View Full Version : consumed by the opponent

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11-24-2004, 03:10 AM
I just would like to share something with you all and would like to get your views as well. This is not about actual fight that happend but i would be talking about the subject in general terms.

I am sure all of you would agree that some point in our life, we have encountered some people whom we had some disagreement or worse, real fight which resulted in hatred, anger and almost of the negative feelings towards each other. Everytime we cross path with these people, we often think of how to defend ourselves from whatever harm the other party would do to us. We often think of what to say, how to react, what's on their mind right at that moment and all be so paranoid about it. It happens all the time, when you broke up with someone and you're the one that was dumped, when you're a victim of politics inside the office, was confronted by a bigger person, and can't do anything about it and a lot more.

I myself experience this so many times in my life and only after i joined aikido that i learned few things that sad to say, even some higher belts haven't realized. It is because we are being consumed by our opponents or by these people, we think of them always, we're too busy thinking about them...It is for this reason why we often on what to do and for a moment, we lose focus on our life. We allowed ourselves to be consumed by the opponent for that moment thus making us vulnerable to any form of attacks both physical and emotional. We should therefore, stop thinking about these people and just constantly focus on improving oneself and the community we belong to.

Let us all remember that the most important thing in learning aikido is not just the physical training but rather the way of life or "Budo".

For people who wish to add their views, please do so.

Peter Seth
11-24-2004, 06:44 AM
Nice one - very true. Lifes too short to allow other 'negative spirits' interfere with your journey. Confront them or forget them! (ideally - Both).

11-24-2004, 08:22 AM
Not true. I was being seriously exploited by an employer once; I took them to court and won. My anger and frustration made me act. Our emotions are there for a reason. Sometimes we have to channel them, but denying them does not help with your future sanity. 'Improving oneself' is also not a fixed goal. In a Spartan society improving oneself would be considered as getting better at killing people. Some things also leave enormous deep psychological scars which usually involve repressing emotion for many years. So maybe I'd agree with Pete - confront them of forget them, but not just a 'forget them' attitude.

I believe we should look after our own personal psychological welfare. I agree in that excessive attatchment to anger or hatred can have negative effects. I think a better method of looking at our (as an individual) relationship with others is 'don't be partial to yourself'. This is different from the christian 'do as you would be done by' (which assumes ideological similarity) or from the conventional buddhist 'cease attatchments' which can lead to inaction and supression of natural human behaviour (although I don't believe that is the intention).

Not being partial to yourself is an expression from zen (bankei?) and I think it implies an understanding that we as individuals are fundamentally inseperable from the rest of reality (thus Ueshiba's quote "I am the universe", and also expressed through the non-attatchment to life and death and through not seeing agressors as 'enemies').

11-24-2004, 08:34 AM
I'm not even certain what I want to say, because I agree with each of you in some aspect. You of course should not suppress any feelings, but channel them. You also should never let a single emotion completely consume you. Maybe I'm too young and inexperienced, but I don't think I've ever experienced having such a big problem with someone that I couldn't move beyond it. What I think you should take to this subject from Aikido, is the desire to care for others, even those who are 'oponents.' I think that you need to think about how to resolve problems without hurting the other person, physically or emotionally. Of course, in some situations this is impossible to do, but you shoulod perhaps make sure that your motivation is not revenge or anger, because that will hurt someone.

John Boswell
11-24-2004, 10:26 AM
Rachel said it very well, and like her, I'm not sure what I want to say exactly but I do feel a need to chime in.

I am of the opinion that people are doing one of two things... all the time:

You are either being the Cause of something or the Effect of it.

Take for example a bad working relationship. If you have a dominate boss who abuses their power, you can either take it and be the effect or do something about it, thus being cause. Let me define that really quick:

Main Entry: 1cause
Pronunciation: 'koz
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin causa
1 a : a reason for an action or condition : MOTIVE b : something that brings about an effect or a result c : a person or thing that is the occasion of an action or state; especially : an agent that brings something about

The manner in which one takes action or brings something about determines whether you are acting in an ethical or moral way... or not.

With a law suit, that may have been the proper recourse. Before taking such action, I would bring my concerns to my superior (boss) and if that wasn't effective go over their head and keep doing so until someone with authority acts. If the action doesn't come, find another job. OR... if the situation that has you upset it totally wrong and unlawful, then yes, legal action could be taken so that things can be corrected and your co-workers won't have to suffer in the future.

As to emotions, you can be cause over them or the effect of them. A person suffering from depression is at the effect. An objective executive type who is successful is most likely (not always, but...) the cause and does not let their emotions get to them. You can use your emotions as incentive to get busy and do something, but with logic and reason in play... you can take proper action that leads to a positive result.

Have I completely bored you by now? LOL :D

Overall, and speaking for myself, I rarely let emotions get the best of me. Sure, I have my moments, but they are infrequent and I can recognize them when they come. Many times I have snapped or wanted to snap in class because I had difficulty getting a technique down, or I wanted to practice more when the instructor was ready to move on... but then I have to realize that I am the STUDENT. As a student, I'm choosing to be the effect and be instructed in the ways of aikido, while at the same time recognizing that I am cause... and chose to be there in the first place. See the yin yang going on there?

Life is a juggling act. Anyone see "Joan of Arcadia" last week? EXCELLENT episode! I highly recommend everyone to watch it... great show!

Okay... I'll shuddup now. ;)

Robert Jackson
11-24-2004, 11:29 AM
I think all emotions should be dealt with. Happy or sad. Angery or cheery. You need to deal with all your emotions. That being said the way you choose to deal with it is the ending factor of this matter. I might choose to not deal with it. In essence I'm dealing with my fealing by leaving it alone... Obviously this is the course you take when you happy go lucky... When you angry you might choose to deal with it on the mat by gently throwing your classmates around... or you might deal with it through misougi <Spelling> or you might talk with whomever about what your angry with. It all depends on what, when where, how why.... all the key factors.

So in other words you need to control your feelings not let them control you.

11-24-2004, 11:32 AM
Here's an article by George Simcox sensei which touches on this subject:


-- Jun

11-24-2004, 01:12 PM
The world is apprehended by way of the mind
The world is acted upon by way of the mind
And all good things and bad
Exist in the world by way of the mind.

-Samyutta Nikaya

11-24-2004, 05:26 PM
My personal philosophy is that only people I care about (and respect) have enough power over me to hurt me psychologically/emotionally through their words or actions. It also means that I expect more from the people I care about because I think enough of them to put effort into a relationship.

I find that this makes it easier for me to avoid being consumed by the actions/words of those outside the "I care for them" group as well as to try and make amends and rebuild relationships if something goes amiss with someone within that group.


11-25-2004, 12:25 PM
IMHO, there is a time to connect and hang on and there is a time to simply let go. Sounds like things are taken too seriously and too personally.

Bill Danosky
12-05-2004, 09:33 AM
IMHO, (Thanks, for explaining that to me, Seiser-san) The base emotions of fear and hatred are harmful and should always be avoided. I believe I've read in the Dalai Lama's book: The Essence of Buddhism that a main basis in Buddhism is the advancement of one's happiness through the complete elimination of these (and other) negative emotions.

Also, many of today's forward thinkers, like Deepak Chopra, MD, Dr. David Hawkins and Wayne Dyer, PhD have discourses on the physical harm one causes themself through the downward spiral of an emotionally depressing mental condition.

Long story short: Fearing, and especially hating others inevitably hurts you and rarely hurts the object of your ill feelings. The cause of an obsession like the one Miranda-san described above must be strong feelings of inability to handle an interaction with his nemisis.

Again, IMHO, the way to 'get over it' is to practice Aikido. Confidence in one's ability to defend one's self physically means all can be well, even in the worst resort. Mentally, give your convictions a workout- when you know you're right, your mind will provide you with ceaseless proof.

Miranda-san, within you is the ability to handle this guy. When you start to believe it, you'll be able to quit worrying about it and be happy!

12-13-2004, 04:44 PM
I have to agree with Seiser Sensei on this...