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If aikido is the art of peace, there must be a root of violence and disharmony that informs it. To have love, and choose to do so, one must also have the backdrop of apathy and self-promotion that highlights our deficits unless we give ourselves to something greater than ourselves. Yet when we become aware of this choice (and even the active support of the smallest philosophy is certainly a choice), the introspective element gained also sheds light on our motivation and expression. What, then, becomes vital to our sense of self once the bare-boned nature of our true nature emerges?
Something may be a good thing; it may not be the right thing.
Something may be against our will; it may be the nature of our will that perpetuates it.
And something may seem to be a logical progression or state when we grope in the dark for answers, trying for survival; but once we have the illumination of self-reflection it is no longer appropriate or can be condoned.
Once we have started learning along the aikido path, can we ever again be justified to overcome another by any means? If we choose to respond with what we've learned of aikido, have our choices matured to the point where protection of the other person is an unspoken requirement?
If I choose to enter into an argument because my emotions are stronger than my sense of reason, am I liable for the damage caused to this relationship (no matter the outcome or the ignition point)?
Do I need to win, or do I need to guard the other person's heart? The thing I am fighting for may well have enough strength in it's own merit to defend itself.
Do I want to win, to protect myself and the identity I gain from the strength of the things I identify with? Or do I want something nobler further down the track that I'm prepared to fight for by not fighting?
The phrase 'live to fight another day' comes to mind. However, if I can wait for another day before fighting, I may well gain the perspective I need to differentiate between what is needed and what I have wanted. In an argument I can give the other person the victory right at the start and still know deep in my heart what I feel is the noble goal, the passionate detail. There, in that peaceful place inside myself I can maintain my integrity. Without airing out the deepest core of my heart where others are at liberty to shoot down. Pearls before swine.
The wind gives way, flows around obstacles, and therein lies its power.
The heart of aikido, the art of not being there, draws similar strength from the acceptance of obstacle, the adaptablity to circumstance, and the empathy of controlled response.