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graham christian 06-09-2013 06:31 PM

Spiritual
 
Ueshiba was very spiritual. Most all of his students admit that. Understand what he was saying or mostly what he was doing? No, mot so much understanding there.

Therefor it would be good to understand spiritual.

There arte many spiritual practices all over the world from yoga to all kinds of things and low and behold they tend to get various realities on the spiritual side of things. The first thing is that it's not an intellectual pursuit as with zen. You can intellectualize about it but that's different. Intellect is of the mind and so a mental thing. Spirit is not mind.

Spirit can perceive without need for any physical perceptic or mind. So perception without body or mind would thus be spiritual perception.

A nice zen perspective.

Peace.Aiki.

Carsten Möllering 06-10-2013 05:17 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 327232)
Spirit can perceive without need for any physical perceptic or mind. So perception without body or mind would thus be spiritual perception.

This is not true for Daoism.

Given that Daoism seems to play an important role in understanding Ueshiba's spirituality and also his practice on the mat, or - simplified - given that Ueshiba's spiritual practice mostly included using his body in certain ways you seem to miss something?

graham christian 06-10-2013 03:15 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 327238)
This is not true for Daoism.

Given that Daoism seems to play an important role in understanding Ueshiba's spirituality and also his practice on the mat, or - simplified - given that Ueshiba's spiritual practice mostly included using his body in certain ways you seem to miss something?

No, nothing missed. Spiritually awake with a body and a mind or spiritually asleep with a body and a mind. Your choice.

Those awake perceive what those asleep don't.

Body receives rather than perceives. Mind is subjective and can only conceive. Spirit is objective. It's more that spiritual perception makes sense of daoism, buddhism you name it not the other way around.

Peace.G.

graham christian 06-10-2013 07:14 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
Spiritual perception is colloquially called feeling. Correct feeling would thus be correct spiritual perception.

Correct feeling thus moves mountains.

Peace.G.

bkedelen 06-10-2013 07:30 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
Your animal brain can and will fabricate whatever feelings and memories are necessary to convince you of two things: First to avoid situations that it feels will result in danger to itself, and second to convince you that its influence does not exist. For this reason feelings, moods, memories, spirituality, and all other forms of self-deception are untrustworthy metrics for the testing and optimization of human potential. All of the mythologies of the world have stories clearly outlining these things as pitfalls and red herrings on the path to self actualization, yet folks continue to be as gullible as ever. Alternatively, eliminating self-deception through hard work, ruthless introspection and submission to external assessment is the prescription for self actualization according to these same lineages.

graham christian 06-10-2013 07:43 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Benjamin Edelen wrote: (Post 327268)
Your animal brain can and will fabricate whatever feelings and memories are necessary to convince you of two things: First to avoid situations that it feels will result in danger to itself, and second to convince you that its influence does not exist. For this reason feelings, moods, memories, spirituality, and all other forms of self-deception are untrustworthy metrics for the testing and optimization of human potential. All of the mythologies of the world have stories clearly outlining these things as pitfalls and red herrings on the path to self actualization, yet folks continue to be just as gullible as ever. Alternatively, eliminating self-deceptions through ruthless introspection and submission to external assessment is the prescription for self actualization according to these same lineages.

Your animal brain does no such thing. It is merely a telephone exchange. On the other hand Ego does as you say.

Peace.G.

Carsten Möllering 06-11-2013 04:48 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Graham, I tried to be polite using a question mark at the end of my statement. And I used it to suggest that you reconsider your thoughts about the relevance of body in daoism in general and in Ueshiba's spirituality in particular.

The use and the relevance of the body in daoist spirituality is different from it's role in zen. This is simply not a question of what spirituality may be to you.
Also in Ueshiba's spirituality the body plays a crucial role.

The thought of awake / asleep does not really relate to those concepts.
"Feeling" is one possible translation of ki (Which is used in our context a lot.) and relates deeply to the body in those concepts.

ki-shin-tai-ichi is one expression of not to tear those three dimensions apart.

of whehter you like it or not.

Bernd Lehnen 06-11-2013 06:23 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 327232)
Ueshiba was very spiritual. Most all of his students admit that. Understand what he was saying or mostly what he was doing? No, mot so much understanding there.

Therefor it would be good to understand spiritual.


.

How did they know? How do you know?
They say, they said he was talking nonsense . They say, many wanted him to stop talking. Did these Japanese students ever say he was spiritual or is this an assumption or even a transmission error due to western thinking? Did they think, talking nonsense was equivalent to being spiritual? Was spiritual for them synonymous to talking nonsense? A polite reaction, a polite way to express that they simply didn't understand what this powerful man was talking about?

Spiritual? I don't know what your'e talking about.


Best
Bernd

graham christian 06-11-2013 03:51 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 327271)
Graham, I tried to be polite using a question mark at the end of my statement. And I used it to suggest that you reconsider your thoughts about the relevance of body in daoism in general and in Ueshiba's spirituality in particular.

The use and the relevance of the body in daoist spirituality is different from it's role in zen. This is simply not a question of what spirituality may be to you.
Also in Ueshiba's spirituality the body plays a crucial role.

The thought of awake / asleep does not really relate to those concepts.
"Feeling" is one possible translation of ki (Which is used in our context a lot.) and relates deeply to the body in those concepts.

ki-shin-tai-ichi is one expression of not to tear those three dimensions apart.

of whehter you like it or not.

Hi Glad you were polite. Especially a polite suggestion.

Ueshiba's spirituality was from Buddhism and Shinto a la omoto. You will find Buddha, one of many by the way, was known as the awakened one. As is the aim of enlightenment.

Peace.G.

graham christian 06-11-2013 04:04 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Bernd Lehnen wrote: (Post 327272)
How did they know? How do you know?
They say, they said he was talking nonsense . They say, many wanted him to stop talking. Did these Japanese students ever say he was spiritual or is this an assumption or even a transmission error due to western thinking? Did they think, talking nonsense was equivalent to being spiritual? Was spiritual for them synonymous to talking nonsense? A polite reaction, a polite way to express that they simply didn't understand what this powerful man was talking about?

Spiritual? I don't know what your'e talking about.

Best
Bernd

Most if not all said he was very spiritual.

So a very wise and able man spoke nonsense? I see you don't know what I'm talking about. No Problem.

A spiritual perspective makes what he said sound very sensible.

Peace.G.

Carsten Möllering 06-12-2013 03:32 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 327277)
Ueshiba's spirituality was from Buddhism and Shinto a la omoto.

Ueshiba practiced mikkyō. This is a very special form of esoteric buddhism which has deep roots in daoist thoughts and practice.

Ōmoto kyō is a very special form of shintō which is connected to daoism via one of it's main kami, which is of daois origin.

The language Ueshiba uses, the themes he discusses in his texts and lectures are very often direct quotations of canonical daoist texts.

Carsten Möllering 06-12-2013 03:54 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
just to add ...

If your understanding of spirituality works fine for you that's wonderful! I appreciate that.
I'm just concerned about getting historical facts correct.

Bernd Lehnen 06-12-2013 04:27 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Hi Graham,

Spiritual or Spirituality can mean a lot of things, they're very vague, not quite precise expressions, if taken out of context.
As "Christian" you might talk about things from "fides quae creditur" to "fides qua creditur" i.e. from "personal acceptance of faith" to the "act of faith" .
But this is only one of many possibilities. You might talk about "sacred things" and you might talk about "personal development".
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 327278)
So a very wise and able man spoke nonsense?

Peace.G.

I didn't say that. In fact, through Chris Li's translations I got an inkling that he was a very practical thinker and that he gave very practical advice to those who understood.
I simply don't see any connection between what you might want to say and what he is supposed to have been saying.
I still don't know, what you're talking about.

Best
Bernd

Carsten Möllering 06-12-2013 04:45 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Hi Graham,

I just found a very good statement somewhere on the internet. Have to cite it here:

Quote:

... he (Ueshiba Morihei) was a very practical thinker and that he gave very practical advice to those who understood.
The word "practical" is important.

And when I said I'm concerned about getting the historical facts correct I had this in my mind:
Quote:

I simply don't see any connection between what you might want to say and what he (Ueshiba Morihei) is supposed to have been saying.
This I think to be very important - for everyone of us:
To not confuse and mix up our thoughts and our understanding of what spirituality is with what Ueshiba thought and understood.
To trace back, to reconstruct his way of thinking - not only regarding spirituality - is really hard work and has to be done precisely.

Having an Ueshiba we understand and who is like us and affirms our points of view is only a superficial benefit. It will not help us in any way.

Marc Abrams 06-12-2013 08:09 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 327286)
just to add ...

If your understanding of spirituality works fine for you that's wonderful! I appreciate that.
I'm just concerned about getting historical facts correct.

Carsten:

Therein lies the rub. The poster has posted many times that he does not let things like "facts", "proper translations" and other things get in the way of his understanding of things. Good luck in this pursuit.....

Marc Abrams

Gary David 06-12-2013 10:46 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 327278)

So a very wise and able man spoke nonsense? I see you don't know what I'm talking about. No Problem.

A spiritual perspective makes what he said sound very sensible.

Peace.G.

Graham
Just a note to add perspective....I had casual conversations with two senior American instructors back in the 80's who spend some direct time with Ueshiba Morihei during the 60's when they were training in Japan.... and one of comments made (as an aside) was that none of the younger uchi deshi there at the time had any concerns with these gentlemen spending talking time alone O Sensei because none of them could really understand what he was saying anyway. The impression I got was the uchi deshi were more concerned with mat time....
Gary

Nicholas Eschenbruch 06-12-2013 02:29 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 327289)

Having an Ueshiba we understand and who is like us and affirms our points of view is only a superficial benefit. It will not help us in any way.

I really see your point, I do. But then...:

Having an Ueshiba who we can never understand and who is thoroughly exoticised and denied any human communality with us is really not too helpful either IMHO.

Not that I agree with Graham though :D

graham christian 06-12-2013 03:07 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 327286)
just to add ...

If your understanding of spirituality works fine for you that's wonderful! I appreciate that.
I'm just concerned about getting historical facts correct.

That's fine. So far they are correct. You add a minor ie: shinto. I could add much more from shingon to tibetan and you can't get much deeper than Buddha. Then we have Japanese shinto.

The so called esoteric sides of religions are the spiritual sides, not analytical or intellectual, so I fail to see your point.

Can't get much more spiritual than omoto. I wonder what the esoteric side of daoism is?

Peace.G.

graham christian 06-12-2013 03:24 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Gary Welborn wrote: (Post 327297)
Graham
Just a note to add perspective....I had casual conversations with two senior American instructors back in the 80's who spend some direct time with Ueshiba Morihei during the 60's when they were training in Japan.... and one of comments made (as an aside) was that none of the younger uchi deshi there at the time had any concerns with these gentlemen spending talking time alone O Sensei because none of them could really understand what he was saying anyway. The impression I got was the uchi deshi were more concerned with mat time....
Gary

Hi, I have read many accounts of uchi deshi and others. Some explain quite explicitly as to what they didn't understand and that was virtually always the spiritual.

The uchi deshi definitely were more interested in mat time as most didn't have spiritual pursuit as their primary motive. Not many do.

I've seen too many change once experiencing it to worry about any intellectual argument.

Peace.G.

Carsten Möllering 06-13-2013 03:24 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: (Post 327300)
Having an Ueshiba who we can never understand and who is thoroughly exoticised and denied any human communality with us is really not too helpful either IMHO.

Yes. I totally agree!

I just think we have to explore his world. Instead of making him fit into our's and adapt Ueshiba's thinking to our preconception.

MRoh 06-13-2013 09:19 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Nobody will be able to understand O Sensei's personality completely.
It seems to me, that according to preference the focus is either on the one ore on the other aspect.
People trying to explore what O Sensei did and to strike new paths seem to have another understanding now, but it's also like looking through coloured spectacles.

Some of his mythical discourses can be seen under the aspect of physical training instructions, but does this mean that all of his religous statements could be reduced to one aspect?
If he would have been that practically, he could have explained what he did in other words.
He preferred to talk in mythical discourses and aphorisms.

Terry Dobson wrote that he was praying the whole night, when he accomapanied him when travelling.
He was not practicing with weapons in this night, he was praying to the kami.
What this praying meant to him, we will not understand in its entirety.

lbb 06-13-2013 11:07 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
To raise the question about whether the emperor is walking around naked as a jay bird:

If you want to talk about spirituality, or spiritual dimensions of aikido, or whatever, why involve O Sensei? Why not start with what's actually there in your life and in your practice, rather than trying to go back to the source, trying to figure out what his experience was, and then trying to force an interpretation of your actual experience to fit what you believe O Sensei's experience was?

I have never seen the sense in a fundamentalist approach to aikido. A fundamentalist approach looks at O Sensei's teachings and tries to figure out what they were and go from there. If the evidence of your very senses contradicts what you think O Sensei's teachings are telling you, then you have to ignore the evidence of your senses and cleave to a "truth" that you don't experience. That's the basic problem with fundamentalism of any kind, as I see it, and it's not for me. But if you're going to go there, surely it's essential to discard your preconceptions, develop your sense of what O Sensei was teaching through rigorous research with primary sources (not second- and third-hand interpretations and assertions of what it all meant), and above all, to discard the biases that lead you to an interpretation that agrees with what you want to hear. If your research tells you that O Sensei's attitude was "Shut up about the spiritual stuff, just train," then you have to go with that.

Back to the emperor and his clothes: if you want to explore the spiritual dimension of aikido, the only way that makes any sense to me is to refuse to resort to the authority of O Sensei or anyone else, and to explore your own experience. Figure out what "spiritual" means. Then figure out if it's in your practice. If it isn't, does it need to be? So many times when I see people labeling their activities as "spiritual practices", I wonder if they've really thought about what that means, or if the tail's wagging the dog here and they're not just succumbing to the desire to make things special. You can't make things special, they either are or they aren't, and if you try to tell yourself that ordinary things are special, you're headed for trouble - what Chogyam Trungpa called "the third lord of materialism", where your need for special experiences and states of mind leads you to lose connection with reality and lie to yourself about what's really going on. I've had amazing "wow" moments on the mat, I've also had them walking down the street or riding the bus or whatever. They're great moments. But if you chase them and try to capture them, if you get on the mat or walk down the street or ride the bus with the expectation that they will happen and the belief that this must be a "spiritual practice" because you once had a "wow" moment doing it, you're deluding yourself.

There are such things as "spiritual practices", but there's really no need to try and make every ordinary activity into one. In fact, it's a lot saner not to.

bkedelen 06-13-2013 11:51 AM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Mary Malmros wrote: (Post 327315)
I have never seen the sense in a fundamentalist approach to aikido.

With you there. I'm not trying to learn another man's Aikido, and even less interested in another man's superstitions. The frontier is in researching yourself, forging your own connection to the source.

Keith Larman 06-13-2013 12:21 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
Quote:

Benjamin Edelen wrote: (Post 327318)
With you there. I'm not trying to learn another man's Aikido, and even less interested in another man's superstitions. The frontier is in researching yourself, forging your own connection to the source.

Agreed ++;

graham christian 06-13-2013 03:38 PM

Re: Spiritual
 
No doubt many have never seen the sense in the fundamentals either. They must be separatists.;)

Peace.Aiki.


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