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Old 05-25-2005, 06:57 PM   #19
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
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Re: Poll: Should spirituality play a part in an aikido curriculum?

I, too, like Guy`s post. Here are just a few comments;

The Japanese word for "spiritual" is seishin. Seishin has a bit of a different nuance than spiritual. To my mind, seishin means spiritual, psychological, and mental attitude. For example, "mental illness" in Japanese is "seishin byo" seishin sickness. I think something like, "You`re in good spirits today" reflects a good parallel between the two words. It seems that the word spiritual is divorced from everyday life in the west. So, not just "religious" but also "spiritual" has a different meaning between east and west.

I don`t think a lack of seishin is a defining point of "jutsu" arts. Respecting the seishin of one`s partners is close to essential in developing superior martial skills, in my opinion. (However reading Sugino Sensei`s (KSR) comments on a demonstration of Takeda Sokaku`s, I realized that it may not be 100% essential.)

We have to remember that the Founder did "preach" constantly during practice sessions and in fact quoted the Bible. He didn`t overtly attempt to convert people, but he did say things like, "you guys can`t understand Aikido because you don`t read the Kojiki," which to him had specific religous meaning.

Charles
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