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Old 05-19-2005, 03:30 AM   #24
Stefan Stenudd
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Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
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The tower of Babel

I enjoy Don's perspectives very much.
Being Japanese is no guarantee to have exclusive access to Japanese tradition, or to undeerstand it at all.

Me, I am Swedish, but I am still sure that there are lots of folks in the world who understand the norse myths, or an Ingmar Bergman movie, better than I do.

On the other hand, Swedish sinologist Bernhard Karlgren got so good at the Chinese language, he could teach the Chinese scholars a thing or two about it.

We are aikido students, so we know: Wherever you are, whoever you are, to learn something you must study it.

Another thing: China and Japan are two different countries and cultures, even though they use the same "alphabet". A Japanese understanding of the Chinese classics is not necessarily the same as a Chinese understanding of them.

As an historian of ideas, I have also been taught that there is a context to be considered. For example, the Chinese classics were certainly read differently in the days of their appearance, than in any other era thereafter.
There is no absolute in culture. What a book means, is something that is born in the meeting with its reader. There is seldom a definite right or wrong reading of it.

So, what Chinese classics to go to, for words on (pinyin spelling qi)? Pretty much anyone of the Confucian classics, I'd say. It's scattered all over, more or less. I Ching (pinyin Yi jing) contains the fundamentals of ancient Chinese cosmology (yin and yang and their dynamics). The most lengthy treatments of are found in texts on Chinese medicine, where the Yellow Emperor's Classic (Huang Ti Nei Ching) is the nestor.

Me, I favor the perspective of philosophical taoism, such as in Tao Te Ching (pinyin Dao De Jing). is only mentioned a couple of times in it, but its cosmology is sweet. Other taoist texts elaborated more on the subject of , especially within the so called religious taoism, the guys who tried to live forever.

Tao Te Ching, with its message of non-interference and calmness in the turmoil of life, has a lot to say to the aikido student - especially in widening the concept of the way, .

Stefan Stenudd
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