more.

Takemusu Aiki is an exercise in emergent properties or forms -- but most of aikido practice in the early going especially, is "going through the motions" until the aware but unconscious mind/body can express itself in such emergent forms. No one exercises non-locality in Aikido -- well... not that I am aware of, anyway -- but those aspects of quantum mechanics and chaos are very much related -- and both supernatural in the way I understand the term -- which is not "other than nature," or "nature we do not know yet," but a "greater nature" that we cannot know directly.

No, I am not saying that they are different and I am not saying that they are the same. You are claiming that they are related so the burden of proof in on you. Wigner distribution is precisely in common with both. Not proved as to the full nature of the correspondences that connect them so very tightly in this way -- but the correlation is extremely strong and neither coincidental nor trivial -- just as the better understood quantum-classical correspondence is. It is all one thing. We just have three different settled basins of accessible knowledge, and only mostly impassable mountains with narrow passes between them; passes not fully explored. The fact that pass is narrow or that there may be other passes says nothing about the size of the mountains, nor diminishes in any substantial way the immovable barrier that they present.

To bring some of these concepts to more mundane level I'd like to point out the Billiard table+balls is a chaotic system (with no friction and extra bouncy walls) and so are Dow Jones/FTSE/NASDAQ indices. No one refers to these systems as "supernatural", they do not have essential quantum properties and no Kami arises out of them.You haven't hung out with commodities traders much, have you? Most superstitious bunch of number crunchers I've ever seen.

Buck
03-20-2009, 11:12 AM
Eric,

Interesting concept you "relate aikido and chaotic motion." I presuming you are talking about chaos theory. I don't see it that way. I relate it to the simple observation (without the application of mathematical or scientific theory, we can discuss that latter) that Aikido is controlling and diffusing chaos. In a couple of flagship words in Aikido, it is the harmonizing of chaos and then the resolution of chaos to peace.


To whom it may concern, :)
That to me is one example of the gross philosophical/spiritual component that also does underpin Aikido very strongly, that Christians shouldn't have an issue, and that isn't being argued Aikido shares superficially some parts of Bible. Aikido, and the Bible does look at peace. But an underpinning that Aikido has that is different from the Bible is that Aikido blends with violence to resolve to only one end, that being peace, on an individual scale. Whereas, the Bible uses violence, offensively in more dynamic means and ends other than peace. It may be said then Aikido does share some ideas with the Bible, but the Bible's philosophy of peace and the use of violence is really different.

Erick Mead
03-20-2009, 12:36 PM
Interesting concept you "relate aikido and chaotic motion." I presuming you are talking about chaos theory. I don't see it that way. I relate it to the simple observation (without the application of mathematical or scientific theory, we can discuss that latter) that Aikido is controlling and diffusing chaos. In a couple of flagship words in Aikido, it is the harmonizing of chaos and then the resolution of chaos to peace.
"Chaos" in physical terms has a very well-defined meaning. Chaos is a non-linear recursive system with high sensitivity to initial conditions. Chaos is, in fact, a very complex form of order, vice truly random events (if such even exists).

Extending that physical principle by analogy to the ethical situation, what the attacker seeks is actually highly ordered and very linear: You dead -- him not-dead. Game over. Do not pass go; do not collect two hundred dollars. Binary decision.

Aikido does not seek linear order, nor does it seek "peace" in the trivial sentimental sense -- as achieving harmony in aiki terms is perfectly consistent with an ongoing raging war all about you, that you are an active participant in. The eye of the storm is the notion of peace in aiki.

As for the rest, katsu jinken - setsu ninto -- your choice.

mathewjgano
03-20-2009, 01:10 PM
To whom it may concern, :)
...But an underpinning that Aikido has that is different from the Bible is that Aikido blends with violence to resolve to only one end, that being peace, on an individual scale. Whereas, the Bible uses violence, offensively in more dynamic means and ends other than peace. It may be said then Aikido does share some ideas with the Bible, but the Bible's philosophy of peace and the use of violence is really different.

I see a parable of sorts to the Christian Bible that relates to Budo/Aikido. In the old testiment we get a much more severe image of what happens when you fall out of line. You get turned into salt. And even when you've lived a long life of noble devotion, you can get miserably sick and lose your whole family. I think this points to the severity of life; the kill-or-be-killed reality that people had to deal with more on a day-to-day-basis than today. The first written law as I recall was Hamurabi and his eye for an eye: if a roofer's shingle falls and kills someone, the roofer dies. It's harsh, but it's orderly.
Then, after an uncertain amount of time, Christ comes along and suggests something more subtle. He seems to be a man of peace, but he also spoke of beating plows into swords and turning the other cheek (as a sign of defiance, as I understand it). He shows respect to people who're not supposed to be worthy of it. And while he still dies, it's presumed to be a sacrifice for something greater.
I'm getting distracted by other things so this isn;t as poetic as I'd like, but long ramble cut short I'd say the origines of budo are to the old testiment as the relatively modern budo is to the new testiment. I see the old as being a simple tit-for-tat "tough-guy" response and the new as being transcendent...if I'm making any sense.:hypno:
...and sorry if I'm not, I'll see what I can come up with a little later maybe.:D
Take care,
Matt

sorokod
03-20-2009, 05:48 PM
Water dripping from a faucet is another chaotic system.

Faucet drips water
You watch the sink and wait
where is that Kami?

Erick Mead
03-21-2009, 01:44 AM
Water dripping from a faucet is another chaotic system.

Faucet drips water
You watch the sink and wait
where is that Kami?Literally -- hidden in the spacing between them.

Buck
03-21-2009, 09:54 AM
Chaos is a non-linear recursive system with high sensitivity to initial conditions. a very complex form of order, vice truly random events (if such even exists).

Extending that physical principle by analogy to the ethical situation, what the attacker seeks is actually highly ordered and very linear: You dead -- him not-dead. Game over. Do not pass go; do not collect two hundred dollars. Binary decision.

Huh? Is it or isn't it?


Aikido does not seek linear order, nor does it seek "peace" in the trivial sentimental sense -- as achieving harmony in aiki terms is perfectly consistent with an ongoing raging war all about you, that you are an active participant in. The eye of the storm is the notion of peace in aiki.

As for the rest, katsu jinken - setsu ninto -- your choice.

You'er creatin' new Aikido myths ther' ain't chya, Bubba? :D

Buck
03-21-2009, 10:38 AM
Literally -- hidden in the spacing between them.

So Erick we are dealing with negative space or variables related to intrinsic fluctuations allowing for a non-absolute outcome and stuff, or the laws of mother nature, or Darwin? Or is it a function of a Zen thingy. Or most of all does it really matter, and we should shift back on topic? :)

Erick Mead
03-21-2009, 10:55 AM
Huh? Is it or isn't it? Attacker isn't -- Aikidoka is -- non-linear, that is.

You'er creatin' new Aikido myths ther' ain't chya, Bubba? :DNope. Applying them.

Erick Mead
03-21-2009, 11:06 AM
. Or most of all does it really matter, and we should shift back on topic? :)Oh, chaos matters, you betcha, and it is on topic. Aiki is a chaotic system. No myth. "Going in and out of aikido" takes one across the border from linear order to randomness, and back again, and that border region is where the aiki lives. I think I used a ridge trail analogy, between valleys, in respect of fear and anger, in another post, but the same is true of linear order and randomness. It is a supercritical region, and easy to fall off to either side.

Buck
03-21-2009, 05:13 PM
Erick you convinced me, in a most periocular way.

sorokod
03-22-2009, 04:16 AM
So Erick we are dealing with negative space ...

In negative space no one can hear your KiAi ;)

Joe McParland
03-22-2009, 09:09 AM
OP has pinned himself with the thought that his beliefs today will limit his Aikido tomorrow.

Where do you see a knot that needs untying?

BAP
03-24-2009, 02:26 PM
Eric,

That to me is one example of the gross philosophical/spiritual component that also does underpin Aikido very strongly, that Christians shouldn't have an issue, and that isn't being argued Aikido shares superficially some parts of Bible. Aikido, and the Bible does look at peace. But an underpinning that Aikido has that is different from the Bible is that Aikido blends with violence to resolve to only one end, that being peace, on an individual scale. Whereas, the Bible uses violence, offensively in more dynamic means and ends other than peace. It may be said then Aikido does share some ideas with the Bible, but the Bible's philosophy of peace and the use of violence is really different.

This is one of the differences between the philosophy of aikido as opposed to Christianity. The principle of harmony and peace is focused exclusively of specific individual and specific situation. It can be said that in aikido we accept the violence blend with it to the purpose of achieving peace. Peace is this circumstance being defined as a lack of present conflict against the individual themselves, even when this means use of violence in the blending process to produce this result. The use of aikido itself however does not ensure that the individual themselves is necessarily any better after the blending other than the lack of violence itself presently. The focus thus is the use of violence to the extent necessary to prevent harm being done to us or those around us.

There is a great deal of violence surrounding Christianity and as set forth in the Bible. For sake of this discussion, I will only touch on the broadest aspect of violence within Christian theology and the Bible. The Bible is a revelation of God to man, and a history of God's plan in reconciling man to himself. The three essential elements of God's character is righteousness, judgment, and grace. All three of these being integral and interrelated to each other. Violence in this context most closely related to the aspect of judgment. There can be said to be a necessity to a certain level of violence to achieve certain objective within specific contexts. Within discussion of aikido we state that violence can be, and usually is a necessary element in bringing about peace. Within this context judgment (and aspect of violence) is necessary to protect and vindicate the element of righteousness. Grace can be understood as the element of love, which gives itself when righteousness would otherwise require judgment. The peace which is the ultimate objective of the Bible revolves around reconciling (seeking harmony)( of sinful man to a righteous God through a process of salvation (which itself involved violence).

Aikido can be said to focus on the finding of peace or harmony directed inwardly toward the individual's attitude and his relationship with the world around him or her. The peace which is the objective of the Bible focuses on peace through reconciliation with God which extends beyond this current world or nature itself.

Joe McParland
03-24-2009, 02:47 PM
So, God, Aikido, and Christianity, walk into a bar...

(Anthropomorphism.)

sorokod
03-24-2009, 03:14 PM
So, God, Aikido, and Christianity, walk into a bar...

Is So some sort of christian deity?

Joe McParland
03-24-2009, 03:20 PM
Is So some sort of christian deity?

Don't blaspheme the almighty So! ;)

BAP
03-24-2009, 04:19 PM
and I thought So was the dreaded Anthropomorphism.

Joe McParland
03-24-2009, 04:45 PM
Fear the dreaded Anthropomorphism, for he is quite deceptive. ;)

Erick Mead
03-24-2009, 04:45 PM
This is one of the differences between the philosophy of aikido as opposed to Christianity.
...
The peace which is the ultimate objective of the Bible revolves around reconciling (seeking harmony)( of sinful man to a righteous God through a process of salvation (which itself involved violence).
...
Aikido can be said to focus on the finding of peace or harmony directed inwardly toward the individual's attitude and his relationship with the world around him or her.
...
The peace which is the objective of the Bible focuses on peace through reconciliation with God which extends beyond this current world or nature itself.

The law and the prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one enters it violently.

Violence is not merely in Jesus' sacrifice but in each of us, and among us, and as necessary to our entry into the salvation offered as the key is that opens the lighted door. The essential teaching on peace and violence (as with so many of the teachings in the Gospel) lies in these paradoxes:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Aikido teaches us to surpass anger and fear in violent circumstance, a circumstance that is an inevitable part of our salvation in Christian terms. The path of peace is the narrow way, narrow as a blade's edge.
You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.... But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. In aiki, I am the sun -- I am the rain. I fear not, neither do I judge. Aiki is a force of nature -- not a set of techniques. We learn through training to invest it with our own body, soul and spirit. As sun makes flowers grow or burn -- and rain makes them grow or drown -- its manifestation depends on the circumstance -- and it is truly not a willful act to do, though it is a matter of will and effort to attain. Aikido, as the Founder seems to have meant it, frees us to love -- although it cannot make us love one another. That requires grace.

And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear. ` Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.' But now ... ; if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one, because I tell you these words of scripture are destined to be fulfilled in me: He was counted as one of the rebellious. Yes, what it says about me is even now reaching its fulfilment.' They said, 'Lord, here are two swords.' He said to them, 'That is enough!'

We take the instrument of our knowing destruction in hand.

But more than that -- it is also a welcoming act.

MY CHILD, in this life you are never safe, and as long as you live the weapons of the spirit will ever be necessary to you. You dwell among enemies. You are subject to attack from the right and the left. If, therefore, you do not guard yourself from every quarter with the shield of patience, you will not remain long unscathed. Moreover, if you do not steadily set your heart on Me, with a firm will to suffer everything for My sake, you will not be able to bear the heat of this battle or to win the crown of the blessed. You ought, therefore, to pass through all these things bravely and to oppose a strong hand to whatever stands in your way. For to him who triumphs heavenly bread is given, while for him who is too lazy to fight there remains much misery. Let no man fear any terrors. Let us be prepared to meet death valiantly in battle.

Buck
03-24-2009, 08:42 PM
So, God, Aikido, and Christianity, walk into a bar...



And God said, Oy Veh! (ouch!) :D