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Tenyu
03-16-2012, 09:49 AM
Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-G38MigtTdU) is a recent conversation between Chris Martenson, of Crash Course fame, and Charles Eisenstein, author of AOH and Sacred Economics.

They're speaking about the integration of Aiki into society. Such knowledgeable and intelligent discourse is non-existent in the media, which explains why so many people are misled about everything.

Gerardo Torres
03-16-2012, 11:58 AM
From the Youtube/podcast video description:

Our actions are determined by our beliefs. And our beliefs are shaped by the stories we tell ourselves.

So what happens when the stories we tell ourselves are inaccurate?

The short answer is: we find ourselves engaging in actions that aren't aligned with our best interests.

Charles Eisenstein has made a profession out of studying the intersection of economics and philosophy. And he thinks that over the past several generations, enabled by an unprecedented subsidy of abundant cheap energy, our society has become so far decoupled from natural laws that it has adopted a paradigm of thinking (or "stories") dangerously irrelevant to the future we face.

As resource scarcity increasingly expresses the natural forces that applied to our grandparents' generation and those prior, we are still living under a mindset that assumes predictable, endless growth.

Think about it: most people reading this and nearly all of our national leaders have come of age in one of the most, if not the most, extraordinary economic periods in history. The exploitation of petroleum fields ushered in a global prosperity not dreamed of before. Decoupling gold from the dollar has allowed those living in the US to increase debt much, much faster than GDP for the past forty years. This behavior is empirically unsustainable - but to almost all of us, it feels "normal", because it's all we've known.

And it's coming to an end.
I don't see anything about "aiki" in the description. Can you please tell us the time stamp at which they actually talk about aiki? I don't want to spend an hour and then find out there was no aiki discussion at all. Thanks.

Tenyu
03-16-2012, 05:30 PM
Here's (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=298951&postcount=107) a partial answer to your question.

Gerardo Torres
03-16-2012, 06:35 PM
Here's (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=298951&postcount=107) a partial answer to your question.
No. That does not answer my question in any way.

Me: Can you please tell us the time stamp at which they actually talk about aiki?

Tenyu
03-16-2012, 09:24 PM
What does Aiki mean to you?

Tom Verhoeven
03-18-2012, 08:11 PM
Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-G38MigtTdU) is a recent conversation between Chris Martenson, of Crash Course fame, and Charles Eisenstein, author of AOH and Sacred Economics.

They're speaking about the integration of Aiki into society. Such knowledgeable and intelligent discourse is non-existent in the media, which explains why so many people are misled about everything.

Have not seen this yet. Need another computer to watch youtube. Have read about Charles Eisenstein and read some of his writings though. I think what he has to say is very relevant in this time of change. And yes it is about the same what O Sensei was already talking about and what he and we as aikidoka would call Aiki !

Thank you for bringing this on this forum! Will have a look at it tomorrow morning.

Tom

Tenyu
03-19-2012, 07:20 PM
Tom,

Charles emphasizes we’re historically at peak separation, peak disconnection, peak lack of Aiki. This discord between our illusions of separation and Reality is a primal violence, implicit in almost all of society but rarely recognized. We’re both optimistic though as it’s near impossible for Gaia to deteriorate much more without guaranteeing our extinction. The analogy of the alcoholic is succinct, the act of hitting rock bottom and pushing our liver to failure enables fundamental change to occur. The danger when one doesn’t realize one is drunk while already fatally addicted, the pathological idea we can ever be separate, whole, or healthy independently from the ongoing destruction of Gaia.

genin
03-20-2012, 09:17 AM
I'm not sure what relevance being at the historical peak of something has. I mean, the Dow Jones is at it's historical high. The world population is too. Based on the fact that time is linear, the leading edge of of time/space/reality is right now, therefore most things will be in the process of reaching their apex and being at their highest levels. Just think, right now I'm the oldest I've ever been! I guess my point is that even 1,000 years ago, this lack of Aiki was still an issue.

The other stuff I do agree with. O'Sensei did teach of maintaining a connection with nature.

Tenyu
03-20-2012, 05:27 PM
You imply destructive growth, a decoupling from nature, can or will continue indefinitely into the future. To give a concrete example that nature isn’t an infinite well convertible into toxic waste, the United States did in fact reach its peak in oil production in the early 70’s. We peaked around 10 million barrels per day and today we’re about 5 mbpd. We’ve been exploiting the Middle East since then along with other parts of the world, but now as a whole the world has reached its peak in the past few years, a production plateau, from which it can only decline terminally once the edge of the plateau has been crossed, if it hasn’t already.

You are right though the absence of Aiki has been increasing over millennia. But we are very close to the peak of its absence.

Tom Verhoeven
03-21-2012, 05:56 PM
Tom,

Charles emphasizes we're historically at peak separation, peak disconnection, peak lack of Aiki. This discord between our illusions of separation and Reality is a primal violence, implicit in almost all of society but rarely recognized. We're both optimistic though as it's near impossible for Gaia to deteriorate much more without guaranteeing our extinction. The analogy of the alcoholic is succinct, the act of hitting rock bottom and pushing our liver to failure enables fundamental change to occur. The danger when one doesn't realize one is drunk while already fatally addicted, the pathological idea we can ever be separate, whole, or healthy independently from the ongoing destruction of Gaia.

Tenyu,
I thought it was a video, but it was a podcast. It was a very interesting conversation. And the subject is off course very important to me. The idea of the gift is not new and there are still communities where not everything has to do with money or consumption-economics. In these mountains where I nowadays live the sense of community is still very much there. Al be it less so then twenty years ago, as my neighbours tell me.
As we have some land in the middle of the forests, we feel close with nature. We live with nature, grow vegetables organically and we try to take care of the forest. There are a lot of people who try to do the same as we do. But as you know it is not enough. I am a beekeeper and I have seen all the problems with honeybees grow each year. Did you know the U.S. imported 30.000 bee-colonies from Australia last year? They will try to import more this year, as the the beekeepers in the U.S. are loosing more and more bee colonies every year. It will not be possible to continue to import bee colonies to replace the ones that have died for much longer. Something else has to change.

On the one hand I am very optimistic, I do meet people who try to change and I try on different levels to contribute in that change. But at the other hand I am worried and I expect that we have to brace ourselves for a hard landing.

And then there is another problem. O Sensei gave us already another narrative. And in essence this narrative was not entirely new. There have been other teachers who gave us the same or a similar narrative. Just like Eisenstein is doing now. There are people practicing Aikido who have taken aboard this narrative. But there are much more people practicing Aikido who have not taken this aboard, who do not want to take it aboard even. Surely you must be aware of this, you only have to have a look at the Aiki Web or any other website to recognize the same competitiveness as in the consumption society. Having an opinion seems to be more important then the reaching for enlightenment.
People do not seem to want another narrative, they seem to like the consumption society narrative just fine.

As you must have had a reason in mind to start this thread on Aiki web I wonder if you would like to elaborate on that and also on these questions:

Why are you optimistic about this?

Are you just as optimistic about Aikido and do you think there will be a different / deeper understanding about Aiki in the Aikido -community?

In what way do you think Aikido can or should contribute to this change?

Thank you for starting this thread.
Kind regards,
Tom

Tenyu
03-27-2012, 06:18 PM
Tom,

My optimism comes from understanding the average human cultural condition, inseparable from Gaia's condition, is already at rock bottom and it's never been worse. I'm aware of colony collapse and the general die-off of bees which certainly isn't a new problem. Notice the hives put to unhealthy industrial stresses share a larger percentage of die-off than backyard beekeepers or wild bees.

The hells of separation are at their peak. No surprise Ueshiba's and Eisenstein's narratives are ignored among Aikidoists when society consistently contradicts them. Our culture is profane, our institutions are profane, somehow we've made nature profane. When everything is devoid of divinity, as the Scientific and Technological Programs decree in public schools, universities, and every economic activity, people no longer know the opposite is true, all of Reality is sacred. What does the average person consider sacred today, their families and closest friends? Every other living being and member of Gaia are insignificant and expendable? What insanity and illness to think we're isolated, and then desperately succeed in forcing it with our infrastructure. How many members of Aikiweb unconsciously or consciously consider separation a goal to maintain and strive for, or connection be perverted into a tool only to maximize separation and defeating the other? How much disrespecting of uke do we see in videos and lauded as good Aikido or good-for-Aikido training?

There's no better insight of a culture than its music and I've spent my entire adult life studying post-war and contemporary American religious expressions. In the past year I've opened my ears to pre-war America and the negro spirituals of colonial slavery which has been one of the biggest revelations in my life. The earliest musical recording artifacts only date to the 1890's but they were made by ex-slaves, children or grandchildren of slaves and accurately represent the enduring culture of their time up till as late as the 1940's in general. The slaves had a ‘closeness' both in time and distance to the Infinite, and some of their tonal colors are similar to traditional shaman ceremonies, infinitely deep and compassionate, the true nature of Gaia. Their unique styles of complex simple harmonic structures are advanced Aiki although unsung to our detriment today. Some people do experience the Infinite but it's less common, less frequent and ‘further away' in current vernacular music, or what's left of it. Centralized popular music is nothing more than cultural pollution as Lomax said in the 1970's. Once I acquire the proper transfer equipment I'll begin sharing some of my discoveries of 70 to 110 year old artifacts including those never before re-issued in any format. Putting aside the sociopolitical context of slavery, what negro slaves had most ‘free' people of any race today don't is a direct connection with Gaia on the plantations and the wilderness surrounding them. They lived and worked together with no illusion of separation from their fellow slaves or the land. These people, grounded with earth and community, created the most powerful, beautiful, and sacred expressions in western history. They manifested Art and Aiki at the highest levels of human achievement. What change in so little time, less than a century western nihilism and technology in relative terms perfected its degenerate divide and conquer monoculture and profanity the world over.

Awareness is obviously the first step, one many people haven't taken as you've noted. A quick tangible action you can do is to give a paperback copy of AOH to people you want to help. Some won't read the book but that's ok. O Sensei too was disillusioned with how few really listened to him including his own students, but any successful transmission is worthwhile.