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graham christian
04-03-2012, 08:52 PM
This is my summary of the whole of Aikido in it's true essence.

As stated by Ueshiba it is the path of peace and thus minds all come up with various translations as to what that means.

It's not a mind journey though, it's a spiritual journey, a self journey, a journey of the heart and a journey of the soul.

Simply put, it's the action of restoring peace.

However, it is a path and it is a circle and the true understanding of the circle is the true understanding of Aikido.

This circle starts with peace and ends with peace. A circle of peace.

Thus enters the condition of enlightenment. Enlightenment here meaning a being in a condition of peace, at one with the universe. When you experience similar to this feeling you are experiencing the feeling of STABLE enlightenment temporarily.

Thus Aikido is to learn how to be in such a condition from which to act and bring the other and the scene back to peace, a shared condition.

Sharing. In yourself you may reach being at peace but can you share it? Can you take the attacker and harmonize and restore both in them and in the scene peace?

Such is the path of peace. Such is THE WAY.

Peace. G..

bothhandsclapping
04-04-2012, 10:28 PM
Interesting ... interesting. Who decides what peace is? Can peace simply be the absence of conflict? ... because it's conflict that is the heart of the cosmos -> mutually opposing activities manifested in infinite ways. Is there then good conflict and bad conflict? Who would be wise enough to know which is which?

Peace, I don't know ... love might be a better word.

graham christian
04-05-2012, 08:23 AM
Interesting ... interesting. Who decides what peace is? Can peace simply be the absence of conflict? ... because it's conflict that is the heart of the cosmos -> mutually opposing activities manifested in infinite ways. Is there then good conflict and bad conflict? Who would be wise enough to know which is which?

Peace, I don't know ... love might be a better word.

Hi Jim.
I would say a few things here. First that peace is real and you can experience it, you can experience the feeling of being at peace. It is a matter of soul, hence you may think of any peaceful souls you may have met.

Love is a matter of the heart so we have soul and heart. So to differentiate here we thus can have the feeling of being at peace (soul) and the feeling of being at one with (heart, love)

Thus the heart of the cosmos is not and cannot be conflict. I will add to that the heart of the cosmos is not the center for the center is goodness.

When you mention mutually opposing activities we are venturing into the field of yin and yang. The truth of yin and yang is not actually opposition. There is no against in yin and yang. The wording used in it's description is usually complimentary opposites. Thus not energy or forces which oppose but energies which unify and work together and bring back balance. Take love and peace, heart and soul, as two such for all good energies work together and are complimentary.

So conflict in this sense is brought about by not taking responsibility for such and is a result of such.

Thus you don't remove conflict you put back, take responsibility for goodness, love, kindness etc. and bring back harmony and is this way only does conflict dissolve and disappear.

Returning to peace and harmonious alignment.

This I consider the way.

Peace.G.

bothhandsclapping
04-05-2012, 09:28 AM
Consider the activities of expansion and contraction. They are complimentary in the sense that you can't have one without the other, but they are not complimentary in the sense that an expanding force always wants to drive a system to infinity, while a contracting force always wants to drive that same system to zero. The have no 'regard' for each other.

Now, this system (any system, which would include a human life) will cycle between some absolute maximum (say ultimate health for a human) and an absolute minimum (death), and at absolute minimum the two activities will, for a 'moment', disappear, and you may argue that this is peace. I could not disagree with that. But this state, this zero is just temporary, the system will split once again into the two activities ... to cycle again and again and again.

When you can see mutually opposing activities in all things (the universe, the planet, a human life, breathing, your mind) ... then you may achieve some sense of a 'peace of mind' ... a peace that comes from knowing that everything (especially your mind) will always be in a state of flux.

graham christian
04-05-2012, 12:54 PM
I have considered and disagree. They happen simultaniously and thus cause balance. They are mutally active and dependent for stability and calmness.

Breathing physically and all the various breathing techniques lead you to this understanding.

This all happens from a calm center.

Thus a calm mind and this is why the eastern spiritual philosophy locates mind in the abdomen, not the head.

Thus there is infinite expansion and infinite contraction working together. Toheis 'technical' description of one point refers to this infinite contraction.

To take in and give out at the same time is the key to the greater understanding of this and the true function of center.

Being true calmness it is thus non-resistance and cannot therefore be in a continuous state of flux but only a continuous state of stillness.

Peace.G.

mathewjgano
04-05-2012, 01:59 PM
Graham, do you believe entropy will eventually dominate the universe? If so, how does this fit with your understanding of Universal Peace?

graham christian
04-05-2012, 02:22 PM
Graham, do you believe entropy will eventually dominate the universe? If so, how does this fit with your understanding of Universal Peace?

Hi.
What do you mean?

bothhandsclapping
04-05-2012, 10:35 PM
Inherent in most ideologies is this concept of an absolute. The way you define peace, for example, may be interpreted as the absolute of 'peace'. An absolute, that claims that if we can just 'get there', our collective problems are over, because we would all be walking the path of peace . But where is 'there' in terms on an absolute, and where does it lead?

Absolutes always imply a single direction ... without a natural cycling ... entropy ... an inexorable descent from an ordered state to a disordered state. Is this true 'peace?'

If you keenly observe the world, you will observe that all 'systems' are in fact the results of mutually opposing activities. Beginning from some quiet state, a zero state, with no evidence of activity ... pow! ... two activities appear. Call it what you will for what you are observing (expand and contract, separate and rejoin, inhale and exhale, living and dying, etc.) Early on, the expanding activity dominates and we have 'growth'. And inevitably the contracting activity dominates and we have 'decay'. And just a inevitably the activities must disappear once again into a singularity.

So, observe the universe, your life, plant life, animal life, your breathing, your thoughts. You will have to come to the same conclusion. Everything cycles, there is no absolute. So, if this cycling is the universe, how does your concept of peace 'map' into it?

graham christian
04-06-2012, 10:14 AM
Inherent in most ideologies is this concept of an absolute. The way you define peace, for example, may be interpreted as the absolute of 'peace'. An absolute, that claims that if we can just 'get there', our collective problems are over, because we would all be walking the path of peace . But where is 'there' in terms on an absolute, and where does it lead?

Absolutes always imply a single direction ... without a natural cycling ... entropy ... an inexorable descent from an ordered state to a disordered state. Is this true 'peace?'

If you keenly observe the world, you will observe that all 'systems' are in fact the results of mutually opposing activities. Beginning from some quiet state, a zero state, with no evidence of activity ... pow! ... two activities appear. Call it what you will for what you are observing (expand and contract, separate and rejoin, inhale and exhale, living and dying, etc.) Early on, the expanding activity dominates and we have 'growth'. And inevitably the contracting activity dominates and we have 'decay'. And just a inevitably the activities must disappear once again into a singularity.

So, observe the universe, your life, plant life, animal life, your breathing, your thoughts. You will have to come to the same conclusion. Everything cycles, there is no absolute. So, if this cycling is the universe, how does your concept of peace 'map' into it?

O.K. Thanks for the clarification.

I'll start with 'absolute'. Seen as implying single direction....without natural cycling...may be how many look at it but it's false. Everything in the universe goes through a cycle.

If you look at the enlightened view of the physical universe it is seen that it is perfect and thus absolute. Yet in this perfect state everything follows the universal cycles....within this perfection.

So absolute thus is perfect. The truths of the universe are perfect, each and every one of them. The way they harmonize and work together are perfect, the harmony. Even in the field of physics these physical truths can only be located and worked with, harmonized with, understood, and things built and made according to.

The path of peace is thus a matter of you going through a cycle of growth in spiritual understanding for what is enlightenment but a point where all those understandings (not data) come together as one perfect understanding.

So in this spiritual cycle there are only two directions, two choices, and you must choose one of them. To increase, to grow, to follow the path to freedom or to get less and less aware and succumb and be merely a physical thing trapped in image and physical logic and thus only aware of physical things and mystery, led by an ego that says it's so intelligent and yet leads only to chaos. Thus unawareness and ego follow the path of chaos while true self follows the path of peace.

So spiritually on the disciplined path of peace the direction is one way, true expansion,

Physical 'think' is limited. Spiritual 'think' is infinite and calm.

Peace. G.

lbb
04-06-2012, 12:03 PM
We all bring our own context to things. My personal context, the one in which I'm reading this thread, is one that is presenting some challenges to the definitions or descriptions of "peace" that I'm reading here. I've been reading Dancing in the Glory of Monsters (http://www.dancinginthegloryofmonsters.com/), a background and history of the recent Congo wars. And so my thought is: it's all well and good to talk about how peace, and the pursuit of peace, is a matter of a spiritual discipline, or of getting one's head right, or whatever...but what does that have to do with the experience of the people who lived through (or didn't live through) the events of that book? Is this "peace" something reserved for those privileged to not live in a war zone?

If the word "peace" has any meaning and any relevance, surely it must include the experiences of those people.

graham christian
04-06-2012, 01:42 PM
I would say in answer that throughout history, especially when looked at as the history through wars then it is a matter of do we as human beings actually learn the lessons presented by such.

So looked at in terms of cycles then we can see the rise and fall of empires etc. and the pain and suffering brought about as a result along with the other factors of greed and selfishness and on and on. So we see the cycle of the state of awareness we are as a race in.

Thus I say that level, that state of awareness leads to believing the actions we do and way we live and things we follow are less than good and are in fact destructive of ourselves eventually.

So we are, with all our technological advancement, following a path of chaos.

Thus as all past enlightened people have realized the way through, the way out, the way to better for all, is a path of peace but only can be brought into being through first being in a condition of such within ourselves and thus humanity speaking, as a more enlightened humanity.

War zones bring this truth home to those in them. War zones even do attract some who want to bring it about too. Many miracles happen even in such zones. It is not the war zones one should think of sometimes but the zones without war for in those zones instead of promoting a better way for all, a chance for learning about the path of peace, a chance to become more aware, more loving, more kind, more at peace, more all inclusive and responsible. Instead we get more selfish and more superior feeling and more insular and more us and them (devicive) and deviant and more into 'power' and domination and thus on the path of chaos and actually causing those wars to come about.

Such is my view.

Peace.G.

lbb
04-06-2012, 02:22 PM
Thus as all past enlightened people have realized the way through, the way out, the way to better for all, is a path of peace but only can be brought into being through first being in a condition of such within ourselves and thus humanity speaking, as a more enlightened humanity.

What does "enlightenment" have to do with failed states?

War zones bring this truth home to those in them. War zones even do attract some who want to bring it about too. Many miracles happen even in such zones. It is not the war zones one should think of sometimes but the zones without war

And what "zones without war" are these? And how are they created? Are you saying that war comes only to the "unenlightened", and that all people have to do to prevent a war is be "enlightened"? Sounds good on paper (well, sort of), but it avoids a central truth: that you don't have to want war to be at war. Regardless of the state of your soul, the war will come to you. Millions of people died in the Congo. Do you think they died because they were warlike or unenlightened?

graham christian
04-06-2012, 03:41 PM
What does "enlightenment" have to do with failed states?

And what "zones without war" are these? And how are they created? Are you saying that war comes only to the "unenlightened", and that all people have to do to prevent a war is be "enlightened"? Sounds good on paper (well, sort of), but it avoids a central truth: that you don't have to want war to be at war. Regardless of the state of your soul, the war will come to you. Millions of people died in the Congo. Do you think they died because they were warlike or unenlightened?

Unenlightened equals ignorant. Ignorance causes failure and war and chaos.

A zone, an area without war at the moment.

We are all interconnected and thus brothers and sisters as one people. War is caused by ignorance and thus can spring up in various places at various times and and so yes, not enough enlightened people. Conversely thus too much ignorance seen as right. Thus we suffer.

As long as we believe 'regardless of soul or heart or spirit' then we fail to take responsibility for the cause. Thus, oh yes, it will come to us some day. The result of our own cause.

Peace.G.

lbb
04-06-2012, 04:35 PM
We are all interconnected and thus brothers and sisters as one people. War is caused by ignorance and thus can spring up in various places at various times and and so yes, not enough enlightened people. Conversely thus too much ignorance seen as right. Thus we suffer.

As long as we believe 'regardless of soul or heart or spirit' then we fail to take responsibility for the cause. Thus, oh yes, it will come to us some day. The result of our own cause..

This is simplistic. If you want to pursue peace through cultivating your own spirit, go for it -- that's one piece of the puzzle. But it is only one piece of the puzzle. It may be the only one you choose to pursue, but I do wish you'd acknowledge the undeniable fact that your piece alone is not the solution.

graham christian
04-06-2012, 06:45 PM
This is simplistic. If you want to pursue peace through cultivating your own spirit, go for it -- that's one piece of the puzzle. But it is only one piece of the puzzle. It may be the only one you choose to pursue, but I do wish you'd acknowledge the undeniable fact that your piece alone is not the solution.

Thank you.
I do indeed communicate such things in a more receivable and understandable manner as is my want. Making things more simple in their essence is good as far as I am concerned rather than using long high faluted words and terminologies.

My view as one piece of the puzzle? Well I am giving and sharing my view yes and do believe it can help solve a few puzzles for some.

Truth alone can solve the puzzles and it is not a piece of the puzzle but is needed by those who are puzzled. Thus it is not 'my truth' and not my 'piece'.

It is however my communication and I have nothing therefore to deny.

I do believe the search and path of more and more understanding of the truth is the way and thus the only way yes. Thus I do believe that is the only solution yes. Fortunately it is not my piece alone.

Peace.G.

mathewjgano
04-06-2012, 07:18 PM
Hi.
What do you mean?

Well, I mean that we can view the universe in terms of entropy and enthalpy, but the current view is that entropy will ultimately prevail until everything more or less just stops. We're not experts, so maybe this is a pointless question, but my understanding is that ultimately the universe will not balance itself back out; that it is gradually cooling to an end-state...kind of a superlative state of peace. I was just curious how you see this idea applying.

Rob Watson
04-06-2012, 07:40 PM
Well, I mean that we can view the universe in terms of entropy and enthalpy, but the current view is that entropy will ultimately prevail until everything more or less just stops. We're not experts, so maybe this is a pointless question, but my understanding is that ultimately the universe will not balance itself back out; that it is gradually cooling to an end-state...kind of a superlative state of peace. I was just curious how you see this idea applying.

'They' call it infared death ... classically an utter monotonous uniformity on a cosmic scale. Quantum effects put a kink in that idea. Thankfully, our current best understanding of the working of the universe is pathetically unimpressive on the grand scale. Transistors, quantum computing and gravitational lensing is one thing but the fate of the universe is quite another.

In either case if ones conception of reality is contradicted by the current 'standard models' generally they are wrong. Just because Einstein went beyond Newton does not free us to fly around the planet free from the bounds of classical gravitational theory.

graham christian
04-06-2012, 08:57 PM
Well, I mean that we can view the universe in terms of entropy and enthalpy, but the current view is that entropy will ultimately prevail until everything more or less just stops. We're not experts, so maybe this is a pointless question, but my understanding is that ultimately the universe will not balance itself back out; that it is gradually cooling to an end-state...kind of a superlative state of peace. I was just curious how you see this idea applying.

I go along with O'Sensei. He stated an enlightened view of the universe and that it is perfect and infinite.
Thus it is us who are not so.

This is my view.

Peace.G.

bothhandsclapping
04-06-2012, 09:40 PM
The concept of mutually opposing activities perfectly accepts the notion that 'peace' inevitably comes and goes. War zone, of course ... peaceful times, naturally.

That is, there will always be an activity (a sum of forces if you will) that promotes disorder. And just as inevitably there will always be an activity (again, a sum of forces) that promotes harmony ... and the result is, of course, that 'peace' comes and goes, comes and goes, comes and goes. Now, perhaps you are saying that you want to throw yourself in with the sum of forces that promotes harmony, then fine, I could accept that in a heartbeat.

But to see that there is some nirvana of an absolute peace is to deny the reality of the universe. So why is that so bad? Because we then inevitably make this quantum leap into accepting some absolute spiritual side of ourselves, a side that if we can just tap into it will solve all our problems. The fact is, we cycle just like everything in the universe. Observe, observe, observe. You come and go, come and go, I come and go, come and go, the world comes and goes, comes and goes. The only absolute is that everything is in flux.

mathewjgano
04-07-2012, 12:16 AM
'They' call it infared death ... classically an utter monotonous uniformity on a cosmic scale. Quantum effects put a kink in that idea. Thankfully, our current best understanding of the working of the universe is pathetically unimpressive on the grand scale. Transistors, quantum computing and gravitational lensing is one thing but the fate of the universe is quite another.

In either case if ones conception of reality is contradicted by the current 'standard models' generally they are wrong. Just because Einstein went beyond Newton does not free us to fly around the planet free from the bounds of classical gravitational theory.
One of these days I might actually have to learn physics instead of the half-formed sound-bite-like concepts I've picked up. Infared death is mildly depressing to me. I like the idea that eventually everything will fall back into itself until it compresses back to another Big Bang state. I probably won't get to see it in this life time, but I'm hoping to be reincarnated as a bending robot not unlike this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKbawIq3w7U), so that perhaps I can watch it all unfold.

I go along with O'Sensei. He stated an enlightened view of the universe and that it is perfect and infinite.
Thus it is us who are not so.

This is my view.

Peace.G.
Regardless of the absolute reality, relative to my imperfect and finite mind, it may as well be. It's pretty big, small, and awesome all at the same time.

The only absolute is that everything is in flux.
"The restless and infinite movements of nature." It's fascinating to see what little I am able to see.
Cheers folks!
Matt

graham christian
04-07-2012, 07:31 AM
One more idea for you Matthew. As I talk about and state about the spiritual side I'll put this perspective into it.

Spiritually you can learn to keep and remain in calmness, stillness, peacefulness, loving and with harmony. Now, this includes staying stable as such whilst observing and accepting and understanding the continuous state of flux, of continuous change in the physical universe.

This is Aikido in action from my view. The opponent being that state of flux you as a calm self harmonize with and handle and bring back to a state of peace.

So these spiritual realities don't take you away from physical but rather put you in better communication with and thus happier.

Peace.G.

lbb
04-08-2012, 09:28 AM
But to see that there is some nirvana of an absolute peace is to deny the reality of the universe. So why is that so bad? Because we then inevitably make this quantum leap into accepting some absolute spiritual side of ourselves, a side that if we can just tap into it will solve all our problems.

...and that, to be blunt, is something that people in privileged positions can sometimes buy into. But when preaching about peace, it seems to me that those of us who have never lived in a war zone, never been the victim of domestic abuse, never been sent off to war and come home with PTSD, should acknowledge first and foremost that we do speak from a position of unearned privilege in which our peace has never withstood these severe challenges. Perhaps this should inspire us to proclaim less and speak more humbly.

graham christian
04-08-2012, 12:56 PM
What is a privileged position? I think people buy into the false idea of privileged position without inspecting what such a position is.

Where things are in relative harmony and peace, both internally and externally.

War and negativity doesn't cause this or bring this about, it destroys it or undermines it, as does ignorance.

When you can be at peace with even such negativity and war and bad situations then you can be useful in speaking about, doing something about and changing things for the better.

Those who rant and rave about such 'bad' things are thus led into ignorance and serve only to make things worse.

Now if we go very spiritual here I can say that ego is never at peace and cannot be and yet an enlightened being through being at peace and with love dissipates all false self and ego.

Masakatsu and agatsu. Now that's a privileged position.

Peace.G.

lbb
04-08-2012, 07:07 PM
When you can be at peace with even such negativity and war and bad situations then you can be useful in speaking about, doing something about and changing things for the better.

When you, Graham, tell me that you've been in such a bad situation, I'll be more inclined to give more weight to your observations about being "at peace with" such situations. Until then, I'll content myself with observing that it's much easier to "be at peace with" a nasty reality (or at least, claim to be) if you don't have to live it.

genin
04-11-2012, 09:31 AM
Peace is more harmony from within, rather than a condition that the rest of the world is in. It's about how you react and respond to your surroundings. I don't think it really matters what is going on around you or what type of background or history you have. It's about accepting the reality of your circumstances and finding a way to harmonize/blend with them. It's admittidly easier to do when your life isn't all that difficult, but the focus should be on how to acheive this state of peace and enlightenment in YOUR particular circumstances, whatever they may be.

graham christian
04-11-2012, 11:03 AM
Peace is more harmony from within, rather than a condition that the rest of the world is in. It's about how you react and respond to your surroundings. I don't think it really matters what is going on around you or what type of background or history you have. It's about accepting the reality of your circumstances and finding a way to harmonize/blend with them. It's admittidly easier to do when your life isn't all that difficult, but the focus should be on how to acheive this state of peace and enlightenment in YOUR particular circumstances, whatever they may be.

Very nice. Well put Sir.

Peace.G.

bothhandsclapping
04-11-2012, 09:09 PM
One more idea for you Matthew. As I talk about and state about the spiritual side I'll put this perspective into it.

Spiritually you can learn to keep and remain in calmness, stillness, peacefulness, loving and with harmony. Now, this includes staying stable as such whilst observing and accepting and understanding the continuous state of flux, of continuous change in the physical universe.

This is Aikido in action from my view. The opponent being that state of flux you as a calm self harmonize with and handle and bring back to a state of peace.

So these spiritual realities don't take you away from physical but rather put you in better communication with and thus happier.

Peace.G.

I'm curious how you would reconcile this, from Gaku Homma, undeniably one of the last of the uchi-deshi ...

In the last few years of his life, the Founder sometimes fell prey to spontaneous bursts of anger, and everyone was fearful of his outbursts. Eventually high ranking shihan or shidoin quit coming to visit the Founder at Iwama all together. Fearful of his wrath, if a shihan did venture to Iwama to visit they would ask the late Morihiro Saito Shihan, who lived on the premises, about the Founderís mood and state of being before asking for an audience. If he was not in good sorts, they would leave quietly without seeing him, stopping only for a moment at the dojo altar to leave a gift of sake and a donation on their way out.

In those last years, even at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, when I would arrive with the Founder as his otomo (attendant), the staff would ask me first how the Founder was feeling that day. If I told them the Founder was not in a good mood, shihan and administrators alike would disappear. Everyone was afraid of the Founderís bad temper when he was in these moods. It was a sad experience I had many times in the last years with the Founder.

Tom Verhoeven
04-12-2012, 05:55 PM
Interesting ... interesting. Who decides what peace is? Can peace simply be the absence of conflict? ... because it's conflict that is the heart of the cosmos -> mutually opposing activities manifested in infinite ways. Is there then good conflict and bad conflict? Who would be wise enough to know which is which?

Peace, I don't know ... love might be a better word.

I think calling peace the absence of conflict is oversimplifying it. If we are talking about world peace, then we need much more then just absence of conflict.

I do not consider "survival of the fittest" as a correct description of nature and in a similar way I do not agree with an image of the cosmos being in a constant state of conflict.

In and Yo are not in conflict with one another. If they were, there would be no In and Yo.

In nature we can see a lot of changes during the seasons and with the seasons. And of course one creature may be the prey of another creature.

But it is most fascinating to see how plants cooperate with other plants to survive, how they live with insects that they need for pollination or food, how predators that should be each others competitors as they hunt for the same food coordinate their efforts in the hunt, to see ants create political alliances with other kinds of ants (to give just a few examples). It all tells you that nature is about connection and cooperation.

This is what O Sensei called Aiki or love. He was not the first philosopher or sage to call it love. I am not sure if he defined this as peace though. I rather think he saw nature as a prime example of how things should be with humans. It is humans that seem always seeking for conflict and competition resulting ultimately in war. And it is humans that are for ever going against nature in everything they do. By learning/practicing Aikido humans could learn to connect more with nature and that would naturally lead to more peace.

Best wishes,
Tom

Tom Verhoeven
04-12-2012, 06:26 PM
I'm curious how you would reconcile this, from Gaku Homma, undeniably one of the last of the uchi-deshi ...

In the last few years of his life, the Founder sometimes fell prey to spontaneous bursts of anger, and everyone was fearful of his outbursts. Eventually high ranking shihan or shidoin quit coming to visit the Founder at Iwama all together. Fearful of his wrath, if a shihan did venture to Iwama to visit they would ask the late Morihiro Saito Shihan, who lived on the premises, about the Founder's mood and state of being before asking for an audience. If he was not in good sorts, they would leave quietly without seeing him, stopping only for a moment at the dojo altar to leave a gift of sake and a donation on their way out.

In those last years, even at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, when I would arrive with the Founder as his otomo (attendant), the staff would ask me first how the Founder was feeling that day. If I told them the Founder was not in a good mood, shihan and administrators alike would disappear. Everyone was afraid of the Founder's bad temper when he was in these moods. It was a sad experience I had many times in the last years with the Founder.

The Japanese people that I talked to never mentioned O Sensei as being a bad tempered person. Quite the opposite!
As for his very last years, I cannot help wondering if his illness (as I understand it he died of liver-cancer) did not have an influence on his moods.
Having said that; we should not confuse the philosophy with the man.

Tom Verhoeven
04-12-2012, 06:45 PM
We all bring our own context to things. My personal context, the one in which I'm reading this thread, is one that is presenting some challenges to the definitions or descriptions of "peace" that I'm reading here. I've been reading Dancing in the Glory of Monsters (http://www.dancinginthegloryofmonsters.com/), a background and history of the recent Congo wars. And so my thought is: it's all well and good to talk about how peace, and the pursuit of peace, is a matter of a spiritual discipline, or of getting one's head right, or whatever...but what does that have to do with the experience of the people who lived through (or didn't live through) the events of that book? Is this "peace" something reserved for those privileged to not live in a war zone?

If the word "peace" has any meaning and any relevance, surely it must include the experiences of those people.

One of the things that I learned from the stories of my father of his experiences in WW2 (he joined the US army) is that peace is a choice and a never ending task. I do not think peace is a privileged state of mind for the happy few. Or only meant for the European or American continent. I think that we can only be satisfied with the whole humanity experiencing peace. But that means we have to make certain choices and that we need to find the right politicians on the right places. And we need to be active our selves. That to me is the real spiritual pursuit. Sitting on a zafu in a sheltered home feeling very spiritual may not be enough.
Best wishes,
Tom

Tom Verhoeven
04-12-2012, 06:55 PM
Peace is more harmony from within, rather than a condition that the rest of the world is in. It's about how you react and respond to your surroundings. I don't think it really matters what is going on around you or what type of background or history you have. It's about accepting the reality of your circumstances and finding a way to harmonize/blend with them. It's admittidly easier to do when your life isn't all that difficult, but the focus should be on how to acheive this state of peace and enlightenment in YOUR particular circumstances, whatever they may be.

True enough. But O Sensei was not just talking about peace of mind or just of a way to personally deal with your circumstances. When talking of peace he was talking about world peace as a goal of Aikido.
And as we all practice Aikido I think we should ask ourselves in what way are we contributing to this goal?
Best wishes,
Tom

bothhandsclapping
04-13-2012, 08:58 AM
True enough. But O Sensei was not just talking about peace of mind or just of a way to personally deal with your circumstances. When talking of peace he was talking about world peace as a goal of Aikido.
And as we all practice Aikido I think we should ask ourselves in what way are we contributing to this goal?
Best wishes,
Tom
Well said, it is not just about peace of mind ... but you do need peace of mind.

On of Ueshiba's quotes:
"Aikido begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply that to all that you encounter."

Tom Verhoeven
04-13-2012, 11:24 AM
Well said, it is not just about peace of mind ... but you do need peace of mind.

On of Ueshiba's quotes:
"Aikido begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply that to all that you encounter."

No argument there !
Thank you for your response.
Gassho,
Tom

graham christian
04-13-2012, 11:42 AM
I'm curious how you would reconcile this, from Gaku Homma, undeniably one of the last of the uchi-deshi ...

In the last few years of his life, the Founder sometimes fell prey to spontaneous bursts of anger, and everyone was fearful of his outbursts. Eventually high ranking shihan or shidoin quit coming to visit the Founder at Iwama all together. Fearful of his wrath, if a shihan did venture to Iwama to visit they would ask the late Morihiro Saito Shihan, who lived on the premises, about the Founder's mood and state of being before asking for an audience. If he was not in good sorts, they would leave quietly without seeing him, stopping only for a moment at the dojo altar to leave a gift of sake and a donation on their way out.

In those last years, even at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, when I would arrive with the Founder as his otomo (attendant), the staff would ask me first how the Founder was feeling that day. If I told them the Founder was not in a good mood, shihan and administrators alike would disappear. Everyone was afraid of the Founder's bad temper when he was in these moods. It was a sad experience I had many times in the last years with the Founder.

Hi Jim.
For me this is quite simple really due to the way I look at things from my perspective. As I have said, and got in trouble for, that I understand Ueshiba and I understand Aikido. Thus I hold understanding as the key.

Simply put, he was going through something. There was something troubling him, something he was a bit frustrated with. To say I understand what it was would be merely conjecture and maybe a nice exercise for the creative mind but thats all it would be. He could have been frustrated with the way things were going or with the fact that others still were not quite getting it or even with some personal aspect, but as I said that's all conjecture and thus of no worth.

The one thing which is certain is it was a barrier of the heart he was addressing. The love side of Aikido. Maybe frustration with others not coming to terms with that aspect and thus finding he had even more to discover there himself for it was expressing itself as anger and frustration and mood.

This I see clearly personally and not therefore as a fault but as a sign of someone on the path going through a barrier of some kind. Being a very expressive person in demeanor and spirit and presence this would thus affect those around him in a more pronounced way. That's all really.

Peace.G.

bothhandsclapping
04-13-2012, 08:11 PM
Being true calmness it is thus non-resistance and cannot therefore be in a continuous state of flux but only a continuous state of stillness.

Peace.G.
If I remember my Philosophy 101, from your previous statement we can conclude that not being in a continuous state of stillness means that you do not know true calmness.

So, Ueshiba had not realized true calmness? or ... your previous statement needs some work, or ... you can be foul-tempered, angry and moody and still be in a continuous state of stillness.

graham christian
04-13-2012, 10:19 PM
If I remember my Philosophy 101, from your previous statement we can conclude that not being in a continuous state of stillness means that you do not know true calmness.

So, Ueshiba had not realized true calmness? or ... your previous statement needs some work, or ... you can be foul-tempered, angry and moody and still be in a continuous state of stillness.

Ha ha. Now who's talking absolutes?

I would be happy to meet someone who could remain in it for more than ten seconds let alone continuous.

It's all a matter of degrees my friend.

Peace.G.

bothhandsclapping
04-13-2012, 11:19 PM
Ha ha. Now who's talking absolutes?

I would be happy to meet someone who could remain in it for more than ten seconds let alone continuous.

It's all a matter of degrees my friend.

Peace.G.

Color me confused ... I thought for a while that only one of us was arguing a cosmos in constant flux ... now I guess we have agreement! Bravo!

graham christian
04-14-2012, 07:44 AM
Color me confused ... I thought for a while that only one of us was arguing a cosmos in constant flux ... now I guess we have agreement! Bravo!

Well if your confused that's quite a flux, hope it's not too constant.

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka
09-19-2012, 01:08 PM
If I may be permitted to add a Judeo-Christian perspective on peace, the Hebrew word for peace is Shalom. The concept of Shalom in the Hebrew Bible conveys more than just absence of war or conflict. It is the well-being and wholeness of the entire person. Shalom bears connotations of to be made whole, without deficiency.

The Shema, the central prayer of Judaism "Hear O Israel the Lord is our God, the Lord is One", is followed by the command to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." Jesus positively affirmed that this was the greatest commandment in the Hebrew scriptures. Thus the Judeo-Christian view of the person is one of wholism, rather than the dichotomy of body and soul. The command to love God found in the Shema, which is taken from Deutoronomy 6 is expressing the view that Jews (and through Jesus - Christians) should love God with their whole being.

To be at peace therefore, is to have all your needs - emotional, spiritual and physical met. Many people do not know true shalom, there are many people who are spiritually poor while being materially wealthy; there are some people who value meditation and contemplation over physical exercise; there are some who are neglected emotionally and are not given the love, affirmation, kindness and friendship they deserve.

Aikido helps to create shalom. Aikido promotes love and harmony and the Bible says that whoever loves has been born of God for God is love (1 John 4). Aikido is good for your physical and emotional health, flexibility, balance,motor-skills, co-ordination and good mind-body connection (not to mention protecting yourself). However, true shalom comes only from God. God is one and so shalom is not about becoming one with the universe (although man is "of the dust", Genesis 2, and indeed the Hebrew name Adam means 'to be red' and is a play on the Hebrew word for earth Adamah). Shalom is being one with God. The root word of shalom is shalam which means restitution. True shalom is having our broken relationship with God restored.

Jesus proclaimed he was the bread of life (John 6), the true manna from Heaven (an allusion to the bread the Israelites ate in the wilderness after Moses led them out of Egypt). Jesus was teaching that everything we need in life can be found in him. This is why at the Last Supper he referred to the bread and wine as his 'body' and 'blood'. In ancient Israel people believed bread was essential to life of the physical body. Blood was necessary for the atonement of sin and it was in the blood that the soul was found, explaining why Jewish food laws about kosher meat were so strict. Body and soul cannot exist without one another as the person is more than just the sum of his parts. Body and soul, as well as heart and spirit make up a person. In Jesus there is restitution with God and wholeness once again.

graham christian
09-19-2012, 01:32 PM
Well put view.

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka
09-20-2012, 02:17 AM
thank you :)

Sojourner
12-12-2013, 05:55 PM
Just wanted to say Ewan that I very much enjoyed what you wrote there and found it very helpful thanks mate!