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Nick
07-01-2000, 01:22 PM
This should probably go in the Humor section, but take a look at this:

"Alter all, the power for KI is not of God so it must be of Satan, and is not something with which a Christian should have anything to do."

I found this on a Christian website...

-Nick

David Kyle
07-01-2000, 03:03 PM
being a christian i was intitially worried about becoming seriously incolved in aikidos belief system. i took the problem to my minister and he read the spirit of aikido to try and deliver a decent viewpoint. The only thing he said is that when a christian confesses his faith he has achieved what in aikido we have to practice to obtain. This put me at ease and I soon begain to distinguish between the two. I personally have no problems with the differing views and belive it does not impair my practice or understanding in any way. One last point, KI is most definitely not the workings of satan and I agree it is comical to think so.

David

Nick
07-01-2000, 04:24 PM
Oddly enough, about 5 minutes after I posted that, a guy IM'ed me saying that I shouldn't listen to these brainwashing ways. As I've said, my father is a minister AND a nidan in karate... he has no doubts about his faith.

-Nick

Chocolateuke
07-01-2000, 10:26 PM
sorry if i get to religios in this but did not Jesus say "These things I do you can do and GREATER things" did he not. Dont you think that jesus would be against Aikido no he would support it but that is just me.

AikiTom
07-02-2000, 05:24 PM
Once you have some understanding of Aikido etiquette as to what is spiritual and what is just a show of respect (bowing, etc.) there shouldn't be a conflict with most faiths that I'm aware of.
Nick, the thinking expressed in the "if we don't know what it is, it must be from Satan" is just plain dumb. Kind of ironic, but today at church in the gospel reading Jesus is passing through a crowd, and a woman who wants to be healed presses forward and touches his cloak and is healed. The scripture says something to the effect that he turned because he felt "the energy go out" from his body.
Don't know if that's "ki" but it sure ain't satanic!

Nick
07-02-2000, 05:44 PM
Cool- that's a good point, and also, it was our gospel today too. I agree with your point... Sounds like the church lady from Saturday Night Live. With anything she didn't know about... "What could have made you do this, hmm??? Could it be... SATAN?!?!?"

-Nick

Keith
07-03-2000, 01:07 PM
Ki is from Satan. Uuuumm, okay. You know "ki" is really difficult to translate into English as we all know. But it's very easy to translate into Greek. Concept for concept it matches up with the Greek word "pneuma", a word you'll find all over the place in the Bible. Just about any time you see the words "spirit" or "breath" in scripture, it's a translation of the word "pneuma". When it says God breathed into Adam, it could also be translated as God put His Spirit into Adam. So here's the thing: the words "holy", "whole", and "health" all come from the same word. Holiness is oneness with the divine. When a broken bone heals, it becomes whole. The "Ai" of Aikido is often translated as "harmony", but I think it's more accurate to translate it as "making whole" or "joining together". The syllable is foung in the word for plywood, and I hardly think they mean "wood of harmony". "Wood joined together" makes more sense. Osensei said on several occasions that his art was about joining with the divine. If becoming whole with the divine is "holy", and "ki" is spirit as written about in the Bible, I think it's not the least bit unreasonable to translate "Aikido" as "The Way of the Holy Spirit". Satan is Diabolical. Where "holy" means "making whole", "diabolical" means "splitting in two". Seems to me that Aikido is pretty antithetical to Satan.

I'm reminded by something Jay Gluck wrote in Aikido Journal a couple years ago. There's footage of Osensei tossing around some MP's on a rooftop. At on point, they surround him, and when they come to get him, he just calmly walks past them. I love the still from this, because you see all these guys really obviously focussed on the center of their circle. But Osensei is casually standing off to one side. So Jay Gluck, who I believe was the camera operator, wrote that he showed this film to a missionary in Japan, who was put in mind of an episode in the New Testament when Jesus went to preach in His home town. In His usual way, He pretty much pissed off the locals, and they picked Him up and took Him out to the edge of town to dump Him off a cliff. Except when they got there, He just turned around and walked away. Apparently, Jay told this to Osensei, who said something along the lines of "of course. He was one with the divine and would have known Aikido instinctively."

I'm no expert on Japanese, and you could argue with how accurate it is to translate "Aikido" as "The Way of the Holy Spirit". But to me, that's what Aikido is. A daily practice of my living commitment to God to live in His Spirit. And even though I'm a Christian, I think I still have to practice, whether through Aikido, daily prayer (same thing ;)), or another more traditionally Christian practice. I don't think the Holy Spirit flows through me just because I say I'm a Christian. After all, "many will be called, but few will be chosen."

Keith Engle

[Edited by Keith on July 3, 2000 at 12:10pm]

Anne
07-10-2000, 08:14 AM
"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 and that there must be an energy of life-no matter what you call it (I totally agree with Keith and his thoughts on "pneuma").

It's always nice to hear that there are more people with this kind of problem. Thank you very much!!

yours
Anne

dbgard
07-10-2000, 10:39 AM
Here's a little something (a psalm if you will) I just thought up.

God both offers and welcomes respect, Beelzebub demands it.

You might like that one AikiTommyBoy

I had to word it that way to get my point across, but I don't like labeling the ultimate goodness and the ultimate evil into names. This can sometimes make us think that good and evil are outside us, when everything tells me they are inside us. Perhaps the Creator Kami (SU) was a perfect atom, with a net charge of zero (0). As for everything else we see, just wonderful enjoyment for the brain/spine/heart (kami).

I didn't join Aikido to enter some militant world of belt-rank advancement for bragging rights or intimidation factors. That's the kind of thing those generalisimos do like in the picture in Saotome Shihans "Harmony of Nature" book.

NO ONE is above the Founder's teachings, and no one can ever take his place. The most fundamental goodness of the human spirit (ki) made Ueshiba Morihei who he was, and even when the world would get him down, he'd "stand in the face of the Kami's rage.

I enjoy learning from the strong, immovable spirits of old (even Jack Daniels and Bombay Sapphire from time to time 8P.)

Happiness to All the Good Ones,
D. B. Gardner

AikiTom
07-10-2000, 10:34 PM
Nick wrote:
"Alter all, the power for KI is not of God so it must be of Satan, and is not something with which a Christian should have anything to do."
-Nick

"Ki" is often equated to the Sanskrit "prana" and both have associations with breath, so perhaps ki is the moving of the Holy Spirit, as in pentecost when it was breathed into the disciples and gave them courage.




[Edited by AikiTom on July 11, 2000 at 04:57pm]

dbgard
07-11-2000, 11:34 AM
Tom,

Disciples? Do you want to be an uchi deshi or something? It's too late for that, you wouldv'e had to be born many years before you were. I might like to take that chance though, but who is the leader for the disciples to follow? Is it you, AikiTom? Once I know that I can make up my mind. Ok? Sound good?

Sinserely,
Drew "Number-one bad ass" Gardner

rocketeer22
07-11-2000, 02:03 PM
I've wondered what others have thought about this topic. I believe this is why I studied under the Tomiki-style as opposed to most of the others. For myself, having gone to a few Ueshiba (traditional) classes in college, something seemed awkward with bowing to a portrait of Ueshiba. It was one thing to respect the 'living' instructors, but I couldn't wrap my mind around this particular tradition. Oh well. (I guess I should note that I was just below a black-belt in the Tomiki system prior to college).

As a Christian, I was interested in Aikido because I didn't need to 'break' anything, and that I really had no way to use the art except if I happened to be attacked. It also helped me get over my fear of falling :-)

As for the benefits of martial arts, more churches are using them as ourtreaches to the community. The Christian church I currently attend--a non-denominational evangelical one--actually holds martial arts classes on the premises. However, I should note that this pretty much sticks to technique, fitness, self-discipline, and women's self-defense.

I think the concern of some churches (perhaps most) is of some of the meditative aspects of certain arts. If the goal of meditation is to 'empty' oneself of 'whatever', then something has to fill that void. Anyway, as my pastor would say, not a sermon just a thought.

paul-powell
07-11-2000, 04:06 PM
Remember the story of the "GOOD SAMARITAN" and that class, colour nor creed should stand in the way of respect and humanity. To be a "good" Christian means to show respect and dignity to all things and in all things, so whether or not you practice Aikido or any other Martial Art (including Marquis of Queensbury rules boxing) one should approach them with true conviction to self.

Nick
07-11-2000, 11:20 PM
Dbgard wrote:

---
Tom,

Disciples? Do you want to be an uchi deshi or something? It's too late for that, you wouldv'e had to be born many years before you were. I might like to take that chance though, but who is the leader for the disciples to follow? Is it you, AikiTom? Once I know that I can make up my mind. Ok? Sound good?
---

Drew- for God's sake ger over it. He 'offended' you once in one post (and you staretd that) and you won't leave him alone in any post.

it's the past, it no longer exists...

-Nick

robin
07-12-2000, 03:15 AM
Hi all,

it is interesting to read your posts on this topic. I am an Aikido practitioner myself and a Christian. Sadly, there is a paranoia by some Christians that Martial Arts are demonic, and this may not necessary be true. I think one needs to discern to accept what is good and true, and what is beneficial.

Though, I think it is wise to think properly of the practice of Ki. In certain aspects of the Martial Arts, the Ki is seen to be some kind of force that can be taped into to perform amazing things, which is beyond the physical realm of matter. This I would caution, that it is spiritual, and not from God. I understand that by enhancing one's mind and body through in the discipline of co-ordination, one maximises the potential of the activities of man which many lack of. But with Ki that performs extra-ordinary things, it is beyond what I have just acknowledged, and this is dangerous.

The ethics and the moral values that Aikido philosophy upholds is good one, and to be embraced. But one aspects of Ki that some Aikido/Martial Art schools practice should be seen as cautious. When Ki is seen as an exercise of the proper and efficient co-ordination of our mind, and body, with calmness and clarity, there is nothing wrong with this. Breathing exercise to the tanden helps to enhance and maximise strength, and calmness. It helps to regulate the system of the body well. But the practice of meditation of emptying one's mind, and to achieve oneness, to draw more into the Ki, is dangerous. Our mind are created to meditate on the good things, and foremost on the Creator, Yahweh. To deliberately empty the mind through practices is to invite unwholesome spirit into the person. I am a Chinese myself and I grew up in my own culture, and I understand this thing. Other ways of having demonic spirit is through ritualistic practices, eg. done by Chinese mediums, fortune tellers etc.

I differ with you Keith, that Ki, is not the same with the Holy Spirit. Pneuma is used in different ways in scripture, but it is always through the working of God or His Spirit. It is used in His creation of the world, and as you outlined correctly, as breath, breathing life into Adam. It is His Spirit that creates and sustains life.

Ki's definition is abstract, and seen as a kind of universal force and something that cannot be seen. It is something that sustains life, something that can be taped into, and something that can be enhanced or directed. It is also seen as a kind of spiritual energy, or force. This is the definition of the Chinese or Eastern philosophy. It is hard to define. While there seemed to be a similiarity with the concept of pneuma in scripture, they are not the same.

The spirit of Ki, or the thinking behind it never acknowledge Christ, nor does it point to the God Yahweh. It is seen as a kind of impersonal force. Christ said that "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father accept through me" (John 14:6) In the same chapter, Jesus said of the role of the Holy Spirit,

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--
the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for
he lives with you and will be in you."(John 14:16-17)

The Holy Spirit is to lead the sinner into the truth, that is knowing Christ, and only in Him that one is saved. The Holy Spirit is a person, part of the Triune God, and He is not an impersonal force.

I like practicing Aikido very much, and I think it is something very good. But not all aspects of Aikido's philosphy can be accepted without discernment.

Robin

robin
07-12-2000, 03:46 AM
Keith, you wrote,

<So here's the thing: the words "holy", "whole", and "health" all come from the same word. Holiness is oneness with the divine. When a broken bone heals, it becomes whole. The "Ai" of Aikido is often translated as "harmony", but I think it's more accurate to translate it as "making whole" or "joining together". The syllable is foung in the word for plywood, and I hardly think they mean "wood of harmony". "Wood joined together" makes more sense. Osensei said on several occasions that his art was about joining with the divine. If becoming whole with the divine is "holy", and "ki" is spirit as written about in the Bible, I think it's not the least bit unreasonable to translate "Aikido" as "The Way of the Holy Spirit". Satan is Diabolical. Where "holy" means "making whole", "diabolical" means "splitting in two". Seems to me that Aikido is pretty antithetical to Satan.>

When God called us to be holy, it is to be set apart for Him, and this is the meaning of holiness in scripture. The only way we can be set apart for God, to be His vessel, and to be His instrument, is through Christ. It is not the same as the Ki defined by the Eastern philosophy. The Way of the Holy Spirit always points people to Christ. The Spirit does that by unveiling people of their sinfulness and their rebelion against God, and their need to repent. Nothing can the individual do to be accepted by God, but by accepting and submitting to Christ, to be his or her Lord and Saviour. Here is the involvement of personal relationship, not something impersonal, or doing something good. Paul's point is precisely this, no matter how good the person is, when contrast to God's definition of goodness, the person fall short badly. (Romans 3) In His heart is the refusal of accepting His Creator and King. Aikido cannot make a person holy, only Christ can, for He satisfies God's requirement of holiness. In one sense, it is true, we can only be wholesome, when our relationship is restored with God, for there is true Shalom, peace. Satan is diabolical, yes, he deceives the world into accepting and trusting in the wrong things.

"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:26-27

"he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:15-17

Russ
07-12-2000, 01:24 PM
I was raised in a secular household so reading this thread is quite suprising for me. It seems that religion (choose one...) encourages dualistic thinking. Who is the entity that will live in grace via faith in God or visa versa suffer via lack of faith. Are God and Satan separate from us? Do the concepts of good and evil even exist outside the realm of thought? Do we not create the dogma of religion simply to enforce order on a chaotic reality thereby making ourselves feels better emotionaly? (a completely natural response to "not knowing" by the way.)

Please don't find offence in this post. There is most certainly none intended. I don't have answers but I attempt to ask these questions of myself (and others when the chance arises, which is very rarely..., no wonder.)

Russ

Nick
07-12-2000, 01:58 PM
Russ-

no offense is taken. It's best that we first stamp out our own insecurities, before dealing with those of others. God and Satan both dwell within us, and I believe it is part of our faith to try to rid ourselves of Satan to find salvation.

And also- no one has answers. That's why we're human. Ask God the questions, and in His time, in His way, He'll answer them.

Such is our faith,

-Nick

dbgard
07-12-2000, 04:14 PM
I laugh in the face of any human being or God who seeks to strike any form of fear inside me, for the Lord Saviour in which I believe gives us only the good stuff (I'm not recommending the consumption of poison ivy of course.) If there is a mutual feeling of "ki" on Earth, then to think of this as Satanic is to perfectly mould with the thought that each one of us is merely another pawn in a Piltdown-man old chess game of God versus Lucifer. I'd rather feel like I have some free will, personally. 8).

Yo-Jimbo
07-17-2000, 02:06 PM
It makes me sad to feel like I learn more from watching the movie "Dune" than many do from reading "The Bible". I'm a Catholic Christan and it shames me to see how some use the teachings of Jesus Christ to foster ignorance and hate. Aikido is all I can be evangelical about these days. It seems that modern Christianity has become centered around "being holy". I can't speak for O-sensei, but it seems to me that he taught that "being holy" is a given, what is important is loving your enemy (sound familiar) and that means "acting holy".
In loving my enemy, I'm saddened by the pain they inflict on themselves and others through word and deed. I have a profound respect for all belief systems (religious or not) that promote all humankind, and I will always attempt to blend with and change those that would divide it.
I know this is an emotionally charged issue for so many, but the truth is out there. As a physicist, I challenge anyone who thinks that they have it all figured out to read another book, "Classical Electrodynamics" by Jackson, and tell me what God was thinking when designing the forces of interaction. Our shared universe is a wonderous creation and learning about all of its various facets is my hope for humanity's spiritual journey.

Don't fret. This post was written by the demons that inhabited my body while I was meditating and watching "The Matrix" while sitting on a copy of "The Complete Guide to the Occult," by Zolar. My mom told me not to do it... so I didn't.

Believe what one will, because one will anyway.
Peace.

David Edwards
06-25-2004, 02:22 PM
Firstly: Apologies for digging up old thread like this; just came, searched, found, and have thoughts to add.

Okies. I've been an Aikidoka longer than I've been a Christian. As such, reading the Bible recently, I've come across quite a few points where I've thought "That's Aikido". Most notably such things as the passage mentioned above, Luke (4:29-30), in which Jesus is taken to a cliff to to be thrown off by a mob, but he "walked right through the crowd and went on his way". I'd not seen or heard of the video mentioned above of O Sensei.. but when I read these words in the Bible, I thought "That's Aikido". Same goes for other things, including just ideas like "Love thy enemy", etc.

For me, the Holy Spirit and Ki are not synonymous... rather, my perception as it is of the Holy Spirit changes my view of Ki, in some respects. As mentioned above.. they have enough similarities for overlap, yet enough differences for distinction.

What I have mainly to offer new to this discussion: on the subject of bowing to a portrait of O Sensei (as is traditional in my own dojo, and throughout at least the three biggest associations in this country). Jesus was questioned about whether or not they, the Jews, should pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus asks them to bring him the coin they use to pay, and they bring him a denarius, and he asks whose portrait is on it, whose inscription. They answer "Caesar's". Thus he says to them "So give to God what is God's, and Caesar what is Caesar's"

Thus I say, give to God the respect that is due to him, and give to O Sensei the respect that is due to him. We know perfectly well that bowing in this context is a sign of respect, not worship. And if we do... All-knowing God certainly does, and understands perfectly.

Yo-Jimbo
06-25-2004, 03:58 PM
For me, the Holy Spirit and Ki are not synonymous... rather, my perception as it is of the Holy Spirit changes my view of Ki, in some respects. As mentioned above.. they have enough similarities for overlap, yet enough differences for distinction.
They are two different words after all. Aiki ~ Et Spiritu Sancti, Amen.
What I have mainly to offer new to this discussion: on the subject of bowing to a portrait of O Sensei (as is traditional in my own dojo, and throughout at least the three biggest associations in this country). Jesus was questioned about whether or not they, the Jews, should pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus asks them to bring him the coin they use to pay, and they bring him a denarius, and he asks whose portrait is on it, whose inscription. They answer "Caesar's". Thus he says to them "So give to God what is God's, and Caesar what is Caesar's"
This shows me two things. I've heard this bit of scripture many times, but this is the first time the second point has occurred to me so strongly.
1) There are proper uses of inductive reasoning if one is careful (the above seems to be a reasonable analysis).
2) Trying to twist wisdom to personal convenience and gain goes all the way back (some people can't seem to pass up an excuse to consider themselves above their fellows and taxes).
Thanks for you insight and the opportunity for reexamination.
Thus I say, give to God the respect that is due to him, and give to O Sensei the respect that is due to him. We know perfectly well that bowing in this context is a sign of respect, not worship. And if we do... All-knowing God certainly does, and understands perfectly.
Spoken like a true prince of the universe.

TexV2
06-25-2004, 05:06 PM
If you can find it....I highly recommend reading a little known book called "The Sickle".
O'sensei
Ghandi
Jesus (all cut from the same mold. If we don't collectively get our act together the universe is gonna stop trying!)

ChristianBoddum
06-25-2004, 08:20 PM
Hi !
When I started reading the bible ,I was of course looking for Aikido somewhere in it,
maybe when David beat Goliath there was a point of equal ; no hesitation - instant victory.
But there was a righteous killing - hardly Aikido ! - but God showing favourtism.
But as I read the word now ,my focus has shifted and it is no longer what I look for,
I long to know what God wants me to understand,reading the word does things to my life and spirit
that is beyond understanding.
As one of our ministers got a sort of nervous breakdown lately - I couldn't help but think that
training helps in this respect , but even Budokas are fragile as people are ,and you never know who
falls by the roadside , it could be me one day , let's hope not !

yours - Chr.B.

Infamousapa
06-26-2004, 01:14 PM
Hi all,

it is interesting to read your posts on this topic. I am an Aikido practitioner myself and a Christian. Sadly, there is a paranoia by some Christians that Martial Arts are demonic, and this may not necessary be true. I think one needs to discern to accept what is good and true, and what is beneficial.

Though, I think it is wise to think properly of the practice of Ki. In certain aspects of the Martial Arts, the Ki is seen to be some kind of force that can be taped into to perform amazing things, which is beyond the physical realm of matter. This I would caution, that it is spiritual, and not from God. I understand that by enhancing one's mind and body through in the discipline of co-ordination, one maximises the potential of the activities of man which many lack of. But with Ki that performs extra-ordinary things, it is beyond what I have just acknowledged, and this is dangerous.

The ethics and the moral values that Aikido philosophy upholds is good one, and to be embraced. But one aspects of Ki that some Aikido/Martial Art schools practice should be seen as cautious. When Ki is seen as an exercise of the proper and efficient co-ordination of our mind, and body, with calmness and clarity, there is nothing wrong with this. Breathing exercise to the tanden helps to enhance and maximise strength, and calmness. It helps to regulate the system of the body well. But the practice of meditation of emptying one's mind, and to achieve oneness, to draw more into the Ki, is dangerous. Our mind are created to meditate on the good things, and foremost on the Creator, Yahweh. To deliberately empty the mind through practices is to invite unwholesome spirit into the person. I am a Chinese myself and I grew up in my own culture, and I understand this thing. Other ways of having demonic spirit is through ritualistic practices, eg. done by Chinese mediums, fortune tellers etc.

I differ with you Keith, that Ki, is not the same with the Holy Spirit. Pneuma is used in different ways in scripture, but it is always through the working of God or His Spirit. It is used in His creation of the world, and as you outlined correctly, as breath, breathing life into Adam. It is His Spirit that creates and sustains life.

Ki's definition is abstract, and seen as a kind of universal force and something that cannot be seen. It is something that sustains life, something that can be taped into, and something that can be enhanced or directed. It is also seen as a kind of spiritual energy, or force. This is the definition of the Chinese or Eastern philosophy. It is hard to define. While there seemed to be a similiarity with the concept of pneuma in scripture, they are not the same.

The spirit of Ki, or the thinking behind it never acknowledge Christ, nor does it point to the God Yahweh. It is seen as a kind of impersonal force. Christ said that "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father accept through me" (John 14:6) In the same chapter, Jesus said of the role of the Holy Spirit,

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--
the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for
he lives with you and will be in you."(John 14:16-17)

The Holy Spirit is to lead the sinner into the truth, that is knowing Christ, and only in Him that one is saved. The Holy Spirit is a person, part of the Triune God, and He is not an impersonal force.

I like practicing Aikido very much, and I think it is something very good. But not all aspects of Aikido's philosphy can be accepted without discernment.

Robin
EVERYONE SHOULD LISTEN TO WHAT THIS USER HAS TO SAY...COULDNT HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF ..GOOD JOB AND AMAN

Geoff Flather
06-26-2004, 06:04 PM
Even though I am an ordained Christian Priest. I do not intend to bludgeon you with my belief.

I am also a martial artist. However may I say or suggest; that the power of Ki, is neutral, and it is our intentions and actions with Ki, that truly explains the definition of Ki, by actively representing all things postive, natural, and creative.

tony cameron
06-26-2004, 06:41 PM
"We can no longer rely on the external teachings of Buddha, Confucius, or Christ. The era of organized religion controlling every aspect of life is over. No single religion has all the answers. Construction of shrine and temple buildings is not enough. Establish yourself as a living Buddha image. We all should be transformed into goddesses of compassion or victorious buddahs."

"The Art of Peace that i practice has room for each of the worlds eight million gods, and i cooperate with them all. The God of peace is very great and enjoins all that is divine and enlightened in every land."

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."

- Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei

(all quotes from John Stevens translation of "the Art of Peace")

Love,
tony1

justMe
06-28-2004, 10:29 AM
This is a most interesting thread. After I read all the entries I was quite pleased to note that there are many who seem who share my personal point of view: Aikido is what you make it! So is ki! Our intent, interpretation, use and experience of a thing define its quality of goodness or badness. For example there are those who feel handguns are bad and should be banned. Others believe (myself included) that guns are inanimate objects incapable of any such anthropomorphic qualities. In my view, it is the intent of the bearer that is either good or bad.

Just so, if one wishes to bring religion based spirituality to their Aikido practice, then Aikido will be a spiritual thing to them. So will ki. Others who do not assign a secular element to Aikido or ki will practice in religious neutrality. We all choose our path. We personally assign value and meaning as is congruous to our own perspectives on living, which includes our faith selections (and yes, not choosing is a choice).

However, I did strongly disagree with those who stated that meditation and emptying the mind could allow something evil to enter. My opinion? Impossible! First off I need to say that I do not anthropomorphize deities, evil, goodness etc. Evil is not some sort of mystical sneak-thief awaiting for the owner of the house to leave before robbing it. It is a personal quality that, like honesty, goodness or morality, must be intentionally developed within ones self. That being the case, I offer the following analogy. If you empty a glass of its water, the glass still remains. If you attempt to fill the glass with vapor, the glass will not hold it because it is the wrong type of substance for that container. In the same manner, evil can not take over a good person. They are simply the wrong kind of containers!

Also, this idea of ki being from the devil is actually anti-Christian. Consider: all things come from God. Even Lucifer, according to doctrine, was created by God. So Lucifer is unable to create anything new and must content himself with warping that which already exists, hence his reputation as the Father of Lies and The Great Deceiver. This turns the ki conundrum into the handgun example I gave earlier. The practitioner of ki development will decide for him or her self via intent, interpretation, use and experience, just what exactly the nature of ki is for themselves.

Geoff Flather
06-28-2004, 11:56 AM
However Tony, or Osensei, or John Stevens san,

Buddha, Confucius, and Christ. Are established guides and good ground to build upon.

MitchMZ
06-28-2004, 05:25 PM
There are some really interesting posts in here. I have really enjoyed reading them.

I personally feel that good advice is good advice, no matter where or who it comes from. Although, my perception of good advice could be totally different than another person's. Thats the only problem with religion and religious texts...people decipher them according to their own personal bias. Someone may think a passage in the bible tells them to literally take up arms, whereas I may think it means to remain peaceful and strong in your faith. Aikido has helped me to see past that personal bias, because that really does cloud the truth in many circumstances.

What I do know is that Aikido really does go hand in hand with any of the major religions. Thats because as far as I know, every major religion is based on the same principles...and these principles also show through with practice of Aikido. But, as we all know... many people do a great job of perverting things; martial arts, religions, etc. Personally, Aikido has only strengthened my spirituality and my humility. I think it will continue to do so until my dying day. Aiki is truly everywhere, and lack of Aiki is also everywhere.

Geoff Flather
06-29-2004, 12:03 PM
Well said Mitch, many of us also agree with your statement.

David Edwards
06-29-2004, 05:13 PM
Indeed. I empathise especially with your second paragraph.

Hagen Seibert
07-01-2004, 04:48 AM
Sad
how many people seem to value
bible spells, phony fundamentalist advice and stiff concepts of good and evil
above
their own experience, their own senses, their own thinking.

jxa127
07-01-2004, 08:49 AM
What I do know is that Aikido really does go hand in hand with any of the major religions. Thats because as far as I know, every major religion is based on the same principles...and these principles also show through with practice of Aikido.

Mitch,

I disagree with you that every major religion is based on the same prinicples. However, I would say that most major religions have many principles in common.

More importantly, O' Sensei was a major proponent of the Omoto-kyo religion which did, in fact, seek the unification of all humanity in a single "heavenly kingdom on earth" where all religions would be united under the banner of Omotokyo.

In other words, O' Sensei's religious beliefs were, in many ways, very universal, so it's no surprise that aikido itself (which O' Sensei viewed as a religious practice) fits well with many religions.

Peter Goldsbury wrote two fantastic essays on aikido and religion. They're available at the Aikido Journal web site (to subscribers). I'd suggest that anyone interested in this topic read those essays. They're very eye-opening.

Regards,

-Drew

tedehara
07-01-2004, 07:19 PM
This should probably go in the Humor section, but take a look at this:

"Alter all, the power for KI is not of God so it must be of Satan, and is not something with which a Christian should have anything to do."

I found this on a Christian website...

-Nick"After all, the power of Gravity is not of God so it must be of Satan, and is not something with which a Christian should have anything to do."

:eek: eek!

Charles Hill
07-02-2004, 12:57 AM
As I understand it, a basic tenet of Christianity is that of original sin. For a person to be saved, he/she must go through Christ to be redeemed. In O`Sensei`s religion/philosophy, a human being is fundamentally divine but has forgotton that fact. It is through training that we wear away the impurities to let the good stuff shine through. If my understanding is correct (and it may not be) how could the two ways complement each other?

Charles Hill

MitchMZ
07-02-2004, 12:08 PM
By principles I meant peace, humility, etc. Basically, I don't see why its such a bad thing to try and be as divine as possible...but at the same time accept that you are a sinner. Because, if you accept you are a sinner and nothing else, it leaves not a lot of room for improvement. Why should you accept the fact that you sin a lot? If you are practicing Aikido, you probably do believe in improving yourself. :)

It is a lot harder to try and be the best person you possibly can than it is to repent every time you go to church. If you do both, its a harder yet. My hat goes off to the people that truly do both...but church isnt for me. I recall this quote that goes something like, "There are many paths up the mountain, but those who reach the top, all see the same moon." Maybe it was even O' Sensei that said this, not sure. I really feel I'm looking at the same moon as many people...I just took a different path to reach it. In such case, even preachers, priests, etc. have a biased view of the material they present. This is why I think I like religion to be a more private thing for myself. My relationship with God or whoever you want to call it is just that, mine. Just like Aikido, a relationship with God isnt something you can have shown to you or fed to you...you have to develop it yourself over time.

dan guthrie
07-02-2004, 09:38 PM
Just a bit of fluff: "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Isn't that ukemi?

RichGar
10-06-2004, 10:54 PM
Whoa! Hold your horses!
>Tony Sapa wrote "This I would caution, that it is spiritual, and not from God." <
Please give me your definition of "Spiritual"? Because it surely doesn't fit mine. The "IS" of God is Mind Spirit. We are His creations. That makes us Mind Spirit also since we were created in His image. We by the grace of God are Spiritual beings with a physical body, not a physical beings (body) with a Spirit. We are Spiritual! not Physical. Our Spiritual nature Is of God.

Dario Rosati
10-07-2004, 09:21 AM
As agnostic, I don't get why religions pursue the labeling of things with intrinsecal good or evil characteristics.
Things (in the widest meaning of the word) are nothing but tools... Aikido, Ki and almost everything are nothing but tools.
They are good or are evil in relation to what use you make of them, that's all.
As someone pointed out, the words in the bible itself can be bent from the wisest to the most idiotic and distorted point of view, depending on WHO's reading/interpreting them.
No wonder: the bible and the word of jesus are tools themselves, no more no less... the benefits you may gain from their use strictly depend on which use you do of them.
Can they be evil? Sure, if you use them in the improper way.... the whole history oozes examples of this kind, for every possible religion.

I think that "Ki is what you make of it", just like almost anything else. Ki is no different from stuff like charisma or sexuality: you cannot definitely say WHAT they are, but you perceive them... you can only define their ethical nature after their use or manifestation.
And both charisma and sexuality can be used in a very good or very evil way.

You find the next example...

Bye!

Chuck Clark
10-07-2004, 09:56 AM
Good post, Dario. Thank you.

oudbruin
10-09-2004, 09:25 PM
Wow- what a bomb!

Aikido ( in my humble opinion) and Christian (and Buddhist and Hindu) ideals are very similar- LOVE and respect for humankind.
The concept of chi & ki as being a satanic power- well...
Does today's Christian call the pograms & burning of Jews and Protestants and women and men who were ID'd as "witches or warlocks" satanic ?
Getting involved into lengthy dialog over what is in the Bible (or any other religeous text) and what is or is not considered satanic should be exclusive from the practice of Aikido/AIKI-JUTSU

I believe that in the absence of a spiritual framework, I.E. a love/compassion for humankind (warts and all) what we do, is just aiki jutsu. We are just doing technique.

I believe that AIKIDO is a COMPASSION for our fellow humans, the loss of human life is a tragedy, and sometimes we do have to use our AIKI-JUTSU in order to preserve our lives and maybe the lives of our fellow humans- than it becomes AIKIDO
*******
Lets talk about chi / ki, for a moment. I'm no expert and my ukemi really sucks- I fall like a sack of potato's. Look at the European knights and renaissance sword masters and their techniques, What these masters did wasn't all that dissimilar from some of the tachi waza i have been trying to learn. Maybe the Europeans didn't call it chi or ki, but if you arn't firmly grounded and centered when you are jousting or engaged in longsword or mace combat, you are toast.

There is a Venetian sword DISARMING technique that looks a lot like Irinmi-nage, in order to be able to disarm someone with a sword, you have to have good chi/ki centered, and grounded and focused..
------
So, do we now say that all Asian MA is evil and European MA is "GOOD", I wouldn't, , no more that calling handguns evil or good. It's the use the "weapon" is put to.Frankly, most if not all of the attrocities done during the crusades and inquisition were done in the name of the church.
---

FOCUS, concentration, being centered and grounded is no different in any of the classic European art forms as it is in any other martial form, be it Asian or martian.

The comment that ki is evil or satanic, has no more validity than some mullah saying George Bush is the great Satan.
-------
Martial art is neither "good or bad", it all exists in the mind/soul of the user. The Christian BILLY BOB minister (or whatever) who attempts to try to dictate to one of his followers that meditation or KI is evil, is actually committing an evil act by forcing some impressionable person into his own belief set.
Religious intolerance is EVIL. Ignorance is EVIL
---
By way of illustration to what I'm saying- A friend recently sent me an email on the democratic verses Republican response to a knife wielding attacker.
as a way of humor the democrat would respond by asking why is the poor man attacking what have I done wrong to upset himetcetc, the Republican answer was to pull out a gun and shoot a tightly formed group of 3 double taps(bangbang, bangbang, bangbang)
--
I wrote back that my AIKI response was wait till he attacks, and than throw him a heaping dose of kotegaeshi. I would hope that Osensei would approve.

THIS IS JUST MY humble opinion.
management is not responsible for these opinions aired,
the FDA HAS NOT APPROVED THESE CONTENTS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION
close cover before striking.
Bruce Hammell

Aikidoiain
10-10-2004, 05:49 PM
Bruce is correct in what he says. You only have to turn on the TV to see people being murdered "in the name of Religion".

Aikido should be Spiritual rather than Religious, in my opinion. There's a huge difference in meaning. Simply be good to your fellow human-being is enough.

I won't say any more than that, as I don't mean to upset those with Religious beliefs.


Iain. :ki: :)

Patrick O'Regan
10-12-2004, 06:04 AM
Christianity and Aikido have nothing in common.

I mean Christianity was founded by a truly exceptional man who had a unique understanding of the world. He gathered a select group of people around him to whom he taught the true meaning of his message.

After the Founder left the world this initial group traveled the world trying to teach the message. Each had a relatively personal interpretation of the core message. After some time some followers became less certain that the teachings of Mother Church were the "true teaching" and they broke away and taught what they thought was the true way. Following this their were many more spits and differing perspectives.

Each group believe their version of Christianity is the only way and all others, although kind of on the right track, have lost the true massage as taught by the founder. Sadly we only have obscure and contradictory writings to go by.

Most of us just turn up to Church when we can, do the best we can and try to make sense of it all!!!

(Disclaimer: My intent is not to compare Christ with Osensei or John Lennon.)

Paddy

L. Camejo
10-12-2004, 10:23 AM
Okay check this out. :confused:

I mean Aikido was founded by a truly exceptional man who had a unique understanding of the world. He gathered a select group of people around him to whom he taught the true meaning of his message.

After the Founder left the world this initial group traveled the world trying to teach the message. Each had a relatively personal interpretation of the core message. After some time some followers became less certain that the teachings at Aikikai Honbu were the "true teaching" and they broke away and taught what they thought was the true way. Following this their were many more spits and differing perspectives.

Each group believe their version of Aikido is the only way and all others, although kind of on the right track, have lost the true massage as taught by the founder. Sadly we only have obscure and contradictory writings to go by.

Most of us just turn up to the Dojo when we can, do the best we can and try to make sense of it all!!!


Does the change in text fit the overall sense of the original statement?

The day I stopped worrying about the Aikido vs. Christianity deal was when I realised that Christ and Ueshiba M. had practically the same overall vision for humanity and taught the same basic concepts. Sometimes when we look too closely we see nothing.

Just my thoughts.

LC:ai::ki:

Qatana
10-12-2004, 11:42 AM
And it sounds more like Jerry Garcia than John Lennon, anyway.

mriehle
10-12-2004, 03:04 PM
A long time ago, in another life (alright, when I was a teenager) I spent some time in religious education. One of my teachers in this seminary made an interesting point.

Part of the message of Christ was prosyletizing. The message of the gospel needs to be spread to all peoples. But there are a lot of people in the world (and a lot more long dead) who will never get the opportunity to hear the gospel. What about their salvation?

His personal belief (and he was careful to characterize it as such, although I believe it to be consistent with conventional doctrine) was that there are some people who already earned their reward (or punishment) before they got here and time here on earth was simply a formality. Others will earn their fate in another way in the afterlife. These people are born into situations where the gospel is not available to them.

Okay, so if you accept this, you can go on to the next concept he presented me with. What if some number of those whose reward is already guaranteed are sent here to further the principles of the gospel even in the absence of its specific teachings? He believed (and I agree with him) that it's possible. How would you recognize these people?

Was O'Sensei one of them?

I believe he was. As was Gandhi. As were a number of other such historical figures.

Looked at like that, where is the conflict?

Jonathan
10-12-2004, 03:26 PM
I've been a "born again" Christian for almost three decades. I have practiced aikido for a little more than half that time. So far, I haven't had any conflict between my faith and my aikido practice. I think sometimes people mistake the effects of long training for something magical or supernatural (call it "ki" or "chi", if you will). I mean, a concert pianist can do things on the keys of a piano that are impossible for me to do. Is this pianist, then, possessed with a piano-playing demon? Of course not. Likewise, someone who has trained hard in aikido for forty years is going to have skills that may initally seem supernatural to the aikido novice. Time and training will change that view to one that is rather more mundane. This has been my experience in Aikido.

I do wonder, though, at some of the stories I've heard and read of concerning O-sensei's martial abilities. It's one thing to play the piano brilliantly; it's quite another to be able to play three or four simultaneously without actually touching any of them. And this is what some of O-sensei's martial feats amount to. He would have, in some of the instances that I am aware of, had to exceed the laws of physics in order to do what he did. That, or some of his direct students are fantastic liars.

Anyway, as a Christian, I believe that there is a spiritual realm (of which O-sensei seemed quite aware). Obviously, I cannot believe the contents of the Bible and deny the presence of spiritual beings. However, I don't jump to conclusions about whether or not a thing is supernatural simply because that thing is new or exceptional to my experience. Just because someone can do something remarkable that I cannot doesn't necessarily mean that they have tapped into some dark spiritual force. Mind you, if someone can hold out a staff in one hand and prevent it from moving while six or seven people push with all their might against, well, I can't help thinking there is more at work in that than really amazing physical technique. This seems to me to go beyond clever manipulation of the physical to the transcedence of it. Perhaps I just need more training...

To any Christians out there who may have some concern about the "ki" thing in Aikido I would suggest that it is just the deep refining of one's intuition, sensory perception and physical movement expressed in relaxed, powerful, creative and effective responses to attack. If, however, you can stand perfectly still with your eyes closed and throw and pin twenty guys to the floor without touching any of them, you might want to visit your nearest exorcist - that or become your own one-man, pro-footbal team.

Take it easy!

Jon.

billybob
10-13-2004, 01:40 PM
I think of the gospel where Jesus said "Anyone who is not against me is for me." - in response when his disciples complained of someone else preaching the Word.
Whoever is not against us is for us
—Mark 9:40

If I suggested to you that God did not speak english would you take me out and stone me?
If I asked if God might be female would I be burned at the stake?

Do you pity me because I claim to feel God in my blood and bones, and when i stand in the surf?
Does this make me 'unsaved'?

Is spirit separate from flesh because we have different words for it?

Romans 8 man, it's all about love.

Billybob

billybob
10-13-2004, 01:53 PM
Don't i feel silly? sorry, Romans 8 is wonderful, but i meant to make the reference below:

1Cor 13:1-8
1Corinthians 13:1-8 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (RSV

billybob (painfully human after all!)

Jonathan
10-14-2004, 10:21 AM
I suppose if people are going to weigh in on what the Christian perspective is on things like meditation and ki power I, as a long-time Christian, should, too.

Let's see...I've already gone over the "ki" thing, so maybe I'll say something about meditation. Hmmm, well, the Bible commands those who would know God better and live righteously to meditate on scripture (Ps. 1; Josh. 1:8). The word "meditation", as it is used in scripture, carries the meaning of rumination or pondering - like what a cow does with its cud. Christians are to chew and chew again the meat of a verse in order to eke out of it every last bit of spiritual nourishment. Meditation, for the Christian, is not an emptying of the mind, but a filling of it with that to which one wishes to be conformed. Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he (a man) thinks in his heart so is he..." This is the purpose, in part, of meditation in the Christian faith: to allow the truths of the Word of God opportunity to saturate the mind and thus shape behaviour. Every ad agency in North America understands and uses this "principle of conformity".

Emptying the mind after the manner of Zen meditation is considered dangerous by many Christians because it creates an inner spiritual and mental vacuum. The Bible clearly teaches that there are spiritual agents, good and bad, at work constantly in our lives and world. It also teaches that these agents are always looking for avenues into our lives. Evil spirits seek opportunity to enter a life and destroy it while God's Spirit seeks to enter a person's life to preserve and bless it. Christ taught of a man who was freed of demons. The demons, Christ says, roamed about looking for a new residence but, finding none, returned to their former habitation. They discover the man "empty" so they resume their occupancy, bringing more of their kind this time, and the "last state of that man was worse than the first". (Matt. 12:43-45) Mind-emptying meditation, for the Christian, is, then, a means of making oneself more susceptible to, and perhaps even inviting, the influence of evil spiritual agents. Of course, if you aren't a Bible-believing Christian this is going to sound like alot of foolishness. That's okay. I'm not trying to defend my faith here; I'm just trying to explain it.

By the way, for anyone who is interested in a well-reasoned, scholarly, defense of the Christian faith read, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh MacDowell. At the very least, this book could help clear up alot of the ignorance I see handed around on this thread concerning the nature of the Christian faith.

As far as the compatibility of Christianity with Omoto-kyo (or any other faith for that matter) goes, it is non-existent. Jesus said quite unequivocally that he was "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" and that no man could come to (God) the Father but by him. (Jn. 14:6) In other words, no one finds God through any other means than Jesus. The "all streams empty into the ocean" philosophy is antithetical to this teaching of Jesus. Now, I know that many of you are going to get up in arms about this, but, remember, I'm not telling you what you should believe, here, only what the message of the Bible is. Attempting to meld Omoto-kyo and Christian beliefs together results in a very contemporary postmodern philosophy, but also a very contradictory and illogical one.

I practice Aikido, the martial art, not Aikido, the religion. I value the philosphy of Aikido only so far as it coincides with my Christian faith.

Take it easy!

Jon.

Qatana
10-14-2004, 12:48 PM
Meditation is Not About emptying the mind. It is about Not Reacting to whatever is In the Mind. it is about not paying attention to the lies your own mind tells you.
In sixteen years of meditation practice and instruction i have Never been told to Empty the Mind.

Jonathan
10-15-2004, 09:20 AM
Hey, Jo!

I don't know what to tell you other than that "emptying the mind" is an expression that I have both heard and read in regards to certain kinds of meditation, including the Zen form. Maybe its just a turn of phrase intended to express what you have said, but, then again, maybe not. In any case, I know of martial artists who do attempt to make their minds perfectly empty of thought. They do this in order to be a "mirror" or "still pond" mentally so that they can simply respond without conscious thought to any attack. Some do it in an attempt to tap into power beyond themselves. An empty mind, they believe, is necessary to combine the limitless spiritual with the limited physical within themselves. You'll find this sort of thinking in many New Age books on meditation.

Take it easy!

ian
10-15-2004, 09:32 AM
So much of this is philosophical word play. Didn't Jesus say "by their fruits let them be known?". So who cares? If someone is nice, we know it. If something works, it works. Reality is self-evident; who needs a 'belief system' other than those who wish to formulate life or be controlled.

Qatana
10-15-2004, 12:40 PM
jonathan

I do not do "new age". I practice Buddhist Meditation in the theravada tradition which has been passed on in an unbroken lineage for over 2,000 years. I have been to many intensive meditation retreats in the past 16 years, taught by teachers who can trace their lineage back for hundreds of years. Nowhere in ANy meditation tradition i have been exposed to have i been instructed to Empty the mind. I have only been instructed to be aware that i Have a mind and that i cannot control what goes on in the mind but i Can control my reaction to it
How much Formal meditation training have You had?.

Jonathan
10-15-2004, 12:41 PM
Ian:

Yeah, it can get tiresome wading through all the lingo attached to things religious or philosophical.

Do you know the context within which Jesus made the comment you have quoted? HIs point wasn't quite the same as yours...

Everyone has a "belief system", whether it is formally stated, as in the case of a particular religion like Islam or Hinduism, or not. As well, there are many who would object on good and reasonable grounds that reality is not always "self-evident". Oh, and we are all controlled in one way or another to one degree or another by someone or something or other.

There is something to be said, though, for the straightforward approach to life that you described, Ian. It can cut through a lot of crap, to be sure, but it is not always the best, or wisest line to follow through life.

Take it easy!

Goetz Taubert
10-15-2004, 12:42 PM
This is a really sucking thread, because I think that aikido has no problems with christian religion. If christians have problems with aikido they can search for personal solutions. Statements about aikido from christian perspective are problematic because the danger of categorial mistakes while judging. In the following I will outline some features of unsuficient argumentation-strategy and implicit values in argumentation.

A)
Monotheistic religions don‘t have compatible concepts about what god is compared with politheistic religions. Incompatibuilities are seen as well to the nature of the goddes itself als well as to the nature of man.
Confronted with this incompatibilities Christians tend to two reactions: A1) Demonication. This is a typical reaction where uncompatible aspets are moved to the „bad“ or „evil“ side and so are made a taboo (of thinking, of dealing with). Historically this is typical process of changes in religion like matriachical to patriachical interpretation. Interestingly there are still relicts in stories and pictures (i.e. the picture of the devil in medivial church-painting resembles very much the picture ot the antique God Pan (very powerfull, giving panic to the people also by his unrestrained sexuality). A2) Overriding importance: The christian god is conceptualized as the highest beeing, overreaching other („minor“ gods). This is accompanied by concepts like more powerfull, more loving or whatever. This kind of putting christian believe system over other systems can be seen in the way, the christian religion occupied formerly pagan places i.e. to build up their Churches, thus pushing away the former meaning of this place/pagan cult.
Both thinking mechanisms implicitly prefer christian interpretation schemes and devalue the polytheistic perspective. Normally christian argumentation has only little consciousness about this „We are the best, fuck the rest“-Ideology, as if their „loving-god-doctrine“ was a permission to be intolerant or ignorant.

B)
Wonders, supernatural ability and nonshared power concepts: Believe it or not, as it fits to your personal needs.
There is a good portion of „wonder“, „supernatural ability“ in all religious systems. In the bible we are told about an almighty god, jesus is said to be a great healer (even awaked a dead person), to have walked on the water, inscenated a selfsacrifice said to be of importance for the whole mankind etc. etc.. These stories and abilities are not doubted seriously by christian believers, which tend to a literal understanding of the bible. The stories and reported abilities mark the extraordinary importance of the historic happenings, they are part of the core of the religion.
Christians believers normally tend to get a bit shaky, when confronted with „wonders“ and „subernatural abilities“ from nonchristian backgrounds (i.e. reports about the abilities of M Ueshiba, yogi tradition, shamanic ability). This is very natural, because the reported christian wonders seem less exceptional when there is actual competition, that stems from nonchristian tradition.
So again, there is argumentation to get over this dissonance: A1) daemonization: ki, meditation, bowing, praying to is declared „bad“, „unhealthy“, „dangerous“. Normally this is done without a deeper understanding of the banned concepts.
Citation: "If, however, you can stand perfectly still with your eyes closed and throw and pin twenty guys to the floor without touching any of them, you might want to visit your nearest exorcist - that or become your own one-man, pro-footbal team." Jonathan 10-12-04, 10:28)

Next attempt B1) is to declare unpleasant incidents/concepts als „lies“ (normally not based on empirical data or proof). Interestingly the „It’s a lie!-argument“ could be used against christian stories too.


Third attempt B2) is the strategy of devaluation by refraiming. This means to remove the critical incidents/concepts from their genuin backgrounds/roots/explanations and to give alternativwe ones. This is a strategy to demystifie critical concepts to an acceptable grade.
Citation: "To any Christians out there who may have some concern about the "ki" thing in Aikido I would suggest that it is just the deep refining of one's intuition, sensory perception and physical movement expressed in relaxed, powerful, creative and effective responses to attack." Jonathan 10-12-04, 10:28


Conclusion:
It's often puzzling to be confronted with unexpected things. One shouldn't try to escape by restricted reasoning or cheap answers.

billybob
10-15-2004, 01:31 PM
Well said Goetz! seek the truth. don't buy what others tell you.

I would like to answer something Mr. Hay said Jesus said quite unequivocally that he was "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" and that no man could come to (God) the Father but by him. (Jn. 14:6) In other words, no one finds God through any other means than Jesus. The "all streams empty into the ocean" philosophy is antithetical to this teaching of Jesus.

I suggest a different interpretation of the words - remember it's been tranlated, transposed, and transcribed, so, try this on: "I EMBODY the way the truth and the life, unless you partake of this approach to the infinite, you won't get there" I believe the lord Jesus was saying "I am the universe".

(If i am to be stoned, I don't live in Tampa, I moved to Mumbai, India!!!)

Billybob

kironin
10-15-2004, 06:19 PM
jonathan
I do not do "new age". I practice Buddhist Meditation in the theravada tradition which has been passed on in an unbroken lineage for over 2,000 years. I have been to many intensive meditation retreats in the past 16 years, taught by teachers who can trace their lineage back for hundreds of years. Nowhere in ANy meditation tradition i have been exposed to have i been instructed to Empty the mind. I have only been instructed to be aware that i Have a mind and that i cannot control what goes on in the mind but i Can control my reaction to it.


to add to what Jo is saying...

and of course that is a different and older tradition than Zen buddhism where at least some talk in the Japanese form of this tradition discusses "emptying the mind". What I understand about it is the translation into English has lost some meaning and it's not the image of an empty vessel.

Also O-sensei was not a fan of Zen buddhism.


and then there is very similar traditions of meditation in the desert Fathers and other eastern Christian mystics that many modern western Christians seem to be fairly ignorant of. That's not about meditating on Bible verse as a protestant might talk about, but an old tradition involving chanting or sitting in silence (focusing on the Jesus prayer or Jesus name) to reach a transcendant state of being.


--------

"There are three kinds of silence. Silence from words is good, because inordinate speaking tends to evil. Silence, or rest from desires and passions is still better, because it promotes quietness of spirit. But the best of all is silence from unnecessary and wandering thoughts, because that is essential to internal recollection, and because it lays a foundation for a proper reputation and for silence in other respects."
 
        -- Madam Guyon, [1648-1717], French Christian Mystic

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

Jonathan
10-21-2004, 12:27 PM
David Knowlton:

I suggest a different interpretation of the words - remember it's been tranlated, transposed, and transcribed, so, try this on: "I EMBODY the way the truth and the life, unless you partake of this approach to the infinite, you won't get there" I believe the lord Jesus was saying "I am the universe".

Of course, you are entitled to your opinion, but what Jesus said was exactly what he meant. The many other places in the Bible which echo, expand, and explain his statement leave no room for the interpretation you have applied to his words. Not everything in the Bible is symbolic and open for individual interpretation.

As for the idea that the Bible has suffered from the ravages of time and translation, well, it isn't true. I don't want to go into the vast amount of study that has been done on this topic by men well-schooled in such study, but I do want to say that they have determined that present-day translations are extremely accurate. Many thousands of ancient extant manuscripts make this determination possible.

Practice hard. Practice often.

Kristian Miller-Karlsen
10-21-2004, 08:26 PM
I have read some translations from the gospel of Saint Thomas. Very interesting stuff. Quite different from the translations that I received every Sunday at church.

I like Aikido because it is a spiritual path of great value to society and humanity at large. But like any tool it only becomes truly valuable when used properly. Much like the Christian system. No one I know has ever incited mass religious genocide and slaughter in the name of Aiki. I think many of Jesus followers have a great deal to answer for throughout history. To paraphrase, You know a tree by the fruit it bears.

As a result I practice Aikido.

Infamousapa
10-21-2004, 09:32 PM
I really like what you have to say brother Jonathan Hay .May God bless you and keep your faith up and you just reactivated mine..

BKimpel
10-22-2004, 03:39 AM
Interesting discussion.

As Jonathan has said, there ARE fundamental differences between Christianity and Zen Buddhism.
1. Zen Buddhists believe that one can achieve ‘enlightenment’ (or heaven on earth) by self-mastery. Christians believe that one can only gain entrance to Heaven through Christ.
2. Zen Buddhism teaches meditation as a process of purging unwanted thoughts, emotions, habits, etc. (which can be construed as an ‘emptying of the mind’), whereas Christian ‘meditation’ is actually ‘contemplation’.
3. Zen Buddhists strive to purge themselves of desire to regain purity (and thus transcend ‘hell on earth’), whereas all of the Christian teachings reinforce that righteous desire through Christ is what makes life on earth worth living.

If I remember correctly (what limited knowledge I was told from various sensei) Omoto-Kyo differs fundamentally in that Omoto-Kyo followers believe that various people are/were reincarnations of actual Gods, whereas Christians believe there is only one God, and that Jesus was God’s physical manifestation on earth.

Those reasons alone are pretty powerful arguments that Christianity and ANY other religion are not ‘compatible’ in the sense of muddling the two belief systems together to form some ‘personal’ belief systems that subscribes to the principles of ‘both’. However, one should not discount any lesson here on earth, since truth and wisdom is found in many of God’s creations (not just in the Bible). I, for one, frequently enjoy studying Zen Koans.

All that being said, IMO righteous desire in your heart, AND your Aikido is what brings the two together in harmony.

thomas_dixon
10-22-2004, 09:33 AM
http://www.pastornet.net.au/response/articles/41.htm

Christians point of view?

Magma
10-22-2004, 09:54 AM
Gach!

That is god-awful rubbish. Ugh. So much fear. So much disinformation.

JMO, of course (and no, I'm not a christian to give you a christian POV on that article).

Jonathan
10-22-2004, 09:59 AM
Kristian:

But like any tool it only becomes truly valuable when used properly. Much like the Christian system. No one I know has ever incited mass religious genocide and slaughter in the name of Aiki. I think many of Jesus followers have a great deal to answer for throughout history. To paraphrase, You know a tree by the fruit it bears.

You're right on, Kristian! A tree is known by the fruit it bears. If I say I'm a Christian and then run off to kill "inifidels" I make myself a liar; for I cannot kill people simply because they do not believe as I do and really be a Christian. The Bible forbids such behaviour. Mass genocide in the name of Jesus is a Roman Catholic venture, not a Christian one. People may have invoked Jesus' name while killing others, but this no more makes their killing Christian than killing endangered whales in the name of Mother Nature makes me a member of GreenPeace.

Tony:

Hey, man! Glad I could encourage you as a Christian! God bless!

Bruce: I think you're right about some truth being evident outside the pages of the Bible. A number of things O-sensei said about love and peace resonate strongly with me as a Christian. Just because O-sensei is saying it and not Jesus doesn't make it less true.

Take it easy!

Qatana
10-22-2004, 10:08 AM
I bet all those people killing in Jesus' name firmly believed that they were behaving in a Christian manner.

akiy
10-22-2004, 11:45 AM
Hi folks,

Just wanted to remind people that the topic in this thread is the manners in which aikido and Christianity interact, not on Christianity in general. Just thought I'd steer things back on topic.

Thanks,

-- Jun

Kevin Leavitt
10-22-2004, 02:06 PM
Bruce,

I do not necessarily agree with your correlations.

1. Zen Buddhists believe that one can achieve ‘enlightenment' (or heaven on earth) by self-mastery. Christians believe that one can only gain entrance to Heaven through Christ.

Most Christians I know have practices such as going to Church and other activities that I would define as "self mastery". Isn't attempting to understand God or Jesus and the meaning of the them a practice that parallels "enlightment"? I think you have to gain an understanding or an education about God or Jesus to be able to love and embrace him or them, however you view the two.


2. Zen Buddhism teaches meditation as a process of purging unwanted thoughts, emotions, habits, etc. (which can be construed as an ‘emptying of the mind'), whereas Christian ‘meditation' is actually ‘contemplation'.

I think Jo already responded to this. But I am curious as to the definition of 'contemplation'? How is the so-called Christian contemplation any different from the Zen Buddhist contemplative practice? If you could elaborate it would help me understand.

BTW: Naropa University has a degree I believe in Contemplative Studies.

3. Zen Buddhists strive to purge themselves of desire to regain purity (and thus transcend ‘hell on earth'), whereas all of the Christian teachings reinforce that righteous desire through Christ is what makes life on earth worth living

I really think you are talking semantics really. Again, most Christians practice things such as not drinking alcohol, and not cussing etc.probably not the best examples, but I think you find the same type of activities...especially in the puritanical sects such as Mennonites, and Pennsylvania Dutch. Look also into Calvinist doctrine as well...it is all there. I really hate to generalize but most Christians do practice the same things whether intentional or unintentional. The desire to purge you of all things bad is called Sin by Christians.

I think it is far more important to seek to understand how religions are all the same and unifying in nature. Continue to compare differences propagates hatred and divisiveness' which are, if you will, "tools of the devil". We cannot have peace on this planet until we realize that we are all connected together by the string of life and we must all figure out how to get along and live in Harmony.

It is quite possible IMHO to be both a practicing Zen Buddhist and a Christian as much as it is to be an Aikidoka and a Karateka. I think as Aikidoka, in the spirit of a wonderful art the attempts to unify, that we should all turn our discussions on how we can make this world a better place by unifying Christians, Muslims, and Buddhist…not prostelyzing and converting them.

L. Camejo
10-22-2004, 06:06 PM
It is quite possible IMHO to be both a practicing Zen Buddhist and a Christian as much as it is to be an Aikidoka and a Karateka. I think as Aikidoka, in the spirit of a wonderful art the attempts to unify, that we should all turn our discussions on how we can make this world a better place by unifying Christians, Muslims, and Buddhist…not prostelyzing and converting them.

One of the best posts I've seen in this topic so far.

Well said Kevin.
LC:ai::ki:

Charles Hill
10-22-2004, 07:29 PM
I think it would be interesting to remember that Morihei Ueshiba`s martial arts teacher and spiritual teacher were different people. Ueshiba had studied martial arts intensively and then met Onisaburo Deguchi who encouraged him to apply the spiritual teachings to his MA practice. I imagine that a person of any religion could listen to the teachings and then go to Aikido practice and then ask him/herself, "How does what I learned at church, temple,etc apply here?" That, in my opinion, would be following Ueshiba`s example. My only caveat would be that it is important to have a teacher, not just study a book on one`s own. I think that following Christianity (zen, Judiasm,etc) by just reading a book would be like learning aikido from a book, a very bad idea.

Charles Hill

Hiros_Angel
11-02-2004, 06:08 PM
"After all, the power of Gravity is not of God so it must be of Satan, and is not something with which a Christian should have anything to do."

:eek: eek!

.. ok firstly, the power of gravity is natural, not supernatural. nature is of God because He created it. Gravity is science ...ki is supernatural. God did not create evil; He created Satan (who was once good;Lucifer). Lucifer turned against God with his free will, therefore evil then existed. Satan did not create evil either .. evil is only the absence of God. (just as cold is the absence of heat and dark is the absence of light)

soo ...you so can't even compare the two. I mean, I did sense the sarcasm .. but still.

Anyway, so "energies" in the supernatural world have to have a source ... God or Satan.

I only joined this community because I want to learn more about Ki. My bf is pretty into it, and he wants to teach me ..but I'm pretty leary about it. That's why I want to learn all I can first. I've accepted Jesus, so it's important to me that I know the source of ki ...is it good or is it evil? Can anyone give me evidence that it's not evil? Or evidence that it is? I mean, I'm seriously open to any opinions ... because after reading what everyone's said, I'm pretty confused. :confused: All I want to know is the truth.

:circle:
*Sarah*

Qatana
11-02-2004, 08:08 PM
Sarah, i was funning with you in the other thread i just answered. But Ki is something that means different things to different people and the only way to have any understanding of it is to experience it yourself. No two people feel anything the same way, an Ki can only be "felt" it can't be seen or touched or measured (unless you're Ki Society, and i don't pretend to know how they do that).

Ever feel your hands tingling for no reason? That's ki. Ever feel the wind moving through your fingers when you wave your hand? Thats ki.
Ki is no more supernatural than gravity. It is just there, in the trees, in the air, in your body.

And you can choose to completely believe in it, or completely dismiss it from your reality, cuz it doesn't care what We think it is. It just is.

And i'm sure this isn't giving you the answer that you want, i'm not sure anybody but You can do that. Best...

Hiros_Angel
11-03-2004, 12:55 PM
Sarah, i was funning with you in the other thread i just answered. But Ki is something that means different things to different people and the only way to have any understanding of it is to experience it yourself. No two people feel anything the same way, an Ki can only be "felt" it can't be seen or touched or measured (unless you're Ki Society, and i don't pretend to know how they do that).

Ever feel your hands tingling for no reason? That's ki. Ever feel the wind moving through your fingers when you wave your hand? Thats ki.
Ki is no more supernatural than gravity. It is just there, in the trees, in the air, in your body.

And you can choose to completely believe in it, or completely dismiss it from your reality, cuz it doesn't care what We think it is. It just is.

And i'm sure this isn't giving you the answer that you want, i'm not sure anybody but You can do that. Best...


No, I mean I seriously do appreciate your reply. And I have no doubt that "ki" is there. I believe what everyone feels is so real. I guess I just wonder why you think it's ki? ..and how do you know it's in everything and flows through us all? how do you know it's just like gravity? is it possible that what you feel is ki could be something totally different? I'm sorry I'm being difficult, but I can't help but wonder :(


-- :circle: Sarah :circle:

Kevin Leavitt
11-03-2004, 12:56 PM
Jo, My point exactly (in the other thread). Really what difference does it make what I think, or you think?

There are many different ways to experience things and different paradigms. To me, it is not important for another to understand or embrace my experience....only to embrace their own.

The important part is that each of us is exploring and seeking for answers through them.

Sara, you are correct to ask the questions, it means you are thinking about the concepts and exploring them...that is a good thing. This is how you learn.

In the end, it will be up to you to make up your own mind what KI means to you. It really is different things to different people and that is really okay. There is no right answer to what KI is.

One thing that troubles me about Western Philosophy and logic is that we as westerners really must have empircal evidence or proof...we like things that are black and white.

Just like you said in the other thread, Sara, like the bible some things you just have to have faith and there is no empirical evidence.

Gravity is a good example. It is probably as close to a universal truth as you can get on earth. Everyone is affected by it, but everyone experiences it differently depending on your background, knowledg, and situation. Your experiences sitting in your chair will be much different than your experience falling from 14,000 feet!

Kevin Leavitt
11-03-2004, 01:09 PM
Sara,

your post hit right before mine.

KI is neither evil or good....it just exist.

It may be hard for you to understand if you look at things from a dualistic standpoint that everything is either good or evil.

Many of us believe there is other options. In western terms KI might be the point where Good/Evil meet. (Yin/Yang) in eastern terms.

When it becomes good and bad mostly personal in nature and when/how you apply it.

If I use my "energy" or KI to do harm or hurt you then it is evil. If I use it for goodness and compassion then it is good.

Nothing more, nothing less.

KI is a eastern concept. It is a concept, not a scientific reality. If you were to equate it to a scientific prinicple it would be equal to energy.

I personally wouldn't get too wrapped around the axle about it. But, respectfully, it seems to be very important to you from a religious/spiritual point of view so I completely respect your seriousness of inquiry.

The tough part of this is, that no matter how many people you ask on this board, no one will be able to give you the answer you are looking for. Only you will have to turn to yourself and your spiritual beliefs and determine what is right for you.

Since you draw your basic guiding principles from the bible, I believe you might want to figure out how to interpret KI bibically and turn to your spiritual/church leader for guidance. Or there might be other Christians around that have struggled with this concept that might be able to discuss this with you.

Hiros_Angel
11-03-2004, 01:23 PM
Jo, My point exactly (in the other thread). Really what difference does it make what I think, or you think?

There are many different ways to experience things and different paradigms. To me, it is not important for another to understand or embrace my experience....only to embrace their own.

The important part is that each of us is exploring and seeking for answers through them.

Sara, you are correct to ask the questions, it means you are thinking about the concepts and exploring them...that is a good thing. This is how you learn.

In the end, it will be up to you to make up your own mind what KI means to you. It really is different things to different people and that is really okay. There is no right answer to what KI is.

One thing that troubles me about Western Philosophy and logic is that we as westerners really must have empircal evidence or proof...we like things that are black and white.

Just like you said in the other thread, Sara, like the bible some things you just have to have faith and there is no empirical evidence.

Gravity is a good example. It is probably as close to a universal truth as you can get on earth. Everyone is affected by it, but everyone experiences it differently depending on your background, knowledg, and situation. Your experiences sitting in your chair will be much different than your experience falling from 14,000 feet!


Thanks for another reply. :) I mean, I want to believe that ki can be whatever I make it ... but I don't really see how I can. I mean, supposedly I can have my own reality of what ki is and you can have yours ..and they're both equally ok. Would both our realities equally be real? If so, how can two contradicting realities really exist at the same time? Then what you said about us making things so black and white seemed to make sense (how we always want to use logic or proof) , but then ..if you refute logic with relativism, doesn't it lose its relative status?


:triangle: Sarah :triangle:

Kevin Leavitt
11-03-2004, 01:41 PM
I used to want to prove everything in life (I am a scientist by training/schooling). As I have gotten older I have "let go" of needing to do so. Somethings simply just exist.

We all have our own realities. That is unrefutable. and they are equally real for both. A blind person cannot see the color of the sky, but the concept of the sky is no less real for them than it is for me, and they might not be able to experience it in the same way...so there are two realities, and they may be contradictory.

The issue I think you really have is judgemental in nature. Not that we have two different realities or interpretations, but which one is correct. I say they both are.

If I may be presumptious, I believe your conflict arises in the fact that you believe that dogmatically from a biblical perspective that there can be only one truth...hence your struggle.

I cannot say that you are incorrect in your beliefs.

My own personal opinion is that the struggle you are facing is a big part of the world's problems today. Some people think that they have all the truths and that others that hold different opinions or have different belief systems contrary are wrong. Dualistic belief is what causes this conflict. Some how we must resolve this by simply accepting that it is OKAY to have different realities, beliefs, and values. It is possible for things to co-exist.

I am not implying that we are condeming anyone or any belief, so don't take my comments as directed at you. I completely understand that you are simply seeking to understand! The fact that you are seeking means your are open minded and looking to understand!

Also remember, O'Sensei said that there is room for all religions in aikido. Jesus said there is room for all in his house.

I would recommend you read some of Joseph Campbell's books on mythology, religion etc. They are non-dogmatic and are a sociological point of view on human's, religion, and the interpretation of this. He goes a long way to explaining how all religions, spiritual practices, and basic human value systems are similar.

I am sure if you looked through the bible you'd find ways to interpret things and even find analogies for KI etc.

mriehle
11-04-2004, 12:44 AM
Thanks for another reply. :) I mean, I want to believe that ki can be whatever I make it ... but I don't really see how I can.
:triangle: Sarah :triangle:

Okay, this 'Ki' thing is way simpler and way more complicated than most people want to believe. Part of the problem from a Christian point of view is the tendency of some (most?) Aikido practitioners to use the words 'Ki' and 'energy' interchangeably. This gives the impression that they believe Ki is supernatural.

I happen to believe that Ki is not supernatural and that it isn't energy either. There is certainly energy associated with Ki, but it appears (to me) to be nothing more than the efficient use of muscles and bone structures (alright, alright, it's more complicated than that, but that's why the 'Ki' concept is useful). The other aspects of Ki are much slipperier and, IMO, more interesting.

The way Ki was originally presented to me is that it is a phenomenon that occurs when your mind, body and spirit are perfectly coordinated. In recent years I mostly just hear mind and body because the schools don't want to be thought of as teaching religions (rightly so, but dropping the spirit part still feels subtly wrong to me).

So, to me, Ki is about energy and timing and relationships and intention and psychology and a whole lot of other stuff.

And it's as natural as breathing.

When we develop Ki we don't tap into some new force that we've never had access to before. We learn to manipulate the factors that come into play to create Ki and make the Ki we already have stronger. The analogy has issues, but you could look at it as developing an unseen muscle.

And Martial Artists do not have a monopoly on Ki. Ever seen a professional athlete pull off a great move as though it was easy? That's Ki. As a musician I regularly find that my playing improves when I'm perfectly coordinated in my mind, body and spirit. That's Ki.

My personal favorite in describing an instance of "naturally occuring" Ki is the terrier in the bathtub. Suddenly this five-pound dog becomes astoundingly strong and slippery. He knows just how to apply his strenght to maximize the difficulty in getting him into that tub. That's Ki.

If you want to go into all kinds of supernatural mumbo jumbo to explain Ki, that's certainly your prerogative. Me, I've decided that I can't completely understand how the various factors that make up Ki can come together in exactly the way they do, but I do understand the individual factors on their own.

What I tell my students is that asking "What is the essential nature of Ki?" is just the wrong question. A much better question is to ask what is the nature of your Ki. Since Ki is about so many things, your Ki is not my Ki and is not anybody else's Ki. Your intention is different than mine. Your body structures are different than mine. The relationships you have with other people are different than mine.

But Ki is still Ki and this is not a contradiction.

Hiros_Angel
11-04-2004, 06:00 PM
We all have our own realities. That is unrefutable..

I think I found something that refutes it ... wanna see? It refuted it for me, but then again, that doesn't count since I never agreed to begin with, huh ;) You know tons about it all and believe it fully ...so wanna see what I found? Maybe it will prove it wrong..?





~*~Sarah

Hiros_Angel
11-04-2004, 06:16 PM
I used to want to prove everything in life (I am a scientist by training/schooling). As I have gotten older I have "let go" of needing to do so. Somethings simply just exist.

But just because you've let go of the need to prove everything ... can't proof and truth still be important? I mean, westerners used truth and logic to put man on the moon. Don't you think all of our little truths are based on one main truth? Like there's more to your life? Some things do simply just exist, but it doesn't mean there isn't a truth. It just means we don't as humans have the proof. But there are hints ... and suppose there is one way to know the truth of life? (I believe I do ..) Would you want to know, or at least learn more about the supposed one way rather than settle for "some things we can't know.."?

Kristian Miller-Karlsen
11-04-2004, 11:31 PM
Hi Sarah,

The idea that any one single religious organization can monopolize the truth seems strange to me. Why would anyone be so arrogant as to shun many centuries of human spiritual evolution and development? Is it because it may not be mentioned in the Bible? I've noticed that some Christians seem to be a little intolerant of other spiritual view points.

I, as a devoted Aikido practitioner, feel obliged to live in harmony with all of humankind, regardless of their religious viewpoint. I certainly don't need to force this view onto anyone else.

I am happy that you have found salvation in Jesus. This is a good thing. For those of us that choose not to do the same, but choose a different view, please be tolerant. For me, to practice Aikido is my life's purpose. When I die the universe will take me back.

Happy training to you. Should you choose to train.

Kevin Leavitt
11-05-2004, 12:07 AM
Sara,

I suppose there probably is a truth behind everything. I never denied that. I simply said that I personally do not have a overwhelming need to understand single detail. It simply is not possibly nor is it necessary IHMO. As you have stated earlier, "at some point you must have faith". I don't see where what you or I have said is any different.

What is important more than understanding technicialities is to acheive happiness and peace, IMHO.

If you do study Aikido, one thing that will be frustrating is approaching it as a "technician", that is, trying to understand every position, and every move down to the smallest detail. It is not necessary to understand any thing technical. You simply need to master the principles.

Aikido is more about feeling and experiencing. Through the repetitive process of learning you eventually grow to understand inately what to do. This is why most dojos have a practice of minimal talking.

I have mastered how to use my coffee pot in the morning, but I do not need to understand exactly how it works to use it properly.

To answer your previous question about wanting evidence that refutes that two people cannot have two paradigms...not really interesting in picking hairs over a dogmatic difference.

I am not saying your beliefs are not correct, they are correct for you if you believe them. What is important to me is that you find peace and harmony in your beliefs.

I am more interested in celebrating the things we all have in common, and discussing those issues, than to argue and split hair over who is more right.

If I have one criticism of people it is in this area. This mindset is what causes problems, wars, and conflict.

I can tolerate all religious beliefs and Aikido has room for all, however, the more important question to ask is "do you have room for me and aikido in your values"?

Kristian Miller-Karlsen
11-06-2004, 10:30 AM
Kevin, or "kev" as we would say in Australia,

I believe you are correct in your request from Sarah. It is important that we have tolerance for each other, and our differing spiritual beliefs.

Sarah needs to spend as much time pondering the truth as the rest of us! I wish that reading the Bible was all that was needed to live a wholesome life. I wish it held the complete truth. Many Christians think this is so. Some of the greatest sinners I have seen have been Christians. Why don't more Christians strive for peace, strive to copy Jesus?

In time people will see that to be a religious fundamentalist is to incite violence.

Aikido is about peace at all cost.

God has put us here to fulfill a clear purpose. To live a life that is anything less than harmonious and peaceful will surely end in tears.(IMHO).

I believe strongly that if Jesus were alive today he would be deeply sorrowed by what his so called followers are doing. (IMHO).

As an Aikidoka, (a conservative/fundamentalist Aikidoka) I feel that peace is peace. If a person is rendered stricken by their belief system to the point that they cannot perceive the common thread that unites all humanity then they should be left to flounder, or shown the way.(Aikido is such a way)

I have seen clearly defined in this world 2 types of Christian. The "eye for an eye" Christian, and the "turn the other cheek" Christian. Only one of these is a follower of Jesus.

It is important that people who do not strive for confluence and harmony be left behind. I wish that all people on earth would strive for peace at all cost. I may seem militant and fundamentalist in my statements, but this is so. Peace is peace, not war. All of humanity was created by God. It is not up to humanity to decide who is good and evil. Only God.

God is the only Judge.

Peace be with you.

Kevin Leavitt
11-06-2004, 10:57 AM
My wife calls me Kev too!

Anyway, nice post. I wish I could post in so few words and get my point across like you have!

I tend to be cautious of fundamental thinking, but as you have shown me, I probably am fundamental in my own ways towards the concept of peace.

Hiros_Angel
11-06-2004, 02:57 PM
I believe you are correct in your request from Sarah. It is important that we have tolerance for each other, and our differing spiritual beliefs.
First of all, I have "tolerance" for all belief systems and religions. If I am to be a true Christian, which is what I strive to be, I believe Christianity to be true and that Jesus was not a liar or a lunatic when he claimed to be the only way to get to the Father. As a true Christian, I am called to at least present the truth. I am not called to force it. Jesus even taught that if someone does not accept these truths, dust off your feet and move on.(He also taught that when people reject His truths, they are rejecting Jesus .. not the Christian) All I have been doing is presenting and persuading; not forcing. (the same way you all have been trying to persuade me) I have not been mean about it, and I could never force anyone here to believe as I do anyway, nor would I want to. We've both been persuading back and forth, nothing rude, mean, or forceful in my opinion.

Sarah needs to spend as much time pondering the truth as the rest of us! I wish that reading the Bible was all that was needed to live a wholesome life. I wish it held the complete truth. Many Christians think this is so. Some of the greatest sinners I have seen have been Christians. Why don't more Christians strive for peace, strive to copy Jesus?.

You sure don't seem very tolerant of Sarah ... telling her what she needs to do. :-/ Maybe, deep down, do you want an absolute truth? Do you wonder if the Bible actually is absolute truth? You say you wish reading the Bible was all that was needed to live a wholesome life. I think Christians and non-Christians alike can live a wholesome life. And yes, Christians are just as bad of sinners as any non-Christian ...and often times have proved to be worse! We're all sinners.That's why the message of grace in the Bible is so important, and unique from all other religions. We're all sinners in this world, where mankind is going down. By accepting the gift of grace, you can be a "saved sinner". The gift of grace is for anyone willing to accept it .. accept that God supernaturally sent himself to earth in the form of man (Jesus), so he could live the perfect life (being part-God) .. and be our sacrafice (being man as well).

Why don't more Christians strive for peace, strive to copy Jesus?.
Jesus claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life, as you know. He did claim to be peace. He didn't hang around the Christians of the day as much as he hung around the people of other beliefs. He wanted all "the lost" to know the true way of peace. He claimed to be the way of peace. Jesus accepted all people, and He loved all ....but he continually said "No one man comes to the Father except though me". He wanted all those people to come to the Father. And He said there was ONE way, not many ways depending on what you believe. I am striving to copy Jesus.

In time people will see that to be a religious fundamentalist is to incite violence.
Aikido is about peace at all cost.

Yes, violence occurs when one's beliefs are forced upon people. (like when a government decides on a specific religion)
Forcing is not the way of Jesus. Christians may do it, and it is definately always wrong. That's why you can't look at the people (all people do bad things) ..but into the true beliefs. How am I inciting violence? :( can being about peace "at all costs" also mean avoiding the one truth at all costs?

I believe strongly that if Jesus were alive today he would be deeply sorrowed by what his so called followers are doing. (IMHO).
Really? You think Jesus would be upset with the Christians who proclaim that Jesus was who He said He was? He would be upset with us for spreading His truths (that He is the ONLY way to peace)? The same truths He spread. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you're against Jesus ...not Christians. :( (and also against Christians who "force" their beliefs ... and I'm against that too so ..)


God is the only Judge. He definately is.


~Sarah

Hiros_Angel
11-06-2004, 03:16 PM
The following is my response to a post from another thread (is ki bad for you/evil?) which was, for some reason, deleted. :eek: It gives further evidence as to why I believe how I do (and that that Bible is in fact the truthful guide book) :) :


Now this is based on many assumptions - 1) That the humans who wrote the manuscripts initially were not in fact blurred by their own lenses to the truth while writing it, 2) That the observer effect did not take place and the stories and words were rewritten as they appeared, unchanged 3) That the linguistic abilities of the translators were able to effectively convey that which was being taught in a foreign place, culture and time.

1) If that's true, we should expect to find lots of mistakes in the Bible, shouldn't we? (ex. the Bible says *and always has* that "the stars are not numerable" ... if the people who wrote the Bible were "blurred" and not guided by the holy spirit, as the Bible teaches, we would not expect them to write this truth that the stars are without number. We would expect them to write what man through the centuries has thought ...that there are less than 10,000 stars. (before the time of Galileo and the telescope) Also, the book of Job says that "..God hung the earth on nothing .." .. other religions and philosophies of the time have had various ideas of what held up the earth. (ideas we laugh at today :), but they were serious .. just as serious as the Bible was then and still is )

2) Again, if that were true, I would expect to see errors.

3) You're right.. different translations can have errors. Maybe not major, but errors none-the-less. BUT we can always go back to the copies of the original manuscripts that were written in Hebrew and Greek .. to check out the translations and refine them. As far as copies of manuscripts, there was a segment of Jewish society (the scribes) and it was their purpose to copy the manuscripts faithfully .. and they had special procedures to insure that faithful copies were made. --- this was varified when the dead sea scrolls were found, which are 1,000 years older than the oldest existing manuscripts at that time. (they were exactly the same)




And if there were many ways of removing these lenses, of which the person you are looking at now may present only one, wouldn't you want to have a deeper and broader understanding of the same concept to be able to walk the path with knowledge gained from multiple perspectives?

I haven't always been this strong a Christian. I used to feel a little snobby about accepting only my faith as truth ... even though I still did have pretty good assurance that it was. I definately, definately had doubts (it's okay to doubt, it's how you learn) .. and I looked into other belief systems and religions. I was interested in what others believed and why they did so .. and I actually still am. Everything I studied only made Christianity and the Bible even clearer. :straightf

But to answer your question ... no, not really. :-/ According to my beliefs, I have to either fully accept, or fully decline. Jesus either really was the way, or he wasn't. I can't follow every path, or else I'd have to completely disreguard my Christian faith. Believe it or not, I do respect the paths others choose to follow. According to my faith, however, there is only one way ... and I want others to know it. I in no way would force it ... in fact I can't. I attempt to present it in a persuasive manner, but that is all I can and will do. My "guidebook" even agrees that my faith shouldn't be forced ... it says if they do not accept the truth, dust off your feet and move on. I just wanted to let it be known that it is not my motive to "force" any of this on anyone. :) I am only looking to persuade, as you are me, right? :)

Christianity is unique ... it stands out from all the other religions and belief systems. All the others focus on "self" in some way or another, while Christianity focuses on salvation though Jesus. Everything else hopes to get to "heaven", be eternally rewarded somehow or achieve peace through themselves ... it's all about self. The Bible is the only religious book that carries the message of the gift of grace.


Even in the early stages the Apocripher was decided by a bunch of normal people to be erased from the official writings because they were the "questionable" texts. There is a lot more info out there that makes up the "Bible" that folks are so quick to quote in infallibility.

The Apocripher was not originally in the Jewish Bible, before the time of Christ. It was added after the Roman Cathoic reformation. They should have never been added in the first place because the ancient writings were never biblical texts to begin with. They were only added under Catholic influence.


The question is, is this fear justified or have you been programmed to fear these things for someone else's purpose?

Honestly, do you have fear? Cuz me, it's just my theory, but I think everyone has this fear ... like we're supposed to have this fear ...



<3 Sarah

Hiros_Angel
11-06-2004, 03:56 PM
Sara, ...
As you have stated earlier, "at some point you must have faith". I don't see where what you or I have said is any different.
I don't want a fully blinded faith. My faith is based on truths that I know to be true. The Bible is not wrong in any of its provable truths, so that gives me a reason to put my faith in the areas that require my faith. If the Bible were wrong (like actually provably wrong) in even just one area .. I'd probably honestly cry :sorry: ! .. and then throw away my faith... cuz it would be pointless. What is the basis of your faith?

I have mastered how to use my coffee pot in the morning, but I do not need to understand exactly how it works to use it properly.
I am a creative learner .. and I like to learn through experience, so I understand this. I also know though that in some cases it is important to know how things work. For example, take doing drugs. You can learn how to use them properly, experience the good feeling .. but being completely unaware of what that drug is actually doing to your body (how it's actually working) is gradually killing you.[/QUOTE]

To answer your previous question about wanting evidence that refutes that two people cannot have two paradigms...not really interesting in picking hairs over a dogmatic difference.
But can't I just show you? Can't you just tolerate what I've found? Nobody can force you to care about it or anything ... can't I just present it?

I am not saying your beliefs are not correct, they are correct for you if you believe them. What is important to me is that you find peace and harmony in your beliefs. Now I once presented a "blue sky" analogy, but it was torn apart .. :( I wasn't very smart. But how about this :) : Suppose someone is aiming a loaded gun at 2 people. One fully believes that the gun is not loaded, while the other fully believes that it is. If the one believes it's not loaded, fine .. it's true for them. If she finds peace in believing that, good for her. When the gun is fired however, the truth is exposed. :(


I can tolerate all religious beliefs and Aikido has room for all, however, the more important question to ask is "do you have room for me and aikido in your values"? I have room for everyone, and I care about the beliefs of others. If by that you meant do I have room in my beliefs for all the other ways to peace..? Well, no. I believe Jesus is the only way. If I didn't, I wouldnt be a Christian. I have room to present and share that with others .. and I know some won't accept or care. People have free will for a reason, and I stress again that I couldn't ,and never would if I could, force it. I'm simply presenting, just like you .. and I'm only giving evidence as to why I believe.



<33 Sarah-with-an-h :D ;)

Kevin Leavitt
11-06-2004, 04:14 PM
good analogy about the loaded gun. Really it didn't matter ultimately what she believed, the end result was the she was shot. Kharma in action. That is my point exactly.

What you have to consider is what action put her in front of the gun to begin with. Has nothing to do with beliefs or truths but events that led to the situation.

Kevin Leavitt
11-06-2004, 04:20 PM
So if you do not have room for other paths for peace, then until everyone is converted to Christianity or banished from this earth then there can be no peace?

Not saying that you condone war or violence, but this is the exact justification that many societies and religions have used to wage wars on other. Hitler comes to mind.

Hiros_Angel
11-06-2004, 04:55 PM
So if you do not have room for other paths for peace, then until everyone is converted to Christianity or banished from this earth then there can be no peace?

Not saying that you condone war or violence, but this is the exact justification that many societies and religions have used to wage wars on other. Hitler comes to mind.

Hitler decided for himself what he thought to be perfect and true .. and forced that on others. Again, I stress I am not for force. Neither was Jesus, and Christians shouldn't be. (though many tend to be) People bring problems by trying to force such matters .. force goes against the free will we were all given. I don't think there's anything wrong with being persuasive.

Anyway, Hitler's thinking was based on the idea that the world is getting better and so are people. He thought he could speed it up ..eliminate those imperfections and have the perfect human race.

I'm not looking to eliminate anyone ...or change anyone. I mean, I want to try ... and present what I believe to be truth .. but I know some people aren't going to care and I can accept that.

You hope that one day all religions will combine, and be harmonized .. right? Well, true followers of Christ will never go along with that. I dunno about other religions. I know that in Revelations, the Bible talks about people unifying beliefs (in the last days) .. creating a world religion, and the anti-christ. There will always be Christians proclaiming Jesus is the only way. It's like we'll ruin the whole hamonizing religion thing. Do you think it's possible (if the Bible is right in that) that in the end Christians will be "eliminated" because they are the only ones ruining the "peace"? I'm not saying .. I'm just asking what you think :-/

<3 Sarah

L. Camejo
11-06-2004, 05:40 PM
The Apocripher was not originally in the Jewish Bible, before the time of Christ. It was added after the Roman Cathoic reformation. They should have never been added in the first place because the ancient writings were never biblical texts to begin with. They were only added under Catholic influence.

Should never have been added? And what exactly qualifies you to make such a statement? Unless my history is mistaken didn't the entire Protestant movement from which all the modern "Christian" sects came have its root in Catholicism?

In the beginning there were claims that the Catholic Church were not following the ways of Christ as written (I can see the truth in that calim). So we get a group of people who have read some secondary sources of information who go to the other extreme of being blinded by the written word.

This is why I maintain that unless you were there when Christ walked the Earth and remember exactly what he said or are in some other form able to experience that level of truth we cannot decide to get all fundamental over the written word, since the written word is not 100% correct (or at least it is very unlikely so). As such, it's veracity is still based in faith and belief. As far as belief goes, see the sky analogy.

The reason this thread and the one on ki is lasting so long is because you believe that the bible is the absolute truth, when many others accept it to be part of the truth but not necessarily the whole and only one. Through your own admission your faith is based on this paradigm - "If the Bible were wrong (like actually provably wrong) in even just one area .. I'd probably honestly cry" . As such you are unable and unwilling to look outside and see anything that exists out of this box as it can surely create some psychological issues regarding your faith. The thing is though, if something is worth strongly believing then its premise can be challenged and it will stand strong imo, so there should be no fear in challenging it. In this same light it is difficult to acknowledge the truth inherent in other religious or spiritual traditions for fear that it may disprove or attempt to challenge what you believe in the book in a way that you cannot handle.

There is nothing wrong with the above of course, it is a primordial aspect of the self preservation instinct, but one needs to know the fullness of the concept before one decides to lay it out for the "persuasion" of others.

The beauty of understanding Christianity (and many other religions) through the life philosophy of Aikido is that the latter often acts as a check system for the former, since the latter exemplifies the way of living that is supposedly espoused by the former.

One of the beatiful aspects of Aikido philosophy is the simple proof and reflections of the universe found in nature. An apt one here is that when we look too closely we in fact see nothing.:)

LC:ai::ki:

L. Camejo
11-06-2004, 05:57 PM
People bring problems by trying to force such matters .. force goes against the free will we were all given. I don't think there's anything wrong with being persuasive.

Lovely grey area ya got there. And exactly where does "being persuasive end" and forcing begin? Is it forcing when I tell you not to come in my house because I don't want your message and you show up next week? That is force imo. So it's all relative. I think I can remember a few persuasive folks through history whose method of persuasion was via the barrel of a gun. They would only get forceful when you resisted their control, but of course the gun is there to remind you.:)

Anyway, Hitler's thinking was based on the idea that the world is getting better and so are people. He thought he could speed it up ..eliminate those imperfections and have the perfect human race.

Well there's a justification for ethnic cleansing if I ever heard one. Are you German by chance Sarah?.
Just kidding.:)

Well, true followers of Christ will never go along with that. I dunno about other religions. I know that in Revelations, the Bible talks about people unifying beliefs (in the last days) .. creating a world religion, and the anti-christ.

Again, fundamentalism formed from the fear response seeded by dualistic thinking. Technically, every non-Christian (at least by your standards) religion is already the anti-christ, since they don't accept him as their saviour. Isn't that correct?

Wow. :rolleyes:


There will always be Christians proclaiming Jesus is the only way. It's like we'll ruin the whole hamonizing religion thing. Do you think it's possible (if the Bible is right in that) that in the end Christians will be "eliminated" because they are the only ones ruining the "peace"? I'm not saying .. I'm just asking what you think :-

Now I'm confused. I thought you said that if anything was wrong in the bible your faith would be shattered and you'd cry. Now you are questioning the truth in the book of Revelations? Is it true or isn't it?

Hmmm.....

As far as what I think.... well let's keep Aikiweb a G-rated forum huh? :D

Bless.
LC:ai::ki:

Kevin Leavitt
11-07-2004, 02:24 AM
It appears this thread has digressed to the point of "I am right and this is the only way" conversation.

I am not interested in discussing the finer details of dogma as I have said before If it ever turns to "how can we reconcile the world" or "how can a christian understand Aikido and those that study it in the context of their religion" I might be tempted to discuss more.

Sarah, I hope you are able to decide for yourself if KI and Aikido is right for you. No one here that I know of is interested in convincing you that you are wrong or justifing your beliefs, only trying to help you with Aikido.

Peter Goldsbury
11-08-2004, 06:04 AM
Hi folks,

Just wanted to remind people that the topic in this thread is the manners in which aikido and Christianity interact, not on Christianity in general. Just thought I'd steer things back on topic.

Thanks,

-- Jun

One of the questions asked by an early poster (back in 2000) was whether as a Christian he could accept the belief system of aikido.

However, I am doubtful whether aikido actually has a belief system and think rather that what we are talking about is the belief systems of various teachers, including Morihei Ueshiba himself.

One of my teachers was an avowed Shintoist and a fervent supporter of the Japanese emperor system. In accordance with his beliefs he presented aikido as an effective martial art based on respect for the kami, one's ancestors, fellow students. In short there was not really a belief system, as a Christian would understand this.

Another of my teachers was an avowed Buddhist and stressed the importance of Zen for aikido training. When I mentioned Morihei Ueshiba's distaste for zen, he replied that he could not understand O Sensei's lectures when he was a deshi, and came to zen as an effective spiritual substitute, in keeping with a tradition handed down from the days of the samurai. So for my teacher, aikido was a complex preparation for death, as explained in the Hagakure. I recollect having an argument with him at this point and suggesting that he read St John's gospel, for an alternative to the Hagakure. The next time I met him, he took me to meet a Jesuit priest, who was lecturing on St John's gospel at the Buddhist temple he attended.

My present teacher is a typical postwar Japanese, who regards aikido simply as training. All his attention is focussed on technical matters and his aikido seems much closer to Daito-ryu, even though it has become much softer with his advancing age. If you asked him about the belief system of aikido (assuming he understood this concept), I think his reply would be that the techniques should really work and that is all.

Best regards to all,

Hiros_Angel
11-08-2004, 12:33 PM
Ok ... I have in fact lead this whole thing far from the point of the thread. I just have to defend myself on a few things before I end it.

Well, actually, firstly ...

"Sarah, Thanks for the opportunity to verbalize and express my thoughts...this has been fun!"

you're very welcome, and thank you as well. :) you all are very smart... this has been a lot of fun in a challenging way. :)

anyways ...
when I said "If the Bible were wrong (like actually provably wrong) in even just one area .. I'd probably honestly cry" ... I'm sorry I worded it in a way that confused you. The point of my saying that was.. since the Bible has never been proven false (even while people dedicated themselves to proving it so) and it has stood true time and time again, I believe it. I meant if, just if there was ever even one mistake found in the Bible, my faith could possibly be based on a lie. What would be my assurance? I'd have to disreguard everything in the Bible. I so believe the Bible to be true. All I was pointing out is that I have reason to put my faith in Jesus and the Bible. Okay? Point clear now?
.. and don't accuse me of keeping inside my Christian box. I've told you ... I haven't always been this strong in my beliefs. I've grown strong because of what I've learned about other belief systems.

"Lovely grey area ya got there. And exactly where does "being persuasive end" and forcing begin? Is it forcing when I tell you not to come in my house because I don't want your message and you show up next week? That is force imo. So it's all relative. I think I can remember a few persuasive folks through history whose method of persuasion was via the barrel of a gun. They would only get forceful when you resisted their control, but of course the gun is there to remind you"

I think it's pretty obvious where being persuasive ends. "Is it forcing when I tell you not to come in my house because I don't want your message and you show up next week?" yea, I agree that's forceful. If you were to come out and request that I not talk about my beliefs with you anymore, I would stop. The person who who came to your house again the next week did not respect your wishes. You haven't presenting any wishes yet with me ... we've been debating back and forth, basically. If you told me you didn't want to talk about beliefs any more, I would gladly shut up and move on. To this point, I've asked questions, you've answered, you've asked questions, I've answered, you've expressed your beliefs, and I've expressed mine. It's been fine, hasn't it? If you wish that I would just shut up and take my persuasions elsewhere, ask and I will respect that. Respect is the key, like you said.

"Well there's a justification for ethnic cleansing if I ever heard one."

I don't understand what you meant. What did you mean when you said that? What did you think I meant with what I said? hmm .. sorry, in this case, Sarah's confused :confused: :)
ps. um well I uh, am a bit German ... :)

"Technically, every non-Christian (at least by your standards) religion is already the anti-christ, since they don't accept him as their saviour. Isn't that correct?"

That is correct. Since they are all technically "against" the Christ. There are many hyperboles and metaphors in the book of Revelations, so it's hard to tell, but they seem to point in the direction that the anti-christ will be a person, a leader. Leader of the "world religion" (harmonized) that is ultimately against the Christ. I will check into it more though and try to better understand ...

"Now I'm confused. I thought you said that if anything was wrong in the bible your faith would be shattered and you'd cry. Now you are questioning the truth in the book of Revelations? Is it true or isn't it?"

Dude, stop nit-picking. :( I said "if the Bible is right in that" to try and make it from your prospective, instead of from mine. I totally believe the Bible to be the Word of God. I know that you do not. Sarah- not questioning the truth in Revelations. Just putting things more from your perspective in order to ask you a question, in which you never did answer. Point number one: I have reason to put my faith in the Bible because it's proven to be true. Point number two: from your perspective (not believing the Bible to be true as I do), wondering what you think. Do you understand now? Sorry for the confusion.

Anyway, I can admit that I am being persuasive. (not forceful .. but we've been through that :)) Can you honestly say that you're not trying to persuade me in some way? For real? Everything I express about my beliefs, you obviously doubt them and say things that go against them. You ask me questions, just like I do you. You respond to what I say, seemingly in an attempt to show me that I'm wrong in being a dualistic fundamentalist. If you honestly did not want me to take to heart what you say, or honestly weren't trying to persuade me in some way, you wouldn't have responded to anything I've said. Correct me..?

"It appears this thread has digressed to the point of "I am right and this is the only way" conversation. "

So it has. By no means does anyone have to accept that Jesus is the only way. But you all definately knew that, right? I think it might be a good idea to search for the one truth though. I told you ..Jesus, and I expressed why, but why listen to me? You say you're respecting all religious beliefs and it doesn't really matter what you believe ... could it be that you're just avoiding the truth? You don't know (or care) which one is true, so all of them are? There are no truths! Is that True? I think that refutes it all. How can you support relativism with an absolute view? Nobody has to change, probably won't (and i won't and can't force)...but just something to think about.

Again, I'm sorry for shifting the basic theme of this thread. I'll end it here, and if anyone cares to reply, I guess ... in open discussions? Or by e-mail. And if you want me to just not express my beliefs anymore, remember just ask. I will not turn persuasuion into force by not respecting your wish!

<3 *Sarah*

p00kiethebear
11-08-2004, 12:43 PM
I'm wondering why you all keep refering to ki as being un natural / super natural.
In my opinion it's just as natural as gravity, people just tend to ignor it.

If God created the universe and everything in it, then didn't he create ki too?

"In the begining God created the heavens and the earth" (genesis 1:1) "Behold, it was very good..."

So if god created the universe and everything in the universe and says it's all good, then it must be good. Lucifer has not the power to create.

akiy
11-08-2004, 12:56 PM
Hi everyone,

Once again, I just wanted to remind people that the topic in this thread is the manners in which aikido and Christianity interact, not on Christianity in general. Just thought I'd steer things back on topic.

The topic on "ki power bad for you/evil?" may be found here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4384).

-- Jun

p00kiethebear
11-08-2004, 12:59 PM
Also

"Judge not lest ye be judged..."

People sometimes misinterperate the message of Jesus to be doing away with the old testament when in fact he came to cross the T's and dot the lower case J's.

What he said though was that we will only be judged by the old testament if we ourselves judge by it. We will only be judged in the way that we ourselves judge. I mean, to me that makes perfect sense. What I refuse to believe is that a man who is born in asia who never hears about christ, but leads a good life not judging of others goes to hell for not "following jesus"

Maybe if we all just stopped passing judgement over eachother and what we do we could all get along. But why would anyone want that? :rolleyes:

p00kiethebear
11-08-2004, 01:01 PM
Sorry Jun I was writing that when you posted. *gets himself back on topic*

mriehle
11-08-2004, 03:40 PM
Frankly, at this point I'm mostly skimming because the thread is becoming repetitive and needlessly contentious. But another thing occured to me regarding the problem some Christians have with Aikido.

Ceremonies and imagery.

The ceremonies are the most easily addressed. Any ceremony has an underlying meaning to it. The meaning is the problem, not the ceremony itself. Much has been said about this in other places, so I'm going to leave it alone here.

Imagery, on the other hand, is a serious sticking point for some people. So much of Aikido happens on a level we can't consciously control, so we use imagery to "trick" ourselves into doing it right. I commonly use the image of water or light flowing from the palm of the hand to get people to extend properly. I use the pebble at the one point to get people to center and concentrate.

But some of these images are very loaded for Christians or for some other religions when it comes to that. So insisting that everyone use these images has some real problems. Not least of these problems is that if someone glitches on an image, the image won't work as needed for them.

So. Change the image. Use a different image. I can't suggest better images specifically, but I can give you a "menu" of images that I know work. I tell my students, "If you don't like those, try one of your own. Who knows, you may come up with one that works better than any I use, at least for you.".

And often they do. One of my students found the pebble subtly wrong for him, it felt somehow sacreligious. Even he couldn't say why. But as soon as he replaced the pebble with his favorite religious icon, the problem went away.

In fact, there can be benefits to this. In his case, he's found that incorporating his religious beliefs into his Aikido training has helped him to make sense of a lot of Aikido that was difficult for him before. Meditation has become something that he enjoys and the philosophy of "no harm" feels even more harmonious. How can this be bad? He shared with me that he believes that ki - at least in his case - may actually come from God (I don't think he's really decided yet and this is an area where I will not help him make up his mind even if I could).

The only time when stuff like this can be bad is if someone like him then tried to impose his imagery on the class. But then you're right back to the problem that starts this. It's no more correct for him to impose his imagery than it would be for me to impose my imagery.

Finally, I feel like it needs to be clear to the students that the imagery is a tool to develop what it really needed. At some point you need to learn to do what's needed without the images. At some point, IMO, the images actually start to hold back your development. Kind of like training wheels on a bicycle. If you remember this and keep it clear it becomes even more obvious why an image that violates your religious convictions should be abandoned immediately.

If it isn't working, move on.

Kevin Leavitt
11-09-2004, 12:12 PM
Well said Michael.

I think all arts in general require some form of imagination or imagery in order to understand them.

Tthe important thing to consider is every now and then to take a look at yourself, if you can, from an "arms length" and make sure that you are keeping everything within your "lanes" of values, morals, and/or personal belief system. As you state, If it doesn't feel right to you, it probably isn't.

I think it is important to consider how things make you feel. It is also equally important to understand that things you might make light of, others consider it a very serious issue. I have learned that it is more important in life to try and understand (empathy), than to be understood.

Aikido is a wonderful allegory for training to understand others.

Dan Gould
11-11-2004, 06:16 PM
My 7p - I don't believe in God. I believe the name for God is also Nature, Chi, Ki, Qi, Life, and Tao (I'm Taoist.)

Thus, ki is NOT of the devil, but of life. It's been defined as the essence of life, without it, we would die. It could even be called breath, gaia, I suppose to some extent, the very soul of a man.

Tis my reasoning that the christian who wrote that needs to do some research before condemning something evidently totally over his head.

If I've pissed anyone off with this, I apologise, but stick by what I've said.

Kevin Leavitt
11-12-2004, 12:06 PM
The whole point was the Christian person was trying to understand KI from her standpoint and belief system. Obviously KI is a eastern word, but I believe you can find comparisons to it in all religions.

Most here have stated that KI "just is" it is not good nor evil.

There are allegories in the bible to it. It would be nice to discuss this concept in those terms...ie. the holy spirit?

ChristianBoddum
11-12-2004, 05:01 PM
Hi !
I would be very careful not to talk of the holy spirit and KI as the same - and so should others !
I have seen the holy spirit enter people and shake them in ways that would imply Ki-movement,
but what goes on on the inside is God direct work and spiritual rebirthing.
I have had and still have strange energy experiences that are related to Chi/Ki and Kundalini,
but the holy spirit is a different matter so far.
I might add I am a Pentecostal church-goer.
The other day I had an experience of "KI is love" and it was great , but I still turn to my bible for guidance to trust
as the holy spirit is always in accord with the bible.

Yours - Chr.B.

mriehle
11-12-2004, 07:09 PM
One thing I keep going back to is:

Ki is what happens when your mind and body (and spirit) are perfectly coordinated.

This really addresses the Christian concern if they listen to it. Ki - whatever else is happening - can't exist unless all parts of your being are in perfect agreement.

I actually like the horse-drawn carriage metaphor. A carriage pulled by two (or three if you include spirit) horses goes nowhere if the horses pull in different directions. The carriage books along if the horses pull in the same direction.

So, if your mind is trying to do good, but your body (or spirit) wishes to do ill, you are not coordinated and ki cannot exist. So, to some extent, it's your personal responsibility to work this out. Is your spirit essentially evil? If so, your ki will be as well. Is your spirit essentially good? If so, your ki will be as well. I believe that none of them is essentially good or evil, but you can make choices to make yourself good or evil and the results are the same.

Whether there is a conflict between Aikido training - particularly with regard to ki development - is a question of the choices you make. Choose good in all things - including Aikido - and there is no conflict. Choose good in one, evil in another and the conflict is inescapable.

Kevin Leavitt
11-13-2004, 03:00 AM
I like your description Michael.

It seems like all major religions offer the concept of a trinity. The unification of those seems to be what everyone is offer.

Mind, Body, Spirit

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

I wouldn't go so far to say that you can directly interpret the concepts of the trinity as a one for one as Christian Boddum has pointed out, but can you say that the goal of them is all the same?

I think it is important as humans that we align ourselves mind, body, and soul. Aikido gives us the ability to practice the physical aspects of conditioning and understanding of the physical world. Religion/spirituality is an important part of that total experience....aikido, IMHO, allows for each individual to develop his/her own spiritual path be it Christian, Muslim, Buddhism, or what not.


Aikido also serves as a model to me that it is possible for people to co-exist in the world and grow with different religious/spiritual beliefs.

Blue Beckham
11-15-2004, 03:56 PM
I am new to Aikido, (three months) but researched many styles for over year until I found the style that fit me, and clearly it is Aikido. I am also a Christian, albeit a very poor one. I have been lurking for several months on this board, and finally registered today to add my POV to this subject.

The Holy Spirit is Holy and divine, and not of this world. Ki on the other hand IS of this world, we just don't know it. Some examples:

My mother is a professional barrel racer (think rodeo) and has been handling horses since she was 5. She makes the "Horse Whisperer" look like a farce. She can command them verbally, calm them when excited, and get them to do whatever she wants without a whip, or any violence. THAT IS KI. She is connected to them in a way most people would never understand. It is powerful to watch.

I on the other hand, am OK with horses, but can connect with dogs. To save a small dog's life I went into a 4 dog fight bare handed. One dog was a full grown Akita. Another was a massive mixed breed. Within seconds the dogs were not fighting, I was unscathed. My in-laws stood there in awe. They were trying to get a water hose. Do I have supernatural powers? No. Was that the holy spirit? again no. It was KI. It is the same reason I have never been bit by a dog, even after being raised on a ranch with dogs all over, and after repeatedly going up to dogs after I have been told they are vicious. I can connect with them. Even as a small child I could. Interestingly, my son is the same way with dogs.

So many times in our quest to find order in our lives, we attribute things we don't understand to the occult or things that are not of God. Surely, some things are. Ki is not one of them. To me Ki is just another in a series of things we as a society do not understand. In terms of Physics, every year we read of new discoveries in the quantum world, where things are and are not at the same time. To me Ki is just something we cannot measure or define using current methods. Maybe someday, maybe not ever.

For me, Ki is a sense of connectedness beyond what our untrained brains can rationally comprehend. Ki is connectedness between my actions and my mind. It is connectedness between nage and uke. it is a bond between my mom and horses, myself and dogs. And for many others, being rational interferes with their ability to understand faith in God. If I could rationalize God, or have proof that God did exist, why would I need faith in the first place, and wouldn't everyone be a part of that religion, knowing without a doubt that God did exist? What if there was videotape? What if God came down, and had dinner with everyone?

Having said all of that, I have had only brief flashes of Ki in the Dojo so far, and by brief flashes I actually mean once yesterday for about a millisecond!

Sorry for rambling. I will try to make my next post more coherent.

Blue :)

ChristianBoddum
11-15-2004, 04:22 PM
Hi Blue !

I don´t think you are rambling at all ,keep it coming !
I especially liked they way you described the Holy spirit in relation to/separation from Ki,
the closest definition I can give Ki is - cosmic glue .
But it really doesn´t matter because techniques don´t work by definition,
but by application.

yours - Chr.B.

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2004, 04:30 PM
Great post Blue.

Not saying what KI is or isn't...certainly would not attempt to argue that it IS the holy spirit. It is each persons responsibility to find meaning that works for them.

One thing that did come to mind though....what makes your mom good with horses? Is it that she loves them? Understands them? and can connect with them?

What made you break up that dog fight?

To me it is compassion that makes it happen.

What greater thing is there than compassion for others or caring for the world around us? Is that not what love is all about? I think that this is what it is all about!

Without compassion, you cannot do the things you are describing in your post!

Great post!

spinecracker
12-18-2004, 11:24 PM
I have had an opportunity to read all the threads under the heading 'Aikido and being Christian', and I thank God that there are other Christians who enjoy training in aikido (and other martial arts) as much as I do (if not more). My knowledge of the Bible is not as good as it should be (I have been a born-again Christian for the past 2 1/2 years), and I thank the posters in this forum for the scriptures stated, and the interpretations given (even though I think some may have been taken out of context - I need to study the Bible more!). I will not make any comment regarding the opinions of others stated on this thread, but I do urge those who have declared Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour to pray for guidance and wisdom, to pray for their training partners that they may also come to a true relationship with Christ Jesus, and to immerse themselves in the scripture of the Bible. Oh, and to pray for me - I'm going back to training in aikido (I did Tomiki ryu aikido many years ago, and now I'm starting Iwama ryu aikido in January), and I expect a right royal butt-kicking (figuratively speaking - more like butt-dropping from great height!).

Yours in Christ,

Spinecracker

KamiKaze_Evolution
12-20-2004, 05:33 AM
http://www.christianaikido.com
http://www.aikidoheiwa.com

emi_moes
10-10-2005, 05:19 PM
I think this to be an interesting topic as well, as I have not read all posts there may be some repition in what I say. I'm recently enrolled in a personal development class & was explaining the differences of spirituality & religion. I believe religion is a group of people gathered as one whom believe the same things, while spirituality is an indivualistic way in which to celebrate those things in which you believe. I noted in one paper that spirituality is much like that of a finger print. none are exactly the same even though some maybe very simmilar. I have found aikido techniques which certainly assist in my spirituality, there's many things which are simmilar teachings, ie love & respect for all living things, controlled relaxation could be related to praying as well as extending your ki. overall Aikido has probably helped more than hindered my spirituality, as I know what I believe. my priest explained that bowing (such as that to the tabernacle (sp?) or to the alter) are signs of respect. thus bowing to your sensei & classmates also shows respect. It was mentioned on the first day of aikido that some people may have religions &/or spiritualities in which they disagree with bowing, which our sensei has been very understandable of. I'd say if you have problems with bowing or other spiritual areas of aikido you should first become more comfortable in your own spirituality & then talk with your sensei.

bogglefreak20
10-11-2005, 05:41 AM
Let me start with a short story that actually happened about a week ago in a town in my country (which is predominantly catholic) - and made me a bit ashamed of my origin: ;) A group of people started practicing Yoga at a local elementary school. Just your ordinary evening relaxation/meditation sessions. Next week they get a letter from the principal saying they can no longer train in their school. The official reason being that the school is not properly equipped. It turned out, however, that the real reason were concerned parents that didn't want their kids going to school where someone previously "called upon dark spirits" because the spirits may have remained in the classrooms.

I fear ignorance and looking at things to narrowly was the main reason for such a situation to occur. But it made me think!

A lot has been said about the Truth in this thread. Let me say I believe in God but am not a member of any Church/denomination/sect/etc. From my point of view Truth, the one and only, does exist. But I do NOT believe it is in a domain of ANY Church/denomination/sect/practice/MA/person/organisation/etc.

I strongly believe in Jesus, in his works, his mission, his message, nevertheless, I understand his message about him being the only way to the Lord somewhat less literally - to me Jesus equals Unconditional Love (that was, IMHO, his fundamental message and essence). And by becoming of this essence (or coming as close as possible to it) we also have a chance of getting into heaven.

That, however, does not mean becoming Christian or following Jesus per se. It means following his idea, his example. Speaking of examples, take Mahatma Gandhi. If someone were to make a real effort and try to live by his rules and with his self-discipline and his belief in Love, I bet God would smile upon that person reglardless of his/her religion.

There is hypocrisy among people. Everywhere. It's not a question of what religion (if any) you are a member. It's a question of how you live your life. There are people, atheists, in my life that I would ask counsel from or confide in before talking to, say, some of my relatives who all perceive themselves as devoted Christians. Why? Because among the first I feel loved and accepted, whilst among the second I sometimes experience less favorable feeling that have nothing to do with being a good Christian.

There has been killing in the name of God. There has been Charity in the name of God. Same goes for Ki - in hands of a good person you can even heal with it. If abused, you can do harm with it also. It's not whether Ki is from God or Satan, it's whether you, who use Ki, are "inspired" by God or Satan.

Erick Mead
10-11-2005, 09:08 AM
A group of people started practicing Yoga at a local elementary school. Just your ordinary evening relaxation/meditation sessions. Next week they get a letter from the principal saying they can no longer train in their school. The official reason being that the school is not properly equipped. It turned out, however, that the real reason were concerned parents that didn't want their kids going to school where someone previously "called upon dark spirits" because the spirits may have remained in the classrooms.
Yoga -- with dark rum?! I have to take this class! But they really should not leave the empty bottles lying around the school. :blush:
:square:

Seriously, there is no accounting for superstition, so better not to try. Better to educate as to the real facts.
Whether it be yoga or Zen, sitting quietly, is just -- well-- sitting quietly.
:triangle:
There has been killing in the name of God. There has been Charity in the name of God. It has been said that he who claims warrant of God to kill another, commits both murder and blasphemy. No man kills in the name of God, but only in his own name, and the justification, if any, is his own responsibility.
:circle:

Cordially,
Erick Mead

bogglefreak20
10-12-2005, 07:57 AM
It has been said that he who claims warrant of God to kill another, commits both murder and blasphemy. No man kills in the name of God, but only in his own name, and the justification, if any, is his own responsibility.


I agree totally. I think it was Pope John Paul II. who said that killing someone in the name of God is the biggest sin of all. I agree with that too. Still...history (and present day) is full of people/countries/generals/etc. who claim(ed) that they act upon God's wishes/commands.

Sad. :(

jakeith
10-12-2005, 11:36 AM
Miha,

I enjoyed reading your posts...I grew up in an Italian house..12 years of catholic school...much like you I don't take hold in any specific organized religion...but, don't hold any ill will towards any of them either. The core of any religion is "love"...to me Ki is harmony with the all things. If you are a Christian then Jesus said he is love..he is in everything...from the smallest living thing to the largest...to the air we breath. This concept can be taken to almost any religion..
Isn't that what we are taught Ki is? we become at harmony with all things...we show no ill-will towards our attacker...we are to love our attacker to stay in harmony with them, thus negating the conflict....no anger...no hate.

I am new to aikido, and like most on this board and in this art..I have finally found something that "fits"...my sensei likes to say that he can teach a monkey the physical part...the movements...but, it's the understanding that makes aikido an art..and what it truly is.

I guess what I'm saying is that you can believe what you want as long as the basis of that belief is love and harmony...if it's God, Jesus, or whatever your focus...it comes down to the same thing.

Joseph

bogglefreak20
10-12-2005, 12:37 PM
I grew up in an Italian house..12 years of catholic school...much like you I don't take hold in any specific organized religion...but, don't hold any ill will towards any of them either. The core of any religion is "love"...to me Ki is harmony with the all things. If you are a Christian then Jesus said he is love..he is in everything...from the smallest living thing to the largest...to the air we breath. This concept can be taken to almost any religion..
Isn't that what we are taught Ki is? we become at harmony with all things...we show no ill-will towards our attacker...we are to love our attacker to stay in harmony with them, thus negating the conflict....no anger...no hate.



Thank you for your kind words, Joseph!

I hope, though, that my posts weren't offensive to anyone - they surely weren't ment to be. When speaking of my less than favorable experience and/or feelings regarding catholic sense of moral, I am doing just that - sharing my experience. I never ment to generalise any of my statements.

Of course, I to strive (more or less succesfully) to achive a higher mode of compasion, undestanding, responsibility and ulitmately Love. Key word being "strive". :(

One reason for my preference in close personal contact over on-line forums is that this way you miss all the non-verbal parts of communication, the tone of voice someone uses, the gestures, body language etc. - sometimes that leads into misunderstandings.

Hence, I wish I could invite you all for a real cup-a-tea. :)

jakeith
10-13-2005, 04:25 PM
.

Hence, I wish I could invite you all for a real cup-a-tea. :)

Earl Gray...no milk, no sugar...thank you very much :)

you are very correct in that email/text lacks much in emoting. but, I sure do love to read and participate!

3girls
10-13-2005, 07:28 PM
This should probably go in the Humor section, but take a look at this:

"Alter all, the power for KI is not of God so it must be of Satan, and is not something with which a Christian should have anything to do."

I found this on a Christian website...

-Nick

Nonsense just plain nonsense. Of all the martial arts Aikido lends itself to aide the Christian in the pursuit of his/her faith IMHO. The positive energy and harmony of aikido mix well the Christ's message. People such as this I rank with the Pat Robinson's of the world, they do not speak for me and any Christian that i hang with.
BTW I gave my life to Christ just over a year ago after a life time of atheism and in no way do I associate ki with Satan.

BK

Pierre Rood
10-17-2005, 11:25 PM
Nonsense just plain nonsense. Of all the martial arts Aikido lends itself to aide the Christian in the pursuit of his/her faith IMHO. The positive energy and harmony of aikido mix well the Christ's message

I agree completely Brian, Aikido makes an open attitude possible, even against a possible ennemy. :cool:

The not-harming intention is a way to try to 'love your ennemy', to try to react in a forgiving way to people searching (unconscious of with intent) the conflict as a primary way of communication.

Absolutely astonishing that this can be possible and a great invention of the founder of the art!

Mark Uttech
11-01-2005, 03:16 PM
Years ago I had a county judge ask me about this mysterious "Ki". I lifted up my arm off the table, and put it back down. "That is Ki. Nothing mysterious about it"

James Davis
11-01-2005, 05:29 PM
Years ago I had a county judge ask me about this mysterious "Ki". I lifted up my arm off the table, and put it back down. "That is Ki. Nothing mysterious about it"
Uh oh. Why were you talking to a judge? Mark, were you tossing around strangers again?

mazmonsters
11-03-2005, 02:49 PM
Hello everyone reading this. I am going to say some things that most of you will not agree with, but the people who are claiming to know Christ are either very confused, as I was, and many Christians are today- or they are liars, and the truth is not in them. I hope the latter is not the case. Christianity (a term given to us by the Romans, by the way) is different from all other religions, philosophies, practices, etc...in that it offers no hope of salvation through the efforts and righteousness of men. The Christian faith is God-breathed (II Timothy 3:16), which no man can duplicate.
Here is the Gospel (Truth) in a nutshell:
1. A love that cannot be fathomed;
2. A God who, by His own redeeming grace, is taking sinners into heaven; not holy men, but sinful men He claims as His Own, through the atoning work of Christ at Calvary;
3. A righteousness, not of man, but a righteousness of God, brought to this world and given as a free gift to sinners. The transfer is made at the Cross.
4. A Christianity cradled in the arms of Jewish prophets who foretold many details of the Saviour's birth, life, death, and resurrection. Not one, not even one, prophecy was wrong.
5. A Christianity which has an empty tomb and a living Lord.

When Jesus spoke about being perfect, loving your nieghbor, loving God, turning your cheek when someone strikes you, forgiving your brother, selling all your posessions to the poor, etc... What makes you think that He was adressing our flesh? He did all of these things for us. The only way we can be right with God is by faith in Jesus Christ alone, and know that our own efforts to do good are just filthy rags in His sight. God is a God of perfection and holiness. He cannot let sin enter into His home, which is heaven. So just by "doing your best" or "trying real hard" or "being good" (which by the way, is NONE of us) these filthy rags will send you out of the presence of God, because one little mistake, one tiny sin, and you have the stain of sin on you in God's sight. The only way to be completely holy, pure, and clean in His sight is to be covered in the robe of righteousness that only Jesus can offer...and it is not by anything we can do. It comes as a free gift, by His sacrifice. Just believe it, and you will be saved. Anything added to that is not of God. Aikido is great as a means to practice a martial art, have fun, stay active, etc... God created things like that for us to enjoy, but do not be fooled or tricked, my fellow believers, into thinking that it will somehow help your status with the Almighty. If that were the case, then Christ's death was meaningless, or it only did half the job. The Bible holds back nothing, making no excuses, and tells the truth unwaveringly. Man is sinful, hopeless, and helpless without Christ. But in Christ he is the purchased posession of a loving God! Remember it is by Grace you have been saved as a free gift, not of any works of ourselves, so that we cannot boast. In the words of the apostle Paul, "Let me boast in nothing but the Cross of Christ."

Mark Uttech
11-03-2005, 03:40 PM
This addressed to James davis Jr.: "James, I was talking to a judge because my estranged wife, who was a fundamentalist Christian tried to end my visitation with my children because I was taking them to aikido classes. (The judge ruled in my favor and also ok'd bowing).
In gassho

tenshinaikidoka
11-03-2005, 04:30 PM
Aikido is great as a means to practice a martial art, have fun, stay active, etc... God created things like that for us to enjoy, but do not be fooled or tricked, my fellow believers, into thinking that it will somehow help your status with the Almighty. If that were the case, then Christ's death was meaningless, or it only did half the job.


I was wondering who on here got the idea that Aikido was somehow helping thier status with god? I do not recall anyone typing that, unless I over looked something!!!!!

James Davis
11-03-2005, 04:37 PM
This addressed to James davis Jr.: "James, I was talking to a judge because my estranged wife, who was a fundamentalist Christian tried to end my visitation with my children because I was taking them to aikido classes. (The judge ruled in my favor and also ok'd bowing).
In gassho

Congrats on your being able to see your kids. My old roommate was completely railroaded by the county court here, and is lucky to be able to see his daughter at all. His wife said some stuff that wasn't true, and really screwed stuff up for a bunch of people for quite some time. Hope everything's goin' okay for you.

Kevin Leavitt
11-03-2005, 05:21 PM
Matthew,

I have no problem with your beliefs!

Can you explain to me from you position what you feel you get out of aikido?

You state that "god created aikido simply for enjoyment, to have fun, and to stay active"

That doesn't seem to be inline the beliefs or the hopes of the founder of Aikido. How do you reconcile the inherent goals of aikdo as a "DO" (way) with your beliefs? O'sensei and his founding students certainly had more hopes for aikido than "fun" and "health".

couldn't aikido be a methodology to help you better understand people, the world around you, an allegory for peace? that attempts to reconcile, and bring about harmony in the world?

Wouldn't that put you one step closer to understanding the message that Jesus preached and wished that everyone would embrace? and If so, wouldn't that bring you closer to Jesus and to God?

How does all this relate to your beliefs?

Thanks for your time and discussion.

mazmonsters
11-03-2005, 05:53 PM
Brandon, my friend, you want me to show you where the statements are? I will.
Brian Keesler writes: "Nonsense just plain nonsense. Of all the martial arts Aikido lends itself to aide the Christian in the pursuit of his/her faith IMHO. The positive energy and harmony of aikido mix well the Christ's message."
To believe that there is something that can "aide...with the pursuit of faith." is a lie. Faith is a gift from God, not of any of our works, i.e. "pursuit." It is not something that man can manipulate, either increasing or lessening. Faith is 100 percent sanctified by God, by Grace through faith...no matter what the behaviour of the believer...he is still a believer. And it is God who works all things according to His purpose. Remember the story of the prodigal son? Do you not realize that it was the Grace of God allowing that believer to fall into the pig pen and the same Grace that brought him home?
Pierre Rood writes: "The not-harming intention is a way to try to 'love your ennemy', to try to react in a forgiving way to people searching (unconscious of with intent) the conflict as a primary way of communication." The whole idea of "trying to love your enemy" reflects a work that is intended to be done by the believer in order to please God...this again, a lie. How does one please God? By faith alone. A gift He freely gives. Christ loves our enemies, and through the believer, He continues to do that work. This is done by faith.
Joseph Keith writes: "I guess what I'm saying is that you can believe what you want as long as the basis of that belief is love and harmony...if it's God, Jesus, or whatever your focus...it comes down to the same thing." This is a common error that people associate with true Christianity. This is perverted Christianity. This states that whatever you believe, whether it is Jesus, God, buddha, Allah, yourself...whatever you believe, as long as it holds the basis of love and harmony, then you are right. If it works for you, go for it. This is the lie that sends people to hell, and the reason is that they are counting themselves "good." There is none who are good, close to good, or good enough. It is the lie that is emersed in self-building up, self esteem, self righteousness, good works, etc... When judgement day comes to one of these people, they will stand before the throne of God, and He will say either "Welcome Home," or "Depart from Me, for I never knew you." Will He say welcome home to someone based on how they lived their life? If the answer is yes, then how much is enough? How good do we have to try to be? If He does not see Jesus, then He sees sin.
Miha Sinkovec writes: "I strongly believe in Jesus, in his works, his mission, his message, nevertheless, I understand his message about him being the only way to the Lord somewhat less literally - to me Jesus equals Unconditional Love (that was, IMHO, his fundamental message and essence). And by becoming of this essence (or coming as close as possible to it) we also have a chance of getting into heaven." Do I need to elaborate on this? "by becoming of this essence (or coming close as possible to it) we also have a chance of getting into heaven." This is a false doctrine, enshrouded in Eastern Philosophy...but again, it relies on self righteousness, works righteousness, and all those filthy rags.
Blue Beckham wrote: "I am new to Aikido, (three months) but researched many styles for over year until I found the style that fit me, and clearly it is Aikido. I am also a Christian, albeit a very poor one. I have been lurking for several months on this board, and finally registered today to add my POV to this subject. " To him I say: you are a very fine Christian, if you truly believe! There is no such thing as a "poor Christian" as far as behavior goes. Remember, brothers!!! That which is of the flesh is flesh. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, then you no longer live, but Christ lives in you. Do not burden yourselves with the law. We are dead to the law. Blue is basing his standings as a Christian, and ultimately his standings with God, on his behavior. This is a lie straight from the pit of hell. We are judged on our faith (and not how much or how little of it we have, for that is a behavior-based thing), not on our flesh. Blue, if you are reading this, God is working His will in you, through you, for His glory...how do I know this? He said it...if you truly believe in His Son.
Michael Riehle writes: "Ki is what happens when your mind and body (and spirit) are perfectly coordinated.

This really addresses the Christian concern if they listen to it. Ki - whatever else is happening - can't exist unless all parts of your being are in perfect agreement." Again, this speaks to the human effort. Being in harmony all at once, with mind body and spirit is cool, but it has nothing to do with your relationship with God. If it does happen in the life of the believer, it is because God has initiated it, conducted it, for His glory, not for your own. Michael also goes on to write, "So, if your mind is trying to do good, but your body (or spirit) wishes to do ill, you are not coordinated and ki cannot exist. So, to some extent, it's your personal responsibility to work this out. Is your spirit essentially evil? If so, your ki will be as well. Is your spirit essentially good? If so, your ki will be as well. I believe that none of them is essentially good or evil, but you can make choices to make yourself good or evil and the results are the same." These are again, all lies with roots in human effort. This is why God willingly came to Earth and willingly went to the cross. He took care of the sin problem so that we can obtain heaven as a gift, not something we work at.
Do you see how all of these things relate, Brandon? If I offended anyone here, that was not my intent. If I spelled anyone's name wrong, I apologize. The truth is narrow, it is right, and it is from God. Everything else is a lie...no matter how many people believe it.
In Him,
Matthew

mazmonsters
11-03-2005, 06:14 PM
Kevin,
glad to answer your specific questions. I no longer practice aikido, due to the fact that it was causing me to see the practice of aikido as something more than just to have fun, light-heartedness, or sport. I began to truly see how Morihei Ueshiba saw the purpose for aikido. I started to believe it. I myself began to believe that I could become "good", "clean", and close to perfect...just as Christ was perfect. With that, I saw that quite possibly, I would no longer need Jesus as the Mediator between me and God the Father. For I saw that it might be possible to become one with God without Christ. Oh what decieving lies!!! This is impossible, and I tell you the truth: unless Morihei Ueshiba repented on his death bed and believed in Jesus Christ as his personal savior, he is in hell. I do not practice aikido anymore because I have no love for the art anylonger. I started to understand that in order to be good in aikido, one must become empty, un-attached to all earthly things, and obtain a zen-state of mind, aware at all times of all things. I was becoming one with nature, with my surroundings, with "God." This was all a lie, and but for the Grace of the living God, I would have fallen. You see, Satan wants us to believe that we can become good on our own. He comes as an angel of light, the Bible tells us, not as an evil creature with horns and a tail. He comes disguised to decieve the nations. To tell people it is possible to achieve harmony with all of our fellow men by doing something on our own accord. Jesus plainly said that He came not to bring peace, but a sword...and that He would divide mother and daughter, father and son, brother and sister, husband and wife, all people for His name's sake. That means that some people will believe in Him alone as Lord and Savior, and others will not. Christ is the great stumbling block to mankind. He is the only One who says that, "You aren't good enough to make it to heaven, so I have been punished for you, so that you can have it as a gift." The great mistake, and the great lie is to try to be who Jesus was, thinking that your behavior will earn you a spot in heaven. The great truth is knowing who He was, knowing your own sin, and believing that He died in your place, so that He earned you a spot in heaven. Do you see the difference?
This, my friend, is the Gospel.
In Christ,
Matthew

Kevin Leavitt
11-03-2005, 06:18 PM
Matthew,

I don't think you have offended anyone, only tried to explain your position.

A thought comes to my mind....

If being "good" or "close to" or a "part of" god is not important, AND if "doing good deeds" does not matter, AND faith and belief is all that is required, and all things that happen are "gifts from god" or "god working through it"...

One thing that concerns me is that it would seem easy to justify your actions to do harm, kill, or injure another being because "god" was working through me and said it was "okay" to do this.

I understand that the Bible and the 10 commandments say "thou shalt not...", but if faith is all that is important and deeds do not count for squat, then why not sit around on the couch all day playing Nintendo until your time is up?"

I quess what is hard for me is that it seems that we as societies and cultures throughout history justify our actions through divine intervention. We state wars because we are "God's chosen people:, we discriminated against blacks in the U.S. because many said the bible said they were inferior as a race and were not the "chosen people". The list goes on!

Please don't take this as an attack or an argument, I honestly would like to hear your perspective on these things, it is something I have struggled with reconciling over the years. I simply can't accept that doing good is not a requirement as a human being.

Or do I have your position all wrong entirely??

Kevin Leavitt
11-03-2005, 06:31 PM
Matthew,

Looks like we crossed post! If I would have read your post prior to writing my last one, it would be irrelevant!

You answered my questions!

While I don't share your beliefs...what I do appreciate is your honesty and understanding of yourself.

What confuses me, is not the beliefs of a person, but how they sometimes people contradict themselves by saying one thing yet they practice something else! It would be very confusing for me.

That was my thoughts, how could you spend your time practicing aikido if this was your beliefs! It doesn't seem to fit to me.

What I find noble, is that aikido worked for you. It brought you to an understanding between you and God! You are being honest with yourself, and your beliefs!

mazmonsters
11-03-2005, 06:38 PM
Hey Kevin,
No offense taken :)
A true believer does all that God has planned out for him to do. This is faith. If I begin sitting around playing Nintendo all day in my underwear, I have the freedom in Christ to do this. However, God will probably pull me away from that lifestyle, as He has done in the past. And to let you know, God did call Israel to go into battle more than 2,000 years ago. He chose David to kill Goliath and conquer the phillistines...and it was His plan, which all relates to the history of having David as a king, and Jesus to come from that Kingly lineage. Israel was His chosen nation, the Jews were His beloved, but when they rejected Jesus as the Christ, that was the end of their covnenet with God. We now live in the covenent of Grace, and I do not know if it is God who calls these men in our time to go to war or not...I am not God, and He says, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, My ways not your ways." Allow me to say that it is never ok to harm someone, kill, or injure, and here on earth, there will be consequences. "You shall reap what you sow." This speaks about life here on earth. But this is not my home. Heaven is my home, and my kingdom. This is why I will never, unless truly called by God, ralley at an abortion clinic, march for civil rights, or appeal to Congress to put the Ten Commandments back in school. I live by faith, and that means that I believe it's in God's hands. My life is in His hands. All lives of the believers are in His hands.
Let me make it clear for you Kevin: It is impossible to be good. It is impossible to please God, become close to Him or to become "part" of Him without Jesus. Someone might "feel" like they are doing good, according to their feelings, and other people's kind words, and someone may "feel" that they are getting closer to God, because they are relying on their emotional state or what have you...but these are nothing more than feelings! Human emotions, which are a gift of God, but He plainly states how He is pleased with you: by Faith in what Jesus did for you on the Cross at Calvary. Jesus was the great sacrifice, once and for all. He is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. Thus it is not sin which separates us from God...what separates us from Him is belief, or rather, lack of it.
Hope that clears up some things.
-Matt

mazmonsters
11-03-2005, 06:40 PM
Hey Kevin,
got your post. Yes, God did use aikido to show me the false sense of righteousness in it. I know that you do not share my beliefs, so I would just ask you this one question. Who was Jesus?
Thanks for the back and forth :)
-Matt

3girls
11-03-2005, 07:00 PM
Mathew, I am sorry you feel that what I said is a lie especially since you do not know what is in my heart. Faith is not a gift from god salvation and redemption are gifts form god. Faith in Christ is the way through the doorway of heaven, and yes there are times where that faith is challenged by the enemy. The apostle Paul writes to accept those Christians that are weak in faith implying different degrees within faith. Even Peter struggled with his faith, Did he not deny Christ three times and does not this indicate a weakness in faith yet he was one of the greatest apostles. Even Christ proclaims we should have the faith of a child meaning childlike faith is unquestioning again the implication for degrees in faith. Does not prayer bring us closer to god which in turn does that closeness not bolster our love for him. After a sermon you may hear that hits close to home does that not inspire you and you leave with a profound sense of awareness. Could that awareness also be synonyms with a uplift of your faith. Blessed are those that have not seen yet believe....This is faith not a gift but an acceptance of Christ as savior. Again words to bolster a believers faith:Put on all of Gods amour so that you will be able to stand against the Devil. Also from the apostle Paul What about me? Have I been faithful? Well it matters very little what anyone thinks.....My conscience is clear but that is not what matters. It is the lord himself who will examine me and decide.
For you from 1Corinthians: while knowledge may make us feel important, it is love that really builds the church, Anyone who claims to know all the answers does not know very much.

Again one of my favorite quote :Jhn 20:29 Blessed are those that have not seen yet belive.

Erick Mead
11-03-2005, 09:04 PM
Matt said this:

"To believe that there is something that can "aide...with the pursuit of faith." is a lie. Faith is a gift from God, not of any of our works, i.e. "pursuit." It is not something that man can manipulate, either increasing or lessening. Faith is 100 percent sanctified by God, by Grace through faith...no matter what the behaviour of the believer...he is still a believer."

The Holy Name is not what Matt thinks it is, or for that matter what I think it is.

In fact, it just "IS." "Tell them 'I AM' sent you." The Lawgiver was told to say . And "before Abraham was, I AM"

Being has but one Center, which is the point of Aikido, however you choose to describe it.

Faith is indispensable, and faith is free. But behavior does matter, but not in the way Matt or presumes. Effort, or more properly, will, is required, not to be saved or to achieve faith, but to remove the impediments we have ourselves imposed on accepting that gift. It is ours to choose or leave. We make it easier or harder on ourselves as we choose.

A tree is God's gift, but once I cut it down, even if it is necessary that I do so, I have made myself a real mess to clean up in my yard. God gave me the tree. I made the mess of it; God leaves it to me to clean up. He can always get more trees. He'll get me back one way or the other in the end.

Our effort is to deepen ourselves, not our conscious understanding to thereby be saved, but to work out our willing abandonment of the need to consciously understand. Faith is an abandonment of belief as it is an abandonment of everything but trust in God.

We have ourselves have stacked the limbs and brush in the path. We will make our way only with difficulty. Instead of the straight way provided, we have caused ourselves to clamber over the limbs and twigs, and thorns even, that now block it. We will have many scrapes, scratches and much cursing at the trouble of our own making.

Sadly, we can also by this same means impede others and ensnare the unwary in our own brushpile.

Matt also said:

"unless Morihei Ueshiba repented on his death bed and believed in Jesus Christ as his personal savior, he is in hell. I do not practice aikido anymore because I have no love for the art anylonger."

This saddens me in too many ways to describe.
This too, presumes too much upon the mind and mercy of God, which none can know and whose will and purpose even the Adversary serves. One can never tire of reading Job. "With him are strength and wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his."

Faith is not belief and belief is not faith. You can believe that Jesus is the Son of God or full of green cheese, and it will not matter in the face of six guys with tire irons. There is no time to think "That one: ikkyo; that one: sankyo, that one: errrrrrr WHACK Jwhackwhackwhackwhackwhackwhackwhack!

Belief is a tool as techniques are tools. But they are nothing without the will to use them, whihc only faith provides. Belief allows us to practice our faith, as technique alows us to practice our aikido. But the chisel is not the stone; the finger is not the moon.

It is faith, an ineffable trust, and not any system or assertion of positive belief that gets you through, whether you get hit and have to suffer mightily to survive your injuries or you manage to survive unscathed. That irimi leap will save you because of faith to do it, not belief in the effectiveness of this, that, or any of our techniques, or our beliefs.

There is no time for belief when it really counts. We must be prepared abandon all, even our lives, even our most cherished beliefs in such circumstances. To hang on to such things as comfort, security, and a need for happiness in certain belief is an illusion. To believe otherwise is to lack faith.

Faith only will keep us whole. In spite of all belief.


Now, has anyone seen my chainsaw?

Pax Christi

Erick Mead

Mark Uttech
11-03-2005, 10:31 PM
Wow this thread goes all over the place! I think I'll stick with aikido and buddhism, they did not just save my life once; they keep saving it.

3girls
11-04-2005, 07:04 AM
Mathew has forgotten a couple important points for you:
1: Judge not lest you be by that same measure.
2: Remove the log in your own eye before you talk about the stick
in your neighbors.
Like so many Christian's that I have come across Mathew in you desire to convert and correct you present the message as I am righteous and anyone else is damned. I agree that the doorway is through Christ, but once we have accepted Christ and repented from our sins we are mandated to perform good deeds. No this does not replace or adjudicate our sin but by doing so we glorify god and lead by example, walk the talk so to speak.
Faith and belief will not stop the punch,knife, or bullet. As Christ said to Satan when he was tempted in the forest "test not thy god".
Like most people who study theology I learn about and study other beliefs besides Christianity I have found Buddhism to be the most profound outside of my Christian faith. I apply many of these Ideals to my life and it exacerbates my walk with Christ and no this will not lead me to hell. Since everyone who studies theology takes classes in other beliefs.

My friend I would suggest that you embrace the concept of:

I am not your judge we all have a choice to believe or not to believe I would hope that you embrace Christ as I have if not: "evolutionist we got love for you to, but we're breaking down walls seeking out the truth....I gotta pray for you."(Pillar Music) This is love for all people Christian or not the message of Christ is belief, repentance, love, and tolerance.

BK

James Davis
11-04-2005, 10:54 AM
Jesus said, "Whatever you do for the least of mine, you do for me."
When I stand before Him to be judged, I hope I don't hear the words, "I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was hungry and you did not feed me..."

Help people. Whether you believe in God or not, help them. Love your neighbors.

tenshinaikidoka
11-04-2005, 01:08 PM
Wow!!! I like the thought process on this thread. If I may plant a small comment in here....I am a christian. I also take Christ as my savior. But each culture has a higher power that they pray to and hope to see in the after life. So I would say that. although I am a Christian, does that mean that Christianity is the only religion that will take someone to god? I would say no, what did they do before Christianity?

To say that O'Sensei is "in hell" seems ignorant because, god gave cultures different ways of beleiving. If you look at the religions closely, you will notice that there are similarities more than differences. Now the differences are definatley there, but look at some of the basic principles. I don't know, and maybe I am alone in my thinking, but if you truly beleive, no matter your religion, you are saved!!!!! My interpretation only. Take it for what it is!!!

jonreading
11-04-2005, 01:22 PM
I usually hear a spiritual question from a student or potential student. It sounds very much like what I've read here so here's my reposnse. Let me preface this by saying:
1. I am Christian
2. I choose to address this response to those that are truly interested in opening their minds. Aristotle said it best when he spoke about rhetoric's purpose to sway those that are open to debate, not those that are convinced otherwise.

Aikido is an Eastern martial art in a country that practices Eastern religion. The Founder was a very religious individual. Aikido has generic religious undertones that supplement most religious beliefs ( including you heathens!). In practice, you can choose to view these undertones as part of your religious beliefs, or historical philosophy, or both. If you can't resolve that personal issue, then likely you will be uncomfortable practicing aikido.

Some of us can incorporate our beliefs into aikido, some can't. Neither is failure, just a decision.

Kevin Leavitt
11-04-2005, 01:48 PM
Good post Jon!

Brandon,

I think the issue is that if you are a fundamentalist that has boiled your religion down to a very, very basic premise, then it becomes a "black and white" "cut and dry" logic issue for you. "all that believe and accept Jesus go to heaven, all that don't go to hell".

While I don't subscribe to this flavor of Christianity, I can certainly respect the logic of it once you commit to it.

My questions to Matt were aimed at this, as I have never been able to understand how a fundamentalist Christan could reconcile their beliefs against the practice of something like aikido...so I am alway curious how they see the world. Not as a point to argue, but to try and better understand their beliefs and how it works.

I guess the big sticking point for me is that the view is too simplistic, and it assumes away many things (such as what you mention about people from other countries and cultures). It also, I feverently believe is a major reason we have conflict in our world. Because you end up with the "believers and the non-believers". If compassion, kindness, goodness have no place in the equation...the tools to peace...AND also, that in this belief structure, peace serves no purpose because either you have faith in God and accept Jesus as your savior, or you don't matter as you will be "left behind".

Please, I am not accusing ANYONE here of this level of devaluation of mankind and humanity...but it is something that you must be very careful with in fundamentalism. It seems to me to be too easy to justify acts of violence and war...hurricanes, typhoons as "acts of God"...that they deserve it because they are "heathens" and have not accepted Jesus and "god is angry at them".

I have heard my Good Neighbor Jerry Falwell (I am from Lynchburg and grew up with his kids in the neighborhood), say this (only later to appologize for it).

Now Dr. Falwell is a good man, I don't subscribe to his view points, or philosphy, but I will tell you he practices what he preaches and for that I respect him!

Okay, I am regressing and going waaay off now.

Guys, where am I getting it wrong?

My beliefs tend to take the "middle road" approach to alot of this, and I am geniunely interested to hear how many of you feel how the goals and objectives of aikido fit (or don't) with your religous and spiritual beliefs...I think it is a very important thing to discuss! For me, it is paramount to God that we humans learn how to "get along", I think we are here either through design or chance, and it is important that we reduce suffering in the world. I think once we get it right, then and only then will we be in heaven or nirvana. (can ya tell I am a practicing buddhist :))

tenshinaikidoka
11-04-2005, 03:03 PM
I guess my point was that each culture has it's own "religion" and way to get to thier heaven. I was trying to point out that Christianity is not the only way, such as Aikido is not the only way. But I think ultimatley we end up in the same place regardless of our culture. I get what your saying though Kevin.

I find for myself, my Christianity has come out more since my serious study of Aikido. Not sure why, since my dojo does not delve into the religious side of the art, just the technical side (self defense). But this is not for everyone, jsut as my own religious beleifs are not for everyeone. But I am not so hardcore as to think that only those that beleive in Christ will go to heaven. And before I get pummled by other Chrsitians, what I mean is, god, Allah, Buddah whomever, loves us all and if our love is proved, then we will go where we are chosen to go.

By me breaking down the basics of religion, I was only trying to say that religions do have similarities. I do not think there is a balck and white however, and maybe this is just my free thinking ways, but that is how I feel and what I beleive. Anyway, nice to have a good healthy conversation, I like this topic and different points of view!!!!

3girls
11-04-2005, 04:04 PM
First of all religions as a whole have the same premise, and mirror each other in many ways. I have much respect for anyone who is devout in their beliefs as long as they are not harmful. As I have said my faith is in Christ and the path to heaven is only through Christ, However I do not force my beliefs on others we are granted free choice by design as it should be. I encourage people who I speak with to lean about Christ and embrace him but it is entirely up to the individual, I know many wonderful Buddhist, Jews,and taoist and have much respect for them and their devotion to their religion.
So, lets first forget the word religion and replace it with relationship so that the stain of religion is removed from the equation. By stain I mean when the topic of religion is put forward people tend to shy away due to the negative connotation it invokes. Many people have been killed in the name of religion yet this is not the message of Christ,Buddha or most mainstream religions for that matter. Which leaves us to examine the individual, we are the sole representative of our given faith, when we have an encounter with someone that person will, right or wrong judge our belief based on how we act at that moment. That moment is all it takes and our religion has either been justly represented or stained it is up to us to set the example.
Then how can we,in my case Christians participate in a martial art developed in by an eastern culture and a different belief system with out tainting my relationship with god or more importantly how can it enhance that relationship?
Lets Analise a few key points:
1)As a Christian my relationship and belief in Christ is paramount to
my salvation. Will participating in a martial art change that? NO!
2)Will the understanding and knowledge of other beliefs alter that
belief? NO!
What is important to remember that as long as participation does not cause us to further sin or change/alter our belief than no our relationship with Christ is intact.
God wants a relationship with all his children, I dint believe he hates us or wants us to come harm he wants us to be happy. Like I as a father want my children to prosper and live happy lives. Just like children who are not able to understand the concept of God and Christ those that have never been exposed in my opinion receive a free pass if you do not know how can you profess your faith, that does not deserve punishment/damnation.

I had to shorten some of this so forgive me if some of this seems incomplete :sorry: :confused:

BK

Kevin Leavitt
11-04-2005, 04:22 PM
Brandon and Brian, Good post! Thanks!

mazmonsters
11-04-2005, 06:37 PM
Kevin,
you did not answer my question. Who was Jesus? If you don't want to answer, it's fine.
To Brian Keesler, I say these things:
With the Holy Spirit as my teacher, how can I "accept Christ as you have?" Christ has accepted me. God chooses, not the other way around. You say we have free will, yes, we have the choice to reject Christ, but if we believe, it is by Grace through faith ( a gift freely rendered from God) not of ourselves, so that we might not boast. You say, "I remember when I 'chose Christ' as my saviour, repented and believed." Do you think that this came from you, a sinful man? Or do you not realize that this was a gift given to you by the Holy Spirit? Look through the Scriptures and find me one verse that says "We chose God."
You also said these things: Mathew has forgotten a couple important points for you:
1: Judge not lest you be by that same measure.
2: Remove the log in your own eye before you talk about the stick
in your neighbors.
Like so many Christian's that I have come across Mathew in you desire to convert and correct you present the message as I am righteous and anyone else is damned. I agree that the doorway is through Christ, but once we have accepted Christ and repented from our sins we are mandated to perform good deeds. No this does not replace or adjudicate our sin but by doing so we glorify god and lead by example, walk the talk so to speak. My dear friend, how am I judging in the manner of which you speak? I would be doing so if I boasted of my own intelligence or my own good works! Don't you understand? If I am judging, I am judging the truth from the lies. This is not of my own thoughts or ways, for how can sinful man ever want to know the real God, through Christ Jesus? This comes from The Holy Spirit, so that we cannot boast saying, "I came to God...I chose Him...I did something really good and pure and noble"...no, these are all boastful works of man's ability to do anything to honor God, rendering in self righteousness. God chose me, He did something really good, pure and noble, and by me believing it or "accepting it" (which by the way, there is no terms in the Bible that say we "accept" Christ, there is, however, many terms which say He chose us). For you to say we are "mandated" to do good works because it shows as an example, I would say the God has good works prepared for us to do, and by faith, we do these things. Let me also say that our behavior is never acceptable to God from the "flesh", but always acceptable to Him from our faith. True Christians do not go around, causing trouble, engaging willfully into a sinful life, or any of the things most Christians worry about doing. We do good things, because God is the one doing them through us, so that He gets the glory, not us...that's why it is always better if we do not even know the good works that are going on in our lives, because when we do know that, we tend to want to get involved, and "help God out." Then, God sees us trying to please Him from our flesh, and we mess things up, cause we're human!!!! I never made any claims throughout my entire writings that in any possible way indicate that "I am righteouss and all else are damned"...did you actually read or just skim through? I said I am NOT righteouss, only Christ. This is the only thing I boast in. The Cross of Christ. Brian, you also said " Just like children who are not able to understand the concept of God and Christ those that have never been exposed in my opinion receive a free pass if you do not know how can you profess your faith, that does not deserve punishment/damnation." I believe that children are innocent until the age that they are able to recognize sin in their lives, and that age is different for each child, so we agree on that, however, God says that "All will have a chance to know the truth." God will present Christ to everyone in some manner before they die, so that they will have the chance to recieve or reject His truth.


The others that claim to be Christians, who do not believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven, I ask you- what makes you a Christian?
I do not claim to have all the answers, I do however know that it is only Jesus Christ that saves the world from it's way to hell, and to reject that message is to reject eternal life. O'Sensei knew who Jesus was, and he said, "Now is the time to train, we no longer can afford to put our lives in the hands of Christ, buddha or any other teacher." That is what would send him to hell, because in that statement, he claimed that it is possible to achieve heaven without Jesus. Unless he repented, he is suffering.
In Christ Jesus,
Matt

ChristianBoddum
11-04-2005, 06:45 PM
[QUOTE=Kevin Leavitt]Good post Jon!


Please, I am not accusing ANYONE here of this level of devaluation of mankind and humanity...but it is something that you must be very careful with in fundamentalism. It seems to me to be too easy to justify acts of violence and war...hurricanes, typhoons as "acts of God"...that they deserve it because they are "heathens" and have not accepted Jesus and "god is angry at them".

-


I'm sorry ,but being a christian ,living in Christ is fundamentalism,
in its true sense and meaning.You can not bend and twist
the word of God to your own liking.
And christianity is not about tolerance - that is a buddhist concept.
Christianity is about forgiveness,tolerance - no !
-

God is not angry anymore , He put his anger along with sin on
Jesus Christ at the moment he died on the cross,the suffering Jesus must have felt when he died is unbearable to think of,
still there immense joy at the other end , thank God !
This does not mean that what God has planned and promised in the past is over and history - far from it,
but the angry God that was before Christ died,has let his true nature
become revealed in Christ the resurrcted.

Kevin Leavitt
11-05-2005, 05:01 AM
Thanks for the response....it is helpful.

What place does tolerance play in all of this? Is peace a worthwile goal? Does it fit into the equation anywhere? If so how?

Many churches, i'd say most do good deeds and humanitarian efforts play a big role in their organizations. How does humanitarism and compassion fit in to the equation?

Thanks!

Peter Goldsbury
11-05-2005, 05:57 AM
Has anyone seen Kingdom of Heaven, the film with Orlando Bloom as the hero? I am using it as part of a course in comparative culture (in comparison with two Japanese films by Yoji Yamada: Tasogare Seibe and Kakushiken: Oni no Tsume).

To judge from their essays, my (Japanese) students are struck by the intolerance and 'absolute' values displayed by some Muslims and some Christians in Kingdom of Heaven and by the similarities of the issues faced by the heroes in each film. I argued that the intolerance and the 'absolute' values displayed by the Tokugawa Bakufu were very similar and actually led to the crux of both Japanese films. My students found this hard to accept, since they had been led to believe that Christians and Muslims allowed for no exceptions, as a result of human weakness. They found less hard to accept the absoluteness of the rule requiring 'weak' samurai to commit seppuku.

I do not believe that aikido has any connection whatever with Christianity. It is a Japanese martial art and has to be understood as such. Of course, atheists, agnostics, and people of any religious denonimation can practise aikido, but aikido training does not, in itself, have any intrinsic connection with religious beliefs or practices. I believe that this is also true of the Founder.

Best regards,

ChristianBoddum
11-05-2005, 06:11 AM
Well !

From a christian standpoint you should develop ,Patience,understanding,wisdom,love,sound judgment,but not tolerance - tolerance is acceptance of sin , this is not Godly !
God does not tolerate sin - he does however forgive by grace !!

Peace in Christ is a matter of the heart ,you will never be in a peaceful relationship with the world,
especially when you live with Christ and you have declared war on he who is in the world !

Regarding humanitarianism , I'd rather say that humanism is a rotten fruit,
compassion is a fine starting point ,but without actions what will it accomplish !

I hope others can elaborate on compassion as I need to study more !

3girls
11-05-2005, 07:05 AM
Tolerance: 2: a disposition to allow freedom of choice and behavior
is what I am referring to. Christ is the judge not I Sin must be attended to with regards to the laws of man, if your sin against God and break mans law(rape murder etc) you must be punished accordingly and judged by god. If you sin and the law of man is NOT(lust coveting etc) broken that is between you and God and you will be judged accordingly. The very mandate of god is free choice to accept or not to accept. God is tolerant of all his children to a point, and when judgment comes that tolerance ends.

Kevin Leavitt
11-05-2005, 11:21 AM
lots of stuff. My head is really beginning to hurt taking in all this information and trying to organize it.

I would agree with Peter Goldsbury on many of his points of course, especially about aikido and the non-connection to any religion.

I suppose what I am exploring or trying to dissect is this.

What happens when the core princples and values of aikido do not allign with the principles/values/beliefs of an individual?

I am talking way beyond the typical focus we get with religious based discussions of the whole shomen, bowing, philosophy thing...but down to the core of what is important.

The founder had some a very definitive belief about the practice of aikido and what the practice would lead to. It was based largely on his beliefs that stemmed from his life experiences and that from Omoto-Kyo.

Do these underpinnings still carry weight and how much influence to they have on the goals of aikido today? (not sure I am saying that right). Have they become so watered down, that aikido is essentially a secular practice that we do good to feel good about ourselves? If so, what is the importance to that.

I am really interested at a very base level of how some Christians make that connection. I do believe it can be done, but I get very confused about the dogma presented that sometimes seems to be contrary at some level to the goals of budo. (it could be simply my lack of understanding.)

Maybe the questions should be turned, not toward Christianity or any religion, but toward aikido.

What role does tolerance, compassion, humanism and all that play in aikido?

3girls
11-05-2005, 02:59 PM
Mathew, I was referring to your approach/delivery not your exact verbiage with my earlier posts. I believe you share a similar feverish devotion to your faith as I do and I admire that in you. May God continue to bless you in all that you do. Unfortunately in my opinion the true message is lost in semantics and this post has become that very example. Until next time God Bless.

BK :)

jonreading
11-10-2005, 12:22 PM
I enjoy the background history of O'Sensei and the development of Aikido. I enjoy the romantic idealism and altruistic purpose of Aikido. I enjoy the observation of spirituality and sanctity in training.

Ueshiba Sensei was notorius for deliberate action and vagueness. Aikido is constructed in such a way to accomodate many different religious beliefs without sacrificing that which we hold as central to our religion(s). He was very proactive to put the burden of spiritual resolution on the individual, and challenge students to look introspectively at their beliefs and values. This was his invitation to us to learn aikido, not to mock an old man's exercise routine.

In our world, we do many things to preserve our life. We take vitamins and eat. We excercise. We see the doctor when we are sick. We go to church (or wherever). Aikido is a tool to keep my body, mind and spirit healthy. My first understanding is that Aikido will keep my body healthy. My second understanding is that Aikido will alter my conscious and attitude in respect to many things. My third understanding is that Aikido is not a replacement for my religion, but a supplement to becoming comfortable spiritually. These three understandings help me place Aikido in my life without conflict to my religion, my job, my wife, or those things that are most dear in life.

Kevin Leavitt
11-10-2005, 04:17 PM
Thanks for your post Jon!

So it sounds like that aikido enriches your life in many ways, which ultimately makes you a happier person! Which is a good thing!

James Kelly
11-14-2005, 04:39 AM
Mathew,

I appreciate your posts very much. I have never seen fundamental Christianity explained so concisely. (One might ask though, if that's the whole truth, why leave behind such a confusing record as the New Testament, so open to misinterpretation.)

But here's my question...

The only way to be completely holy, pure, and clean in His sight is to be covered in the robe of righteousness that only Jesus can offer...and it is not by anything we can do. It comes as a free gift, by His sacrifice. Just believe it, and you will be saved.
Those to me are a conflicting statements. Salvation is given, not as a result of something we do. And yet we are asked to do something (believe). So then it is by our own doing that we receive salvation... how does that work?

mazmonsters
11-15-2005, 07:41 AM
Hi James,
thanks for your comments. As for your question, I will try to answer it as best I can. I do not claim to know all the answers, nor have the whole truth worked out, because it is impossible for a man to have those things. Remember that God is God, and "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8) If we knew every single detail, every answer, not only would our minds be uncapable of understanding it, but we would be able to control it. God is not something that we can control, and believe me, we would not want to. This brings about worship. With that being said now, we believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God, and it cannot contradict itself. So, this means that we cannot take every single verse of the Bible and apply it to us in today's age...some texts were concerning the people it was written to (i.e. The Israelites, pharisees, etc...) and some apply to all. Some only apply to believers, and some apply to unbelievers.
To answer your question on Salvation being a gift, freely given, and yet to seem like a "work" of ourselves to do something- "believe" I can only offer my own answer based on Biblical Scriptures...and that is this: Even if someone lives out there life, with no claim to Christ Jesus at all, and they are on their death beds, and before they die, they repent of their life of sin, and truly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He died for thier sins, they are not only saved, but throughout their entire life, they were already chosen by God and really believed in His Son, though they did not want to admit it to themselves, or something in their life was holding them back.
Because right now I am on a limited time schedule, I am going to direct the rest of this reply to a well done piece of work based on your question. It is rendered by Steven Shaw, and he sums up the answers pretty well, and his thoughts ARE my thoughts, lol. Hope this helps:

All would agree that there is a distinction between faith and works, but if it is a prerequisite for Grace, then surely it becomes a work? If Grace is dependant on us producing our faith in Christ - turning to God - then Grace is dependant on us doing something, it is then dependant on some form of works, and no longer Grace.
"And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace." (Rom 11:6)leads to:
How does it work in relation to our salvation - how are we saved by faith?

Where does our faith come from?
From God:
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph 2:8)
"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues." (1Cor 12:7-9)
"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." (Rom 12:3)
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb 12:2)

Why not from us?
"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless" (Rom 3:10-12)
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved." (Eph 2:4-5)
We are dead in our sin and unable to choose God, so God in His GREAT mercy chose us, the elect, even while we were dead in our sin and actively opposing God, made us alive in Christ and brought us to salvation.

It is through this faith which God gave us that we are saved. We are given faith to believe in Christ and accept His sacrifice for us, then God's wrath is satisfied and Christ's righteousness is imputed onto us - We are credited as righteous and washed clean.

Praise be to God who in His perfect righteousness saves us despite our sins!

All quotes on this page (except James 2:14 - NASB) are taken from the NIV.

Copyright Steven Shaw 2001

So, not only does the New Testament not conflict with the message of being saved by Grace through faith alone, but it is the only way a man can come to know the Lord. God does it all. He gives us the gift, and then He recieves it through us for His own glory. As hard to fathom as this might be, this is the only message that seperates Christianity from every other religion in the world. God is totally in control. If you are sincere in your askings, and really "hope it could all be true," then that is God working already...calling you.
There are many more things we can discuss about this topic, and also repentance, how that too is God initiated.
Until next time,
Matthew

mazmonsters
11-15-2005, 09:12 AM
James,
just a short add on here. The reason that true Christianity must be presented and understood as such a seperate "religion" is because one can take the teachings of Jesus Christ alone, with no regard to his death and resurrection (which if, by the way, did not occur, then we would have nothing to base our faith on), and mix those teachings with many other religious beliefs, philosophies, ideaologies, etc... to create some "truth" which speaks to their feelings and emotions and "works for them." This would give justification to the statement: "All paths lead to God, if they are sincere." This could be true if Jesus did not die and rise again. Without the significant events that took place at Calvary, then there would be no need to argue that Jesus is the only way to heaven. If He just died and there was no resurrection, all paths could lead to God...in theory. Though Judaism would still be the only truth and the world would still be waiting for a messiah.
But Christ is the great stumbling block to mankind. And to pervert the message of the Gospel by watering down the truth that Jesus spoke: "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." (John 14:6-7), is not the gospel at all. This is why for the people who claim to be Christians and do not claim that Jesus is the only way to heaven are either confused or they do not know Him. I was confused also, and believe me, I still get confused, lol. I still have my doubts and fears and troubles, like all Christians...but the more I just leave it in God's hands, the easier life is.
I hope that this makes some sense and clears some clouds for you. Any teaching that says there is many ways to get to God is not Christianity. I don't know what it is.
In Him,
Matthew

akiy
11-15-2005, 09:54 AM
Hi folks,

Once again, please stick to the topic of this thread which is about "Aikido and being Christian." If this topic continues to discuss religion in general, I will move the thread to the Open Discussions forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun

mazmonsters
11-15-2005, 10:44 AM
Hi Jun,
I whole heartedly believe that these posts by not only myself, but others also, directly reflect the issue of aikido and how it relates to being a Christian. Because ultimately, the two have nothing in common. One is based on a system of self defense, deeply rooted in a Shinto/Omoto religion, the other is a gift freely given by the God of the universe. The importance of talking about a "religion" like Christianity is to show how different it is to everything else, because there are people who believe that what aikido offers is just as good as any religion. I would say "Yes! This is true." Aikido can be looked at with the same eyes as Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Christian Science, etc...however, because Christianity is NOT a religion, but a relationship with Jesus Christ and belief in Him alone, it is different from religions of the world. To say that the posts are "getting off track" is not really the case, because anytime someone brings up Christianity and how it relates to something other than Christ Jesus becomes something other than Christianity. You could say "Aikido and the teachings of Jesus Christ, diregarding all of His teachings about Him being the only way to salvation or His death or His resurrection or His ascention into heaven," and then discuss how those two topics relate to each other. But, to post a thread stating, "Aikido and Being a Christian," and then to discuss anything other than how it is possible to be a Christian and learn aikido self defense minus the mysticism...anything about how they relate to each other is "getting off track." They do not relate to each other. Anything that takes the focus off of Jesus Christ is not Christianity, so the real question might be, "Can true Christianity be discussed with regards to an aikido website?"
Sincerely,
Matthew

akiy
11-15-2005, 11:03 AM
But, to post a thread stating, "Aikido and Being a Christian," and then to discuss anything other than how it is possible to be a Christian and learn aikido self defense minus the mysticism...anything about how they relate to each other is "getting off track." They do not relate to each other.
Then, please, discuss how they do not relate -- not on general religion. This is not a website about religion, after all, but on aikido.

My request still stands as is.

-- Jun

Erick Mead
11-15-2005, 01:49 PM
I challenge Matt as well to drag the topic back on point:

Granted that faith is expressed in the works we choose or are called to perform. Conflict is a matter in which we are not ncessarily given to choose, but rather it may choose us ( a very different form of vocation, but no less valid, even so) Conflict typically does not consult our particular feelings in the matter. Christianity and Aikido both have useful suggestions about the management of undesired conflict. Neither has much to say about the active instigaiton of conflict, except negatively, the temple scouring being a notable exception.

I am sorry you have personally abandoned the practice of aikido, as you prior posts indicate. And yet your interest and participation continues. Even if your only remaining interest is proselytizing, we should still engage with one another on common ground. The essential purposes of Aikido and Chrisitanity may be, in your view, incompatible, but that does not per se show that their means are not compatible. This still leaves them potentially helpful cooperative partners in a common venture to deal with undesired conflict.

Professor Goldsbury's point is well taken. O-Sensei himself, as shown in his commetns to his uchideshi Andre Nocquet Sensei, certainly saw Aikido as an aid and adjunct to the practice of any religion. He just as clearly did not see it as any substiitute or independent system of belief or basis for faith.

The pen and paper are not the mountain that one may depict with them. Drawing one's own image of the mountain may aid one in understanding it, however. However imperfectly, it may also allow one to transmit an idea or sense of the mountain to others who have not seen it, or at least not this side of it.

Aikido and Christianity have useful things to impart to one another, regardless whether one subscribes to a monolithic, crystalline worldview or one that is more ineffable and organic in sensibility.

To focus on compatibility of means then, rather than ends: Please tell us how Aikido does NOT answer up to the Christian admonition to turn the other cheek, especially as Himself was silent on what to do when the poor fool took the second swing?

Cordially,
Erick Mead

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2005, 02:19 PM
I second Jun's request. There is enough conflict and devisiveness in the world. We should all be trying to figure out how to get along and live together.

If you look at it from a strictly statistical standpoint, Christians only make up 1/3 of the worlds population. That is alot of other people out there that all don't necessarily think alike. You aren't going to convert them all over, and yet, we need to all get along somehow!

So, I find it much more constructive to discuss how aikido and Christianity can interact to help reconcile much of the conflict we have in the world.

If this is not your cup of tea, I don't understand why you would waste your time with an art such as aikido or with aikiweb that pretty much has as one of it's goals to create good/happy people that want to promote peace and harmony in the world.

mazmonsters
11-15-2005, 02:49 PM
Erick,
to try and answer your question (some of your wording is a bit confusing though) the teachings of Jesus Christ in my Scriptural opinion are that it is impossible to do what Jesus told us to do. He not only said to turn the other cheek, but He also said to love your nieghbor as yourself. We do not do that...and the example I'll give you is an easy scenario in that you and I own a business together. I am going to make sure that my end is taken care of first, as you would yours. This is not loving your nieghbor as yourself. Jesus was telling the people of Jerusalem these things because He was "stacking the deck" against them. He was bascially adressing the self-righteous problem of Israel, which they were up to their necks in. He told them that not only would it be impossible for a rich man to enter into heaven, but also if they looked lustfully at a woman, they committed adultery. Do you see it? Jesus kept all of these laws perfectly for us. With His death, He said, I will take your place on that cross...EVERYONE. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. This is not pre-redemption alone, but post-redemtion as well. "On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:17) Who needs God? Someone who can do it on their own (or try to anyways) or someone who knows they can't? The greatest discovery is knowing your own shortcomings, knowing your weakness, your faults...compare yourself to Christ, for your entire life, and see just how "good" you are...and then surrender, knowing that you can never do it. You can't measure up, because in essence, Jesus was proclaiming that unless you were just like Him, you wouldn't get into heaven. And this is how we can- through Him alone. How does someone please God? "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." (Romans 16-17) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:21-23) "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20). We please God by believing in Jesus Christ as our only means of Salvation, thus Christ now lives in us by power of the Holy Spirit, and we do become just like Him, through faith...not our flesh, for that is dead and full of sin...Morihei Ueshiba believed that it was a matter of the flesh as well as the spirit, baptizing himself daily and performing the aikido ritual to perfect himself, while denying that Jesus was God, and He alone could save. This is actually blasphemy, my friend. It is by faith we believe that Jesus did it all for us, that we do not contribute to our own salvation that makes Christianity and aikido meet at odd ends.
To Kevin,
no one is good, no one can become good...this lie is what sends people out of God's sight. "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
There was only one who was perfect and good. He died for you. It is not the goal of Jesus Christ to unite all of mankind. Jesus said:
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man's enemies will be the members of his own household." (Matthew 10:34-36)
What makes you think all of humanity should be united if Jesus Himself said it wouldn't happen?
The reason I am "wasting my time" on here is simple: To tell people what Christianity is, and to stop the perversion of the Gospel as it was being done by people who said they were followers of Christ.

-In Christ,
Matthew

akiy
11-15-2005, 03:21 PM
Last warning to take this thread back to the topic before I move it to the Open Discussions forum or close it outright...

Thanks,

-- Jun

Erick Mead
11-15-2005, 03:50 PM
... in my Scriptural opinion [is] that it is impossible to do what Jesus told us to do.
While the text may be inspired, respectfully, I have no evidence that your opinion of it is. That is the reason for the apostolic tradition and the faithful lineage of teaching, yet another aspect of means that Aikido and traditional Christianity deeply share.
.... He told them that not only would it be impossible for a rich man to enter into heaven, but also if they looked lustfully at a woman, they committed adultery.
This is a point that the late John Paul II dwelt upon, at tremendously detailed length, in his "Theology of the Body." The problem of intention is at the heart of sin as it is at the heart of Aikido. Violence, like lust, occurs. It our intentions that follow from our lustful nature, our violent natures that determine the value of our actions. Desire, an empty quality, desperately waiting to be filled, underlies all sin, and all violence. It also interferes with good Aikido. "Uke did the attack WRONG!! And now I can't do my spiffy iriminage RIGHT!!" [POUT!] Guess what. Uke gets to play too. Share. Iriminage was no longer the technique. Our desire for what is not blinds us to what is actually in front of us.
thus Christ now lives in us by power of the Holy Spirit, and we do become just like Him, through faith...not our flesh, for that is dead and full of sin...
On this we part company. You describe a heresy known as Manicheism or Catharism which holds that flesh is irredeemably evil. The flesh is not inherently evil, and for which the first scripture suffices to show. (See Genesis:: "He saw that it was good.") Moreover, the flesh is necessary to God's purpose in ways that are mysterious and difficult to fully comprehend. Else the Incarnation ("enfleshing" "embodiment") would be irrelevant.
Morihei Ueshiba believed that it was a matter of the flesh as well as the spirit, baptizing himself daily and performing the aikido ritual to perfect himself, while denying that Jesus was God, and He alone could save. This is actually blasphemy, my friend. O-Sensei said no such thing. It betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the function of misogi to believe otherwise. Asceticism simply means adherence to discipline. Whether it be medieval hairshirts, Baptists refraining from strong drink and dancing, or Shinto winter waterfall misogi or chinkon kishin, these are disciplines. They are means, not ends in themselves. The Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath. These are tools by which the spirit is used to master and rein the flesh to good purpose, not to destroy or denigrate the flesh as evil. Flesh is innocent, spirit is also, unless we choose otherwise. The mind that directs is guilty as it chooses, not merely as the body does.
Aikido is such a discipline. So is the Rosary for God's sake. Or memorization of the quoted text of the Bible for that matter.
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." ... Matthew 10:34-36) This is the precise paradox in which Christianity and Aikido have so much in common. they share a reverence for the means of a very militant pacifism, at the very least, and the proximate ends they have in mind, if not the ultimate ones.

Turning the other cheek -- wielding not peace but a sword. Christianity and Aikido both serve to deal with either one at need.

Jesus describes the pregnant tension of human existence, waiting expectantly to bear forth either a wonder or a horror.

Let it be a wonder. Your choice.

Cordially,
Erick Mead

mazmonsters
11-15-2005, 04:57 PM
Jun,
you might as well move this thread, as you seem to be threatening my posts, because they cut to the chase, while letting others' pass because they glorify aikido and hold no threat or consequence...they are meaningless ramblings.
Erick, you said: "Jesus describes the pregnant tension of human existence, waiting expectantly to bear forth either a wonder or a horror." No. Jesus was describing Himself, not a pregnant tension of human existence. Those who believe in Him will be divided from the world who does not believe...this was the case when He walked the earth and it still is the case today, and it will be the case when the end comes, and the christians are put to death for His name, because they will refuse to be apart of a one-world unified "peaceful" mankind. As for your statement on flesh: "Flesh is innocent, spirit is also, unless we choose otherwise. The mind that directs is guilty as it chooses, not merely as the body does." You are describing a heresy by calling flesh innocent when the Bible clearly states that our flesh is dead, because of sin. What in the world do you think that Jesus came here for? The Genesis verse you refer to : "See Genesis:: "He saw that it was good." is talking about God's entire creation, including man, flesh and all...before man disobeyed God and let sin into the creation. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12) If flesh is innocent and pure, then why was God sad that He had created it? "And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them." (Genesis 6:6-7) You said :"Moreover, the flesh is necessary to God's purpose in ways that are mysterious and difficult to fully comprehend. Else the Incarnation ("enfleshing" "embodiment") would be irrelevant." We agree! Jesus had to take on our "costume" as it were. Then, He was perfect through out His life...something we can't be. He was perfect both in Spirit and in flesh; this is why He had to be born of a Virgin...so that the seed was of imperishable and sin-free seed. Morihei Ueshiba proclaimed that it was the time for training, not the time to put our lives into the hands of Jesus, or any other teacher. This is exactly the opposite of christianity. (Jun, I am showing the differences here...what is the problem, exactly?)
If I am speaking of a heresy, then so was Paul, and for that matter, Jesus Himself: "Jesus answered him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[b] he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus said to him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?' Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:3-8) and Paul said : "For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose." (Galatians 2:19-21) and "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin." (Romans 7:14-25)
This does not mean that since our flesh is weak, sinful, and ultimately dead, that we can just go around doing whatever we want without consequence...but a true believer does not do that anyways. We want to please God, because we are His. Only by faith we can do that. "Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal." Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." (John 6:27-29)
Take care,
Matt....probably our last meeting if Jun does what she will.

Erick Mead
11-15-2005, 10:11 PM
Jun,
you might as well move this thread, as you seem to be threatening my posts, because they cut to the chase, while letting others' pass because they glorify aikido and hold no threat or consequence...they are meaningless ramblings.

Ah, Jun ... please let us explore this osae-waza a little more thoroughly before we tap it out. We shall keep him to topic.
Erick, you said: "Jesus describes the pregnant tension of human existence, waiting expectantly to bear forth either a wonder or a horror." No. Jesus was describing Himself, not a pregnant tension of human existence.
Jesus was a human existence, or had the temptations on the heights and in the Garden meant nothing? Jesus suffered the pains and the joys of existence. He engaged in conflict, and did not shrink from entering directly.
the Bible clearly states that our flesh is dead, because of sin.
Death is death; life is life. Neither is necessarily evil nor necessarily good. Life is to be preferred, but not for the doing of evil, in which case, choose death. On this point, Christianity and Budo are truly in one accord.

"Else the Incarnation ("enfleshing" "embodiment") would be irrelevant." We agree! Jesus had to take on our "costume" as it were.
On this we find a further heresy, Monophysitism, or Nestorianism, also common among various stripes of gnosticism: the belief that Jesus was truly divine but not truly human. This is not the orthodox Nicene Creed.
Compare OSensei's Doka No. 19 in Budo Renshu (tr. Bieri& Mabuchi):

Sincerity
More and more with all your heart
Practice and perfect
The essential Unity of the Two Worlds
Come to know its truth

This has much in common with Christian attitudes. It accepts the identity of the Human and Divine (which Christ personifies) without disturbing their proper order, neither debasing the divine nor unduly elevating the human.
Morihei Ueshiba proclaimed that it was the time for training, not the time to put our lives into the hands of Jesus, or any other teacher. This is exactly the opposite of christianity. (Jun, I am showing the differences here...what is the problem, exactly?)
Ah, but it must be a TRUE difference, and for which the assumption stated is not true. O-Sensei said no such thing. What is temporal existence for if not for training? Why not just speak the magic words and then stand in front of a train, thus assured of immortality? (seventy virgins anyone?). Because that is also a perverted desire. The thing we were put here to learn about and for which we fell from our innocence: the knowledge of good AND evil. "O happy fault of Adam, that gained for us so great a Redeeemer." We are engaged in a far greater purpose than recovering simple, ignorant innocence, and which end is not yet known to anyone.
The body teaches the soul and the soul instructs the body. On this tradition, Christian teaching and AIkido are also in one accord. Salvation does not enter into it on this point.
Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

So... Faith is not enough, a little sprinkling is in order? Waterfall misogi perhaps? The point being that human temporal existence is not superfluous in the divine plan. Training, effort is required, not for our salvation (which, begin given freely even at great cost to our Redeemer, is perhaps not even the most important thing about Christian teaching), but to fulfill our ultimate purpose in being here.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:3-8) ...Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." (John 6:27-29)
"Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind." What is it to believe in Him? To say magic words? I think not. Teach as he taught. Do as he did. Be not afraid. O-Sensei was hardly perfect. But did O-Sensei, knowingly or not, strive to live in imitation of Christ, trying to fulfill a selfless devotion to the good of his fellow men? I find it difficult not
to believe that.

I beg Jun's continued patience to work through Matt's rhetoric. He has not yet learned to preach the unknown god to the Athenians.

Cordially,
Erick Mead

Mark Uttech
11-15-2005, 10:44 PM
While this thread is thrashing around in hell, I'd like to tell you all about how I taught the turning the cheek thing in a demonstration. After my face was slapped I turned "all the way around until I was standing in a safe place beside and behind."

In gassho

tenshinaikidoka
11-16-2005, 12:46 AM
Ok, so, how is it then, that a new born baby, is sinnful? Does he have an evil heart or is it taught to him (or her)? I do not beleive that a baby is sinnful. I think they are innocent until they are taught cetain aspects of humanity.

I still say Aikido can and does have cleansing like abilities, meaning you can become better through your aikido and religion. I do not think that Aikido takes away anything from religion and my personal interpretation is that it enhances it!!!!!

My thoughts only, take it for what it is!!!

tenshinaikidoka
11-16-2005, 12:47 AM
The reason I asked about the baby is to see why someone would say that all humans are sinners!!! Not trying to be off topic, sorry!!!!!!

Sanshouaikikai
11-16-2005, 01:10 AM
Brother, Matt...I commend you for writing the things you're writing on this thread. They're totally, 100% true and orthodox. God bless you. Also...I have recently come to the conclusion myself that Christianity and Aikido are 2 very different things and belief systems...well...it's obvious with the religious aspect of it...but you know what I mean, lol. I still like Aikido...I still practice Aikido...but personally...I just don't believe it to be in accordance with orthodox Christianity. It's not a sin or anything...it's far from being bad...but...on the spiritual and theological levels...they're very different and do not compliment each other.

Kevin Leavitt
11-16-2005, 02:52 AM
To Kevin,
no one is good, no one can become good...this lie is what sends people out of God's sight

Where in the world did I say that? IMHO people exist...they are neither good nor bad they simply "are". Good and bad are relative judgements based on perception and society. What would represent "bad" in my book is that which causes "harm".

People can choose certain actions a responses. Those actions may be judged good, or bad depending on the circumstance. How this relates to aikido is that it is a physical practice that shows us that their are many options to dealing with things/situations that are presented to us in life.

To me, this concept lay outside of religion and any dogma and can be accepted universally by all humans. If you choose not to, then that is your choice. drive on.

The reason I am "wasting my time" on here is simple: To tell people what Christianity is, and to stop the perversion of the Gospel as it was being done by people who said they were followers of Christ.


I beleive we understand your position. and as you stated, unless I misunderstand, you don't see how aikido and christianity can be reconciled, so what else is there to say other than to re-hash the same old thing?

I believe Jun's point (at least mine is this!), that the topic has become "off" since it is dealing with only "I'm right, your wrong", and is not constructive and seeking to understand how the two concepts can work together.

I think in this world we have plenty of people out there that understand the underpinnings of the causes of conflict and differences we all have, what we really need is people that can offer new insight, understanding, and solutions on how we can solve conflict and problems....not to furtther point out the differences.

Do you have anything to contribute to how a Christian might be able reconcile personal beliefs with those of aikido, or is it simply going to be more of "it doesn't work good together"?

Sorry to be so blunt, but that is the long and short of it I believe.

Erick Mead
11-16-2005, 07:33 AM
I believe Jun's point (at least mine is this!), that the topic has become "off" since it is dealing with only "I'm right, your wrong", and is not constructive and seeking to understand how the two concepts can work together.
...... Do you have anything to contribute to how a Christian might be able reconcile personal beliefs with those of aikido, or is it simply going to be more of "it doesn't work good together"?

I concur. There is far too much useful correspondence to be had in actually finding common ground in which Aikido and Christianity can each inform the other.
We can move beyond the following pointless paradigm some frame their argument around.
Aikido = WRONG. Christianity=RIGHT
It is like saying Air = Right and Health Insurance = Wrong.
One is more immediate and one much less so. In the proper circumstance each may save your life, and the lack may cost you dearly.
This is particularly so when the versions of each we keep hearing are not necessarily anything but a narrow personal opinion of the faith or of the art, as I keep gently tying to point out.

There is much here to usefully discuss in relating the TWO of them. I hope it can be done. I will try.

Cordially,

Erick Mead

purplesaxark
07-27-2010, 11:07 PM
Russ-

no offense is taken. It's best that we first stamp out our own insecurities, before dealing with those of others. God and Satan both dwell within us, and I believe it is part of our faith to try to rid ourselves of Satan to find salvation.

And also- no one has answers. That's why we're human. Ask God the questions, and in His time, in His way, He'll answer them.

Such is our faith,

-Nick
I don't know what has gotten you thinking that God and Satan both dwell inside all of us but you couldn't be more wrong and that is sad. If God is in you then Satan isn't. The Bible makes it pretty clear when it talks about having to bind the strong man to be able to take his house.
Real Godly people are not ever and can never be possessed by demons or satan. Influences maybe, Troubled sometimes yes. But the 2 can't exist in the same place.

purplesaxark
07-27-2010, 11:08 PM
Brother, Matt...I commend you for writing the things you're writing on this thread. They're totally, 100% true and orthodox. God bless you. Also...I have recently come to the conclusion myself that Christianity and Aikido are 2 very different things and belief systems...well...it's obvious with the religious aspect of it...but you know what I mean, lol. I still like Aikido...I still practice Aikido...but personally...I just don't believe it to be in accordance with orthodox Christianity. It's not a sin or anything...it's far from being bad...but...on the spiritual and theological levels...they're very different and do not compliment each other.
You totally contradicted your self here.

Mark Uttech
07-28-2010, 06:09 AM
Onegaishimasu. Just to add my two cents, a contradiction is a perfectly natural thing after all.

In Gassho,

Mark

lbb
07-28-2010, 07:03 AM
It's a five year old thread, guys...read the dates of what you're replying to, they're not listening any more.

Joe Wokoro
07-31-2010, 07:47 PM
As everyone knows, aikido spirituality is based on buddhism (zen). Understandably so, given aikido's origin in Japan. If it was developed in Saudi Arabia, it would have been influenced by Islam and in France, by Christianity. I think aikido can be stripped of religion and embraced by Christians. I have explored how aikido complements and parallels the Christian message in my book, From Kicks to Christ: The Aikido Way to God (avaialble on Amazon) and in my blog
http://yield2win.blogspot.com.