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Iwama_Ryu
01-08-2001, 12:59 PM
Excuse me for my grammar it isnt very good and so isnt my speling either.
Im 15 and from sweden so I hope you understand

I have been a christian all my life untill i became 14 and began with aikido. I have been a dedicated aikidoka ever since. But when i started to take my practice to a higher level i understud from the first moment that I trained Christianity and aikido didnt fit together. When i became 15 i saw the movie "On danrerous ground" with Steven segall where he in the end talked about the destruction of the earth. i understood from the first moment that this was christianity fault.
All other religions speeks about that everything has a soul and so on and tries to live in the way of nature. But christianity takes for granted that every thing exept christianty sucks if i may say so. They destroy and poison the earth.

All of my family is christian and has allways been so. My grand father is a fantic if i may say so and my father lives by the christian rules but it is something that isn't right with christianity. Can someone please tell me??????????

Erik
01-08-2001, 02:00 PM
This could get dangerous. My general take is that there is no reason that Christianity and Aikido cannot coexist. Aikido is not a religion, although it gets treated as such by some, and should not be in direct conflict with the church. Now some church loonies might have issues with Aikido but that's a different matter and why I tend not to have much regard for the church itself.

I would also be careful of taking Seagal too seriously. I would no more look to him for spiritual guidance than I would ask the local celibate priest for advice on sexual practices. They both will be glad to give advice but what's it worth?

I used to practice Aikido with a father Avila. He was a very nice guy and didn't seem to see any conflict between Aikido and the church. Your Aikido instructor isn't Aikido and the church is not Christianity.

REK
01-08-2001, 02:51 PM
Erik wrote:
This could get dangerous.

It certainly could. Let's hope no one takes personal offense to the opinions in this thread. I think it could be very enlightening.

My general take is that there is no reason that Christianity and Aikido cannot coexist. Aikido is not a religion, although it gets treated as such by some, and should not be in direct conflict with the church.


Well said. Why must anyone's interpretation of aikido (or religion) be THE final and ultimate truth?

I would also be careful of taking Seagal too seriously. I would no more look to him for spiritual guidance than I would ask the local celibate priest for advice on sexual practices.

He he he. You sound like my grandfather.

Your Aikido instructor isn't Aikido and the church is not Christianity.

Can I use that?

Rob

Brian
01-08-2001, 03:53 PM
Iwama_Ryu wrote:
. But when i started to take my practice to a higher level i understud from the first moment that I trained Christianity and aikido didnt fit together.

Please explain why you don't think they fit together. It's obvious you have a strong opinion on this, but you didn't divulge why. Seeing as how aikido is a martial art that promotes love and peace, ending hostile situations while doing as little harm to your attacker as possible, and Christianity is (get this,) a religion that promotes love and peace, a famous Gospel quote being "turn the other cheek," I don't see how they don't fit together.

Iwama_Ryu wrote:

When i became 15 i saw the movie "On danrerous ground" with Steven segall where he in the end talked about the destruction of the earth. i understood from the first moment that this was christianity fault.



Again, why exactly do you think that the destruction of the earth is the fault of Christianity? Pollution is accumulated from all over the earth, from nations with dominant religions completely different from Christianity , yet you think only Christians are destroying the earth.

Iwama_Ryu wrote:


All other religions speeks about that everything has a soul and so on and tries to live in the way of nature. But christianity takes for granted that every thing exept christianty sucks if i may say so. They destroy and poison the earth.



Actually, Christianity, in general, doesn't specify whether or not to live in 'the way of nature,' as you put it. Also, the religion cannot be attributed with the 'destruction' and 'poisoning' of the earth, but to the expansion of civilization. Please go deeper on why you believe Christianity 'sucks,' and why Christians destroy and poison the earth. I cannot speak for every Christian denomination (there are several major sects, and several hundred minor sects), but Catholicism teaches that we are the stewards of earth, and should do our best to take care of and preserve it. As a veteran of many a on-line conversations about religions, please realize that almost every religion has different sects, each with different teachings and ideals. Some may be very minor, others so different they barely resemble any of the others, only keeping true to the core concept. Generalizing as you did by including all Christianity is almost impossible because of the vast differences between the denominations.

Iwama_Ryu wrote:

All of my family is christian and has allways been so. My grand father is a fantic if i may say so and my father lives by the christian rules but it is something that isn't right with christianity. Can someone please tell me??????????

With certain denominations, only to the extent that those denominations conflict with what I believe in. With Christianity as a whole, I wouldn't bet on it.

T'zur
01-09-2001, 01:48 AM
I too would like to know why you find aikido and Christianity at conflict with one another. Perhaps my story will help some: I am a Christian, and have been for 11 years now. I began practicing aikido 3 years ago. At first I ran into a few problems, didn't like the idea of bowing to O'Sensei at the begining of class at first. (hold no... idols... do not bow.... Leviticus 26:1) My instructor(also a christian, actually) said that if we didn't want to, we didn't have to. For a while I didn't, I was more comfortable NOT doing this. Then I began to ask around at seminars and such where there were LOTS of higher belts, wanted to know what THEY thought out Shomen-rae. They did not view O'sensei as a god, so why should I? Here a lot of aikido and Christianity can come together in my view: I believe on faith that the God of the Bible is God. NOT that O'sensei is. He is not an issue. Rather, my heart before God is important. Just as a nage's size and stregnth are not as important as what's inside them! The 'blending' aspect of aikido also seems congruent with Christianity. When we are commanded to 'love one another' what are we being asked to do, but blend with each other? Surely God knows we are going to have arguments, He wants us to resolve them. Someone comes after you with bad energy, be that a knife (tanto) or a cutting remark, as an aikidoka, your response is to perform Tai Sabaki. Let the energy go by and maintain control of both you and them. As a Christian your responsibility would be to 'regard each one as better than yourself' (Phillipians 2:3) and treat than person in a respectful manner BECAUSE they are created in the image of God. I find the two worldviews complimentary and I see my Christian walk AND my aikido as improved because of the other.

--Solomonwannabe

Iwama_Ryu
01-09-2001, 04:36 AM
I have an quite big issue in my life. Thats the that i tried to explain. I don't like Christianity. It's something that i cant explain that chrashes with the aikido. And i don't consider Seagall as an spiritual leader but he made me se clearer.
But i stand at my point where Christianity. But this is important.
It is the christianitys mentality that is bad NOT the religon itself.
I haven't said that aikido is an religon but an philosophy. I now that many people doesn't like this subject beacuse it hurts their inner belives. I also did so in the begining, but i have come over it.
I said that the christianity destoys earth. Offcourse does other religons do so to. But is a said before the christian mentality that they are better than everyone else. I have to go may come more later this evening i like the subject

Creature_of_the_id
01-09-2001, 04:52 AM
Hi Johannes,
First of all I will say that I am not christian and have no need for religion in my life.
I am interested in what you say, this is not an attack, just an observation.
You say that christianity mentality is bad, and that they think they are better than anyone else.
But, in labelling them bad you are putting yourself in a stance in which you view yourself better than them, and so it cant be resolved wither way.

People judge the world based on there experiences, which is fair enough. but if we look at our experiences we can see that they are limited. that we have not had every experience there is to be had and so our judgements are created from incomplete information.
If we realise that imperfection is created by comparing the world to how we believe it should be, and that these beliefs are limited we can let go of the beliefs, and therefore judgement, and become in harmony. which is the aiki way
and if you look into christianity closely without the dogma then you will find amazing similarities.


Love
Kev

andrew
01-09-2001, 05:16 AM
Iwama_Ryu wrote:
But is a said before the christian mentality that they are better than everyone else.

I never came accross that one, and it sounds like you're straying into the territory of "the white mans burden" and all that kind of rubbish. That is to say, you're confusing christianity with imperialism, because most of the imperial oppressor type of nations were european "christian" powers. However, nobody ever enslaved whole nations for anything other than money and power, whatever might have been claimed with regard to spreading christianity while they were slaughtering the locals.

Anyhow, I never felt superior to anybody until I read your original post and..(JOKE!)

Actually, I'd love to say you're wrong about Christianity and Aikido clashing, but what do I know about aikido? (answer- very little.) I'll just say I've never spotted it, and I think maybe your interest in aikido is really unrelated to your dislike for christianity. Maybe.
andrew

Iwama_Ryu
01-09-2001, 08:35 AM
I know that i have learned (that you learn from mistakes) and I'm sorry about this disscusion if i've been hurting you peoples lifes. You cant compare different mentalites. I think i have to talk with someone that i able to lissen beacuse i doesn't feel like if i can express myself in this disscusion. I hope that someone learned something and i give up.

You have proved me wrong in the things i vrote about. But still think that aikido and christianity doesn't fit together. Maybe beacuse i'm uncertain.

Have a good life and reach Nirvana in peace with yourself


JOhannes DAvidsson

Creature_of_the_id
01-09-2001, 08:46 AM
Dont be sorry about the discussion, it is interesting.
You cant be blamed for how others choose to react.
I dont know in what way you took my post but it didnt seem to be taken in the manner that it was offered.I was just offering an opinion, a different perspective. I thought that that is what discussions are for :)

I dont mean any offense, and if you would prefer us to sit and listen instead of offering other ways of looking at things all you have to do is say.

Love
Kev

Iwama_Ryu
01-09-2001, 09:11 AM
Creature of id i didn't what wrote to you i was just uppset i hsve lot of troubles in my life created by religion and its questions.

I reasd it but I explained the first question all wrong

Brian Vickery
01-09-2001, 10:11 AM
Iwama_Ryu wrote:
Creature of id i didn't what wrote to you i was just uppset i hsve lot of troubles in my life created by religion and its questions.

Before making such sweeping decisions & generalizations, let's stop & define some terms here.
First off, let's separate Christianty into two catagories, one being 'spirituality' and the other being 'religion'.

Spirituality is YOUR personal relationship with Christ, having nothing to do with anything or anybody else. It's just between you and Him!

Religion is the 'man-made' institution which seeks to control & organize people in an effort to do what they feel God's work here on Earth. This is the area where problems are created and the atrocities of history have taken place.

Now, in this context, do you see how the philosophies of both O-Sensei & Christ fit nicely together? Both talking about protecting others, peace & harmony for all people! It's a connection of 'spirituality' and has NOTHING to do with 'religion'!!!!

Just some food for thought!

Brian Vickery

ian
01-09-2001, 11:00 AM
Hi,
I was very interested in religion and philosophy when I was younger (and still am). Aikido opened me up to Zen philosophy, which tends to be ommitted from many taught philosophy causes (which concentrate on Western philosophy). A central theme of buddhism is that the truth can only be found within yourself. Worth investigating.

Although I would not consider myself a christian, I have a reasonably good knowledge of christianity and its history. I still believe in many things which Jesus is purported to have said, and to me christianity is a very radical and ground breaking religion. Unfortunately, as with many religions, the establishment tries to use religion for its own needs; which is why I think many people still see themselves as spiritual but do not go to church. Even the book of John is supposed to be very corrupted to fit into what he wanted the bible to say. It is worth reading 'The Book of Q' (e-mail me if you want more details) which describes how much of the peripheral rubbish surrounding Jesus' teachings came about, and also tries to develop the core which Jesus may actually have taught.(it is an authoritative account).

It is worth considering that questioning your own beliefs are good and it can lead to one of two things; an abandonment of those beliefs, or a refinement of those beliefs.

Also, are you aware that Ueshiba was involved with a religion heavily influenced by christianity?

Regards,
Ian

Iwama_Ryu
01-09-2001, 12:35 PM
I thank you for not beeing so aggresiv this time. I think i've learned a lot from you guys. I was insecure about this subject and i still am the two new post that came before mine have helped me beacuse they just do it. I've started to think about the spirituality and religon as two new things. You know i'm only 15 and has some time to decide how to live my life.

bones
01-09-2001, 02:11 PM
First off, let me say that I think the civility with which this thread has proceeded is a credit to the open minds of this little aikido community. When I saw the opening post I too thought it was quite 'dangerous'.

I am not a Christian, though I was brought up as one. It was about that same age (~13-14) I started questioning things and found my own path. I look at christianity like any other religion: as a collection of stories, mythologies, beliefs, and practices interrelated with specific cultures and customs.

It is easy to look at the literal / institutional side of chistianity and its (continuing) history of violence and intolerance and form a very negative view of it. The one thing i cannot tolerate is intolerance. ;) However even as an atheist i recognize the importance of spirituality and cultural practices to the individual and society. I even know 'non-believers' who attend church regularly. I see no harm in the practice of gathering and talking about being nice to each other once a week. For the record I was a practicing Soto Zen Buddhist for a while, which for me was a secular practice of disciplines like sitting meditation, with deep cultural (religous) roots which enhance the feeling of participation and the ultimate value of the experience.

That being said I think there are features of christianity in particular which foster intolerance. I'm no religious scholar, but I would guess this developed as a result of the church becoming a major (and ruthless) socio-political organization in europe. Of course, most christians I know despise this aspect as much as I do, but it is alive and well here in the U.S.. Sen. Leiberman, the DEMOCRATIC V.P. candidate of all things, said "The Constitution guarantees freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion". Egads.

Back to the Aikido relationship: I also see no conflict. I know very little about Omotokyo, O-Sensei's major spiritual influence, but I think it offers a broad interpretation which recognizes the spiritual aspects of all things, flowing from some original, all-encompassing source, which can ultimately be compatible with just about any religion. Or I could be way off-base about that. All I know about it I read on the FAQ and whatnot.

-e preston (Zow, sorry about the length)

Brian
01-09-2001, 04:26 PM
Iwama_Ryu wrote:

It is the christianitys mentality that is bad NOT the religon itself.


To date, what percentage of the Christian population have you personally met? Of that percentage, do you think it is possible to make a fair judgement of the entire Christian mentality?

Making such a judgement would be like making a judgement of the 'Canadian mentality' based upon the few Canadians I have personally met. Or, more accurate in the sense of this analogy, making a judgement on the 'Jewish mentality' based upon the few Jews I have personally met.

As for your suggestion that Christians think themselves better than others... if a Christian did think that, they wouldn't be a very good Christian. I have yet to hear of a Christian sect that teaches that living by their creed makes them a better individual. This would be similar to believing I am a better person than a kareteka because I practice aikido rather than karate. It's just plain goofy. Again, you might have run into a few who think that way, but that is not how they should be thinking, and they can hardly suffice for the rest of the Christian population.

Nick
01-09-2001, 04:59 PM
Brian-- hallelujah ;).

Nick

giriasis
01-09-2001, 10:44 PM
You have begun a spiritual journey and that is fine. It means you are willing to grow as a person. Dissent and Disillusionment is only the beginning. You will grow and discover other ways and other belief systems, and may even start to see the similarities between them all. The key is that it is your journey, and no one else's.

If you have found that Christianity is not compatable with your spirit then it is not. Others have told you how they have found their peace in Chrisitianity, but that is only good for them. Only you know your own heart.

Anne Marie Giri
5th Kyu
Florida Aikikai

willy_lee
01-10-2001, 04:25 AM
Johannes,

From my own experience, I would guess that it isn't so much aikido that is in conflict with Christianity, it's the fact that you are _15_, and looking around you and seeing how much is wrong with "Christendom" and "Christians", rather than Xianity itself.
Read Kierkegaard :)

In other words, you would be doing this soul-searching even if you had never heard of aikido.

Things will never be the same, but they can get better.

=wl

T'zur
01-10-2001, 08:37 AM
I am loving this thread! It is a wonderful thing to walk the halls of other people's minds! Thanks to all!:)Ian: "It is worth considering that questioning your own beliefs are good and it can lead to one of two things; an abandonment of those beliefs, or a refinement of those beliefs. "

This is entirely true. Again I see a comparison between this and aikido. I am guessing that at least a few of you know of Fumio Toyota Sensei- Founder and Chief instructor of Aikido Assoc. of America. My sensei passed this teaching of Toyota Sensei on: We were doing repeated sword cuts (can't think of or find the Japanese term just now). One wall of our dojo is a mirror and as we faced it (perfect for lining up where the sword needs to cut your uke) we were instructed to think of cutting ourselves. When your body hurts, cut that weakness out. Think of times when you have NOT responded with love 'ai' in the past to others, cut that evil from your life etc... It was a very refreshing experience. Enlightening even.

Think of it.

It seems to me that the main problem that the young man who started this thread is having with Christianity is not so much Christianity, but the attitudes that some of the adults in his life have toward other people. I would ask: is their Christianity REALLY the problem or their attitudes? And are there attitudes a function OF their Christianity?

-Ebiri

jxa127
01-10-2001, 02:55 PM
My sempai has mentioned that quote from Toyoda Shihan a number of times. It's a good one to keep in mind because it has meaning at so many levels. On one level, we work to get the kinks out of our technique as we strive for an ideal. On another level, we work to get the kinks out of our soul as we strive for a higher ideal.

For me, that higher ideal is the Christian ideal as I understand it. To me, being a Christian means having the utmost compassion, patience, and love for our fellow humans just like Jesus did when he was on Earth -- everything else is just details. Strangely enough, the ideas of love and compassion were central to O Sensei's outlook on life too. Therefore, I have no difficulty integrating my faith and my spiritual practice of Aikido.

As an aside, I like the fact that with Aikido, I can literally "turn the other cheek" while still performing a powerful technique that leaves my attacker unhurt (when I'm good enough), but no longer a threat.

I have studied Zen, Tao, Confucianism, and even a little Buddhism in addition to my upbringing and studies as a Christian. (In fact, I see a lot of similarities between Jesus and Buddha.) In addition, I consider myself a rational man and a scientist. I've learned a lot from my studies, and continue to learn a lot during my practice of Aikido. The neat thing is that Aikido, while it has a strong spiritual side, leaves a lot of room for one to explore that spirituality in almost any context that we choose. I can identify with Johannes: I, too, have had many moments of doubt in my faith -- still do. Mr. Davidsoon, I have two pieces of advice:

* It is okay to believe in two seemingly contradictory ideas (how can one thing be both itself and its opposite?). There are a lot of mysteries in this life, and there is no rush to know the answer to all of them.

* A painful spiritual journey is a natural part of the quest for enlightenment. Age 15 is not too young an age to begin your quest, just beware that you will probably never end the quest once you've started it.

Thank you, Johannes, for starting this discussion. There is no easy answer to your struggle, but a frank and open discussion (like the one here) can't hurt. :-)

-Drew Ames


[Edited by jxa127 on January 10, 2001 at 01:58pm]

jin
01-10-2001, 04:23 PM
Does anyone recognize this quote?.. "Aikido is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."

Iwama_Ryu
I grew up around a religious family and at around age 15 I felt the same way about religion as you perhaps do.

During my childhood, I was phisicaly forced to attend church on a regular basis. I was put under a load of guilt from my family and church members. I had no real reason to become a better person except to avoid God's wrath. This was not a fun way to live. I started to seriously hate the church (and all forms of christianity)and God and Jesus and anything that had to do with religion in general. I became a serious problem for my parents and my family.

The christian religion didn't answer anything for me at all. There were no real concrete explanations on why we exsist, what God really is, where did the universe come from, and how did those guys in the Bible do all those miracles. The only answer they gave me was: we believe because of faith, God is a mighty being, God made the earth in 7 days, Moses was in God's favor (that's why he could part the sea) God made man and the universe.. THE END

Christianity was quite shallow to me. I needed scientific proof of all this. Then I discovered Aikido, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of indepth explanation and physical proof of all the questions I had about life. I came to the conclusion that Jesus was an aikido master. He used the same principles, Aikido is God's way.

I suggest that you don't attend a church. Instead, practice aikido, study aikido (read about it). Empty your mind of all past opinions of religion, because your opinions were formed from negative sources. Just imagine this; What kind of opinion would you have about Aikido if you only saw the sorriest example of an Aikido practitioner and that's it?

Don't force yourself to make a decision about religion, don't let yourself feel like you must make a choice. The answer will float to you. Eventually, you will feel confortable about any decision you make.

akiy
01-10-2001, 04:43 PM
jin wrote:
"Aikido is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."
In my mind, aikido is not a religion.

-- Jun

DiNalt
01-10-2001, 06:35 PM
akiy wrote:
jin wrote:
"Aikido is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."
In my mind, aikido is not a religion.

-- Jun

I have noticed that a lot of things in Aikido require literally, faith - in a way, like Indiana Jones stepped into that canyon in the third movie.

I remember that I did my first roll out of faith.
I had do have faith in the fact that my arm will not collapse.
When I gathered enough, I did a roll and it worked.
Of course there were many times when it didn't and I let it collapse because I was afraid and lacking... faith.

Then I hurt my back, shoulders, etc.

kokyu dosa appears to be something also requiring faith. I noticed that the power of your center really kicks in during the middle of the technique, but that first part has to be more or less based on faith, for an amateur like myself.

And now when I'm learning breakfalls, it also requires faith...

Erik
01-10-2001, 08:52 PM
DiNalt wrote:
I have noticed that a lot of things in Aikido require literally, faith - in a way, like Indiana Jones stepped into that canyon in the third movie.

I remember that I did my first roll out of faith.
I had do have faith in the fact that my arm will not collapse.
When I gathered enough, I did a roll and it worked.
Of course there were many times when it didn't and I let it collapse because I was afraid and lacking... faith.

Then I hurt my back, shoulders, etc.

kokyu dosa appears to be something also requiring faith. I noticed that the power of your center really kicks in during the middle of the technique, but that first part has to be more or less based on faith, for an amateur like myself.

And now when I'm learning breakfalls, it also requires faith...

I can prove to you that a person can highfall in exactly the time it takes me to hit the ground. I can replicate that process with you. It does require faith but it ain't the same thing.

jin
01-11-2001, 12:11 AM
DiNalt wrote:
akiy wrote:
jin wrote:
"Aikido is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."
In my mind, aikido is not a religion.

-- Jun

I have noticed that a lot of things in Aikido require literally, faith - in a way, like Indiana Jones stepped into that canyon in the third movie.

I remember that I did my first roll out of faith.
I had do have faith in the fact that my arm will not collapse.
When I gathered enough, I did a roll and it worked.
Of course there were many times when it didn't and I let it collapse because I was afraid and lacking... faith.

Then I hurt my back, shoulders, etc.

kokyu dosa appears to be something also requiring faith. I noticed that the power of your center really kicks in during the middle of the technique, but that first part has to be more or less based on faith, for an amateur like myself.

And now when I'm learning breakfalls, it also requires faith...

Respectfully, I think you have faith mixed up with willpower. You willed yourself to accept the roll. Faith, is to have a firm belief without logical proof. I'm sure you've seen people take the roll before you had attempted it which would give you some logical proof, so the rest was you just willing yourself to do it. It would have been faith if you had never seen it done before, but were only told that it would be safe.

DiNalt
01-11-2001, 12:16 AM
Erik wrote:
I can prove to you that a person can highfall in exactly the time it takes me to hit the ground. I can replicate that process with you. It does require faith but it ain't the same thing. [/B]

I'm sorry but I have trouble understanding what you mean by this.
Could you explain ?

Thanks.

DiNalt
01-11-2001, 12:28 AM
You are saying that all the people that come into the dojo to start training in Aikido, have no willpower by default, which is kind of... let's just say, untrue.

Logically they see senior students do the rolls quite well.

Willpower-wise, they DO accept the roll and actually take the roll...
and collapse as their arm bends, sometimes hurting themselves.

Despite *numerous warnings* about the arm.

Now ask yourself - why did the arm bend ?

DiNalt
01-11-2001, 12:34 AM
I also have to add, Rob, that your definition of faith as "Faith, is to have a firm belief without logical proof. " was a well fit for me when I first came in.

Seeing other students roll over their arm effortlessly, I didn't accept it as a logical proof. It pretty much looked like a miracle/trick/impossible to do thing to me.

Therefore, my rolls did require faith.
Besides, I can have all the faith in other people's arms, but it ain't worth squat when it comes to actually MY arm.

Mileage differs, I guess.

jin
01-11-2001, 01:55 AM
DiNalt wrote:
I also have to add, Rob, that your definition of faith as "Faith, is to have a firm belief without logical proof. " was a well fit for me when I first came in.

Seeing other students roll over their arm effortlessly, I didn't accept it as a logical proof. It pretty much looked like a miracle/trick/impossible to do thing to me.

Therefore, my rolls did require faith.
Besides, I can have all the faith in other people's arms, but it ain't worth squat when it comes to actually MY arm.

Mileage differs, I guess.

I guess that it was just the way you had worded it that made me think that you might have gotten the two terms mixed up. So, you seeing it happening right in front of you wasn't enough to convince you that it could be done by you too. In that case, it was faith, because faith rises out of something besides your six senses.

And I didn't at all mean or even write that people started without willpower. Everyone has willpower. Oh, and that wasn't my definition of faith. It's Oxford's :)

Peace

Erik
01-11-2001, 12:35 PM
DiNalt wrote:
Erik wrote:
I can prove to you that a person can highfall in exactly the time it takes me to hit the ground. I can replicate that process with you. It does require faith but it ain't the same thing.

I'm sorry but I have trouble understanding what you mean by this.
Could you explain ?

Thanks.

You can logically evaluate the evidence (seeing me highfall) and conclude that you or someone else can do it. This will get even easier the more people you see high fall. There is evidence that it can be done and we can pile evidence on top of evidence.

With Christianity there is no proof of god. There is no methodology for meeting god. There is no evidence of god. There is nothing. Hence, belief in god requires an act of faith for no other reason than you believe. Just because, rather than seeing it with your own eyes.

Anne
01-11-2001, 02:15 PM
Anne
Posts: 13
July 10, 2000 03:14pm

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

"For why should my freedom be judged by another's conscience?" 1. Corinthians 10, 29

Being a Christian, I too had a many discussions regarding things like akupuncture, reiki, homeopathy and, of course, aikido with members of my congregation. I'm kind of "suspicious" anyway because I study natural siences and therefore insist on rational discussions without dogmas.
I don't believe in religion, I believe in Jesus. Being created as an individual, my faith and my relationship with God are individual. Something everyone agreed with when our minister talked about individuality. But if it comes to "practical exercises", many people reject everything outside the accepted, traditional system of thoughts of a congregation as bad and / or even satanic. This means that nobody wants to find out about new things and tries to hide behind dogmas and tradition.
I really prayed a lot when I took up aikido and I was confirmed that aikido was all right for me. I tried to point out to my congregation that I'm not seeking enlightment or salvation by doing aikido-I've got salvation already.

Dear Johannes,
this quote above is from my post on the "Aikido and being Christian" topic (July 2000). When I was a kid, I had to go to church and was kinda fed up, too at the age of 15/16. I became a Christian six years ago on a summer camp by my best friend's congregation. As you may see in my post above, I'm in a congregation that is rather fundamentalist. But that doesn't matter! What I did learn in my own development as a Christian is that I'M FREE. I'm not religious, I'm a Christian. And I can tell you, aikido helped my a lot to get there because I learned to dare discuss things like that with my concregation (quite successfully, my favor), to really think about things like aikido the way of "what would Jesus do" rather than "what's the opinion and /or law of my congregation". As I said before, the most important thing I learned is that I'm free. There is a very good book by Gerald Coates called "Non-Religious Christianity" (Revival Press) which helped me a lot.

And I've found that aikido fits nicely with my faith.

love,
Anne

Brian
01-11-2001, 02:29 PM
Erik wrote:
With Christianity there is no proof of god. There is no methodology for meeting god. There is no evidence of god. There is nothing. Hence, belief in god requires an act of faith for no other reason than you believe. [/B]

Not quite so. There's also logical thought. We can take what we know and deduce other things from it. For example, we know that according to physical law, all physical things come from something else. Nothing physical can just be, but requires something else to create it, generate it, bring it into existence, etc. However, we also know that since all things in the universe (physically speaking) are physical, that something must have created at least the most primal piece(s) of existence without first being created, else we would have an infinite cycle of something creating the thing before it, creating the thing before it, yet never knowing where that ended. Since this Primary Force cannot be physical (again, nothing physical can just be, but must be made by something else), it must have been above physical law. Thus, from our knowledge of physical law, we can deduce that some metaphysical force must have created something(s) physical for us to be at all. Whether It created space and a bunch of gases and set them into motion, resulting in the Big Bang and thus indirectly creating everything else, or whether It hand crafted each thing we know of is completely unknown. But we can deduce that something greater than the universe as we know it created the universe as we know it.

Faith comes into play because this thesis cannot be scientifically proven. Since we are incapable of manipulating metaphysical substance of any kind, we cannot demonstrate this thesis, and thus we cast our entire belief on how existence came to be and what happens after this life on what our brain tells us is fairly reasonable, which can be quite a difficult thing to do.

Nick
01-11-2001, 03:09 PM
this is quite the great thread we've got on our hands here...

I must echo the previous posts, especially that of Anne, by saying that I too have often tried to separate faith from religion. My faith is totally separate from my religion... as far as my faith goes, I don't much care if you say it's wrong and bad and I'm headed for damnation... my faith is entirely personal, and therefore I am not as open to talk about it. However, if you say that the Christian church has problems, I'd probably agree with you... just turn to channel 17 and look at the "priests" promising salvation for the measly fund of $700... Many times I compare the Christian church to the budo, but not because I view the budo as any sort of religion. More because, I see many kinds of identical mindsets in both. To the outsider, both look rather silly, very esoteric and something that one could most certainly do without and still lead a healthy life. And many do. There are frauds who call themselves ministers, there are frauds who call themselves budo sensei. However, if you look deeper, find a good place to practice your faith or budo, with a group of people that you enjoy, the experiences and enjoyment you receive from it most certainly cannot be measured by science.

Nick

Matt
01-11-2001, 03:51 PM
I think that a the definition of faith by webster might help others as it did me.

Faith:
1:Allegance or duty to a person:Loyalty.
2:belief and trust in God
3:complete trust
While I dont think that Aikido is a faith, it does take faith. And i feel that it makes me a better person in mind body and spirit.

Matt
01-11-2001, 03:52 PM
sorry about not signing the last one
Matt

bones
01-11-2001, 03:57 PM
Not quite so. There's also logical thought. We can take what we know and deduce other things from it.


There's nothing special about logical thought. Logic arises from cognitive metaphor of basic perceptual schema, in the context of neural physiology. Platonism died with modern biology and cognitive science. Translation: we can take what we think we know and imagine things about it.


For example, we know that according to physical law, all physical things come from something else. Nothing physical can just be, but requires something else to create it, generate it, bring it into existence, etc. ...


What physical law would this be? I have a Ph.D. in physics and I have never heard of it. What is a 'physical thing'?


else we would have an infinite cycle of something creating the thing before it, creating the thing before it, yet never knowing where that ended.


Is time itself not a 'physical thing'? This notion of 'before' is too simplistic to address questions about the origin of the universe.

I have no problem if people want to believe in metaphysical things. Not everyone is going to spend the decades it requires to understand the boundaries of our knowledge (not that I necessarily do). But I don't like to see people pass such arguments off on others. Science obviously does not have an answer to every question, but this is almost always because its a bad question to begin with... and never, ever anywhere does it conclude or even suggest there must be 'something beyond' the physical.

-e preston

Brian
01-11-2001, 05:51 PM
bones wrote:

There's nothing special about logical thought. Logic arises from cognitive metaphor of basic perceptual schema, in the context of neural physiology. Platonism died with modern biology and cognitive science. Translation: we can take what we think we know and imagine things about it.

1 + 1 = 2. If I know that 1 represents a singular object/unit, I know that if I have one more, I have twice that 1, or what we refer to as two. Knowing that 2 represents two of 1, or twice 1, I can use logical thought to deduce that combining two sets of 2 would get me two times 2, or what we refer to as 4. Thus, from understanding that 1 + 1 = 2, I used logical thought to determine that 2 + 2 = 4. This is not imagination, but truth. 1 + 1 DOES = 2. I don't think I know this, but realize this as truth. Thus, I have taken what I DO know and learned/solved something else from it. Logical thought is quite important. Although my example is very simple, it represents the whole of the development of mathematics. No one just suddenly decided, "Why, let's make up a bunch of meaningless jargon and use it to solve real life problems!" It was developed through the logical processing of things we already knew, or had already learned. I am not trying to argue the origin of math, but simply to display that logical thought is indeed important.

bones wrote:


What physical law would this be? I have a Ph.D. in physics and I have never heard of it. What is a 'physical thing'?

I cannot name right off the top of my head the name of the law, but I can assure you that no physical thing can create itself. I'll keep searching for the name, but while I do, ask yourself this- what physical thing CAN create itself?

When I say physical thing, I refer to everything that exists in the universe (I use the universe here referring to the entirety of space and beyond, and everything within it. When I say beyond, I refer to facets of the universe we have yet to discover, but not to planes such as Heaven or Hell).

bones wrote:

Is time itself not a 'physical thing'? This notion of 'before' is too simplistic to address questions about the origin of the universe.

Time itself is not a physical thing- it is the measurement of the movement and change of matter and energy. It itself is not a form of matter, space, or energy- it's just something we created for our convenience. It's far easier to say 'Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492' than to say 'Columbus sailed the ocean blue when the earth had only made approximately X revolutions around the sun.'

bones wrote:


I have no problem if people want to believe in metaphysical things. Not everyone is going to spend the decades it requires to understand the boundaries of our knowledge (not that I necessarily do). But I don't like to see people pass such arguments off on others. Science obviously does not have an answer to every question, but this is almost always because its a bad question to begin with... and never, ever anywhere does it conclude or even suggest there must be 'something beyond' the physical.


I don't mean to come off as nit-picky, but I didn't say science concluded or suggested that there is something beyond the physical, I said that logical thought led there. These are two very different things, but both can help us understand things. Nor did I say that my argument was scientific fact- I referred to it as a thesis ( A proposition to be defended or maintained by argument), one that was created using logical thought.

Anne
01-12-2001, 02:24 AM
Just one or two things about Christianity destroying and polluting the earth because this was part of the first post, too.
As far as I know, every highly developed culture no matter what religion or time has set out to colonize, oppress and exploit other people. The Egyptians took the better part of north and middle Africa, the Babylonians took Israel, the Romans all of the world that was known at this time, the Atztecs ruled Middle America,... And all of this cultures started to pollute and destroy their environment. The Sahara became as big as it is because of the Romans cutting down the big forests of North Africa to build ships for their navy. One of the reasons the Maya culture simply vanished is that they destroyed their environment ( I don't know whether this is right but I think it was a drinking water problem). This list could go on for mega bytes. Even in the 20th century colonies were not only given their independence but new were made e.g. the Japanese taking Korea.
So, Christians are not even the last in the row.

love, Anne

bones
01-12-2001, 11:35 AM
Brian wrote:
I don't mean to come off as nit-picky, but I didn't say science concluded or suggested that there is something beyond the physical... Nor did I say that my argument was scientific fact- I referred to it as a thesis
[/B]

You are right, I was perhaps a little too direct about that. This is not really an Aikido topic, so I'll keep my reply short: Time is not so simple as you may think, as we have known since the debut of special relativity in 1905. For instance, someone living in an orbiting satellite will age more slowly than someone on earth, because TIME ITSELF moves slower. This has been measured. Time is in fact an aspect of space, and in some degree interchangable with it. Not that I have all the answers, the nature of time continues to baffle people. And, quantum fluctuations do exist where a particle and anti-particle pair will appear out of vaccuum, or nothingness. (If there are any other physicists out there, lets not argue about the physicality of quantum fields, OK?). I just want to point out that things are very much more strange and complicated than most people realize, and if yr interested in this kind of thing I encourage you to follow up on it. This is how I became a physicist. When confronted with such strangeness one quickly sees that everyday reasoning like '1+1=2' doesn't get you far. peace.

-efp



[Edited by bones on January 12, 2001 at 10:37am]

Guest5678
01-12-2001, 01:09 PM
They tell me there are many Gods............. for god is in all of us.


Regards,

Dan P. - Mongo

cguzik
01-12-2001, 02:48 PM
Brian wrote:
1 + 1 = 2. If I know that 1 represents a singular object/unit, I know that if I have one more, I have twice that 1, or what we refer to as two.


Correct; to relate this to Bones' statement, the singular object/unit is a component of your perceptual schema.

The concept of "1" is a component of the cognitive metaphor (i.e., mathematics) of that perceptual schema.

It just so happens that we chose a cognitive metaphor that matches our perceptual schema quite well (not by accident, of course -- one that didn't match would not be very effective and would be nothing more than a possibly interesting intellectual game).


This is not imagination, but truth. 1 + 1 DOES = 2. I don't think I know this, but realize this as truth.


Correct again. This is a true statement about your cognitive metaphor (mathematics). Unfortunately, the only reason to believe that corresponding statements about actual things are true is because mathematics matches our perceptual schema pretty well.

Why do we believe that mathematical statements are true of actual things? Mostly because of experience, intuition, and yes, faith. These are the same reasons that for many years it was believed that the laws of Newtonian physics were true of actual things. Now we know that there are physical things regarding which Newtonian physics does not work.

Don't assume that the perceptual schema cannot change; it can and has many times. When it does we scramble to find a new cognitive metaphor that matches accordingly.


Thus, I have taken what I DO know and learned/solved something else from it.


Indeed. Unfortunately the assumption that your logical framework always holds in the real world may not be valid.

I think this is part of the point Bones was making.


I am not trying to argue the origin of math, but simply to display that logical thought is indeed important.


Fair enough, but when you are trying to apply logic to prove something metaphysical (or even about the nature or origin of physical stuff), you have to consider what logic actually *is* and how it relates to what's actually happening. Logic has some nasty limitations.


I cannot name right off the top of my head the name of the law, but I can assure you that no physical thing can create itself. I'll keep searching for the name, but while I do, ask yourself this- what physical thing CAN create itself?


Actually, the law of conservation of matter and energy says that neither matter nor energy are created or destroyed, only converted from one to the other. (I'm not a physicist but I'm pretty sure that's correct).


Time itself is not a physical thing- it is the measurement of the movement and change of matter and energy. It itself is not a form of matter, space, or energy- it's just something we created for our convenience.


Actually, special relativity says that time and space are not different. (Once again, I'm not a physicist but I'm pretty sure that's right).

Note that special relativity, the law of conservation of matter and energy, mathematics, and logic are all cognitive metaphors. There is always the possibility that we will find a situation in which inconsistencies arise.

It may be that a direct consequence of Goedel's Theorem that:

If our world is a logical place (i.e., we don't find physical inconsistencies) then we will discover that there are things in the world logic cannot touch. Conversely, if logic can apply to everything, then it will break in some situations and there will inevitably be physical inconsistencies

Is this an aikido-related topic?

Probably not for most, but it is for me: I would not have discovered this art had I not been perplexed by these very issues. There is something about direct experience that I don't think logic applies to. For me, aikido is one way to study this.

Chris Guzik

[Edited by cguzik on January 12, 2001 at 01:52pm]

Brian
01-12-2001, 03:34 PM
cguzik wrote:

Indeed. Unfortunately the assumption that your logical framework always holds in the real world may not be valid. [/B]

Undoubtedly. However, until we are shown that what our logical framework holds to be real is in fact not, then we can only stick to what our logical framework tells us, at which point we can begin to modify our understanding of other things. Personally, when writing a paper for school, I find it far easier to assume what I know to be real(that is, am pretty sure I know to be real, having not yet been shown different) is in fact real (rather, has been displayed up to this point to be real) then writing countless side notes (more accurately, what my mind has come to describe as side notes) indicating that each point, law, etc. is only believed ot be valid, but may not be (at least, valid as we have come to define it). Do you see what I have just displayed? What I'm trying to say is, until we are shown different, we'll have to trust what we've been shown is valid.

To remotely tie this into aikido, umm... it's safe to assume that when you throw uke, uke will hit the mat due to gravity rather than fly out of orbit, because of the laws of gravity we have come to believe as valid have yet to be disproved or altered.

Jimro
01-13-2001, 02:18 AM
When I go through a religious crisis (which seem to come with regularity) I have found that studying is a good way to pass the time and possibly solve the situation.

I wish I could help everyone with their search for fulfillment.

I really hate to say this, but nothing I say will help you with a religious crisis. Those decisions must be made in your heart. I know that prayer and meditation have been sources of strength to me in times of distress, they may be worth a try.

Best of luck in all things.

James

You are,
what you do,
when it counts.

Ben
01-13-2001, 11:53 AM
None of you have met me and none of you have seen me, yet I am here. I know this, yet you do not, because your physical senses cannot percieve me. Nevertheless, the fact that I am writing produces stronger evidence of my existence that anyone could produce of my non-existence. In other words, your belief that I am here must be entrely based upon the fact that these words appear on your computer monitor. You acknowledge that I am here because you see my works, not because you see me.
Such is it with God.
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,"
Romans 1:20
If you want information on the evidence of God, feel free to contact me personally at bennagy@mstar2.net. I guarantee that I can produce significantly more evidence proving the existence of a God than anybody could produce disproving the existence of a God. And if the scales are tipped to the left, would not a wise man say that the left side is heavier?

Now, to attempt to tie this in to aikido: Especialy when combating multiple opponents, it is unwise to underestimate your allies or your foes. Whether you see them in front of you or not, they might be there.
Ben Nagy

Erik
01-13-2001, 02:06 PM
Ben wrote:
None of you have met me and none of you have seen me, yet I am here. I know this, yet you do not, because your physical senses cannot percieve me. Nevertheless, the fact that I am writing produces stronger evidence of my existence that anyone could produce of my non-existence. In other words, your belief that I am here must be entrely based upon the fact that these words appear on your computer monitor. You acknowledge that I am here because you see my works, not because you see me.
Such is it with God.
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,"
Romans 1:20
If you want information on the evidence of God, feel free to contact me personally at bennagy@mstar2.net. I guarantee that I can produce significantly more evidence proving the existence of a God than anybody could produce disproving the existence of a God. And if the scales are tipped to the left, would not a wise man say that the left side is heavier?

Now, to attempt to tie this in to aikido: Especialy when combating multiple opponents, it is unwise to underestimate your allies or your foes. Whether you see them in front of you or not, they might be there.
Ben Nagy

I should have stayed away. I knew better than to get involved and I tried, I really tried.

When I was a little boy, presents magically appeared, cookies were munched on and milk was drunk. All evidence of Santa Claus. Personally, I have not searched every inch of the North Pole so Santa could actually be hiding up there. Lastly, my parents have never admitted to any treachery, and they seem to be good people, so all the evidence still points to there being a Santa Claus.

I cannot disprove Santa Claus.

We've had thunder and lightning in the past. Despite the analysis of weather patterns and science it doesn't disprove that Thor was in a pissy mood and felt like frying a telephone pole or 2. Why telephone poles? Apparently the God of Thunder works in mysterious ways. With a little research I could find as much proof for the Nordic mythology or any other mythology as you can for your mythology.

Actually, research will get in the way. I'm going to stick with "just because".

Ben
01-13-2001, 03:33 PM
I do not intend to say that I have 100% unquestionable concrete evidence that my views are correct, but I would personally have a difficult time believing if I could not support my beliefs with fact. I have not always been a Christian, by the way.

As far as the Santa Claus theory; If I had placed a plate of cookies in to a sealed metal container and welded it shut before going to bed, I would begin to wonder about the existence of some form of cookie eater if the cookies were gone from the box when I cut it open with my arc welder on Christmas morning. I would still be without proof of Santa Claus, but if I already believed in his existence, my faith would be greatly strengthened.

The evidence that I'm talking about pertains to studies that can be done. I would never be so foolish as to base my beliefs on the logic of "nobody can possibly study it, therefore it's truth."

Ben Nagy
PS. by the way Johannes, Jeg lå ikke merke før at du kommer fra Sverrige. Bare stå på gutta, svarene kommer etter prøven.

[Edited by Ben on January 13, 2001 at 03:40pm]

Jimro
01-14-2001, 12:46 AM
What is truth and how do you know it when you find it?

If anyone can answer those two simple questions then they should ascend to a realm of beings higher than mere mortals.

Please do not confuse science and religion. One is based on percieved facts (science) and the other is based on faith. Not all religion can be disproved by science. And ever since the death of Galileo for claiming that the Earth orbited the Sun religion had better stay out of the realm of science.

If science and religion clash on issues, ie creationism verses darwinism then only a person can decide for themselves. No one can dictate unto anyone the feelings of their heart. Your beliefs are personal and private. I think it is a shame that we attach feelings of "I'm right and you're wrong" to belief systems. I am a devoted Christian but I admire the beauty of Taoism.

And for all you philosophers out there who want to get into the subject of belief and existence, you are wasting your time. What is, is, what is not, is not. And all the proof that you can state is just a personal belief.

We believe in facts and theories and sooner or later other facts and theories arise to challenge the ones we believe in. There is still a society today that espouses the belief that the world is flat. Go figure.

Best of luck finding truth.

James

You are,
what you do,
when it counts.

Paul Milburn
12-06-2007, 12:57 PM
I am a Christian and hoping to become a Catholic priest, I also am a 4th dan instructor and love my aikido. I think brian there are a lot of issues to sort here but not time or room to give them justice. Many people have issues over a religion because they have bad experiences of it or someone who represents it, this is sad.... remember that God and religion are two different things. Religion is mans construction of paths to get to God, but not perfect by any means. Practice your aikido with all your might and train through these conflicting feelings you have. They will pass. Keep your heart open to God by practicing with love and He will come to you in his time. "When the student is ready the sensei appears"

Will Prusner
12-06-2007, 01:03 PM
I am a Christian and hoping to become a Catholic priest, I also am a 4th dan instructor and love my aikido.

You are also a thread necromancer and are replying to a comment from 6 YEARS AGO. As my momma used to say "Let dead threads lie"

Dewey
12-06-2007, 01:08 PM
I am a Christian and hoping to become a Catholic priest, I also am a 4th dan instructor and love my aikido. I think brian there are a lot of issues to sort here but not time or room to give them justice. Many people have issues over a religion because they have bad experiences of it or someone who represents it, this is sad.... remember that God and religion are two different things. Religion is mans construction of paths to get to God, but not perfect by any means. Practice your aikido with all your might and train through these conflicting feelings you have. They will pass. Keep your heart open to God by practicing with love and He will come to you in his time. "When the student is ready the sensei appears"

First, I can see why you resurrected this thread (all puns intended)...but come on, it's 6 years old!

All kidding aside, read my very first posting here on AikiWeb...my introduction: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=173735&postcount=1.

PM me...let's chat. I myself followed that path.

Paul Milburn
12-07-2007, 08:08 AM
Hi Brian, Wow, I must confess i didnt even look at dates at all, I didnt realise it was 6 years old. oh well, its always a timely subject i guess. yes i will mail you also, thanks.

Pierre Kewcharoen
12-07-2007, 01:05 PM
If Aikido was a religion it would probably be tied to buddhism

dps
12-07-2007, 01:47 PM
If Aikido was a religion it would probably be tied to buddhism
Why do you say that?

David

Kevin Leavitt
12-07-2007, 05:22 PM
Yea for many that identify with buddhism, like myself, would point out to you that they don't consider buddhism to be a separate and distinct religion!

In fact, many will tell you that buddhism can encompass all religions and can be practiced right along beside them.

....much like aikido :)

Kevin Leavitt
12-07-2007, 05:30 PM
So philosophically speaking...aikido and buddhism embrace the same principles of unifying, peace, and harmony.

It is more about the philosophy than about defining itself as a religion

Fred Little
12-07-2007, 09:07 PM
Yea for many that identify with buddhism, like myself, would point out to you that they don't consider buddhism to be a separate and distinct religion!

In fact, many will tell you that buddhism can encompass all religions and can be practiced right along beside them.

....much like aikido :)

Buddhism is very sneaky that way.

The Tibetan variety also has its own form of debate that may seem very familiar to aikidoka in a number of respects:

Tibetan debates involve two parties: a defender (dam bca' ba), who answers, and a questioner (rigs lam pa). The roles of defender and questioner imply very different responsibilities.

Follow the link and then scroll half-way down the page for an account of "The Thrilla in the Chilla," a 2003 dharma-combat between Robert AF Thurman and Gehlek Rinpoche. (http://www.jewelheart.org/general_pages/e-jewel/feb04/feb04_e_jewel.htm)

Dewey
12-07-2007, 11:26 PM
I can't believe I am partaking in thread necromancy (6 years old)...but here goes:

This subject has/is also of interest for me, but for entirely different reasons. I come from the perspective of someone who spent several years in the seminary preparing for the Roman Catholic priesthood. In the end, I chose not to pursue that path as it ultimately was not a suitable lifestyle for me (i.e. that whole celibacy thing...I admit that I enjoy the company of women too much;)). Regardless, I received an excellent theological education. I still am a practicing Christian, BTW (a lot of folks incorrectly assume that if you drop out of the seminary, you're automatically a "fallen away" Catholic or that you somehow lost your faith).

My take on the issue is that we first must differentiate between Catholics, Protestants and Evangelicals when we discuss this issue. Just as with Buddhism (or any other religion), Christianity has several diverse denominations, sects and factions that sometimes dramatically disagree with each other.

From my experience, Catholics (even devout ones such as myself) usually don't have a problem with Aikido...even with it's most traditional and overtly Shinto aspects. Why? I think it is because Catholicism is very symbolical in its essence: sacraments, liturgy, saints, hierarchical clergy, etc. I can easily find several parallels between Catholicism and Aikido...far too much and too detailed to write here. They all compliment one another quite well and Aikido has become a devotional for me, with bokken and jo as rosaries.

Protestants (by this I mean mainstream Protestantism such as Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, etc.) by and large don't have too many problems with Aikido, either. Many of the mainline denominations are very heavy into ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, so Aikido fits in quite nicely to that paradigm. However, it is a bit more nebulous though in that the more conservative the particular denomination, the more problems they have with Aikido.

The group of Christians that by and large have the most difficulty with Aikido are Evangelicals. Because they take a rather literal interpretation of the Bible as well as their aversion to any form of ritual (this historically stems from their distaste for Catholicism), Evangelicals regard Aikido as an "eastern religion." Bowing is considered an idolatrous act, as is the presence of the shomen...which is regarded as a pagan shrine of false gods (Shinto kami) and a false messiah (O'Sensei). Even more, that Aikido espouses specific moral principles as well as a distinct spirituality that encourages introspection as illuminated by O'Sensei, Evangelicals regard all this as constituting a religion. Of course, the fact that much of what is the body of "Aikido spirituality" is remarkably similar and quite complimentary to Christianity is often lost on Evangelicals. Oh well....

Paul Milburn
12-08-2007, 07:05 AM
Yes I can identify with that Brian. i was brought up mainstream Evangelical in baptist, methodist and salvationist circles. What you say is quite right. i find catholicism quite tolerant, although not totally on some aspects, but that might be in me and not catholicism.

Kevin Leavitt
12-08-2007, 02:15 PM
What aspects are they/you not tolerant on?

Where do you find the conflict?

Erick Mead
12-08-2007, 09:22 PM
I can't believe I am partaking in thread necromancy (6 years old)...but here goes: Some subjects qualify as "once and future threads" ...

This subject has/is also of interest for me, but for entirely different reasons. I come from the perspective of someone who spent several years in the seminary preparing for the Roman Catholic priesthood. In the end, I chose not to pursue that path as it ultimately was not a suitable lifestyle for me (i.e. that whole celibacy thing...I admit that I enjoy the company of women too much;)). Samuel Johnson, whom I reacquainted myself with recently, once said that while marriage has many pains, celibacy has no pleasures.

From my experience, Catholics (even devout ones such as myself) usually don't have a problem with Aikido...even with it's most traditional and overtly Shinto aspects. Why? I think it is because Catholicism is very symbolical in its essence: sacraments, liturgy, saints, hierarchical clergy, etc. I can easily find several parallels between Catholicism and Aikido...far too much and too detailed to write here. They all compliment one another quite well and Aikido has become a devotional for me, with bokken and jo as rosaries. Embrace your enemy while "turning the other cheek," and genuflect = Kokyunage, ... so pretty much, yeah ...

Evangelicals regard Aikido as an "eastern religion." Bowing is considered an idolatrous act, as is the presence of the shomen...which is regarded as a pagan shrine of false gods (Shinto kami) and a false messiah (O'Sensei). Veneration and due homage in appreciation does not equal worship. Why do they not get that?

Dewey
12-12-2007, 08:27 AM
Stumbled upon this on AikidoJournal yesterday...an interview with Andre Nocquet concerning his time as uchi-deshi to O'Sensei:

"[One day] I said to Ueshiba Sensei, "You are always praying, Ueshiba Sensei. Then aikido is a religion." "No, that's not true. Aikido is never a religion, but if you are a Christian, you will be a better Christian because of aikido. If you are a Buddhist, you will be a better Buddhist." I thought it was an amazing response. I really liked his answer. Since he was a Japanese I was afraid he would say that Christianity was nothing. Ueshiba Sensei had a great deal of respect for Christ. I was living in a four-mat room in the dojo and he would knock on the door and enter. He would sit down beside me and there was a portrait of Jesus Christ. He would place his hands together in a gesture of respect. I asked him one day if there wasn't a similarity between his prophecies and those of Christ. He answered, "Yes, because Jesus said his technique was love and I, Morihei, also say that my technique is love. Jesus created a religion, but I didn't. Aikido is an art rather than a religion. But if you practice my aikido a great deal you will be a better Christian." Then I asked, "Sensei should I remain a Christian?" He replied, "Yes, absolutely. You were raised as a Christian in France. Remain a Christian." If he had told me to stop being a Christian and become a Buddhist, I would have been lost. My heart was full of Ueshiba Sensei because he had a vision of the entire world and that we were all his children. He called me his son."

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=405

dps
12-12-2007, 08:34 AM
Stumbled upon this on AikidoJournal yesterday...an interview with Andre Nocquet concerning his time as uchi-deshi to O'Sensei:

"[One day] I said to Ueshiba Sensei, "You are always praying, Ueshiba Sensei. Then aikido is a religion." "No, that's not true. Aikido is never a religion, but if you are a Christian, you will be a better Christian because of aikido. If you are a Buddhist, you will be a better Buddhist." I thought it was an amazing response. I really liked his answer. Since he was a Japanese I was afraid he would say that Christianity was nothing. Ueshiba Sensei had a great deal of respect for Christ. I was living in a four-mat room in the dojo and he would knock on the door and enter. He would sit down beside me and there was a portrait of Jesus Christ. He would place his hands together in a gesture of respect. I asked him one day if there wasn't a similarity between his prophecies and those of Christ. He answered, "Yes, because Jesus said his technique was love and I, Morihei, also say that my technique is love. Jesus created a religion, but I didn't. Aikido is an art rather than a religion. But if you practice my aikido a great deal you will be a better Christian." Then I asked, "Sensei should I remain a Christian?" He replied, "Yes, absolutely. You were raised as a Christian in France. Remain a Christian." If he had told me to stop being a Christian and become a Buddhist, I would have been lost. My heart was full of Ueshiba Sensei because he had a vision of the entire world and that we were all his children. He called me his son."

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=405

How would I explain how practicing the techniques of Aikido will make you a better Christian?

David

David

Erick Mead
12-12-2007, 08:38 AM
How would I explain how practicing the techniques of Aikido will make you a better Christian?I would call it practical training in "turning the other cheek."

Dewey
12-12-2007, 09:43 AM
How would I explain how practicing the techniques of Aikido will make you a better Christian?

David


Yeah, I puzzled over that one as well. Perhaps by taking the martial principle of Aiki from a purely physical realm into the realm of the self: "true victory is victory over one's self" as one of O'Sensei's most famous sayings go. Through hard physical training, misogi, and introspection...work to merge/blend the mind, body and spirit into one being and not compartmentalize or even deny those aspects of our lives as we are want and/or taught to do...spiritual Aiki...Oneness of the self. When one is grounded and fully self-aware (spiritually, not in the philosophical or psychological perspective of mere thought abstraction), then they are able to fully perceive their connection with others and the environment around them...Oneness. This oneness is a natural benefit to martial arts training and self-defense (i.e. zanshin/awareness). It doesn't matter the religion or spiritual path you choose, just as long as it pulls you out of your own little world and induces introspection and the desire to improve one's self.

To me, it makes me a better Christian because it moves Christianity from being merely a set of abstract beliefs into something that is physical. That Oneness I was blathering on about above.

Well, at least that's what I take from it. Could be entirely off-track. Who knows...wish Nocquet was still alive, I'd write him about it.

kironin
12-12-2007, 11:15 AM
While we are raising the dead,

it would be interesting to see where that 6th kyu 15 year old originator of this nearly 7 year old thread is today.

I have known at least a couple of priests (Catholic, Episcopal) that were practicing aikido yudansha. Aikido is not in conflict with the basic universal principles of all world religions or secular humanism for that matter either.

I could certainly see a regular physical practice congruent with diffusing the aggression in a situation while minimizing the harm help someone be better able to follow Christian ideals as "Love thy enemy".

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN1646766120071016

In typical daily confrontations, coming less from a place of fear and more from a place of empathy.

Bronson
12-13-2007, 02:51 PM
How would I explain how practicing the techniques of Aikido will make you a better Christian?


Perhaps it's not that practicing the techniques will make you better (to me that's like saying practicing scales and drills on a piano is the whole of studying music), but the deep instropsection and self-analysis that comes from practicing Aikido.

Bronson

Rupert Atkinson
12-17-2007, 02:39 PM
Can someone please tell me??????????

Escape, escape, escape! But escape from what? If you grow up in a Christian, Muslim, or whatever environment then you cannot easily escape the cultural entanglements. My advice is to study, and to distance yourself from that which you do not like. Personally, as I get older, I find myself disliking all religion of any type more and more. I think religion can be good, and it can produce good people, but it is not for me as it makes no sense to me. To me, you religion is your habit.

Rupert Atkinson
12-17-2007, 02:41 PM
Can someone please tell me??????????

Escape, escape, escape! But escape from what? If you grow up in a Christian, Muslim, or whatever environment then you cannot easily escape the cultural entanglements. My advice is to study, and to distance yourself from that which you do not like. Personally, as I get older, I find myself disliking all religion of any type more and more. I think religion can be good, and it can produce good people, but it is not for me as it makes no sense to me. To me, religion is nothing more than everyday habit.

Erick Mead
12-17-2007, 08:02 PM
Escape, escape, escape! But escape from what?... My advice is to study, and to distance yourself from that which you do not like. Personally, as I get older, I find myself disliking all religion of any type more and more. ... it is not for me as it makes no sense to me Fear grows in loss. Lengthening shadows darken present pleasures. No one likes death. But Death pursues. None escapes him.

The choice is really quite that simple. One may flee, only to be taken unawares and in vain fearful struggle at the end. Or one may turn, embrace and seek to redeem that reality in some way from mere destruction.

Christianity and Aikido share in this perspective on something that every man sooner or later must confront. Both counsel that addressing it sooner is better. Both hold that the narrow self is that which dies, and the Divine survives. And Both hold that Love is Divine. And that true martial struggle must be a divine work of love.

Ally to the Divine -- conquer the small self. This sensibility is equally the message of Christian teaching and that of O Sensei. Speaking personally, saying is easier than doing -- but it is true regardless of my relative merit in the occasion. Truth is like that.

dps
12-17-2007, 10:30 PM
How would I explain how practicing the techniques of Aikido will make you a better Christian?

David

David

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=195927#post195927
Post #13

According to the Founder and to some of his direct students aikido is Misogi. It is true on personal level as well on general level. As aikidoka we suppouse to be between sacrum and profanum.

dps
12-17-2007, 10:34 PM
In researching the meaning of Sacrum I found this,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacrum

"The sacrum is a large, triangular bone at the base of the spine and at the upper and back part of the pelvic cavity, where it is inserted like a wedge between the two hip bones. Its upper part connects with the last lumbar vertebra, and bottom part with the coccyx (tailbone)."

"The name is derived from the Latin sacer, "sacred", a translation of the Greek hieron (osteon), meaning sacred or strong bone.[1] This is supposedly because the sacrum was the part of an animal offered in sacrifice. In Slavic languages and in German this bone is called the "cross bone"

Eric Mead will like this, http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/16/22/03.htm

David

Alex Megann
12-18-2007, 04:07 AM
... Evangelicals regard Aikido as an "eastern religion." .

I've always found it amusing that many Christians think of Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and so on as "foreign" religions. Didn't Christianity start off in Asia?

For whatever reasons, the Romans and their successors imposed the "foreign" religion of Christianity over all of the indigenous "native" religions in Europe.

I gather that in Greece there is a group trying to revive the pagan religion of Ancient Greek times, and the Orthodox Church there is doing its best to suppress this.

Alex

dps
12-18-2007, 11:17 AM
Didn't Christianity start off in Asia?

Let's see, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, his hometown was Nazareth, nope not Asia.

For a good book to read about the history of Christianity I would recommend the Bible.
David

CitoMaramba
12-18-2007, 11:45 AM
Let's see, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, his hometown was Nazareth, nope not Asia.

For a good book to read about the history of Christianity I would recommend the Bible.
David

When I last checked an Atlas, Israel (where Nazareth and Bethlehem are located), was in Southwest Asia.

cf Wikipedia entry on Israel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel)

Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל‎, Yisra'el), officially the State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל (help·info), Medinat Yisra'el; Arabic: دَوْلَةْ إِسْرَائِيل, Dawlat Isrā'īl), is a country in Southwest Asia located on the southeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea.

CitoMaramba
12-21-2007, 04:08 PM
What, no snappy comebacks?
Well, call me.. "The Thread Killer!"

;)

Kim S.
12-22-2007, 02:14 AM
Referring to Christianity starting off in Asia question/comment(s): If you read the Bible, especially the book Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, there are verses that specifically state that Jesus was a well known local. There are references of were he followed Jewish customs and no indication that he traveled abroad except for Egypt. (Matt. Chapter 2, verses 13-18) If you read the Gospels carefully and with patience, you will see the actions, teaching, and wisdom of Jesus reflects the wisdom, discipline, and authority of the Jewish Bible. Jesus also criticizes the local religious leaders on how they have repeatedly abused the system of worship and government that their God had given them. All of Jesus's teachings heavily reflects ancient and contemporary wisdom of the Jewish culture and civilization.

CitoMaramba
12-22-2007, 05:00 AM
That still doesn't negate the fact that Israel (or Palestine, or Canaan, or whatever it was called back then) is (and was) geographically located in southwest Asia. Hence, Jewish culture and civilisation is, in terms of geographic origin, an Asian culture and civilisation, and Alex Megann's statement that Christianity originated in Asia is in fact, entirely correct.

Erick Mead
12-22-2007, 10:41 AM
That still doesn't negate the fact that Israel (or Palestine, or Canaan, or whatever it was called back then) is (and was) geographically located in southwest Asia. Hence, Jewish culture and civilisation is, in terms of geographic origin, an Asian culture and civilisation, and Alex Megann's statement that Christianity originated in Asia is in fact, entirely correct.Counting coup for rhetorical blunders is all in good fun, but really ...

For the love of Pete -- Aikido is a Japanese martial art now practiced predominantly by people outside of Japan. France and the United States EACH have more Aikido practitioners than all of Japan . Does that geographic observation say anything meaningful about Aikido as an art ?

Judaism was exiled in Egypt, then Iraq, then thoroughly Hellenized by the time of Christ, then exiled into Europe by the Roman Empire -- does that make it "Western" or "Eastern," Asian, African or European? Buddhism was Hellenized in passing through Greek Bactria in Afghanistan, before it ever reached either China or Japan, does that make it less Eastern or Asian? While we're talking about continued Greek influence in Asia -- does that make Russian Orthodoxy an "Asian" religion?

There is no point to this aspect of the discussion.

CitoMaramba
12-22-2007, 11:50 AM
Or could it be that the Bethlehem and Nazareth being referred to are the towns in Pennsylvania? :D ;)

Erick Mead
12-22-2007, 10:18 PM
Or could it be that the Bethlehem and Nazareth being referred to are the towns in Pennsylvania? :D ;)Nah. Wilkes-Barre. That's where you'll find some serious budo.