PDA

View Full Version : why talk?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Paula Lydon
09-06-2002, 06:05 PM
~~For someone who gabbs so much I actually do wonder if talking about 'spiritual' matters, here or anywhere, isn't utterly pointless. You can never see the color blue I see no matter how long I go on about it. Spiritual experience seems so personal and direct to each individual.
:eek: I'm talking again!!

shihonage
09-06-2002, 06:23 PM
It would be interesting if the website had a tool for creating animations of techniques... i.e. you are given two people, and you move their joints, torso, animate them, with some basic physics...

Then you save your animations sequence and attach it to your post.

Upon reading the post, the sequence will load in the website's "player" application and uh, play.

(silence)

......

(sounds of wind blowing)

......

(a tumbleweed rolls by)

.....

Kevin Leavitt
09-06-2002, 06:24 PM
it is personal. I think talking about these things, if you are open to new ideas, concepts, and thoughts, can expose you to things you never concieved or paradigms that you never knew were possible.

I have learned much in last year that I never, ever even heard of in my 37 years of life! Just from reading, talking, and listening to people.

But, yes, I agree you cannot experience it by talking about it!

Deb Fisher
09-06-2002, 06:59 PM
Lately I have been hypothesizing that talk makes it harder to experience whatever "it" is. I am increasingly certain that for me verbalization is a distance-creater, it turns experience into concept.

This could just be about me - as you all know, I have a big, talking mouth. And besides, it's such human nature to share these experiences with eachother.

Connundrum - an experience makes one want to share, which takes away from the experience. I think about this probably too much.

mike lee
09-07-2002, 03:43 AM
Lately I have been hypothesizing that talk makes it harder to experience whatever "it" is. I am increasingly certain that for me verbalization is a distance-creater, it turns experience into concept.

Where did you learn about this concept?

P.S. Don't throw out the baby with the bath-water.

creinig
09-07-2002, 04:33 AM
Talking and reading about "spiritual matters" has, if nothing else, one huge function: Through it I get more and new ideas to ponder, new views of old problems, entirely new perspectives on life, the universe and everything. Because I've read and talked about e.g. "Ki" I can now look for it, I can now try to create the "real" experience for me. Without having known about it, or what kind of beast it is, I'd simply not notice "it" most of the time.

So think of talk in this context as a kind of guide, as a preparation for the experience. It's of course possible to get the experience without it, but being prepared makes it a helluvalot easier.

mike lee
09-07-2002, 06:45 AM
Yes, yes. It's like reading about some remote place in the world that you never even realized existed -- and maybe then you want to go there someday.

So maybe you start to prepare. You do more research, you save money, you make travel arrangements, you get a new backpack, you get in shape, etc. The preparation is part of the journey -- but it's not to be confused with the destination.

Anyway -- did you ever notice after a long trip that for several days after you return home, you still sort of feel like you're travelling; that being back home is still sort of like part of your trip?

Actually, I think this is reality. Life is a trip.

But then did you ever notice that after arriving home from a trip, the travelling-feeling fades. Why is that?

Maybe it's because we fall back into the mundane, ordinary existance of our lives. But this robs us of our lives.

This is why we need to start to relax and enjoy each moment of our life, no matter where we are and what we are doing.

P.S. I think that anyone who lives in Boulder is a very lucky person. Although I love nature, I live in a noisy polluted city. It's my fate, therefore, to learn something from this hard experience. I must be thankful, and continue to train, despite my circumstances. We should also be aware that if our circumstances become too comfortable, we may stop learning.

Paula Lydon
09-07-2002, 08:10 AM
Deb~~I think about that muchly too much myself. Will spend weeks on end in silence because I am suddenly sick of the sound of my own voice. :)

opherdonchin
09-07-2002, 01:03 PM
I love to talk. Talking is its own experience, has its own beauty and grace, its own aiki and its own center. Talking does not have to be opposed to AiKiDo any more than the martial aspects of AiKiDo have to get in the way of a deeper understanding of harmony.

However, I know the feeling Deb and Paula are talking about. Sometimes the words really do get in the way, just like sometimes martial training can get in the way for a lot of people. I guess that at that point the most useful concept is the concept of chudo (the middle path, right?). It's not talking, good or bad so much as "what do I have to learn by talking a little less right now?" and "what do I have to learn by talking a little more?"

When I entered these forums a few weeks ago, I had a real need for something a little more intellectual, and it's been wonderful to find a place for it.

jimvance
09-07-2002, 02:07 PM
Lately I have been hypothesizing that talk makes it harder to experience whatever "it" is.Yes, I think you are right, because we expect something that MUST be different than what actually will happen. We just are not intelligent enough to understand exactly what IS happening. I am increasingly certain that for me verbalization is a distance-creater, it turns experience into concept.Verbalization is its own experience. Talking about something that occurred in the past may create distance, but it is already the past, with its own distance, so the point is kind of moot. Fixating on the past denies us interaction in the now, unless you realize that the experience you want in the now is the cognitive approximation of what happened in the past. :confused:This could just be about me - as you all know, I have a big, talking mouth.I am glad that for most humans the mouth is our main vehicle of intellectual communication. It's nice to look at and kiss too. I, on the other hand, do most of my talking out of my ass.And besides, it's such human nature to share these experiences with each other.

Connundrum - an experience makes one want to share, which takes away from the experience. I think about this probably too much.I think that the gregarious nature of mammals creates language, because we don't want to be alone. Some day we will propel ourselves out to the stars for the very same reason, looking for some cosmic family. I am glad you share Deb, we are all in the same boat, and it's nice to know who's got one of the oars. ;)

Jim Vance

PS. Opher, you have the soul of a poet and I really like to read what you have to say.

Chuck Clark
09-07-2002, 03:25 PM
"The Tao that can be described is not the Tao."

This runs throughout Taoist and Zen writings. Isn't it amazing though how much has been said and written over the ages about what IT isn't!

As has already been said, we are talkers, plain and simple. The problem is: What to say...when to say it...and to whom. That's a big problem.

Do we talk with the intent to communicate something we have thought about a lot and want someone else to understand? Do we do our best to ask really good questions about something we don't understand? Or, do we talk just to hear ourselves and make our presence known? Often we talk when we should be listening, training, etc.

I suspect most of us cover the whole range from a bit of these to a lot these. Then there are some that do way more than their share of any of it. Human nature as it is.

We should spend more of our time looking at ourself and not spending so much time judging others so that we feel better about ourself.

Sermon over. Now get back to talking....

It's all experience and if we pay attention, we may learn something.

Cheers,

wanderingwriath
09-07-2002, 05:05 PM
While there is a limit to words and their ability to enable a person, consider this: what would any of our lives be if no one had ever told us about love or ki? I'm certain that we all would have felt these things eventually, but would we have felt the kinship of puppy love with other teenagers, or the comraderie of ki with our fellow practicioners? We discuss these things in an effort to connect with someone else. I can't talk about ki with my parents or even brothers or sisters in any meaningful way, but I love to discuss ki and theories about it with other people who know what I'm talking about. That said, I'm just gonna shut up and appreciate all of you who post here and our comraderie. Thanx to all of you, and especially Jun for creating this place for us.

JPT
09-08-2002, 05:20 AM
There is a saying that I like it goes...

"You have 2 ears & only one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you talk"

:triangle: :square: :circle:

mike lee
09-08-2002, 05:49 AM
Another says: When the mouth opens, the ears shut.

Paula Lydon
09-08-2002, 08:28 AM
~~And then there's the epidemic foot-in-mouth disease~~

Bruce Baker
09-09-2002, 03:24 PM
Could it be that the univers is lonely for thought and we recieve prompts to postulate, expound, and commiserate?

Just how does the need to think connect to the need to talk and communicate those thoughts?

Maybe that is the point that reaches pity for your training partner who can not take body language, or their failure to blend with your techniques without some guidence of .... words?

Paula Lydon
09-10-2002, 07:46 AM
~~Interesting angle, Bruce..."

Ali B
09-10-2002, 08:26 AM
"More than 1000 words is one word which brings peace....

More than 100 days of inaction is one day of action."

Buddha

Deb Fisher
09-10-2002, 11:46 AM
Mike Lee said:

"Where did you learn about this concept?

P.S. Don't throw out the baby with the bath-water."

Hello Mike,

I didn't really learn this anywhere, it's more something I've noticed and live with. I was speaking more from my experience as an artist than my experience as an aikidoka. I make sculpture because I have spatial experiences that I think are important and relevant in terms of understanding the world we all live in and I want to share this, I want to speak (sculpturally) about this spatial experience.

BUT the minute this experience becomes something else, gets concretized as an object, it's all over! It's something else, it's not the thing, it's *about* the thing. Fidelity or exactness is impossible. I think this is endemic to all communication - it sits alongside the experience, never replacing, never faithfully reproducing.

As for throwing the baby out with the bathwater, don't get me wrong! I'm still posting on this goofy forum, I'm still talking and still making art - I am deeply attracted to this paradox, I think there is something very tender about a world full of approximate or failed attempts to communicate. The volume of these valiant attempts at sharing betray the need we have for eachother, they expose a vulnerability that I find so delicate and beautiful...

Words are really failing me. I love and hate the space that communication creates, a buffer of fundamental non-understanding. On one side is this chilling, ultimate aloneness - no one can have the experiences I'm having!!!!!!!!!!! Scary! Nietzschean Abyss! And yet I keep trying to turn myself inside out, keep reaching into space and trying to build understanding even though it's never exactly possible? The fortitude of humans! The precious, tender need to assuage this aloneness!

I don't know if this makes sense, I keep writing and deleting... I'm not sure if I'm getting there or sounding insane.

BTW, I think this is especially interesting in terms of aikido because it's based on non-verbal, what feels almost like "un-conceptual" communication. I haven't done enough aikido to have an opinion about the uke/nage connection in relationship to this - what kind of communication is it? Is it actually spatial communication (feels that way to me sometimes)? How direct does it feel? How does this relate to the aloneness and the need to not be alone? These are all major attractions to aikido for me.

Blahdeeblah,

Deb

mike lee
09-10-2002, 12:49 PM
... I think there is something very tender about a world full of approximate or failed attempts to communicate.

Deb. You almost make me feel that the lot of us are on some strange Don Quixote kind of quest! Nevertheless, the depth and breadth of your reply to my simple question touched my heart and warmed my soul.

(What the hell's going on with me? I never talk like this!)
... I think this is especially interesting in terms of aikido because it's based on non-verbal, what feels almost like "un-conceptual" communication.

For me, what I do when I practice aikido is 99.999% out of necessity and practicality. Centuries ago, some samurai discovered that zen meditation before battle allowed them to gain some control over their emotions. By going into battle with a calm, clear mind (as opposed to a near state of panic), these men found that their chances of survival increased.

Therefore, every time I practice aikido, I try to practice with a clear mind -- fully understanding that the knowledge I gain today could save my life tomorrow (or at least give me a sense of peace). This may seem rather extreme, but it helps me to maintain a high level of intensity and awareness when training.

The bottom line is that I'm learning to protect myself and others. I'm also helping others learn how to protect themselves. I like to think that what we are doing is important.

Anyway, I've written all this in a possibly vain attampt to show you how I think. But please keep being who you are. ;)

P.S For some reason, I still have this totally unfamiliar warm feeling inside. ???

Deb Fisher
09-10-2002, 03:07 PM
Mike Lee wrote:

"You almost make me feel that the lot of us are on some strange Don Quixote kind of quest!"

Well, yes, kind of. There's a desparation to what I see anyway. Whether or not you act like Don Quixote about it? That's up to each of us?

I'm glad to hear that you feel warm - proof that it's not exactly a mere windmill we're after, that words are not useless?

I think necessity and survival are good places to take this. One of the things I have only tasted in my own practice is the sense of "Real Life Importance" or intensity that can obviously be claimed if you see it and grab it (regardless of how many threads about the uselessness of aikido exist...) I don't live in this land very much myself, for two reasons. First, I have been training for a year and have very few partners I feel comfortable training at all intensely with, seeing as how I can still occasionally be an aikido spazz. Second, as an artist in an academic environment, I feel very very comfortable in the metaphorical/theoretical/not real space. Hence the words about the value of words... ugh!

I think I know what you're talking about, though, that sense of directness coming from necessity is a factor in things I have more experience in, like mountaineering/climbing/camping. You feel "plugged in" (for want of a better term) when hiking because it's beautiful outside, but more because you want to know where you came from if/when you get lost. Because you're carrying every single thing you'll need for a week on your person, etc.

Let me just put it this way: I want my ukemi to function in this way, the way I notice the shape of a rock or the placement of a bush in the middle of nowhere. And I want to make objects that play interestingly with that experience, that stand on their own and become something else that is interesting, since that experience can't ever truly be shared.

Peace,

Deb

Cristian
09-10-2002, 07:24 PM
Paula, beautiful question!

Why talk?

to make poetry

to shape the future

to connect with others

to make questions

to make commitmens

to say bullshit

to fight

to play tennis

to love

to stop beeing lonely

:cool:

Veers
09-10-2002, 07:55 PM
I prefer just being with my friends without talking a lot. I mean, talking's good and needed, but I prefer silence. I'm a listener and a watcher...you have to pry to get me to talk (though when you do, watch out, I have a lot to say) :D

mike lee
09-11-2002, 08:25 AM
... I want my ukemi to function in this way, the way I notice the shape of a rock or the placement of a bush in the middle of nowhere. And I want to make objects that play interestingly with that experience, that stand on their own and become something else that is interesting, since that experience can't ever truly be shared.

Deb. I really enjoy reading your posts. They seem to be moving something in my spirt that needs to be moved. Maybe I've constructed a shell that is robbing me of part of my life. Maybe it's time for that shell to go.

It seems to me that aikido training goes through various phases: developing basic skills, advanced skills, intensity, and finally -- joy.

Of course, we can have joy from the very beginning -- but for me, real joy has come after years of struggling to find a genuine understanding of aiki. I took many paths and used many ways to get to this understanding, such as supplimental training in tai chi chuan, kendo, and zen.

In the end, two things got me to where I am today: perseverance and a host of outstanding teachers and classmates.

Occasionally, I meet some of those former classmates of mine, and we all share a common bond. We all endured some hellish training under a strict taskmaster, and we survived and we grew from our experiences together. We call the school where we trained "Hell Dojo."

One of my former classmates now operates a hair salon in town. About once a month I stop by to say hello. But before I enter the shop, I stand across the street and almost completely out of view. There are about five hair-dressers, and none of them ever notice that I'm standing across the street. But within 10 seconds, my classmate will turn around and smile at me. I'm always surprised at how quickly she can detect that I'm standing there. And she's never surprised. It's almost like she expected to see me at that moment. We seem to have a connection that is beyond words. I don't understand it and I can't explain it. It's a mystery, but it's real. It's like a bond between brothers. It's eternal.

opherdonchin
09-11-2002, 09:25 AM
This thought passed through me as I got caught up on this thread:

For me, AiKiDo has a lot to do with generosity. The generosity of uke in 'giving' their body, the generosity of nage in opening up and 'inviting' uke in. I work with this idea a lot, trying to integrate the goal of reaching deeper and deeper within myself to give more with the goal of maintaining my own balance.

I think words 'work' for me when they are imbued with the same spirit: they involve a generous giving of my self (or my conversational partner) at the same time they manage to maintain internal balance. Often, when I'm trying to figure out what to say, this is the question I ask myself: what is the most trusting or most giving thing I can say that will leave me feeling vulnerable and connected?

It's nice to see people connecting with each other here.

aikigreg
09-11-2002, 10:24 AM
Why talk? Because it's one of the five senses. Why use your left hand? Because it's there.

Spirituality is all well and good, and we all have a sense of it to some degree.

But there are those of us, like myself, who would never know about the spiritual side of aikido (or anything else) without written and verbal communication. It's entirely possible I could have a revelation like O'sensei tomorrow (HAH yeah right) all on my own but I think we all need the guidance of others and this sort of interaction might just get us one step further on the way.

Deb Fisher
09-11-2002, 11:31 AM
Opher Donchin said:

"I think words 'work' for me when they are imbued with the same spirit: they involve a generous giving of my self (or my conversational partner) at the same time they manage to maintain internal balance. Often, when I'm trying to figure out what to say, this is the question I ask myself: what is the most trusting or most giving thing I can say that will leave me feeling vulnerable and connected?"

YEAH!!! WHAT YOU SAID!

Our dojo is in the middle of relocating, a stressful and exciting time. The last class in the old dojo was slightly sentimental affair of course, and Sensei focused on Embracing Conflict. Interesting - basically just a groovy way to talk about irimi-type stuff, but effective! Effective aikido-wise, a good hour long reminder to take a moment and sense what's actually happening before reacting to an attack, to not back up etc. And effective elsewhere! I left feeling much more open, feeling like I have a lot less to be defensive about or protect than I previously did.

Which is good. Thanks Paula, I'm learning a lot because of this thread.

SeiserL
09-11-2002, 12:49 PM
How you gonna have body mind unification if you can't use your mind? is it really about why we talk at all or is it more about what we talk about and that nasty tone I get in my voice when I am not real happy with myself?

Until again,

Lynn

akiy
09-11-2002, 01:56 PM
How you gonna have body mind unification if you can't use your mind?
"Bunbu ichi."

-- Jun

Currawong
09-12-2002, 12:06 AM
Lately I have been hypothesizing that talk makes it harder to experience whatever "it" is. I am increasingly certain that for me verbalization is a distance-creater, it turns experience into concept.
Just like a picture tells a thousands words, our mind holds many thousand pictures, and our soul encompasses many minds...

We like to divide things up into pieces. Our mind digests things this way. Our mind, body and spirit are all one, but we divide them for our mind to understand.

To go in the direction of Aiki (or "the truth" or "God" or enlightenment) all three elements must go in the same direction. Just as when you turn in Aikido, your head must move first for your body to follow smoothly, otherwise it would be like trying to walk forwards while looking over your shoulder, or saying you are going to New York then heading towards Los Angeles.

So, we practice physically (or go and sit and meditate, as I do) - that takes care of our body. We read words to remind us of why we are doing things, and our soul already has its direction...
This could just be about me - as you all know, I have a big, talking mouth. And besides, it's such human nature to share these experiences with eachother.
Indeed! And sharing is productive! Though we divide ourselves into mind, body and spirit, there is no doubt when we talk there are not merely words transmitted, as speach is just one vehicle for our soul to express itself, and others perceive our feelings and spirit, conciously or unconciously.
Connundrum - an experience makes one want to share, which takes away from the experience. I think about this probably too much.

Sometimes the truth must be found in the contradiction. In reality, there is none. We are spiritual beings encompassing a physical universe as our tool to develop. It is both the case that we understate the great nature of our soul and fail to utilise our body and mind as well as we could.

When we starting seeing again how these elements (mind, body, spirit; id, ego, superego; father, son, holy ghost; :circle: :square: :triangle: ) are part of each other then we start to get "it" :)

I hope that wasn't too esoteric for any of you. Deb, I think you are really heading somewhere interesting. May I suggest, let the feelings from your soul speak more. Your mind will object to not understanding, but it will quieten after a while :)

mike lee
09-12-2002, 01:22 AM
I saw a young lady walking down the street today. She had a T-shirt with big bold words on it that said: "DON'T TEACH ME."

Deb Fisher
09-12-2002, 10:15 AM
Currawong wrote:

"Sometimes the truth must be found in the contradiction. "

Heading into paradox - to my very Western mind, this has always been an uncomfortable place to go. My sensei is often saying that this is the foundation of aikido, though, and since he's in charge of the only aikido experience I've ever had I tend to agree.

Seriously, finding a comfortable space (wouldn't tend to call it truth) within all kinds of paradox is worthwhile, I agree with you.

Still diggin' this thread - Ya'al can go ahead and teach me anything you want,

Deb

opherdonchin
09-12-2002, 11:08 AM
I went through a period where I often found myself saying, "the most telling characteristic of a deep truth is that it's opposite is also true." I don't say it as much these days, but I still that there is some depth to that truth.